Yoga Teacher & Enthusiast
Jamie began her yogic journey during college when her older sister, Kristen, suggested she try a class to help with stress during finals. This turned into regular classes for the rest of her college career, and before she knew it, yoga had begun to change Jamie’s life and became her focus for the future. After college graduation, Jamie moved to Iowa City, met her eventual mentor James Miller and was later offered a scholarship to participate in his 200-hour yoga teacher training.
After receiving a job in advertising in Chicago, Jamie returned to the Chicagoland to begin a career in corporate America. Life was very different once leaving Iowa and Jamie briefly lost track on her yogic path. A year later, when realizing she felt incomplete, Jamie returned to her yogic journey, attending classes at Tejas Yoga, Moksha, and other studios in Chicago. She instantly began to feel better, reconnecting with her true self and finally feeling whole once again. Jamie loves to share her excitement in yoga and has been able to train and help her family experience the same joy. Jamie hosts a donation-based yoga class at a local church in the northwest Chicago suburbs and provides a therapeutic flow for all ages and sizes. Jamie believes the therapeutic aspects of yoga are of most importance and necessary to all.
How does doing yoga make you feel?
Yoga makes me feel invincible! When I’m practicing regularly, I’m happy, comfortable, light on my feet and love everything the world has to offer. When I’m NOT practicing… it’s a whole other story filled with grumpy groans and hunched shoulders.
How long have you been doing yoga?
I have been practicing since 2009. I dabbled a bit here and there before that, but 2009-2010 is really when my practice flourished and yoga became an integral part of my life.
Why did you start doing yoga?
I started practicing yoga during college thanks to a recommendation from my sister. I was a very high-strung, stressed out college kid. I had a lot of anxiety – whether it was social anxiety or test anxiety – and the challenges I faced in school were causing me to turn to bad habits as my stress reliever. My sister recommended yoga to help me unwind and let go in a healthier fashion than overeating, chain smoking or drinking cheap beer in excess. While the other options were where all my friends were, the yoga is what really helped me FEEL better, physically and mentally, which ultimately lead to improving my overall well-being in and out of school.
What is your favorite type of Yoga? Which type are you best at?
My favorite type of yoga is Ashtanga. Maybe it’s the foundational aspect of it or the fact that I just like a set-in-stone way of doing things, but Ashtanga is what makes sense to me. I wouldn’t say I’m the best at any type – it all depends on how I feel that day or what I am trying to work on. I don’t judge my postures based on ease of getting into them – I based my progress off the way I feel when I’ve finished a sequence or when I’ve fulfilled a pose I’ve been struggling with for a while.
What don’t you like about yoga (if anything)?
I do not like the mainstream rendition of yoga in Western society. I believe yoga is for everyone but pop culture and media make yoga into something only certain people can practice or believe in.
What do you love about yoga?
I love the freedom of getting lost in your own mind; of discovering yourself and moving in ways you’ve never thought possible before.
How often do you do yoga?
Each week is different for me… I truly try to practice every day just a little bit – whether it’s a few poses in my living room or it’s a breathing exercise on my train ride home. Yoga is more than just the physical postures.
Do you eat before or after yoga? What do you usually eat?
I do not eat before yoga – I try to have an empty stomach for at least 3 hours before practicing. I sometimes have a snack after – if I’m hungry – but usually I feel satisfied after my practice. My general diet consists of natural foods from the earth – I do my best to avoid all processed foods, but I have a weakness for sweets! Guilty pleasure: Chocolate coconut milk ice cream! Now whether I have that after practice is another thing… 😉