We are very excited to introduce our newest yoga teacher, starting in January 2016, Jennifer Usher. Jennifer recently completed our Avid Yogi Intensive Teacher Training Course with Karen Kirkness, and will be teaching Beginners Courses, Power Yoga and Vinyasa Flow classes.
We asked her to tell us a little bit more about herself and you can read more right here:
When did you start practising yoga and why?
I signed up to the Edinburgh University Yoga Society in Freshers Week of my first year of uni on a bit of a whim – I was at the Freshers Fair and got lured into trying lots of societies but yoga was the only one that really stuck! I’d never done anything like yoga before but was soon hooked on how it made my body and mind feel. It was a great antidote to the stress and late nights of uni and then long hours at consuming jobs after I’d graduated.
What made you want to become a yoga teacher?
I think the eureka moment happened when I moved down to London about 18 months ago to accept a very stressful job in advertising. Although there were some aspects of that career that I liked, I knew quite quickly that my heart wasn’t in it and I wasn’t suited to being in an office all day. I need to move around, feel active and healthy, and have face-to-face contact with people! Because my yoga practice was quite strong by this point, training as a teacher had been in my mind for some time, and it finally felt like the right time to do it. So I packed in the desk job, took a ten month sabbatical in Indonesia, Australia, America and Iceland, and then finally returned to the UK for my training.
What’s your favourite type of yoga to teach?
My teacher training was mainly ashtanga based, with a strong focus on Mysore style. I was new to Mysore before my training and didn’t know much about it, but after a few sessions I was totally hooked. I’m excited to keep developing my own Mysore practice and use that to be a confident ashtanga teacher. However, there’s a lot of fun to be had in teaching more creative vinyasa classes as well. I enjoy coming up with sequences and it’s satisfying when they work really well.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a yoga practice?
Don’t be intimidated! A lot of people think they can’t go to yoga because they’re not flexible enough or don’t have the right type of body. That’s not the case at all. In a good yoga class, everyone’s eyes should be on their own mat so no one will even notice if you’re doing the splits or not. All you need is to be open-minded and willing to accept your body’s strengths and limitations.
What do you do apart from teaching yoga?
I work at a little restaurant in Bruntsfield called Three Birds. It’s fun and relaxed and the food is awesome. I play the cello and was in a band called King Eider for a few years. I travel as much as I possibly can, my favourite countries so far being India and Rwanda, and with a trip to Thailand coming up soon.
Have you had any epic yoga fails or face-plants you can tell us about?
Too many to count! It’s good to face-plant when trying out new arm balances or handstands. It makes you realise that you won’t hurt yourself too badly and you lose the fear factor. I did once topple over while being overconfident with Pincha Mayurasana and broke a plant pot, but the pot was definitely more hurt than me.
Sum yourself up in five words:
Better to ask my friends.
Jennifer will be teaching at Meadowlark from Monday 4th January. Check out her classes here.