It feels like a lifetime ago that I left a high-stress Hollywood hotel marketing job, my husband and completely different lifestyle. And like a walking cliche during that time I did my first 200hr yoga teacher training. I am forever grateful for that experience; how it flipped me on me head (literally) and that it was with Jay Co. I had only been to one of his yoga classes but from that one class, knew I wanted to do his TT.
As all of Jay’s students can attest, his classes are meticulously sequenced, with a combo of old school Ashtanga-based yoga, interwoven with some of his epic story-telling and dry sense of humor. A seasoned pro Jay has been teaching for 18 years.
L.A is a long way to go for a yoga class but I miss his classes so much that I bought him to N.Z last year for a retreat with my company Jack & Olive Retreats and now we’re heading to Bali in May for another retreat. So I thought it might be cool for you to get to know Jay a little better. He’s now the owner of yogaraj – LA’s only $10 yoga studio with some of the finest teachers in the world. No Joke.
- What does your yoga practice mean to you?
Yoga for me is self-development and life practice. If you think about it, a session of yoga is like a little life. You start as child, you end as a corpse, and in between you have a lot of curveballs thrown at you and you ride the ups and downs and you’re just trying to find the positive in it no matter what you encounter. You get pretty good at it with practice, and it bleeds into your actual life and it’s amazing. The biggest evolution in my practice is that I definitely as I get older I am less interested in doing crazy tricks and more interested in understanding myself better. The weird thing is that as I understand myself better, I find that I can do crazy tricks.
2. Describe your teaching style?
I teach a very explorative style of vinyasa yoga. It is definitely athletic, it is definitely physically challenging, but it is also very relaxing and I encourage my students to really listen to understand themselves instead of listening just to respond and make arbitrary shapes with their bodies. I keep the class well-rounded and like to throw in advanced postures here and there because I think they are fun, but I don’t force students to do anything. I believe yoga practice is a very personal experience, so I try to help people find what they are looking for instead of trying to get them to do what I want them to do.
3. What’s the most underrated perk of being a yoga teacher?
Changing lives and getting to wear sweatpants while doing it. 🙂
4. Would you be awesome or an asshole without yoga?
I would definitely be an asshole.
5. How was your retreat experience in Raglan last year?
My favorite thing about last year’s retreat was the mix of people. I love that we had folks both locally and from abroad. It is always enriching to have different points of view from different cultures, and you don’t get that with a retreat where all the people are basically people you already hang out with at home. Spending this much time together with a group of diversified folk is where ideas come from, and ideas are what move growth. ON a more practical level, Raglan was fricking beautiful, the food was fantastic, and the impromptu glow worm adventure was like floating in outer space underground!
6. This year you’re off to Bali with Jack & Olive. what are you looking forward to most?
I am looking to forward to seeing a new country and a new culture. That’s always the greatest thing, seeing the world in a new way, whether that be by seeing a new part of the world, or seeing through the eyes of someone else with a different perspective. Bali – I’ll get to do both!
For more info on the Bali retreat, email me here. With two classes of yoga per day, amazing food, day-trips to Tirta Empul Temple, Ubud, surfing lessons and more. This retreat will show you the very best of Bali.