Breathe, Practice, Inspire

Jess completed the Elixr School of Yoga Teacher Training course with Don Peers in 2017 and is now teaching regular Elixr and corporate yoga classes. She also teaches a popular new stretch class and is studying nutrition. We caught up with her to find out more about her teacher training experience, what she loves about yoga, and how she energises her body and calms her mind.

How did your yoga teacher training journey begin?
I realised that yoga teacher training was something I needed to do about two years after I started yoga, and at that point I started searching for the right course. Ultimately, however, it found me when I met Don.

What did you enjoy about the course?
I made some amazing friends and learned so much from them throughout the course. Breaking down yoga poses to understand them on a deeper level really helped me to develop my own practice.

Tell us a bit about Don’s mentoring…
Don’s input helped me to take what I learned from the yoga teacher training, and my understanding of my own yoga practice, and apply it to others. Assisting in Don’s yoga classes, and teaching part of the classes and getting feedback from him, was an incredibly educational and supportive experience. It really gave me the confidence to teach my own classes.

What advice would you give to anyone considering yoga teacher training?
Attending a variety of yoga classes with different teachers helps you consolidate and explore what you learn IN the course. And remember that Don is a wealth of knowledge if you have any questions.

What do you love most about what you do?
I still find it mind-blowing that my ‘job’ is what I love to do. It gives me so much joy to share something so special with others – to connect with people and see them enjoying the practice and progressing. It has also helped my practice as I learn so much about yoga through teaching and observing others.

Describe your yoga classes…
My vinyasa classes are breath-centred and dynamic, incorporating flexibility, strength and balance. I give modifications and personal adjustments to suit different abilities, and provide instructions to develop poses further or make them more accessible. To me, a yoga practice should be exploratory, playful and connective, and my classes involve light-hearted challenges related to physical capabilities as well as self-beliefs about what is possible.

What do you love about the yoga community?
It is so supportive, and everyone has something to offer and teach. I will always be a student of yoga and I’m excited about the never-ending journey of learning and discovery ahead of me.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I have a mixed schedule of teaching, college and down time. When it comes to my own yoga practice, I adapt when and how I practise according to my schedule and how I’m feeling energy-wise. My practice can be quite a strong Ashtanga style or restorative – which I integrate with studying if I’m pressed for time!

You’re studying nutrition. How do you balance both modalities?
My journey toward health and nutrition was actually sparked by my yoga practice – as I became more in tune with my body, I realised that I wanted to feel my best. Now it’s a completely organic process and they go hand-in-hand.

How do you stay energised?
I recharge by being around people and moving. I try to walk as much as possible (while listening to podcasts) and I also PRACTISE gentle yoga. However, my favourite energy boost is teaching yoga.

How do you calm your mind?
Meditation! I was introduced to the practice by Don during the course. It helps me to concentrate, navigate difficult situations, and sleep. I find that I feel more patient and less stressed about the small things, and less reactive to them too.

What’s on your playlist?
I love learning about health and wellness, so I listen to podcasts like The Rich Roll Podcast and Found My Fitness.

We know you love to ride – what is the best route in Sydney?
I love riding up north toward Berowra, where the scenery is beautiful and the roads are quiet.

Our next 200-hour course with Don Peers starts this month on August 18. If you’d like to find out more, visit elixr.com.au/yogatt.