Community Interview #10: Jen
Meet Jen. One of the Home Crew Team (Home Team is what we have been calling community members attending EST evening classes lately). She is a good friend of our teacher Marie-Christine and both are in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. As soon as Jen joined us back in January 2021, she was a perfect fit to our community. We’re so lucky to have her and her energy that brightens our day (and night).
Jen did our Anniversary Month 30 Day Challenge in March and joined for 110 sessions in just 3 months. She enjoys classes like Pilates, Slow Flow, Pranayama/breathwork, Ecstatic Dance and Hatha & Pranayama. She is our star for this week, here’s her interview for the blog...
Hi Jen! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Jen?
Jen: Hi folks, I am an Australian living in Canada. I moved to Kingston, Ontario last July, when I separated from my husband of 20 years. So now I am in the process of reinventing myself, finding out how I want to spend my time and what I value. I’m learning to live with myself all over again. I’ve been a vegetarian chef, online instructional designer, chocolatier, business owner, and artist, amongst other things. I love dancing, playing music, emotional expression and physical meditations. I also love animals. I took Sannyas with Osho in 1989 and my spiritual name is Dhyan Smito, which means smiling meditation.
What inspired you to start practicing yoga?
Jen: I like the combination of physical and spiritual, with breath awareness, as a practise.
Have you ever had any experience with yoga before joining the MLPC?
Jen: Yes, I’ve practised yoga off and on since I was a teen.
What’s your connection to the MLPC?
Jen: My friend Marie Christine joined MLPC and I found out about the community through her.
Artwork by Jen
How did you end up being so committed to yoga?
Jen: The concept of community with online yoga has enabled me to make a simple and easy commitment to the practises offered on MLPC. I feel very spoilt that I can join a class and connect with people with just a few clicks, free of so many other decisions and challenges that I face with in-person yoga.
Did you face any challenges during the month of March?
Jen: In March I had some health challenges but after my body recovered I was able to regain my commitment
What are the biggest benefits you’ve reaped from your yoga practice?
Jen: Strength, mindfulness, better focus, community connection
What’s your favorite posture?
Jen: This changes on each day. After a good warm up I love a twist that wakes up my back and I hear and feel the release of a few vertebrae. When I feel tired and need grounding my favorite is the supported child’s pose.
“The concept of community with online yoga has enabled me to make a simple and easy commitment to the practises offered on MLPC. I feel very spoilt that I can join a class and connect with people with just a few clicks, free of so many other decisions and challenges that I face with in-person yoga.”
What’s your most difficult posture?
Jen: Last week it’d have to be the walking squat in pilates.
What is your favorite type(s) of yoga? And why?
Jen: I love Slow Flow and Restore because they settle me down and my mind becomes empty. And I also love Pilates for strength and flexibility training, and Pranayama for focus and presence.
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
Jen: Forget goals, be gentle and patient with yourself and accept yourself for where you are today, with gratitude #1 for showing up and then #2 for taking care of yourself.
Thank you Jen for your amazing answers. As Marie-Christine says, “join our home team. We’re a jolly bunch”.
If you liked this interview make sure to show some love to that like button. Leave a comment or questions below.
As always may you all be safe, happy, healthy, and free.