We sat down with our very own studio owner Jennifer Lobo for a Q&A session about yoga, life and being a busy Mom!
When and why did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?
When I was living in San Francisco in the 90s I was doing a lot of Marathon running, as well as skiing and playing soccer. Two friends of mine, Sara and Mary Corpening, suggested I try Bikram Yoga as a good way to cross train. I was hesitant because I had tried yoga many times and found it a little slow for my athletic background. But after much encouragement, I took my first Bikram Yoga class. I remember the teacher saying “see you tomorrow” when I walked out and I thought she was crazy. But then, about a half an hour later, I felt like I was walking on clouds and my body had never felt lighter and better. So I went to class the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Bikram Yoga became part of my weekly routine and my running became easier and my Marathon times became better. In fact the last one I finished, I felt like I could run another 3 miles, and I was doing more Bikram Yoga than Marathon training!
What is your favorite thing about being a Bikram Yoga Instructor?
This is an easy one and I would say that most of our teachers would say the same. The best thing about teaching this yoga is the satisfaction of seeing so many people heal injuries, change their bodies and also witness the new calmness that overcomes them in and outside of the room.
Tell us about your own practice
I love taking class as often as I can and I always enjoy class. There is no other time in my life that I can have a period when I do not have to talk, and can just listen and get deep into a moving meditation.
I am not a naturally flexible person so I have worked for every inch of my flexibility and I am a million times more flexible than when I started. I know that I am never going to be the person doing a standing split in the bow pose, but the benefits that I have gained from this practice are incredible, both mentally and physically. I can now touch my toes easily even with 5 inch heals on with no problem!
This is why I push people who say “I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible.” HOW DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO GET FLEXIBLE IF YOU DON”T DO YOGA?!?!? People cannot stay on an exercise diet of pounding, running, weights, cycling, etc, without incorporating yoga into their routine. It is not healthy and sustainable as people age, especially in this age of technology and increased use of computers and smart phones. We can’t hunch all day without some backbends!
You are a mother of three boys. How do you balance being a business owner, wife and mother with your practice?
This is also an easy one – when I do not take a yoga class, I am not as good a wife, mother or business owner. After I take a yoga class, I am able to be more efficient in my work, think more clearly and make better decisions. As a mother and wife, I do not “blow my lid” when things get tough if I have taken a class that day. From the moment I walk in the door to the time the kids go to bed, it is total chaos. Then there are soccer practices, hockey games, basketball games, playdates all in between! If I am about to yell or “lose it” I literally give myself a 1 minute “time out” and walk in another room and do a few pranayama breathing exercises. It really works!
So I make my yoga practice a priority in my life and make sure to try to get 4 classes in during the week. Weekends are reserved for kids’ sports!
What are you currently reading or listening to?
Unfortunately, at this very moment I am not deep into a great novel but hoping January will be a good time to start one. I have been reading a lot of “The Week” to at least keep myself up on world events and news. It is a great magazine that summarizes the major events for people who don’t have time to read the paper! For music, Ben Harper is always one of my favorites. I also still love the Grateful Dead and when I hear their music it takes me back to a time of much less responsibility so it’s a great way to relax! Recently, an Uber driver turned me on to Vis a Vis – great stuff!
Favorite Inspirational Quote –
“You only live once” – so work hard and play hard.