It was a terrible injury that brought Jenny O. to yoga. At age 20, she fell into a pool headfirst and suffered with so much back pain that her legs would go numb. A friend suggested that she try yoga. “It’s the bomb,” her friend told her. Jenny O. says now, “I did and it is!”
Jenny O. is not what you might think of as a classic yogi. She has strong opinions and needs to see proof before she signs up. Fortunately, yoga proved itself to her. Now she is an enthusiastic believer in the power of yoga. At first, of course, Jenny O. wasn’t buying the whole yoga thing. “I could not believe that they wanted me to take a few moments and connect with my breath. I mean, really, who has time to do that? And feel what? The breath in my kidney?” But after a few classes, she could not deny that she stood a little straighter and felt a bit more flexible. “My a-ha moment was when I could tell that I was breathing with every movement and not holding my breath.”
Bringing the practice to unusual situations keeps yoga teaching interesting for Jenny O. Her regular personal practice keeps her body flexible and pain free. When she practices on her own, Jenny O. focuses on “listening to what my body needs for the day, whether it is a handstand, meditation practice, or a restorative pose.”
Recently, Jenny O. has been inspired by Elizabeth Cafferky, a fellow teacher who taught her about subtle experiences of postures and how to safely move deeper into poses. Finding the power of chanting has also been a huge inspiration. “The feeling I get when I can hear my voice and feel the vibration is great,” she says. This practice has become an integral part of her personal practice, one she passes on to students.
Jenny O. is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500-hour level with Yoga Alliance, as well as a 200-hour Kundalini Teacher and iRest Certified Teacher. She has also taken Anusara Therapy classes with Martin Kirk and Anusara Immersion Training with Christina Sell and Elizabeth Cafferky. Jenny O. has participated in various workshops and trainings with nationally known teachers including Donna Farhi, Srivatsa Ramaswami, Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Mehtab Benton, Chase Bossart, Sarah Powers, Sadie Nardini, and Judith Hanson Lasater.