April 07 2017
Believing in yourself can be the most challenging part of success, but the most rewarding if you can reach your dreams. Jess Ecclestone embodies the strength to push through the mental game and inspire others to do the same. Yoga has helped her push through her fears and grow into the person she is proud of. As part of our Instructor Series, we sat down with Jess and chatted about her yoga journey, who inspires her and her advice for living a healthy life.
Can you describe your first experience with yoga?
I was 17 years old and my best friend and her mom signed me up at their gym for a beginner’s yoga class. From what I remember I loved it, especially savasana; I always fell asleep in it. #justhereforsavasana Little did I know I would fall in love and it would forever change my life and push me into chasing my dreams!
What made you fall in love with yoga?
Yoga made me truly face my fears and continues to do so. I had been very unhappy and unhealthy and it allowed me to find balance in my life. Yoga continuously pushed me to open up, become strong but also stay grounded and slow down. Over the years my practice has evolved and each time I take a class I am inspired to bring it all out on or off the mat. I fell back in love with myself; every part!
Who inspires you?
This is a tough question there are too many names to list. I am inspired by those who step outside their comfort zones and truly dive into their passions. I have so many people in my local community, my friends, my family who have truly changed their direction in their lives. Whether it’s starting their own business and risking everything; losing their job and picking themselves back up again, or realizing their marriage is over and going through a tough transition and breakup. I guess you could say I am inspired by the strength and courage it takes to go through this roller coaster ride called life.
Where/when did you take your teacher training?
I took my 200 HR teacher training through Multistyle Yoga in Costa Rica, with Amanda Kelly and Hali Love. I remember how excited and nervous I was as I took the journey with Steph Nichols herself (who by the way dreamed and conjured up Sweat Society). I’ve been truly inspired by Steph - I remember when Sweat Society was just a dream of hers, now it’s a reality. It’s been amazing to watch her company blossom and grow. So much has changed since then for both of us, we are continuously chasing our dreams.
What was the biggest takeaway from that?
That I easily get in my own way, thinking I am not good enough. It is something that has physically, emotionally, and mentally held me back a lot in my past. Learning to own my shit and stand confidently in where I am in my life; trust the process and the journey. I always try to remember, "YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH....MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH"
What can students expect when they come to your class?
This depends. I teach everything from a relaxed Yin with massage, Groovy Hips, Freestyle Flow, Core Power (HARNESS YOUR POWER) to upbeat spin cardio classes. The one thing I will say is that I want you to get out of your head, feel your body, and love every last inch of it. Basically, feel connected, loved and routed.
What has been the most rewarding part of being an instructor?
Oh, wow that’s hard. It’s been life changing; not only do I hold gratitude in my heart for each one of my students, it’s like this huge family and community where you can truly change someone’s entire day in on hour! There have been countless times where I’ve connected after with students who said it was exactly what they needed, or said they had a horrible day/week and that it changed their life even. I am so grateful for these connections they mean the most to me.
Anyone that knows me knows I am a great listener but sometimes I get caught up in always wanting to help others that I forget about myself. At times, it’s easy to put yourself on the back burner, so constantly reminding myself that me time is hugely beneficial and important. It’s like if you had a glass of water and you give everyone a sip and you forget about yourself there is nothing left at the end, and if there is nothing left you have nothing more to give. So always remember to save some sips (time) for yourself. Recharge, and refill the cup so to speak.
What is your best advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Sleep, nutrition, healthy fuel, balanced practice both physical and mental. Relax and take your time to breath; enjoy yourself. We only have one life so make sure you still enjoy the good stuff. I had an unhealthy relationship with food before, obsessive almost. It’s easy to get caught up in this in the fitness world. The older I got the more I realized how important it is to fuel your body with good nutrition. Recharge, but enjoy pizza once in a while too! It’s all about balance.
What are your goals this year? Personal, Work, Growth etc.
Whoa okay I have big plans!!! Right now, I am finishing up my Massage Therapy Courses to become a Certified Massage Therapist by February 2017. Throughout my courses, I have been inspired to combine my two loves: yoga + massage. I have been incorporating my massage techniques and knowledge in my yoga classes.
At Prana Yoga Fest I had the pleasure of leading two classes all themed around deeper adjustments and relaxation – I was blown away by the positive feedback and inquiries for more of these style classes...so now **drumroll please**...May 2017 my new program and website: Touch + Release (Touch-and-release.com) will be launching. Details are available on the website and I am so excited to bring these classes to the YYC yoga community!
Favourite yoga pose?
There are so many to choose from, but currently I have been loving Eka Pada Koundinyasana, not only do I love the warm up to get into our hips and shoulders but I love the strength that it brings and commitment to the practice. If I am feeling good in a class I will incorporate it into my flow and challenge myself.
Where can we find you?
My class schedule is available on my website: jessecclestone.com
I teach at HotShop Hot Yoga & Spin mostly at their North & South location and my own registered classes in Bridgeland or at my private home studio. All inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop Jessica's look here.
Photos by Kolby Simply Modern Marketing
Location: Hot Shop