yogi. writer. teacher. vegan. women*s health advocate. freedom fighter. feminist. marching band fan.
Jessica started practicing yoga in the late '90s in her college dorm room to help her manage depression and anxiety. She flirted with yoga for years before taking it seriously, but as she began to learn more about the philosophy of yoga and its legacy as a practice of devotion, she became a sincere and dedicated student. She started practicing earnestly in 2006, and has developed a practice that has taught and sustained her profoundly on her journey.
Jess is especially moved by the idea in chapter three of the Bhagavad-Gita that underlines yoga as the principle of doing the work set before you without attachment to the results. Our world encourages achievement at any cost, which can be exhausting and debilitating. Jess works really hard, on and off the mat. Some days she totally nails it; she also falls down a lot.
But she always gets back up. It's this open-hearted curiosity and dedication to the practice that Jessica longs to bring to the yoga classroom. In 2010, Jessica began studying at Tejas Yoga, under the instruction of Jim Bennitt and James Tennant. From them she has learned a profound reverence for yoga that honors and incorporates both yoga's physical practice and its philosophical and spiritual roots. A meaningful part of her training includes Ayurveda, a millennia-old practice of healing and preventative medicine, often considered yoga's sister science. In February 2015, she completed their 200-hour yoga teacher training program, and this past summer, she earned her 500-hour Adhikara Kula Advanced Teacher certificate. Jessica also studies with Brenna Geehan and Jean Mazzei, and with Tracee Stanley and Chanti Tacaronte-Perez.
When she's not practicing or teaching, Jess is often writing or telling stories. Since earning an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago in 2008, Jessica's worked as a writer and editor for Ms. Fit Magazine, a queer-friendly, unapologetically feminist women's health and fitness magazine. She’s also worked at The Urbaness, a Chicago-based women's lifestyle guide.
Jessica's also a company member of 2nd Story. Committed to using the power of storytelling to create connection between individuals and communities, Jess gets to create stories and events that use page, stage and sound to create a unique, live, literary/theatrical experience. Additionally, Jess is a collective member of the Chicago Women*s Health Center, a feminist health collective dedicated to facilitating empowerment for women and trans* people by providing comprehensive, compassionate, affordable health care.
Jess is thrilled to be starting her first year at Harvard Divinity School this fall, where she’ll be exploring the relationship between the body and the Divine in both the Tantric and Christian traditions.
Jessica hopes to create spaces that prioritize healing, discovery and community building. Through her work as a yoga teacher, writer and storyteller, Jess seeks to provide resources that facilitate the often complicated, sometimes joyful work of being a human. Yoga is one of the most useful tools she's found for dealing, healing and integrating.
Integration takes patience and commitment. Stay present, and remember to breathe.