If you too have a love affair with all things yoga, check out Jennifer Jarrett, a San Francisco-based Bhakti Flow yoga teacher. Jennifer discovered the path of yoga while facing the pressures of a “real” job, loving how the practice was able to quieten her mind and feel more connected, and now leads classes, retreats and teacher training. I’d recommend her Get Up and Go sequence – it’s 15 minutes well spent… (Don’t you just love the yoga leggings?!)
Tell me a bit about your business:
I am a yoga teacher, although it always feels a little funny to call myself a yoga ‘teacher’ when I’m not sure that I actually teach yoga so much as do my very best to share the gifts of a practice that has transformed and opened my heart and my life. My intention behind all that I do is to be of service to others and to do what I can to help and encourage others to live the lives they want to live. I believe in the practice with my whole heart. It is the way to stop existing outside of ourselves, to stop hovering without, and to instead take this incredible pilgrimage right into the heart of who we are. And, within that greater purpose, the practice is a place of incredible refuge and connection. It is a place where you don’t have to think about a thing and you can just be – I love that! I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to lead yoga classes and witness people have even just a moment of reprieve from whatever is going on in their bigger lives. I am also a very amateur writer. I am so excited to announce here that I have recently decided to honor a commitment that I made to my mother and am going to begin writing my first book this year!
[Tweet “”My intention behind all that I do is to be of service to others and to do what I can to help and encourage others to live the lives they want to live” @jjyoga via @emmagwillim”]
Describe your typical day/week schedule.
Currently there is no typical to my daily/weekly schedule which, while offering a lot of room for spontaneity and creativity, also leaves me very dependent on my calendar to tell me where I need to be next. Because my teaching schedule of late has involved quite a bit of traveling, I have been spending a lot of time in airports and on planes; places which are always ripe with opportunity to really practice yoga and patience!
How do you plan and organize your time? What are your biggest challenges with this? What tips can you offer?
Because I do not have a set schedule right now, I must stay very disciplined in sitting down to work and staying with whatever project is at hand while resisting the temptation to just do it later. My biggest challenges are staying focused until I have reached an appropriate stopping point. I am the queen of procrastination so having open time is a huge challenge to me! I can so easily convince myself that there is something more interesting that I could be doing and will just put things off until the pressure’s on, which definitely doesn’t do me any favours! I find it really helpful to break up my work into chunks of time and to commit to sitting down for an hour or two at a time and being completely focused on what I am doing. Sometimes I even set a timer for myself and if I am being really productive when the timer goes off, then I stick with it. Another really important thing for me is to just focus on one thing at a time. I am so inefficient when I am trying to multi-task and end up wasting more time. I am also a huge fan of lists! They help to keep me focused and productive and I will always love the act of checking the completion box next to each item.
What are your essential office tools?
Really all I need is my computer, my yoga mat and some fresh air.
[Tweet “”Really all I need is my computer, my yoga mat and some fresh air” @jjyoga via @emmagwillim”]
Describe your workspace and how it integrates with your working style. How does it motivate/focus your work?
It is very important to me to work in a space that allows me to feel calm and clear. My space needs to be clean and un-cluttered with really nice lighting and an open window. The space within which I work really impacts the kind of work I create. If my space feels cluttered and chaotic, I feel cluttered and chaotic and then my work becomes cluttered and chaotic.
What’s your typical working lunch?
A typical working lunch for me is meeting one of my friends or colleagues for a big, organic salad and discussing our current challenges, concerns, sources of inspiration, dreams, ambitions and just spending quality time together. So much goodness comes from that!
And how do you switch off once the working day is done?
Some days it is easier to switch off than others. There are many nights when I will lie awake analysing everything I said in class that day, questioning and doubting and critiquing; wondering if I did an OK job or if I just managed to turn everyone off me and yoga entirely. It’s amazing what we can do to ourselves when we allow our minds to run wild! To slow this down, and to eventually switch off, I will sit in quiet meditation for a few minutes, just watching the rise and fall of my breath. Another really wonderful way for me to switch gears is to write in my Gratitude Journal, continuing the very long list of everything that I am grateful for in my life. If I am already in bed and don’t feel like getting up to put pen to paper, I will simply go through the day and mentally list everything for which I’m grateful.
[Tweet “”To slow down and eventually switch off I will sit in quiet meditation for a few minutes, just watching the rise and fall of my breath” @jjyoga via @emmagwillim”]
What makes your life sparkle?
This list literally goes on and on for me but some of my constants are… my huge and crazy family, my incredibly inspiring friends, my dog, my health and the health of those that I love, rainbows, boat rides, champagne, that someone was smart enough to combine chocolate and peanut butter, deep belly laughter, tears that accompany cleansing cries, French fries, travel, those songs that inspire you to sing as loud as you can, driving with the windows down, green juice, time together, backbends, long baths, hope, the promise of love, choosing love…
Jennifer is a yoga teacher in San Francisco who loves to laugh until it hurts, eat good food, travel to wherever the sun is shining, snuggle with her Labradoodle, Ruby, and spend as much time as possible with friends and family. She teaches in San Francisco and leads workshops around the country, sharing the practice of Bhakti Flow, the yoga of love and devotion. Say hello to Jennifer at her website, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.