I’ve written up a couple of introductions for this “About Me” page and they all end up sound cheesy and sales-y to me (thanks Life Coach). Which I hate with a passion far greater than even yoga. So I’d rather just dive in far too quickly than is advised. And be far more honest than is socially acceptable.
If you’re into that….you’re my kind of people.
And since it’s my website, I’d like to start with my credentials. Again yes, according to marketing 101, one should be a little more tactful when incorporating this into a bio. But I hate searching on other people’s websites to find out if they even know what the fuck they’re talking about.
Previous to my Yoga career, I worked for two Fortune 40 companies and earned an MBA. Sadly I always feel like I have to throw that in there, just so you know I’m not a dummy. Oh hello childhood complex!
I earned my 200 hr Yoga Teachers Certificate in India. I in no way wanted to learn about the heritage and ancient teachings of yoga from Nancy in Illinois. And I found it outrageous that studios were charging $3000 for a training that would take me a decade to break even on at about $25/hr. So I lived in Mumbai for 5 weeks at an Ashram where I found out that Yoga is far different in the mother country than it is in the U.S.!
There were 2 life events that changed the course of my life which I talk about extensively here. The first being my mom’s diagnosis with stage 4 cancer when I was 30. She passed away less than a year later. She was the only parent I grew up with and her death left me traumatized. A then couple of years later my husband and I tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant.
As many can attest to, major life events like these change how you want your life to look. I was no longer content to just sit at my soulless job and be a zombie. I wanted to start helping women like me. Women who’d gone through some shit.
I wanted to help because I knew how limited truly honest and actually helpful resources there were for women going shit. Particularly infertility.
During my own infertility, true to my Type A personality, I searched obsessively for help. Of course it was 1st focused on how to get pregnant. I looked far and wide for “yoga for infertility,” which frankly just felt gross and a cruel money maker. I then scoured forums for pregnancy tricks while downing bottles of Mucinex and gnawing away on pineapple cores. I joined support groups (actually helpful). I went to therapy to uncover “hidden blockages” (so not helpful). 1 by 1 each method failed.
Finally I resorted to pathetically laying on my yoga mat listening to cheesy YouTube affirmations. I couldn’t think about infertility anymore. I was exhausted and tired of trying. I had no idea who I was anymore. I just wanted comfort as a person. Not as an “infertile person.” Infertility had became my entire world. I could only see down that very narrow tunnel. The rest of the world became very dim. The goals and hobbies I once had were replaced by ovulation tracking and doctor appointments. Who I was as a person didn’t matter anymore.
I honestly couldn’t remember what my life was life before infertility. Was I happy? What did I do with my time? What did I enjoy? Those questions became irrelevant in my dogged search for a successful pregnancy.
I was disturbed by how little I cared about myself during this time. I didn’t care at all about my feelings. I didn’t care if I was tired or emotionally unstable. I didn’t care about my body and what I was doing to it. I only cared about one thing – getting pregnant. And after awhile, that just wasn’t enough anymore. I didn’t want that for my life. So I quit all fertility treatment and began to figure out what I would now do with my life.
The driving force in my life became trying to figure out how to get my shit together. I hated my job. I’d failed to become a mother. I had a big ole muffin top from the stress and hormones. And I was quite emotionally unstable. The infertility process and triggered literally all of my life long “issues.” Every single one of them had been brought to the surface. So how the fuck do I now pull myself together now?!
So I began writing it all down. And experimenting with how to do just that – “heal myself.” And some may say that it seems rather bold or sacrilegious to name a website as such. Or to posit that one could even do such a thing! But I named my website Heal Yourself Yoga because I know that literally no one else can. Religion, therapists, pastors, friends and family help. But the final stretch to the finish line is all us!
And I’ve found healing in 3 things – yoga, writing, and Buddhism. So that’s what I talk about on this website. I’ve always loved yoga, so I began creating what I always wanted and needed during my tough times. I started to record mediations and affirmations paired with thoughtful yoga sequences.
Writing is my outlet. It’s that “thing” for me that makes me feel like the Queen of Everything. It brings me confidence and a sense of self worth. It’s important that you find that too. And finally, Buddhism. I’m by no means an expert. But the 1st time I learned about Buddhist teachings it changed my life. So I write about that too. And how to incorporate Buddhist teachings into your real life in a no bullshit type of way. Not a hippy dippy – this is easy and fun and my head is in the clouds. Because sometimes it’s challenging. As all good things are. Especially if you’re a living breathing person with problems!
Jessica with husband Sunny