We had a chance to catch up with Jenna, the last time I spotted her was at Movingartatl dancing and getting painted by Inspr.Art it was fun night! She shared a little piece of her journey check it out below
What was you first memory?
I can’t recall exactly how old I was the day my little sister got lost in Disney World. I was maybe 5 or 6 but I remember this day so vividly. It was our first time at Disney and I remember how excited we were to be there. It felt like we really were in a “magical place.” Before we got to the park, my parents gave us the lecture about staying close by because there were so many people there and they didn’t want us to get lost. (Ironic) We were at the Little Mermaid splash park when we realized my little sister had wandered off and was nowhere to be found. My mother was frantic and crying uncontrollably. I was young at the time but I could feel my mother’s fear and anguish as we went from person to person weeping and asking for help. My dad on the other hand was calm. I remember him taking deep breaths and speaking to God out loud saying, “I know you did not plan for us to lose her today”. He kept repeating it over and over. I remember thinking, how can he be so calm at a time like this?? Trying to follow his example, I grabbed my mother’s hand and asked her to just pray. My sister was lost for at least another hour after that, but for some reason we just knew we would find her.
How important is it to find a nice core of people within the yoga community you can connect with?
Finding people you can relate and connect with in the yoga community is so important. To me, yoga is also about building a community of like-minded individuals who support and uplift each other. There is an energy that can be felt when you are in a room full of people all breathing and moving together. Yoga has a way of connecting people in ways still amaze me.
“There is so much more to learn and discover about ourselves”
I’ll be honest, before I started practicing yoga, I was very inconsistent and I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I felt like I wasn’t able to pull myself out of the slump I was in. With yoga, I’m learning to be more focused and intentional. I am learning to speak what I know to be true about myself, instead of allowing the default mind to take over. In my 6 years of practice, there has only been a few times that I wasn’t practicing on a regular basis. Off the mat I am learning to be calmer and more aware when my mind starts racing. I am learning that the only thing that truly matters is what you think and say about yourself.
Is a mental restart beneficial and how would you recommend it be carried out?
When you feel stressed out or overwhelmed, it can be hard to stay motivated and get things done. When your mind is bombarded with thoughts and daily tasks, it can be a challenge to accomplish anything. Sometimes a “mental restart” can help you develop a calmer state of mind and generate a more positive outlook on life. Everyone is different and what works for one doesn’t work for all. So I think it’s important to find the avenue that best fits you. The main thing to be aware of when you are hitting the “mental restart” button is how you are spending your time. What things are you feeding your brain day in and day out? How much of what you are doing is in alignment with your goals or intentions? Give yourself time to sit in silence and take deep breaths. This will help calm the chaos and chatter of everyday life and bring clarity to your mind. I also recommend journaling. Get your thoughts down on paper and take time to review it daily. Journaling is a good way to declutter the mind and focus on the most important things. You can restart, refocus, and readjust as often as you need to. I read once, “Too often we get lost in the abyss of unawareness.” Try to pay attention more and restart whenever you feel you need it.
What are some mental limitations yoga has helped you overcome?
When I first started yoga I was dealing with a lot of negative self-talk, a lack of passion, inconsistent across the board and a desire for more than what I was experiencing in life. I didn’t feel I had the tools to pull myself out of that hole. I started yoga out of curiosity and after taking my first class I was hooked. It was challenge for sure, it was the hardest thing I’d ever done but for some reason I felt better than ever each time I left class. I was taking the things I was learning on the mat (things like breath awareness, mindfulness, courage and willingness) and applying them to situations in my life (off the mat). I began to understand the power we truly have and the enormous impact setting intentions can have on the quality of life.
Teaching yoga to children can be fun, how has your experience been??
Aside from teaching yoga, I also teach 3rd grade students. I LOVE incorporating yoga concepts in my classroom. We discuss the importance of taking deep breaths and keeping yourself calm when you are stressed. We take “yoga breaks” during the day. They love to get up and do their sun salutations after sitting for long periods of time. I think my favorite thing about practicing yoga with my students is when I see them applying what we talk about. They encourage each other to “be clam, be strong and find your inner ocean”
I had a chance to capture some of the MovingArtAtl fun what did it feel like being body painted and doing yoga in front so many people?
So I truly feel like I manifested MovingArt into my life. For almost two years I followed the MovingArt Instagram page and thought to myself how amazing it would be a part of that show. When I saw that they were accepting submissions for the April 2017 show, I was at a red light and immediately sent in my video. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The energy in that room before the show was incredible. I was definitely nervous because I had never done anything like it but the good vibes were all over the place. Being painted was exciting, it was my first time but the other artists and yogis made me feel right at home. The thought of doing yoga in front in that many people was nerve wrecking a few days before the show. I didn’t know what to expect but when I got up for my turn, I took a deep breath, and flowed like no one was in the room and all the nerves just seemed to disappear. I will never forget that feeling and I really hope to be able to experience MovingArt again in the future.
Water seems to be near in many of your photos is there an island/location you must experience that you haven’t been to quite yet?
I LOVE being in nature. It is where I feel most calm, connected and peaceful. My goal is to make traveling a major part of my life. There are so many places I want to go that I haven’t been yet. Jungles, Mountains, beautiful rocks and hills, trees, waterfalls.. I could go on and on. I want to experience as many of these places as I can. I think of so many different locations, but I must get to the Northern Lights one day.
Have you had any mystical or metaphysical experiences while practicing yoga/meditation?
Hmm I thought about this question for a while. I don’t know if I can say I have. Although, there was one time I had a very transcendent experience while practice yoga at the park. I was sitting on my mat and there was a birthday party going on about 200 feet away. I closed my eyes to take deep breaths and all of a sudden the sun was shining directly on my face and there was complete silence. I could not hear a thing. I felt an extreme calm and peace like never before. I will never forget that day.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about trying yoga but feels intimidated?
Stick with it. Like most things in life, it will be a challenge at first. You will be moving and breathing in a way that might be unfamiliar to your body. Give it time. Give yourself time. Learn to focus on how you are breathing in the pose rather than how you look in the pose. Use your time on the mat to cultivate what you need. Strength, focus, balance, courage, conscious breath, what do you need more of? Think about a reason to practice yoga that has nothing to do with the physical poses. Give yoga a real try and I’m certain your life will not be the same.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247.com?
I want you to realize the power you have. Know that how you experience life is 100 % in your control. Your choices and inner dialogue have an enormous impact on your life (as most of us know). Decide how you want to feel.