Meet Jessica. Aka Jess. She’s another amazing yogi we gained in the Dry-January Sober Curious Yoga 30 Day Challenge 2022. She joined us and from the get going she just clicked with the community. Jess is an educator and a passionate yoga practitioner. After a long time of trying to steady her yoga practice, she was able to commit to it and made the top 10 list of most attended classes in January. Yay Jess! Get to know more about our new sober friend and the star of the week below…
Hi Jess! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Jess?
Jess: My name is Jess, I am an educator and creative. London born and raised and currently living there again, I love to travel and have been lucky enough to have visited many different countries and experienced many different cultures.
I'm passionate about working with people and children and have done everything from bar work to support work to primary school teaching. Humans and their dispositions are thoroughly interesting to me, including my own. So, I have been on a journey of growth and self discovery for the last 12 years. That's how I met Alex, having been a bit of a party girl and all round socialite drinking became a central part of who I was. I felt that this was in constant conflict with my other side which is more grounded and connected to nature.
How did you meet Alex?
Jess: After many attempts at being alcohol free I came across Alex. I reached out and joined the MLPC 30 Day Sober Yoga Challenge.
How did you end up being so committed to yoga?
Jess: What Alex and the MLPC was offering resonated with me and all I had been searching for. I had spent the past 7 years trying to cultivate a daily yoga practice and the past 3 years trying to be alcohol free, neither of which I had achieved. Throughout this time I had done many yoga lessons and even attended a 3 day yoga retreat, no matter how much I felt the benefits I could never quite find the drive to commit daily. I think this is because I was always coming from a perspective of lack and negative self talk. I was always preoccupied with saying no to myself for example I won't drink this or eat this and I will do yoga everyday. Being hard on myself and giving myself 4 or more goals to achieve everyday. It was exhausting and counter to what I wanted to achieve. So, I flipped the thinking. Instead of thinking I need to stop x, y, z I started thinking I will start doing yoga and being kind to myself.
What are the biggest benefits you’ve reaped from your yoga practice?
Jess: Since joining the 30 day challenge on the 1st of January, I have done yoga everyday and eaten and drank only things that nourish me.
Did you face any challenges during the month of January?
Jess: January, however, wasn't all positive, but I won't go into details. What I will say is that even though I love my job it is always a challenge going back after the holidays. I work in a primary school and there is always something more that can be done, your job is never completed or finished. So, my personal health and wellbeing has always come third after work and the people I love. However, I can say proudly that for this year so far, I have put myself first and as a result I am feeling the benefits of that commitment. From carving out the space and time to have a daily yoga practice, I've found more balance in my life, calmness and a sense of being freer from stress and uncertainty.
What’s your favorite posture?
Jess: My favourite posture is corpse pose/ savasana. I love the stillness and moment of reflection it gives.
What’s your most difficult posture?
Jess: The most difficult pose for me is half moon, looking at those fingers all the way in the sky sends me wiggling all over the place.
What is your favorite type(s) of yoga? And why?
Jess: My favourite types of poses are strong and still poses because I find that I can more easily stay connected to the breath and stay present in the body and mind rather than getting stuck in my head thinking about balance or how to move.
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
Jess: Words of wisdom (but not my words) when something doesn't go quite right, or you mess something up or you feel miserable, like a failure or like you've let yourself down. Show yourself some kindness. Instead of thinking to yourself I burnt the toast, I'm an idiot or I'm late for the train I'm so unorganised or I feel really sad I'm so terrible etc. You can think I burnt the toast and that's ok Or I'm late for the train and that's ok or I feel sad and that's ok. Most of the time the things we criticise ourselves for aren't really that big a deal. We ascribe way more meaning than is necessary, so be kind to yourself and let yourself off the hook.
Thank you Jess for your words of wisdom. We’re so lucky to have you as part of this community. Appreciate you so much!
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See you soon, until then, may you all be safe, happy, healthy, and free.