To show you our athleisure in action, here is Jessica Lindsey of Edge Movement Arts, posing near the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon. Along with the beautiful photos, Jessica talks about her path and her approach to teaching yoga.
I went through my initial yoga instructor certification and started teaching in 2008. I had been practicing various forms yoga since 1999. I initially started doing yoga after I tore my ACL in a dance performance and needed a gentle way to heal my body after I had surgery to repair it. Yoga allowed me to slowly ease into finding movement and range of motion after months of limited mobility, muscle atrophy, and an abundance of scar tissue post-surgery.
It was a slow process and I thought I was just doing it for the physical benefits at the time, but after each session I would feel so grounded and calm, like all the troubles of life and the world where somehow less significant or important. That is what really convinced me that yoga was something that I needed to have in my life long-term. Yoga changed me physically – longer, leaner, and more flexible use of my muscles, but it was the changes in how I experienced the world in a more joyful and positive way that feel the most significant now.
When I returned to my dance career I found that I had so much more awareness of what it meant to exist and be in my body, how to express with my body. As I went down the path of training to be a competitive ballroom dancer (or as we call it in the ballroom world, a “Dancesport Athlete”) I found yoga’s ability to create calm, centered energy helped to balance out the fire of being a competitive athlete.
Dance is my expressing outwardly to the world – doing part, yoga is my receiving, letting go and simply being part! Or to put it more simply…. Dance is Doing, Yoga is Being!
I draw from many different bodies of knowledge to influence what I offer to my students. Sometimes a classic “yoga asana” or pose is in order, other times I draw from the Chinese energy meridian system, from fascial and kinesiological stretching techniques, and other times from my knowledge from years working in veterinary surgery and the biomechanics of mammalian injury and recovery.
I am a body knowledge geek. I can spend hours researched the interconnected relationships of why stretching your foot will make your shoulder feel better, or why that tender spot on your thigh could mean that your liver is out of balance. The body is this beautiful puzzle and each person’s life experiences have shaped every inch of the person I see standing before me in a group class or a private session.
I recognize that no two people are the same and that no single variation of a pose is going to work for everyone. How could it? No one else has lived the life you have lived in the exact beautiful, crazy, messy way that you have. I honor that, see that, and try to the best of my ability to create an environment and a practice that lets my students own their personal freedom to choose what is right for them.
The most important aspects of how I decided what to wear when doing yoga are in no particular order:
Do I look good in it? By that I mean that when I look in the mirror I feel it is flattering and makes me feel good about myself.
Does it move well with me? there is nothing worse then a pair of yoga pants that feel like they are falling down or do not give me full range of motion. So really good stretch and cut are important.
Is the fabric comfortable and breathable and odor-resistant? Since I am physically active all day long in my professional life, it is so important that my clothing feels nice to exist in, and that it stays fresh all day long.
Great yoga clothing needs to be multipurpose. My favorite items are those that look good, feel good, and fit well not only during my practice, but when I greet new clients, and then go have a meal with friends.
Enjoy your week, and relax.