How and when did you discover yoga?
As a much younger person, I was looking for ways to move my body and stay physically healthy, ways that didn’t involve spending time in a gym or running (sorry runners, it’s just not my thing!). A friend dragged me along to a yoga class at a local hall and it was instant love! While I enjoyed the physicality of yoga, and the strength and graceful movement it helped me develop, I also loved the sound of the posture names in Sanskrit (eg. ardha chandrasana). I think it was this that initially made me curious to know more about this thing we call yoga. Later, when my practice was more established, I found it so useful for dealing with the stress of studying (and life generally), that I decided I needed to deepen my knowledge and experience.
How long have you been a yoga teacher?
I began my first full teaching course in 2007, on the Sunshine Coast.
What made you want to become a yoga teacher?
I didn’t start out wanting to teach yoga at all, it was more the result of going through a teacher training program and receiving such positive and encouraging support throughout that process. Although it was quite scary at first, I soon found that I loved guiding classes just as much as attending them. Yoga can be so beneficial, in so many ways – I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to share that with people as my ‘job’.
What’s your favourite yoga pose?
These days my practice is centred around healthy mobility and sustainable practice – so I love anything that feels like it’s unwinding the various tensions these bodies of ours seem to accumulate. During the past few years, I’ve been a student and a ‘desk worker’ quite a lot, so postures that mobilise my spine, open my hip flexors, and soothe my shoulders are my besties on the mat. Specifically, I love a low lunge, and cow face posture is wonderful for soothing both hips and shoulders. I also really love banana pose as the perfect transition to relaxation/savasana.
What else are you into besides yoga?
At the moment I’m a research student by day and in a very nerdy way I really enjoy it. I also love getting out into nature for a bush walk, dancing (for fun or learning new styles), and discovering new music. I will occasionally get on a mountain bike, but I also enjoy a good Sci-Fi show or a bracing philosophical discussion.
What part does music play in your yoga classes, as well as your personal practice?
Music plays a huge part in both my classes and my personal practice. At some point along my yoga journey, I was inspired to experiment with bringing my love of electronica into both my own practice and my classes and I’ve never looked back. Music has always inspired such profound embodied experiences of presence, connection, emotional expression, and fun for me. Combining this with yoga just seemed like a natural progression.
Top 5 yoga tunes:
Gosh, only five?
- Catching Flies – Komorebi (warming up)
- Dub Sutra – Tempura Breaks (getting warmer)
- Ott – Baby Robot (in the flow now)
- Niraj Chag – Bangles (starting to turn inward)
- SOLON – Phlebas (chilling out in savasana)
Links to other classes you teach: See www.jesswhiteyoga.com