How long have you been doing yoga?
I started practicing in 2005 and have been teaching it for three years.
How often do you practice yoga?
At a studio, at least once a week if not twice, it depends on my schedule because I teach it so much. On my own, once a week.
What inspired you to become an instructor?
I love that feeling when you leave yoga, like you have conquered something, and I wanted to create a safe and humbling environment to help others feel that.
What inspired your Touch + Release program?
SO many things! Human touch is weird in our society and some people don’t have any physical contact at all through the day. Basically, I wanted to create an experience that made people feel safe, comfortable, and loved so they would be open to releasing emotions and anxieties.
What’s the biggest benefit people will get from Touch + Release?
I want them to feel an experience that is more than just, “Oh, I went to yoga”. Touch + Release is more than just a connection to self, but also to the community. It helps people realize they aren’t alone and in doing so, they feel their mind, body and soul getting restored.
What studios do you teach at in the city?
HotShop in the northwest, Silverado and sometimes I sub at Victoria Park.
What’s your favourite yoga pose to teach students?
I like teaching them all but if I would have to pick one it would be Eight Angle pose [Astavakrasana]. It’s fun, awkward, and you look funny doing, but when you figure it out, it’s so easy!
What pose do you dislike the most?
Chair pose. It’s called OUCH-katasana in my life.
What makes a great yoga class, as a teacher?
If I see students in class and they're awkward and quiet and you can tell they’re off but you can get them to laugh and smile when they leave. It’s the connection after the class when they feel open to talking to me and others.
What makes a great yoga class, as a student?
Moving and getting to wiggle and when people can tie your everyday life into your practice and you come away thinking about something differently.
What does ‘connection’ mean to you?
It’s being able to reflect, talk, and share an experience with someone despite having two viewpoints and finding something in common even when you’re so different.
How do you ground yourself?
By disconnecting. Whether it’s working through a practice, sitting and writing in a journal, listening to music or, weirdly enough, cleaning.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I teach spin as well and have a bad-ass side in the spin room. Literally, like a bootilicious side – it's all about listening to Beyonce!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Eating gelato. All of the gelato.
To learn more about Jessica's Touch + Release program, check out her website: touch-and-release.com
Jessica is bringing her Touch + Release program to Prana In The Wild because what would a weekend of self-love be without a massage?