spotlight for march
Jacquie Michelle teaches at both the Washougal and Vancouver locations. She also runs our youth yoga programs and assists in our yearly teacher training programs. We appreciate her so much and love having her as part of our team…
Meet Jacquie Michelle
What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I was first introduced to yoga at the age of 19 after a particularly difficult break-up with my high school sweetheart. Unlike many that come to yoga I was introduced to the less physical aspects (meditation and pranayama) before the asana practice. A few years later a couple of my friends opened a studio in Hood River and offered me a trade position. During that time I fell in love with the postures. They tried hard to get me to do their teacher training but I did not feel ready. Fast forward nearly 8 years and a divorce and one undergraduate degree later my best friend asked me to do a training with her in Costa Rica. It was during this training that my path was solidified. I had profound changes happen in my physical and mental state. I saw first had how powerful and healing the practice could be and how it was accessible to folks from any walk of life and I knew without a doubt that teaching and sharing this practice was what I needed to do.
What kind of trainings have you pursued?
I am a total Yoga Nerd. I take any opportunity to learn as much as I can from teachers I love and respect. Along with physical therapists, personal trainers, and the kids I teach. I completed my first 200 hour training in 2012 with Marianne Wells in Costa Rica. Later that I year I did a Children’s training through Rainbow Kids Yoga. In 2014 I completed another 200 hour training through Yoga Maze led by Rocky Heron. After the completion of this second training I began to facilitate 200 hour trainings for Yoga Maze. In 2017 I completed my 300 hour training also through Yoga Maze.
What is one piece of advice you always give beginner students?
Go slow. Be patient. And take as many different classes with as many different teachers as you can until you find a teacher and style that resonates with you.
What is your favorite asana and why?
Right now my favorite pose is Supta Baddakonasana. It is the counterpose to our day to day lives. Allowing our shoulders to soften and our hearts to open. In this pose we can find a deeper breath and the space to allow our sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response) to relax. I could lay in the pose for hours and be ok with it.
What is your favorite yoga related book?
Right now I am reading The Path of the Yoga Sutras and it is really really interesting. It speaks quite a bit about how to relate the sutras to modern day life. The one book I think every one should have in their yoga library is The Heart of Yoga.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
For most of my childhood I wanted to be a marine biologist so that I could swim with dolphins and study sea otters. I received a BA in art with a focus in photography. And I am so completely happy that I am doing neither of those.
Outside of the world of yoga, what are you really passionate about?
Food, Family, my pupperoni Roscoe, Traveling and Tiny House living!
Mantra or Intention: Compassion is the heart of Love.
What have you gained through your practice?
I have gained so much. My practice has completely changed my life. I have a better sense of myself, more strength, a wonderful community and tools to be the very best version of myself each and everyday.
When life get busy and you can’t get on your mat…
I find a way to get out into nature, take a bath or simply sit for a few moments focusing on my breath.