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Teacher Feature: Jacquie Peterson

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Meet Jacquie Peterson, one of our talented Yoga instructors who has been teaching at Hemma for several years. You can enjoy her Candlelit Yin class on Mondays at 7:45-9:00pm and Hatha Classes on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 10:45am-12:00pm. Read on to get to know her!

1. When did you start practicing Yoga and why?

Yoga became a passion for me as I discovered that it wasn’t just a sport or a means to ‘workout’. When I discovered yoga 13 years ago, I was healing from chronic injuries in my joints, caused by repetitive motion from years of athletic activities.

2. How has Yoga helped you in your life?
 As I pursued the practice of yoga, my body began to find a harmony that I had never before experienced. My practice developed and led me deeper to discover the connection between body and mind. As I explored the many avenues of yoga, I realized how powerful the practice is as a holistic therapy. It carried me to pursue meditation and find a sense of calmness in whatever was passing through my life. This practice has offered me empowerment, more than I could have ever known.

3. What style of Yoga do you teach?
I currently teach a different styles based on Hatha and Yin Yoga.

4. What can students expect from your class?
Students can expect a class offering variety, modifications and verbal cueing. When appropriate I will offer adjustments. In each class, regardless of style, I instruct from the outside in. We work through many layers to find our depth and realize that we are seeing as the observer of life, watching life live through us. There is much emphasis on breath and the practice of presence.

5. How do you support beginners in your class and emphasize safety?
I work with beginners often and am always grateful that new courageous students show up, as I remember the intimidation I felt showing up a studio for the first time. I remind beginners, as the rest of the students, to listen to their bodies, take appropriate modifications (as we work the stages) and to practice self-compassion. As a bonus, we have a large supply of great props to use at Hemma.

6. What advice can you offer students with a regular practice to take their practice further?
As with beginners, I remind all students to listen to their body to start discovering where the ‘edge’ lies, which changes daily. This deepens our practice of presence. Students are encouraged to find their depth, not necessarily just through physical expression, but sinking through the layers to find the calm as the silent observer of life. This may bring adjustments to both body and mind.

7. How do you take Yoga off the mat?
My practice has developed through time as a practice of presence. Whether sitting in meditation, sweating in Qi Gong, or standing in a line at the grocery store, I give myself space to allow for compassion regardless of what experience I am living through. This practice has carried me into many other avenues of self discovery and self-love. I am truly grateful for the many gifts shared through both practicing and teaching yoga and eternally grateful for the Universal teachings that come through my peers and students.