Before we became yoga teacher were once and still are students of yoga. Every month I am sharing some insight from some inspirational yoga teachers I meet over the years. I hope their stories will inspire and motivate you in your yoga practice.
This month I am highlighting …….JoAnnah (Jo Jo The Yogi) Thompson
SFCY: Tell us a little bit about yourself :)
Jojo: Hmm, well I'm young at heart and like to watch anime. Prefer them actually lol. Other than that I work hard with a full-time job and own a studio Self Love Yoga in Niagara Falls, NY. I love to travel and inspire others. Own a house, have wonder, wonderful friends and family, and in good health. I'm living my best life and looking forward to many more blessings :)
SFCY: How did you get introduced to yoga and when did yoga get serious?
Jojo: My yoga journey is kinda funny. I actually was going through hard times and became really depressed back in 2012. I've heard about yoga and how it has helped a lot of people. Well at that time my finances weren't the best, so instead of going to a studio I purchased a beginner yoga DVD. Being a former athlete, I didn't understand the concept of breathing and taking your time with poses. I wanted to feel the burn! I soared through the video thinking it wasn't challenging enough and returned the DVD lol. Then a few years later I joined a gym and decided to take yoga again. Still wasn't as consistent. I didn't like that I was doing the same poses over and over again. Soon I would find myself doing yoga on my own. That is when I began to take yoga seriously, 2 years ago, challenging myself and unexpectedly tapping into the spiritual aspect which changed my life.
SFCY: Can you share the biggest challenges you face as a yoga teacher?
Jojo: Helping students to remain consistent and motivated with their practice, the same thing I had the issue with. Once they recognize a change in their own lives is when they remain.
SFCY: Where do you find your motivation to keep teaching?
Jojo: Those students who tell me how much it has helped them, or those who become emotional during or after class. That is the best feeling in the world that I was able to assist them along their path to healing.
SFCY: What was your most embarrassing moment teaching a yoga class?
Jojo: Lol I don't have an embarrassing moment actually. I mix up my right from the left from time to time but they just laugh lol. So do I.
SFCY: How did yoga influence your life beyond teaching?
Jojo: I'm a lot calmer now and not so anxious. I am an entrepreneur but work very differently now. Before I would "come out the corner swinging" no game plan just swinging. I take my time now in days, and if I feel I'm doing too much, I slow down without a problem. So you may catch in a mode of reading, meditating, doing yoga, and sleeping. Then a mode of extreme focus and working. So yoga has slowed me down for good. I make better decisions now and not rash ones. I'm more spiritually inclined, forgiving, and loving. I've also found healing as well. Yoga really has changed my life.
SFCY: What does your typical day look like?
Jojo: Kind of answered it. But for the most part, I get up mediate or do yoga. May go to the gym. Then go to my corporate job. Go home, meditate, do my nightly routine, and go to sleep. During different times of the day, I'm always answering emails, planning, or responding to inquiries.
SFCY: What is your favorite style to teach?
Jojo: Hatha and Vinyasa.
SFCY: What type of yoga classes do you offer?
Jojo: Hatha yoga for all levels. During the colder months, I am focusing on fun events. Have a Sexy Yoga event coming next month!
SFCY: What are your future plans/goals/dreams for your yoga teaching business?
Jojo: I plan to teach yoga across the U.S. and international while inspiring and motivating the masses. I will be holding retreats, ebooks, and apparel. So stay tuned!
SFCY: Any tips for passionate people who interested in becoming a yoga teacher?
Jojo: Take your time and find the right YYT training, don't listen to too many opinions or you will get confused. Just go for it, it will never be the right time!
SFCY: How can people get in touch with you? Website? Social Media?
Well, that sums up this Week's Yogi Spotlight. If you want to be featured send an email to Info@Simplyfitandcurvyyoga.com Namaste!
Don't forget to join the Elevated Yogis Facebook group to share your journey and get extra support
About the Author:
Kenya Marsh is the founder of SimplyFitandCurvyYoga (SFCY) and Author of several books including Your Yoga Journey: A Great Way to Start. As a wife, stay-at-home mom of two, and yoga teacher. Kenya knows how challenging and beneficial a steady yoga practice can be. She understands it can be hard to start a new yoga journey alone. She created this website, along with courses, books, and more materials to help provide support to busy yogis elevate their yoga practice.