Our July Volunteer of the Month is Zen & Now volunteer Jessica Myers! Jessica shows up so fully to Asheville Community Yoga wether she’s coming in to practice or volunteer. She always goes above and beyond her duties in helping to keep Zen & Now beautiful and running smoothly. She has a keen eye for detail and often finds ways to make our little thrift store a better place to shop. Thanks you so much Jessica for giving so generously of your time!
I have practiced yoga on and off for ten years. Until this year, I mostly attended classes for the physical aspect. In February, I committed myself to a daily practice for focus, mental and physical strength, and mostly a dedicated time for breath. There were several practices that collectively hooked me. Michael told me about the “ha” and the “ta” and it really opened my eyes to yin and yang. Dana shared an affirmation of being perfect enough that struck me. But I think when Lauren said that I should go to the edge, soften, and follow through with grace and authenticity was when I really connected yoga practice to all life situations. It was such a simple, yet profound realization for me. It even makes me tear up to remember that A-HA moment. Inspiration to practice changes daily for me, but the most common is time for focused breath. The second most common inspiration is that I feel good going, being present, and leaving with a new experience to share.
Sun salutations and chaturangas are when I feel most grounded, and my most challenging pose changes all the time. I can remember when I loathed going into chair, but now it is one of my favorites. Currently, goddess pose gets my jaw clenched. LOL! My favorite place to practice is, of course, Asheville Community Yoga! Favorite time is in the morning.
How has yoga changed my life? The condensed answer would be that yoga has offered me self love, self acceptance, confidence, community, humility, and a whole new outlook to pain management (whether it is sourced physically, emotionally, or mentally.) It helps me feel good in SO many ways. It also helps me work through life’s challenges. Yoga is the life changer! Currently, I’m reading ‘The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription’ by Lauren Walker. I’m really enjoying it. Three words to describe me are energized, loyal and compassionate. Recurring themes of self love, gratefulness, and patience run through my practice. My favorite mantra is Om. I feel radiating energy from it, especially in class. It’s AMAZING and I always get excited to Om!
My other passions are kayaking, cooking, music, and sharing time with my family and friends. When I first moved to Asheville, I found Asheville Community Yoga through Groupon. I wish it were romantic, but, nonetheless, it got me there. I used to think my spirit animal was a turtle, but now it is probably a bird….maybe a cardinal? I’m not sure if I have been thoroughly embarrassed in a yoga class yet. I’m sure it is right around the corner now. Ha!
Jessica, thank you again for your dedication to community, and for your thoughtful answers here! If you see Jessica around the studio be sure to introduce yourself!