One of the great things about starting this series is the fact that we have got to meet so many wonderful people. This month’s instructor profile was introduced to us by one of our favorite people. Jessica is a local instructor that has combined her graduate school education with her passion for yoga to create something that is unique and special. Thank you Jessica, for allowing us to share your story.
I got into some trouble as a teenager. This led to my desire to become a therapist. I completed my Master’s in Clinical Psychology at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology in 2005 with a focus on adolescent and substance abuse treatment. I started practicing yoga while working on my master’s thesis. All-nighters, minimal showers and an overall lack of self-care finally got me onto a yoga mat. I loved the practice – mostly because the music was awesome and the teachers were real people talking about real shit. Since then, I have completed two 200hr teacher training programs, level 1 yoga therapy through Loyola Marymount’s Yoga Therapy Rx program, and a 300 hour teacher training at Yoga Blend led by the amazingly awesome Christy Marsden.
After my first training in 2006 I felt a strong pull to spread the yoga love. I began my career working in the field of addiction, after attaining a license in advanced alcohol and drug counseling, as an inpatient and outpatient therapist at Brighton Center for Recovery where I began to integrate yoga into my work with patients. I found it to be extremely rewarding – hearing from several patients that yoga had changed their lives.
It was a dream of mine for years to open a yoga studio/wellness center – to serve as a space for community and connection. For several years I told myself it wasn’t possible, that it would take forever, that I couldn’t do it. I had a to do list that filled entire notebooks keeping me from living my dreams, expectations that were beyond impossible, resulting in an overall sense that I should stop trying all together. But, somewhere deep inside of me, I held on to the idea that if I let it, life could be good to me. One Down Dog became more than just an idea, it became a reality!
I love loud music. I enjoy a great dance party. My favorite color is blue. I am married to my high school sweetheart; we have a mini-schnauzer named Patrick Bateman (he’s the One Down Dog mascot) and a baby named Max Asher. I love to connect with others, to inspire and be inspired. I enjoy hiking, hanging with my family and am a bit obsessed with all things social media… want to be my friend? I love yoga. It is my mission to share yoga with others – as a means to elevate, educate, support and inspire those I teach to be true to themselves, have more fun and fulfill their wildest dreams, which is why I opened One Down Dog. I say yes to opportunity.
Do you have a yoga teacher that inspires you? Reach out and let us know. We would love to send some love to instructors all over the world.