by Lucinda Staniland
I’ve never met Jennifer Allen in person, but on watching her video conversation with Kara-Leah Grant, it didn’t take me long at all to learn everything I needed to know about her.
Google can tell you that Jennifer is the founder and lead facilitator of Jayayoga, a popular yoga studio in Auckland. But perhaps more importantly, and you’ll quickly pick up on this when you watch her interview, she has an incredible loving-mama-bear kind of energy, and she’s completely committed to (and so excited about!) the practice of yoga.
She also has one of the most kind and embodied approaches to yoga that I’ve come across. Jennifer’s philosophy is about safe and sustainable yoga for life. She’s also big on what she calls, “the dissipation of expectation.” That is, letting go of our expectations about what we should be doing on the yoga mat, and instead giving ourselves (and our students, if we happen to be teachers) permission to move in exactly the way that best serves us in the moment.
So get comfy on the couch with Jennifer and Kara-Leah as they explore what Jennifer’s definite ‘don’ts’ are in a yoga class, what counts as a home yoga practice, the source of that elusive ‘yoga glow’ (spoiler: you too can have it!), and much more…
Jennifer Allen on The Dissipation of Expectation in Yoga
Upcoming Events with Jayayoga
Thursday 27th September 4 pm – Sunday 30th September 11 am 2018
Join Jennifer Allen for 3 days of yoga, meditation, reflection, and an abundance of nourishment as we tap into the depth of our own inward journey to the self.
Jayayoga 200-Hour Teacher Training is a globally recognized Yoga Alliance accredited course. This 7-month part time foundational program can be taken to carry your own yoga practice to the next level, deepening your own understanding of Yoga in a profound way. This course also prepares the yogi to delve into an exciting career in yoga teaching, within a general class or private therapeutic setting.
Jayayoga 300-Hour Teacher Training is a globally recognized Yoga Alliance accredited course. This 10-month part time advanced program is a follow-on from any 200-Hour foundational course. An opportunity to travel deeper along your path of yoga, as well as refine your teaching skills, this course is for the serious yogi.
Quotes from the interview
“You can do anything. Savasana counts as home practice.”
“When I approach my mat I ask in a really kind, simple, loving way: “How can this practice be of service to me today?”
On the role of a yoga teacher
“What we don’t want to do as yoga teachers is to make our students only be able to do practice when they’re with us. It’s a codependency. Our work as teachers is to empower our students…. They own their body. They own their yoga. They own their experience.”
On injuries & biomechanics
‘There are definite ‘don’ts’ in my practice, and there are definite ‘don’ts’ for me as a teacher…Do we need an extreme movement in any direction? Do we need upward facing dog anymore? Or do we just need to move in our range of motion in backbends without using our arms as a strong, and potentially forceful, lever?”
On her upcoming retreat
“It’s an opportunity to step away for three days, step away into their own space of stillness and we’ll be facilitating that for them through gentle asana, restorative yoga, yin yoga, breathwork, meditation, mantra, walks in nature, massage, spa treatments… Whatever you’re keen for!”
“I think the beauty of retreat is giving people the opportunity to step away and have that time and space for themselves in whatever way they like.”
On her understanding of Sustainable Yoga
“I want to have yoga for the rest of my life. I don’t want to replace any parts of my body. I have this body for this lifetime, and it’s a precious entity.”
On her yoga community
“My yoga teacher trainees are my community, my students are my community. It never ends when the trainees walk away with their certificate. This is their home. Once it begins it never ends, and we just keep growing our family. For me, it’s one of the most meaningful parts of my life and my world.”
On the transition from dance to yoga
“I came to yoga like a lot of people come to yoga. It was movement, movement, movement. But I wasn’t ready for stillness. I wasn’t connected to that still place in myself… I look back on it now and see that perhaps I wasn’t moving in the most mindful ways but I was expressing myself through yoga and that was a part of my path. I look back with no regrets because I got to find yoga.”