New York, New York! Today we are spotlighting one of our New York based instructors, Devyn Jorgensen! Devyn began her yoga practice many years ago hoping that it would help her get in shape and feel a little more calm. What she found was so much more. Of course, yoga changed the way she felt, both physically and emotionally. But more than that, it opened her mind to a new way of thinking, and changed the way she navigated her own life. Eager to share that experience, she became a RYT. She likes to keep a friendly and approachable energy to her classes. Day-to-day life often requires us to be serious and tightly wound, so Devyn is all about combating that energy and creating a space where stressed out yogis can feel comfortable, strong and relaxed!
What inspires you to teach fitness or yoga and how did you get started?
My struggle with weight and body image began in childhood, and ultimately became the lens through which I interpreted everything about myself (think fat/ugly/undesirable/unworthy, you name it). Early into my college years, I strolled into my first yoga class with the hope of “getting skinny.” I didn’t get skinny, but I did begin a lifelong process of redesigning that hateful lens that I had been cultivating all those years. With every asana and pranayama practice, I felt myself grow into someone I could be okay with; even proud of? 10 years of teeny tiny baby steps later, I realized that somewhere along the way I had actually become a confident person; both on and off the mat. As though the decision had been made for me, I enrolled in teacher training. It was such a natural next step that seemed incredibly obvious to me. I wanted to help people use their yoga practice to navigate their own issues; to re-angle their own lens, and quickly found that teaching gave me the vehicle for empathy that I never knew I needed. It’s this ability to connect with human beings in this most honest, and sometimes vulnerable way, that keeps me inspired to teach every day.
Favorite Healthy Snack?
I am obsessed with making smoothies! For snacks, meals, or desserts, I've come up with a bunch of recipes that are my go-to for when I'm "being good". They usually include some combination of blueberries/strawberries (I keep a bunch of frozen fruits from Trader Joe's in my freezer - P.S. they are way cheaper there than regular grocery stores), fresh banana, plus spirulina, flax seed, chia seed, and some raw almonds. But the secret to DIY smoothie lifestyle (I think!) is to mix it up and find what you like.
Favorite “treat yo-self” Snack?
Do I have to pick just one? I'm a native New Yorker, so I think it will probably always be bagels. Does that count as a snack? No? Um...bagels.
What are your interests and passion when not teaching fitness/yoga?
Family always comes first (especially in the form of spending as much time as possible with my 4-year-old niece). After that comes music; seeing as much live music as possible and adding to my ever expanding collection of vinyls. If you haven't ever sat down and listened to a record beginning to end, while holding the record sleeve and absorbing whatever text or visuals the artist had intended for you, I highly recommend it. It makes listening to music a tactile experience in a way that feels very "yogic" to me.
What are your hopes for your class participants?
The ideas we have about ourselves carry so much weight, and have such a profound implication on how navigate our lives. I hope that when students leave my class, that weight feels a little lighter, and that they are able to see their journey, as a little more manageable, a little less serious/dire/dreary. Oh, and that they have some fun! I definitely make plenty of lame enough jokes that they laugh at least once. :)
What is unique or special about teaching in a workplace environment?
So many things! You get a class of people who already know each other but are connecting in a new way, which is really special. There are often yogis who have never practiced before, and I love a new yogi! As a teacher, I love making yoga feel approachable, especially to people who have felt intimidated by it. Guess what, touching your toes doesn't matter at all. Let's breathe and open up. That's what it's all about!