Jessica Boehm, yoga teacher and freelance writer, is a dear friend and talented young woman who we’ve had the pleasure of knowing for years. I literally sat and worked behind Jessica, and she has always been a positive – and entertaining – force in my life. Be sure to show some love for this month’s artist, and visit the Hot Yoga House Studio!
Years practicing yoga: 6, Years teaching yoga: 4
I could probably write an entire book about why yoga is important to me, but I’ll try to hit the high points! My yoga practice gives me the opportunity to get still – both in my mind and body. Like most people, I’m usually on the move, and sometimes I forget how important it is to just BE. Yoga reminds me that everything I’m seeking has actually been within me all along.
My practice is also important because it connects me to other people – some like me and some very different – and they all teach me so much. Without yoga, I would have never met several of my close friends, and those friends are some of the most real and genuine people I’ve ever come across.
RevPub: What is your favorite pose? What is your most difficult?
My students all know my favorite pose by heart now – it’s supta baddha konasana (also known as reclining bound angle pose or reclining cobbler’s pose). It’s a restorative pose that allows the hips to gently open, and it just feels amazing (especially for anyone with low back issues and/or tight hips).
My most difficult pose … that’s a hard question because it really depends on the day and the practice. In general, I tend to struggle with anything that requires a ton of flexibility because I’m very tight and always have been. So, deep folds and binds can be rough. Even though they’re hard for me, I try not to avoid them because the poses you want to avoid are typically the ones you need the most.
RevPub: What made you want to become certified to teach yoga?
To put it simply, I just wanted to share this fantastic thing I found. I wanted to hold space for students like my teachers held space for me. Misty Parrish, the owner of The Hot Yoga House, was really my main inspiration and continues to inspire me every time I take her classes.
RevPub: How has yoga affected your life?
Again, I could write a book on this question alone! I guess yoga just makes me a better person. It helps me be more in the moment, calmer, more honest with myself and others, less judgmental (again, of myself and others), and more peaceful. That probably sounds cliché, but it’s true.
I think it’s important to clarify that yoga doesn’t necessarily change lives. Instead, yoga helps people become AWARE of their lives, and at that point, they can make changes to better themselves. Another way to think about it is yoga shines a light into dark places.
RevPub: What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s happened in a class?
This was actually pretty embarrassing – and in case you’re reading this and thinking about coming to one of my classes, let me start this off by saying I learned my lesson, and this has only happened ONCE! So, at the end of class, each teacher passes out cold washcloths while the students are in their final pose (savasana or corpse pose). The washcloths are usually infused with essential oils, which are SUPER strong and should only be used in very small doses. Well, I didn’t know that at the time, and I dumped a ton of oil into the bin of washcloths. As I was passing them out, I felt a bit of a burning sensation on my hands … Turns out I practically burned the flesh off my students because of the high oil concentration! Whoops! We still joke about it and call it the time they got a “free chemical peel.”
Don’t forget to like The Hot Yoga House on Facebook!
And check out Jessica’s hubby, Chris Boehm, and his awesome woodworking!
*Photos from Jessica Boehm