Featured Yogi: Jennie

Name:
Jennie Jackson

Studio:
My own studio – the cute, cosy and little bit pink studio named ‘The Taj’
Biz name is – The Adaptive Yogi
Also:
an online studio
one seniors class at Glenfield Senior City Hall
one adaptive/wheelchair class at AUT Integrative Health

Years teaching:
6

Years practicing:
24

Favourite yoga style:
Hatha Holistic (involving an even balance of asana, pranayama and meditation)

When do you prefer to practice?
I’m a crazy early bird and LOVE it – so 5am 😊

Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
I had practiced Yoga for 20 plus years and over time, though the tools of Yoga, found my self-confidence, self-worth and a desire to help others grow. I was also gifted a new lease on life after living with a degenerative disability and through a challenging journey of immobility and pain, I was lucky to end up with a prothesis device that helps me walk and yoga pain free – Amazing! This new life gave me the push to sign up for training – something I had been considering for YEARS but thought my body was not good enough, wrong, too big, disabled, blah de blah blah blah! Ahh the things we tell ourselves! Yoga has helped me realise how WRONG I was with that mindset and conditioning and I am passionate about sharing this discovery with others – to lead a lighter, more joyous, happy and free life!

What is something unique you bring to the yoga world?
I think that I am not your ‘typical Yogi’ I live in a larger body and have a disability – so I am inspired to bring this marginalised body type to representation in the Yoga arena. The daily struggle is real, living in a society where only a certain body type is encouraged and accepted. I like to create a zone where people don’t feel that pressure – in the least creating safety, comfort and in the best acceptance, peace and JOYOUS movement in their body. Sadly, this can be a unique and first-time experience for some, but I’m inspired to keep creating it and waking people up to the fact that they are ALREADY amazing and don’t need improvement (a message that is bombarded at us!). I have adaptive and curvylicious offerings 😊

What do you hope your students take away from your classes?
Acceptance of themselves, leading towards peace. Realisation that they ARE ALREADY amazing, even if they feel their body is ‘wrong’. Awareness of their minds and how the stories/societal conditioning can be so wrong and to break free from that – ah the liberation!
And all the other good stuff, better breathing, mobility, strength, clarity of mind, calm, peace and I LOVE delivering divine relaxing Yoga Nidra 😊

Who motivates and inspires you on your yoga journey?
Ahh so many – Sarah Harry, Amber Karnes, Jivana Heyman, Anna Guest-Jelley, Jessamyn Stanley, Mary-Jo Fetterley, Matthew Sanford, Dianne Bondy, Pragyadhara, Bruce Lipton, Joe Dipenza, Jaggi Vasudev – Sadhguru, Alan Watts, Leslie Kaminoff, Swami Premajoyti, Swami Shantimurti, Atma Okan, Devananda Gleitman.

Favourite quote or mantra?
And oldie but a goodie – ‘If you can breathe, you can do Yoga.’

Favourite after-class snack?
Wowza – no idea!! Changes daily on however I’m feeling.

Is meditation a part of your practice?
Absolutely 100% – more than asana and it is a big part of my offerings.

How would you describe the NZ yoga scene at present?
Under-served in the arena of accessible Yoga, diversity and representation. It has become quite an ‘elite, body focussed’ thing. In terms of body types, shapes, ages and sizes (this is a world-wide thing too!). Many places try in a token kind of way, like advertising ‘Yoga for everybody’ and their studio has stairs [but] all their imagery has thin, white women! That sort of thing – we can do better and include more. It is such a powerful practise for ALL and you DO NOT have to be able bodied or any ‘sort of body’ to take part and deservedly receive all the same benefits.

What do you love about your part of town?
I’m in Auckland. I love all the options of being in a big city. Love that we also have really beautiful beaches and some outstanding nature really close by – the wild west coast is only a 40min drive. It really is an awesome city for its beauty, water, bush and beaches! The traffic is a logistical puzzle that you CAN solve with a bit of planning, not moving with the masses and getting moving early!


Thank you so much for sharing, Jennie!

Would you like to be a Featured Yogi? We’d love to know more about you! Or is there someone you’d like to nominate … another teacher, a stupendous student? Getting to know our fellow yogis creates connection. We like that. Get in touch here.


© The Yoga Connection 2022