YOGA STARS is a new weekly feature at Vibrant Yogini where an amazing yoga teacher or enthusiast will be interviewed about their beautiful journey and views as a yogi! It has been created to try and remove the gap between our confident and expert yogi’s, and those who have just started to practice yoga or who are curious to learn more about it. We never want you to feel intimidated or discouraged. Therefore, it is important to remember that each and every yogi started fresh from the beginning as a newbie once upon a time! Our aim is to motivate you to continue your journey no matter where you are on it.
Designed to inspire your yoga practice and encourage you to follow your dreams.
Kicking off the launch of this exciting new feature, is the wonderful Jenn Russell, also known as @The_Travelling_Yogi on instagram. It has been amazing, and SUPER inspiring, to hear about her incredible journey as she spills all the inside information about her life and story as a passionate yoga teacher.
Friendly warning: this MAY plant a tiny seed to inspire you to start manifesting your vision. Side affects may also include throwing all your future plans to the side entirely, while you contemplate joining the beautiful life of yoga 😉
So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive straight in with the interview!
Yoga Star: Jen Russell
Where are you currently based?
I am based in Goa for 6 months of the year and the rest of the year I travel and teach all over the world.
Where are you originally from?
I am from the UK – in the depths of the West Midlands!
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
I started with ashtanga around 2010 to try to fix an injured back and over the next two years fell in love with yoga … so much that I took my first teacher training two years later in 2012.
Over the past six years of teaching my style has changed pretty dramatically as I’ve dived into the spiritual side of the practice.
I still love the occasional ashtanga primary series though!
What got you hooked?
OK I’m gonna level with you … when I first started yoga I hated it … I know 😉
I was obsessed with perfecting every posture and would get really upset with myself when my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to.
The game changer for me was when I went to my first vinyasa flow class and the teacher said “it doesn’t matter if your heels never reach the floor in downward dog.”
Now for an ashtangi that was an eye opener!
I started to realise that the goal of yoga is not the pursuit of perfect asana, it’s about celebrating your body and enjoying the feeling of it moving in space.
8 years on and my heels still aren’t on the ground in down dog and I’m fine with that… it’s called a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect 😉 …and I’m bloody lucky to have the incredibly capable body I have.
Gratitude is my motto these days.
What is your favourite asana and why?
In an effort not to sound egotistical I would like to stay child’s pose, but in all honesty i’m working on press handstand at the moment and loving the process of feeling the ‘float’!
Where did you do your training/s and what courses have you completed?
I have done several trainings, the first one being Ashtanga based and my advanced training is in Vinyasa Flow – in India.
I’ve also trained in Thai Yoga Massage and Acro Yoga.
How has yoga impacted your life?
Wow, how much time do you have? Literally in very way possible.
I have transformed mind, body and soul in the past few years from a stressed out 9-5er to living my dream life running my own retreats and teaching all over the world.
I am so very blessed to be on this path 🙂
Which type of yoga do you teach/ specialize in?
I teach multiple styles but am known for my creative vinyasa flow classes and like to weave in music, poetry, sound healing and massage to create a multi sensory experience.
What do you enjoy about this particular style of yoga?
I get to be really creative…I do a hell of a lot of rolling around on the floor working on new transitions.
I’m into getting off the mat, facing all directions and moving freely within the space of an asana.
It’s a super fun style to teach.
What’s your mission as a yoga instructor?
- To teach my students that they are always enough.
- To help them to appreciate the incredible bodies they have.
- To show them how to use yoga as a vehicle to live a full and vibrant life.
If you could give only one piece of advice to others who are looking to start yoga what would it be?
If you’re thinking about it, do it!
As yogis, we believe that the universe guides everything we do.
If that little seed has been planted, it’s for a reason. Don’t ignore it 🙂
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is just starting out as a teacher what would it be?
Start teaching as soon as you qualify.
You’re never going to feel 100% ready and you may doubt your abilities but remember, you have a unique gift to offer – YOU!
Teach a few free / donation based classes and build your confidence.
Ask your students for feedback … they’re the ones that matter.
What is one of your favorite mantras or affirmations that you don’t mind sharing?
You are enough, just as you are.
What is one of your favorite yoga quotes?
“If you choose to see everything as a miracle then where you are right now is perfect” – Mastin Kipp
If you could have a secret power, what would in be?
To be able to magically press into handstand … I’ve been working on it for 6 months and I’m sooooo close!
Wait … is that my ego talking? Oops!
Connect with Jenn online:
Jenn has an amazing social presence online AND offline in the yoga world! If you are interested in finding out more information about her wonderful life as a travelling yoga teacher or to book any one of her incredible retreats, then visit:
- Website: www.thetravellingyogi.com
Don’t forget to follow her beautiful story and photo’s on instagram:
- Instagram: @the_travelling_yogi
Additional Yogi Extras!
Go on, book yourself a well-deserved and relaxing retreat!
Why not spend your next vacation experiencing a yoga retreat? There are so many to choose from! Whether you prefer mixing it with a bit of surfing in Costa Rica, or your would like to visit the worlds heart of yoga in Rishikish, India. Perhaps you are in need of a refreshing detox retreat, or simply a relaxing and luxurious stay in paradise which offers you spa treatments, sightseeing tours and daily yoga classes. You are sure to find one that suits your needs perfectly!
OR book a hotel already within your dream wellness destination.
Don’t worry, I get it! Some of you just don’t like the idea of being restricted to a yoga retreat. Are you more in favour of staying at an independent hotel but within a yoga destination? Well why not have the best of both worlds? Hotel comforts AND attend daily yoga classes in your dream wellness destination. Search the daily deals from Agoda and snap yourself up a bargain with these savings!:
Next, find the most direct flight AND save an extra 10%!
Qatar airways now offers so many more international flights. This is such great news so that you can save time travelling and spend more precious time in your desired destination! Click here to find your next flight. Plus, you can use the special discount code below to save an extra 10%!
Almost there, but first let’s find you the correct gear to take with you…
When packing to go on a wellness holiday, it is useful to take your own personal travel mat and gear. Finding the correct equipment that fully suits your needs is important to prevent injuries and help you reap the benefits of yoga and exercise. I personally have to have a slightly thicker yoga mat than average otherwise the lower part of my back doesn’t feel cushioned enough making me feel so sore after only one or two sessions! Barefoot yoga supplied a wide variety of sustainable and comfortable yoga props and gear. Browse their collection here.
Are you getting enough vitamins during your travels? or even, at home?
Sometimes when we go travelling, we can be limited to what food is available at the destinations we travel to. This often makes us feel sluggish and tired. You can overcome the common negative effects of travelling with yoga stretches. Read the guide here. Plus, you can supplement stretches with nutritional vitamins. Us health-conscious yogi’s usually travel with organic supplements to help keep us healthy while on the road. The last thing we ever want while on vacation is to become sick!
AND, if you often suffer from stomach problems while on the road, there is an excellent all-natural recovery formula:
Well that’s all for now! Make sure you keep an eye out for the Yoga Star featuring at Vibrant Yogini next Friday!
Connect with Vibrant Yogini
Would you like to take part in the weekly Yoga Stars feature at Vibrant Yogini? Whether you are a yoga teacher or a passionate enthusiast, we would love to hear from you! Please send an email to the following address:
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Wishing you a life full of opportunities in abundance,
P.S. Leave your feedback for the wonderful Jenn in the comments below!
* Disclaimer: In order to keep the Vibrant Yogini content free, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to click through and purchase the products I have recommended.