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Meet one of our Yoga Teacher Training Assistants, Jami!

I am SO excited to be welcoming Jami Hana back to Bali in July 2024 as one of the teaching assistants for the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training I am leading. Jami was one of the first guests on a Bali retreat I ever hosted, in May of 2022, and she also went on to then participate in our online Yoga Teacher Training program. She is an exceptional teacher and person and we can't wait to have her! Read more below...

1a. What led you to start yoga in the beginning?

My Yoga journey began in 2017. Prior to that, I had a contentious relationship with the practice of yoga, because I was a certified fitness instructor and had taught Cardio kickboxing for years, so I was constantly going Mach II with my hair on fire when I exercised! The slow pace of yoga was … pure torture for me! But in 2017, I learned that my son, Judson, was severely depressed and had developed an addiction to prescription Adderall, which led to an addiction to methamphetamine. 

I took matters into my own hands in an effort to save my son, where I learned that a regular yoga practice could help in the recovery process. I thought that I could learn to teach yoga, and specialize in trauma-informed yoga, and share the healing with my son. So, I signed up for a 200hr. YTT in late 2018 and earned my YTT in 2019. My final presentation was titled, “Twisting out Trauma: My Journey to Teaching Trauma Informed Yoga”, and dedicated it to my Judson. I started teaching yoga in 2020. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to save my son, as he took his own life in 2021. I was devastated. I still am, truth be told. But fortunately, in the process of learning and teaching yoga for him, it benefitted me in the process.

1b. How long have you been practicing and what have been your favorite styles?

I have been practicing regularly for three years, and my favorite styles are combo classes that include a challenging Vinyasa Flow with some nice Hatha postures to rest and restore!

  1. What brought you to Bali for your retreat?

After Judson died, I drank excessively and quit practicing yoga. I was in the depths of despair. I sought-out yoga online and recovery programs, when I discovered The Mindful Life Practice Community. I took the 30 day Sober Yoga Challenge in March 2022. I was very nervous about the one-year anniversary of Judson’s death that was coming up in May 2022, and I said to Alex on Zoom, “I wish you were having a retreat in Bali on May 29, 2022.” She said, “Jami. I am!” I believe I signed up the next day!

  1. How has practicing yoga enhanced your sober journey?

Practicing yoga has been a game-changer for me because it has helped my body heal, it has helped calm and regulate my nervous system, thus helping me to face my challenges in lieu of running away from them. Also, the community aspect has been phenomenal. Practicing yoga and participating in sober circles with others who are going through the same trials and tribulations, helps me to feel I am not alone. And celebrating the wins has been a source of joy and strengthens camaraderie.

  1. What has your yoga teaching looked like since you finished your YTT?

My yoga teaching has changed exponentially since my first class! In my 200hr. YTT, I learned how precious the ancient and sacred practice of yoga was. I learned the history, the philosophy, and the benefits of a regular practice, and how important proper Asana instruction is in sharing the yoga in a meaningful and effective way.

Because of this, even though I had been a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor for decades, I was really nervous about teaching yoga for the first time. I did not even want to call my class “yoga”, so I started by teaching a 30-minute class I called, “Stretching, Yoga Style.” 

In truth I was teaching a mini yoga class, I just did not want to be judged as I was not yet confident that I knew what I was doing, and did not want to blemish the beautiful practice with my inability to teach it properly. So after about a month, I became more and more confident, then I extended the class durations and introduced more Asanas, practicing the instructions over and over. I loved learning from different instructors to help me deliver clear and concise cueing techniques.

My teaching now looks now solid and well-rounded, and I have more confidence. I still have a lot to learn, and continue to push myself to learn more Asanas, learn more about the philosophy, and now I share more with my students about how yoga is not just the physical aspect, but a way of life. 

  1. How did doing your YTT with Alex and the MLP make you a better teacher?

I received my YTT through another Yoga School, however, I enrolled in a 30-hr. Sober Yoga Program with the MLPC. I learned how to facilitate sober circles and how to feather in the Chakra system. Alex has a beautiful way of teaching and making every person feel welcome, seen, heard and valued. I am a better teacher because of Alex’s teachings.

  1. Why did you decide you wanted to return to Bali in 2024 for the YTT as an assistant?

I was on CLOUD 9 when Alex invited me to teach in Bali this upcoming summer of 2024! First, being with Alex is magical. Her retreats are first-rate, from accommodations to meals, to the yoga practices, and the itinerary is exciting and fun, which includes many wonderful sightseeing destinations and life-changing experiences with the other retreat sisters.

I love that there is NO alcohol on this retreat. 

But there is plenty of healthy, fresh food and drinks. The setting is indescribable - beautiful Bali, with the sounds of the jungle all around, and a healing vibe that abounds in all its grandeur. It simply must be experienced.

  1. What are you most excited about for being on the teaching team in Bali in 2024?

I am anticipating a memorable, meaningful experience as a teaching assistant in this Bali Retreat. I am truly honored. 

There are two things that I'm particularly thrilled about. Firstly, I can't wait to see Alex in person again! Her kind soul is always a joy to be around. Secondly, I'm excited to return to Bali, the magical island. This time around, I'm looking forward to having a better idea of what to expect which will help me elevate my trip to the next level. I'm also eager to assist and inspire new yoga instructors to learn the beauty and magic of teaching yoga, and spread this sacred practice to as many people as possible. 

And sharing the joy of recovery with others, so that we can help reduce suffering and start living life to the fullest.

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