• Congratulations to our Yogis of the Month - Bo Smith and Jessy Keiser! 

    How do you manage to incorporate a yoga practice into your busy lifestyle?

    Jessy: Yoga is important to me so I've made it a priority to make time for it each day even if it's just 15 minutes. I also teach yoga, so it's important that I have my own practice. I can't really teach others what I haven't learned or practice myself. Having a small community yoga studio nearby makes it easier to commit to a practice even with a busy work schedule.

    Bo: I deeply understand that the practice of Yoga directly contributes to my happiness and the happiness of those around me. So that in itself motivates me to make time for Yoga practice. The teaching in Vipasanna meditation is to practice while sitting, standing, walking, or lying down. Also, continuity of practice is the secret to success. Vipassana meditation has become my Yoga and Yoga has become my Vipassana. They are the same for me. So that's what I practice doing. Patiently and persistently. I can take a moment to practice yoga anytime, anywhere, and in any place. It only takes a moment.

    What additional benefits have you gained from your yoga practice that may not be offered in another form of exercise?

    Jessy: I love yoga over any exercise or stretching because it helps calm my mind and at the same time energizes me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have a sometimes demanding full‐time job. Yoga helps keep me centered and sane, so that I can act from a place of compassion and integrity ‐‐ no matter what is going on in the workplace, or in the world. Yoga helps me feel connected to something much higher than my ego.

    Bo: Pranayama. The contribution of learning to train myself to habitually breathe deeply and fully cannot be overstated. 

    Do you have any helpful tips for fellow students to stay committed?

    Jessy: Yes – just do it! Even practicing five minutes per day at home makes a positive difference. The nice thing about practicing in a class or studio is that we have a community to support us, which makes it easier to stay committed. There's something about practicing yoga with others that I think helps us recognize that we're all in this together in life.

    Bo: Be kind and gentle with yourself. Love yourself. Yoga is Union. Let your yoga be enjoyable. Relax and take it easy. Don't struggle. Find the ease in your asanas. Be honest with yourself and embrace whatever comes physically, mentally, emotionally, realize its impermanent nature and let it flow. This is spiritual practice. Most importantly have mercy on yourself when you don't let flow, when you don't relax, when you do struggle. This too shall pass. Remember, it is practice not perfection.

    Please tell us a little about yourself: career, family, background and anything else interesting you would like us to know.

    Jessy: The first thing I'd like to say is that Bo and I feel so fortunate to have found Grace Yoga Studio. It's close to where we live and the studio offers a warm welcoming space. As for career, I work as an Organization Development consultant to corporations during the day, and as a yoga teacher in the evenings and weekends.

    Someone once asked me if I had to choose between one or the other which one would I choose as a career. And the truth is this that I love doing both! I feels so lucky and grateful. Life is too short to be doing anything less than this ‐‐ being of service and "following our bliss" as Joseph Campbell said.

    Bo: I am retired. I work on our house built in 1947. I like to play shakuhachi flute. I do volunteer work managing 10-day silent meditation courses in prisons and in the free world. I also volunteer as a member on the board of trustees for The Vipasanna Meditation Rehabilitation and Research Trust for North American Correctional Facilities. http://www.prison.dhamma.org

    Here's a link to an independent documentary film made about a prison course held at Donaldson State maximum security Prison in Bessemer Alabama:  http://www.dhammabrothers.com

    Here's a link to learn about free 10‐day silent meditation courses offered to everyone. There are several meditation centers: https://www.dhamma.org/en‐US