YOGA STARS is part of a feature campaign hosted by Vibrant Yogini where an experienced yoga teacher or enthusiast was interviewed about their beautiful journey learning yoga, as well as their newfound views as a yoga practitioner.
It was created to try and remove the gap between confident and expert yogi’s, and those who have just started to practice yoga or who are curious to learn more about it.
The truth is, and especially as an experienced yoga teacher myself, we never want you to feel intimidated or discouraged to start learning yoga.
Therefore, it is important to remember that each and every yoga teacher started fresh from the beginning as a newbie once upon a time.
So take a read of the yoga interviews and learn more about the experience of each participant as they share their story. The main aim of this campaign 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.
This week’s Yoga Stars feature is hosted by the wonderfully inspiring Jessica! Check out her adorable instagram feed, which is sure to make you feel broody with all it’s cute and beautiful mommy and baby yoga photos!: @Mommy.Yoga
“I love helping women find peace and strength through yoga. I love being able to help mothers on their journey through motherhood; no matter where they are in that journey.” ~ Jessica
Yoga Star: Jessica Millar aka @Mommy.Yoga
Where are you currently based?
The bay area in California, United States of America.
Where are you originally from?
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
I started practicing yoga only about 7 years ago.
I found out I had scoliosis when I was 12 years old and had chronic back pain.
I also suffered from anxiety and depression.
My mom had attended a yoga class at a local gym and told me that I would probably enjoy it!
I went and I was in love!
After the class was over I felt my pain go away and I felt like I was on cloud nine!
I seriously experienced the ‘yogi high.’
I then went to my library and checked out a bunch of books on the subject so I could learn on my own and do it at home by myself.
That then led me to finding a teaching course and completing my 200 hr teacher training program.
- Read 16 more reasons to do yoga
What got you hooked?
I vividly remember my first yoga class.
I felt like I had been living in this ‘tension bubble’ filled with anxiety, stress, and darkness.
During that class, I could physically feel myself push out of this bubble.
I felt it as I did poses like warrior 2 or staff pose.
The tension release I felt that first class got me hooked.
What is your favourite asana and why?
That is a hard question!
I would say my favorite is anything to do with the hips.
I have always loved releasing the tension in my hips!
But lately I have been enjoying inversions more.
I love the way they make my back feel.
Turning the body upside down and reversing the natural pull of gravity really makes a difference with back pain!
Where did you do your training/s and what courses have you completed?
I finished my 200 hour teacher training program in Alpine, Utah at Lifted Life Yoga.
I loved it there!
We ended our training at a yoga retreat in Zions National Park and it was a dream!
I wish I could go back and relive it all!
I hope to finish my total 500 hour one day as well as a kids yoga and a prenatal program.
I am currently self-taught in those areas but would like to become officially certified one day.
How has yoga impacted your life?
It has impacted my life in many different ways!
I don’t have back pain anymore!
And even though I still fight anxiety and depression every now and then, yoga has made it 100 times easier!!
I would be LOST without it!
I’d also say that yoga brought my husband to me…
He is a health nut and I think the ‘yogi’ in me pulled him in and hooked him.
- Read 14 more answers to “how yoga has changed my life” by other yoga enthusiasts.
Which type of yoga do you teach/ specialize in?
I teach all types of yoga.
I focus on anything my class is asking for.
Currently I teach a group of moms and so if they are in need of a relaxing, rejuvenating, and restorative Hatha class, that is what I will teach.
But if they are in need of a workout and want to sweat, I can also teach Ashtanga.
I like to try and be balanced and well rounded to provide whatever needs the ladies need.
But I would have to say that a Vinyasa flow is my favorite.
I love to plan the routines and I love to feel as if I am dancing.
To hear a lady in the class say, ‘I feel like a dancer!’ makes my heart happy!
What’s your mission as a yoga instructor?
Currently I am focused on mothers.
I feel there is a huge need for help during motherhood.
We are consumed by our children and it can be overwhelming.
I believe that by implementing the tools and habits yoga brings can help women enjoy motherhood more fully.
My mission is to touch other mother’s and help them live more in the moment and enjoy their children by creating a healthy and happy lifestyle for themselves first.
If you could give only one piece of advice to others who are looking to start yoga what would it be?
I would say to start anywhere you are comfortable.
Get online and find a class.
Go to the library and check out a book.
Go to the store and buy a DVD.
Yoga is so accessible to people nowadays and it can be done easily at home.
Next I would say, grab a friend.
It is so much easier to stick with a goal and create a habit when you have someone to do it with.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is just starting out as a teacher what would it be?
Don’t be too hard on yourself!
You don’t have to be a professional to become a teacher.
I would beat myself up at first because I didn’t have all the advanced poses down.
We would be going over each pose in our training and I wasn’t able to do it all.
I felt very inadequate.
But really, that isn’t what it is all about.
We all have so much to give!
What is one of your favorite mantras or affirmations that you don’t mind sharing?
I always repeat to myself when I am stressed or overwhelmed, “You’ve got this.”
I will also repeat that to myself when I meditate.
It brings confidence when I don’t have any.
Another one I say a lot is “Be. Here. Now.”
I get caught up a lot in the future and I obsess over planning my day that I forget to actually ‘live’ through the day.
What is one of your favorite yoga quotes?
“Dance like nobody is watching”
“YOGA like nobody is watching.”
- Read 15 more yoga quotes and choose your favourite “yoga quote of the day” from the list!
If you could have a secret power, what would in be?
I would LOVE to fly!
Connect with Jessica online:
“I love teaching ‘mommy and me yoga’ to help strengthen the bond between mother and baby, as well as kid’s yoga because I believe that developing healthy habits early on is so important!” – Jessica
To get in touch with Jessica and find out more about the range of services that she provides online please visit:
- Website: www.theMommyYoga.com
Plus, don’t forget to check out and follow her gorgeous feed;
- Instagram: @Mommy.Yoga
Browse available yoga and wellness retreats around the world;
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!
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:
Sign up to Vibrant Yogini and be kept in the loop with future news, blog posts, promotions and more:
Wishing you a life full of opportunities in abundance,
P.S. Leave your feedback for the wonderful Jessica in the comments below!