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Highlighting Jaclyn: Get To Know Our January Featured Instructor

She is one of the sweetest instructors you will meet. She has a background in behavioral therapy and a degree in psychology. She understands deeply how to care for and encourage her students, loves being outdoors on the hiking trail and her dogs. Learn more about Jaclyn’s journey and what drives her in our Instructor Spotlight. Read on to learn more…

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

“Grief and Gratitude are not Mutually Exclusive”

How long have you been practicing yoga?

My mom practiced yoga for as long as I can remember. Also, for as long as I can remember, she tried to convince me to practice with her, with very little success. I was never flexible or athletic, so it wasn’t until my twenties that my mom gave it another shot and asked me to practice kundalini yoga with her. For some reason, that time it stuck and I started practicing nearly everyday. That was about a decade ago.

What made you want to become a yoga instructor? How long have you been teaching?

I majored in psychology and became a behavioral therapist immediately after graduating from university. I loved helping people, but within a few years working in the field of psychology, my caseload was full but the agency I worked for kept giving me more clients even when I asked them not to. I tried changing agencies, but I still felt overwhelmed, burnt out, and wanted to shift gears. I thought about my passions, one of them being yoga. I thought about how I could continue to help people, and use my background in psychology with a new job. In 2019 I completed a YTT and began my journey teaching yoga.

What yoga pose(s) makes you happy?

When I started practicing yoga I could not touch my toes, or sit on my heels, so as simple as they are, hero's seat and forward fold always remind me of how far I have come. Also, I truly love standing forehead to knee; for some reason the simple balance and flexibility of the pose make me feel wonderful.

Describe yourself in three words.

Grounded. Compassionate. Silly.

What three items would you bring with you on a deserted island?

Not an item, but if possible I would definitely bring my dog Oprah. Flippers and a fishing spear? Three items doesn’t seem like enough! I think there’s a lot I would need on a deserted island: a hatchet, pot, tarp, flint… I could go on.

What's a pet peeve that you would make illegal if you could?

The pet peeve is not having pockets in my clothes.

I suppose I would make it illegal especially for large clothing companies to not offer options of women’s clothing without practical pockets.

If you were to DJ your own life, what song or songs would you play in the background as you made your way through the day?

It would take a lot of consideration to come up with a long enough playlist for that! I can say “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin has been my favorite song since I was a kid, and coming in second “Between” by Satsung for the last few years or so.

What is your most used emoji?

It’s probably a tie between three: the kiss with a heart, facepalm, and silly face with the tongue out.

What is your favorite Knock-knock joke or silly/bad joke?

There are a lot of good ones but perhaps:

What did the fish say when he ran into a wall?


Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.

Honestly? I don’t think I would want to survive through a zombie apocalypse. That sounds incredibly stressful! Maybe Maya Angelou; I think she was quite resilient and she would be interesting to be around while we lasted.

Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Why?

Twilight. I love sunset hikes, walks or runs, but my favorite part of sunset is technically twilight, after the sun sets, before dusk. I think twilight is the most colorful part of “sunset.”

What is a current trend that you don’t understand?

This is a tough question.

Easy answer: Low rise jeans coming back into style? I find jeans in general to be quite uncomfortable, but low rise are the most uncomfortable in my opinion. Honestly though, I think it’s just that they don’t work for my body type, and I can understand why some people like them. To each their own!

More challenging answer:

Divisiveness. I know that people have always disagreed, belonged to tribes, taken sides etc. It does feel like a current trend for people to disagree so strongly with one another, and to be so far on one side or another. I think we have more in common than we realize, and I don’t quite understand why we cannot come together in order to make progress that would benefit all. I don’t understand why we cannot find common ground, and see each other as fellow humans despite our differences.

What is something you are really great at cooking?

Various soups and curries. My friends really like a lentil soup I’ve been making since I was a kid. My best friend also taught me to make enchiladas and Mexican rice when we were kids, and that’s also a popular meal amongst my loved ones.

Do you have any other hobbies other than practicing yoga?

Hiking and running with my dogs. Snowshoeing, skiing, swimming, paddle boarding, pretty much anything I can do outdoors, I’m into it.

If you were the captain of a pirate ship, what would be the name of your ship?

The Beautiful Weirdo

I don’t think I’d make a very good pirate.

Anything else? Is there a surprising fun fact you'd like to share?

More of an origin story than a surprising fact, still. Growing up, through my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood I was obese. In my early twenties I started hiking and practicing yoga, as a result I lost 100 pounds. I spent my whole life up until that point wishing I could lose weight. When I started hiking I had truly accepted my body the way that it was, I decided I wanted to hike, run, and practice yoga comfortably, that I was going to keep at it no matter what and stopped expecting to lose weight as a result. I think shifting focus away from how I looked to how I felt, is what allowed me to finally transform. I actually find it pretty sad, because fat phobia is real in our society and it’s something I wish would change. Ultimately, losing that weight completely changed the way I was treated walking around in the world. It was a transformation that changed my life, and a catalyst that sent me on a mission to better myself from the inside out; and hopefully to help others as well.

Although I have not kept up with continuing education to keep my counseling license active, I still take on life coaching clients from time to time. Both through coaching and yoga I find my greatest pleasure comes from helping others love themselves and make small changes in their lives that lead to growth and transformation.

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