Q&A with Jess Blackmun

1. Whats your yoga story? (how did you get involved, how long have you been practicing, etc.)

I first tried yoga about 7 years ago to combat chronic back pain from my scoliosis. I started taking classes at a gym then when I was in college I would take yoga classes as my elective each term. As my back was strengthened, I realized that yoga was just as emotionally healing as it was physically. It wasn’t until about early 2015 that I began taking yoga seriously though and it became more of a lifestyle than a hobby or work out regime.

I have been working to embrace yoga in all aspects of life and share the transformative power of this amazing practice with everyone. I became a yoga alliance certified 200 Hr RYT in 2016 and teaching adds a whole other aspect to yoga that I am really loving and very excited to see where it will take me!

My classes, workshops, and retreats bring a sense of whimsy and honest vulnerability into asana flows that promote healing, personal discovery, and self love.

2. What’s your favorite song to practice to, or favorite playlist?

I’ve created a few Spotify playlists that I’m constantly adding songs to. Some are more upbeat and playful while others are slower paced. Pretty much all of my playlists have at least one Trevor Hall song though, his music is my go to yoga music.

3. What is something you’ve learned from yoga that resonates with you the most?

The philosophy that we are all one is probably one of the biggest influence on my life. When I am truly living according to that it takes away competition, jealousy, insecurity, self doubt, etc. I used to be so afraid and was carrying around a lot of hurt and heartache. But when I finally began living life in a way that was true to this belief those self hindering feelings just kind of faded away. Knowing that we are all connected helps us to be kinder, it helps us to not be so afraid, and it allows us to connect with others with an open trusting heart.

4. What is your most memorable yoga experience?

Probably my 200 Hr teacher training (with Spiritual Yoga School). I had just gotten out of a relationship and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I went in with low self esteem and I just felt like I had lost myself. By the end of it though I found my light, my voice, and my practice. I completely blossomed.

I met so many amazing souls and spent like 5+ hours a day doing yoga and just playing around. Also the food at Vikasa (where my YTT was held) is completely incredible!

5. What destination is next on your travel list and why?

I really want to make my way back to Hawaii. I lived on Oahu from June 2015-June 2016 and I miss it so much. As for new places though I’d really love to explore more of SE Asia!

6. If you could interview anyone who would it be and why?

I think that I would interview my future self. I believe that we are our own best teachers so I wonder what the future me would say to present me.

7. If you had to choose a theme song for you life, what would it be?

Heading Home by Gryffin.

8. If you were on a deserted island, what 3 items would you bring and why?

Bible: I read my bible every morning. Its a huge well of inspiration for me and helps me through the hardest of times (being stranded on a deserted island sounds like it would definitely have its share of hard moments).

Journal & pen: Journaling and list making is something that totally helps me to stay sane. Also I like recording my thoughts and memories. My journal is where I figure out my emotions, thoughts, feelings, and seasons of life.

Yoga mat: For yoga obviously, but also I can sleep on my mat so then I’d have a bed too!
This is all assuming that I could forage for food on this island though. If I couldn’t I think I’d swap my journal for food and just carve my thoughts into wood or something.

9. What’s one food you couldn’t live without?

This is like the hardest question! Haha I really love fruit and vegetables. I couldn’t live without fresh fruit and vegetables.

10. What is one quote you try to live by?

“Be the light you wish to see in the world.”

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Danielle Radulski

Danielle Radulski is a social media manager at Yovada who eats, sleeps and breathes everything health, fitness, yoga and wellness. She is also a yoga teacher, avid traveler and major foodie.

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