Jan’s Approach to Yoga Instruction

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

I define Yoga as inherently therapeutic. Anyone can benefit from its practice, whether you are an elite athlete, have a physically debilitating condition, or are looking to reduce stress and improve general health.

Yoga is for everyone — at all ages and stages. It is more than learning poses and increasing flexibility and has many benefits to health and fitness. Its practice can:

  • improve flexibility and strength
  • reduce stiffness and improve mobility
  • aid recovery from injury and overuse
  • reduce fatigue and increase energy levels
  • ease tension and reduce stress
  • reduce discomforts of back and muscle pain
  • improve focus and concentration
  • improve cardiovascular health
  • improve self-esteem and sense of wellbeing

I challenge athletes to set aside their competitive spirit and not approach Yoga as another sport. Instead I ask them to focus on taking care of their bodies, using Yoga as a means to help them prepare to play.

I encourage anyone recovering from injury or dealing with any physical issues to be very attentive to how the body, especially the injured area, responds to the Yoga practice.

The Yoga Student Owns the Process

The body is constantly sending us messages about what it needs — hunger when we need food and tiredness when we need sleep. But what about illness or injury? Our response is often to head to the medicine cabinet or the doctor to look for a prescriptive fix. “Tell me what to do or take so Iʼll feel better.” Sometimes this approach is very necessary. Often, however, we underestimate our bodyʼs ability to heal itself.

My teaching approach has prescriptive aspects. If students have a physical complaint or goals they want to reach, I will “prescribe” asanas (postures) and a Yoga practice. However, I will also encourage students to take charge of their own healing and wellness process by being attentive to the messages the body is sending and responding accordingly.

This approach is incredibly empowering! …and often a little scary. However, with consistent and compassionate practice the benefits are profound; and not just on a physical basis. This approach helps develop the habit of being attentive to and taking care of oneʼs self on and off the Yoga mat — in all aspects of life.

I work with people from all walks of life and in nearly every neighborhood and community across Chicago and the Chicago-land area. Contact me today to get started.