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Teacher Spotlight: Heather Jennings

Do you remember your first yoga class? What was it like? Why did you enroll?

I took my first yoga class in 2008 when the KG YMCA opened. I didn't like it! It seemed a little slow and boring... and of course, I didn't know any of the poses. But I had an injury from running and I felt like I needed to do something so I promised myself I would go to at least 3 classes and then decide whether I wanted to continue. By the third class I was hooked... and the rest is history!

What Inspired you to become a teacher?

My original yoga teacher was so kind and welcoming. Yes, this is the same person that taught the class that I thought was slow and boring! But I came to realize that the class was not boring... that connecting the mind and body provided benefits different from running but equally necessary for healthy living. Her encouragement was instrumental in my continuing yoga and eventually going through teacher training.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Always evolving... I love learning (and then sharing) new techniques, new poses, and new ways to cue breathing, transitions, and alternatives to poses. I remember what it was like being new to yoga and being a little uncomfortable in class so I work to change my phrasing and offer variations that will hopefully resonate with each student and make them feel safe, comfortable, and welcome.

How has yoga impacted your life?

It keeps me centered, present, and (mostly) calm. I can always tell if I haven't been practicing for a while. My stress levels increase, and I become less happy. Yoga has also introduced me to so many wonderful, friendly people! This is one of the best parts of yoga; it keeps you connected with both yourself and your community.

How would you like your students to feel after your class?

Calm, present and grateful for our time on our mats. If your thoughts are negative, your life is negative. If your thoughts are positive, your life is positive. That may sound overly simplistic, but while we can't control what life throws at us, we can control our response to it. It's about choosing gratitude and a positive mindset. Not always easy to do, of course! This is why we practice.

When you’re not teaching what do you do for fun?

My husband and I really enjoy going to local sporting events like the Fred Nats or Va Tech football games. We also love spending time with our friends (usually with a glass of wine!) and travelling (when we can get away) with either friends or family. Italy 2023!

What’s your favorite yoga pose?

Humble Warrior

What are you currently reading?

Latest Yoga Journal