Jennifer Winslow is about the most beautiful soul you could ask to see at your little yoga studio.  She brings amazing energy into our space each and every time she practices, and we are honored to introduce this young Engineer/Graduate Student to the rest of our yoga family.

How often do you practice?

I began practicing in 2006 at my home studio in Seattle, WA.  I had a work study position and practiced 3-5 days a week for a little more than 5 years.  Right now, I try to practice at least twice a week. ***Jennifer just completed her 35-day BYA Summer Challenge in August***.  I have done two 30-day challenges, and I noticed my body opened in waves.  One day I would feel really open and the next day stiff and tired.  I tried not to be too hard on myself and accept each day as it came.  The most important thing to do was to show up and be curious.  At the end of the 30 days I felt much stronger, both in my body and my mind.  It felt good to make a commitment and achieve a goal that was so concrete.

What does Bikram Yoga do to help you outside of your practice?

I came to Bikram Yoga with a heavy amount of work stress.  After my first class, I felt like if I could make it through that series I could do anything – I still feel that way.  Bengal tiger strength and bulldog determination can go a long way.  Even when practicing at a maintenance level I have noticed that my body responds to everything I ask it to do, whether climbing a mountain or dealing with a stressful situation…this is especially true for recovery time.  I notice that I am silent during those conversations where people talk about bad knees, joint pain, chronic illness, etc…it is preventative medicine.

What postures do you love (or struggle with)?

Fixed firm is probably my favorite posture…I can feel the healing that takes place.  I ask a lot from my knees, hips and ankles – this posture gives back to them so they can keep giving to me.  Locust is my least favorite because I need it the most (it makes me feel really anxious).  When I was doing a lot of design work my wrists and forearms would ache.  Locust pose eliminated that pain.  I still feel a tingling in my arms after it and am thankful for how healing it is.

Tell us about your experience in the yoga room.

My most memorable class was not long after the shooting at Sandy Hook.  I was practicing at a studio in Shelton, CT.  The community was pretty devastated and as a way to contribute they held a fundraiser where we did every posture three times instead of two.  The class sold out.  I wasn’t even supposed to be there that day, but I showed up and there was a spot open.  I felt so honored to be part of the healing that I barely noticed class lasted nearly two and a half hours.  When we work on healing ourselves we also help heal the community. 

The yoga has contributed to my life in so many ways.  I am thankful for a place where I can bring myself no matter how I feel…I like knowing that I don’t really even need to do anything to have those things happen except show up, do the very best I can do with the body I have that day and remember to breathe.  It has been hard to see my body change (from practicing 5 times/week to only a couple) but      I think that it is a big part of practice, accepting your beautiful self as you are in each moment.  It’s a practice, not a perfect.