I’m Janine! I am a RYT500 that operates from the philosophy that there is some type of yoga that any person can do.
As such, I believe yoga should be accessible for all people, with all bodies, regardless of age/body type/limitations. Yet, to really believe me, I think you should know how I got here…
I have been serving the San Diego yoga community for the past 10 years, but my journey into fitness did not start then. As a pre-teen in Massachusetts, I would get up before high school and do Jane Fonda tapes. I was obsessed with all movement, stretch and strength, and it only helped that in the 90s, fitness tapes and DVDs were all the rage. In fact, how I started yoga, in the mid-2000s, was by trying DVDs.
I went to college at Fordham University in the Bronx, and while there, I was a DI athlete on the rowing team. Like most athletes, I was plagued by nagging overuse injuries. Yoga wasn’t mainstream then, so it was never an option for rehab.
It wasn’t until grad school (2005-ish) that talk of yoga more frequently entered conversation. I was working as an Assistant Women’s Rowing Coach/ Strength & Conditioning Intern at Bucknell University. Again, at the DI level. I trained student-athletes, just as I trained myself for various athletic pursuits. My problem, though, I was always nursing some injury. I reached the point, pun (sort of) intended, where I could not touch my toes. My back was always seizing up. My hamstrings and hips were always locked up. Someone said to me, “you must stretch. You should try yoga.”
I laughed. I knew I needed something, but dedicated stretching was not for me, so I bought some yoga DVDs. Honestly, I only did them once or twice. I hated them. My couch always won the battle. Plus, like a true 20-something y.o. who thinks they’re invincible, I was functioning fine enough. It would be years still before I stepped into my first yoga class.
By the end of 2008, I was “broken.” Everything hurt. I could no longer partake in my various athletic endeavors, and I was only in my 20s. That is when someone convinced me to try a yoga class in a gym.
It was a Les Mills BodyFlow class at a Golds Gym in Fairfax, Virginia. In case you don’t know, BodyFlow incorporates yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates, so the variety worked for my ADD brain. I won’t say I loved it, but I didn’t hate it, so I went weekly. The teacher was an inspiration, and as a former athlete herself, I felt connected.
It was from her recommendation that I try my first “yoga” yoga class. It was Hatha yoga, also at the gym, and the teacher fit every stereotype I had for yogis. I hated it. Well, I did for some time, until I started to love it, but that took months. I soon became the teacher’s pet. I came early; I stayed later. I wanted more. And, since you can’t take the athlete out of the person, I wanted to try the hard stuff, too.
When I moved to North Carolina the end of 2009, I was so sad to leave that class as the gym. But, at that time, Hot Yoga studios were popping up everywhere, so I found one close to me and I decided to try it. It seemed like the progression that I was searching for.
It was January of 2010, and I took my first hot power vinyasa class. I’ll admit, I walked out ¾ of the way through. I couldn’t handle the heat and the flow; it was so hard! I remember thinking that the teacher was whack, and there is no way a human could possibly do this willingly.
I felt so disempowered. Mostly, though, I was mad at myself for quitting. Weeks later, when I did finally go back, the teacher recognized me. She was so kind (ok, not as whack as I initially pegged her), and she told me whatever I do, just stay in the room. If I needed rest, take it; but lay on the floor, don’t leave.
I was given an out, if I needed one, and mentally, that made all the difference in the world. I didn’t need the out that day, but knowing I had one… I got through the 90min flow. I was so proud. She was proud, too. That was it: I was hooked. I took all the classes I could afford, which was weekly, and power vinyasa became my jam. Every week for a year and a half.
In August 2011, when I moved from NC to CA, I was so sad. My weekly class… what would I do? I stopped yoga completely because no studio (in my head) could be as good as the one in NC. For nearly two years, I did no yoga. It wasn’t until May of 2013 that I noticed a Yoga Six was opening in the shopping center by my house, so I decided to pop in.
The manager, Jeanette, and the girl at the front desk were so nice! Like seriously, so, so nice (the East-Coaster in me thought they were fake, but that’s beside the point.) When they told me the price, I nearly collapsed, but the front desk girl mentioned that if I signed up for 200Hr Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), I got a membership included. Bingo. That’s what I did. YTT started in September of 2013, but from May till then, I started making payments to YTT and got to practice yoga again.
The rest is history…well, sort of; history is still being written. Lots of things happened along the way, but I am still here in San Diego, 10+ years later, a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), with a 500-hour training credential, and 10k+ hours of teaching under my belt. Studio classes, private clients, gym classes, corporate clients, and now, a retreat experience with The Rising Reset. I do it all and have no plan to stop.
Yoga saved me. Physically, a no-brainer. Financially, I make it work. But, emotionally and mentally, that’s impossible to quantify. I think it’s important to know, in some regard, I really am just like any of you. I’ve resisted; I’ve stopped; I’ve started; I’ve tried this and went to that. But you must start somewhere. Showing up is half the battle, and when men and women do that, I want to celebrate them. That is my why. Creating The Rising Reset was so much more than planning a yoga retreat; those are a dime a dozen. The Rising Reset is an experience, and one where I can share the gift that yoga has given me, and surrender to any preconceived notions. Restorative yoga is all about that: surrender, to reset.
Everything that has happened in the past few years, especially the PCT thru-hike, has brought me to this place today. Restorative yoga is of absolute necessity to survive and thrive in the high-energy, overworked, over-medicated world we live in today. I’d be honored to guide anyone through The Rising Reset experience, but if you would like to talk to me about any training, private, corporate, or otherwise, feel free to contact me directly!