• Yogacharya of the Month - April 2017

    Grace Yoga (GY): This month, we are focusing on Sutra 1.1: Atha Yoganushasanam - Now begins our explanation of Yoga. In this Sutra, we take a step back and reset our minds, bodies and spirits so we can start at the beginning - where we aren’t clouded by all of the things we have learned since the time when we let our bodies, minds and spirits do what (and be how) they knew to do (and be) instinctively. Please share with us a little about the practice of Ananda Yoga and how it relates to this first Sutra. Ananda yoga is a spiritually based yoga that resets our minds, bodies, and spirits.

    Jessy Keiser (JK): The true practice of Ananda includes daily Sadhana (spiritual practice) - with asana, meditation, and energization exercises. This WHOLE body-mind practice awakens our inherent ability as masters of our body through mastery of the mind and energy. A fellow Ananda yoga teacher (Peggy Guaraldi) and I are going to conduct a workshop on April 22 here at Grace Yoga. We hope to introduce people to a joyful practice through which we can “let our bodies, minds and spirits do what (and be how) they know to do (and be ) naturally”!

    GY: As a teacher and a student of Yoga, you are exposed to so many facets of Yoga as a practice. What is the pure objective of yoga as you currently understand it?

    JK: I believe the objective of yoga is to awaken our mind-body, and to discover our true nature is peace and that joy is an “inside job” - we learn that we are all connected to each other and to our planet, Earth.

    GY: What is your personal philosophy about where yoga fits in along your path to self-realization?

    JK: I think there are many paths, but only one journey for all of us. So the path to self-realization can look different from the outside but it's really the same journey. A regular practice of Raja yoga, including meditation, asana (poses), pranayama (which, by the way, includes Paramhansa Yogananda’s energization exercises), chanting, and the study of yoga philosophy and science can help us along our journey. But practice requires perseverance, devotion, flexibility, and an open heart and mind. I struggle at times with perseverance so it feels good to be able to practice in a community such as Grace Studio. Here I find support and friendship to practice faithfully what I teach.

    GY: Please tell us a little about yourself: career, family, background and anything else interesting you would like us to know.

    JK: I work as an Organization Development/Change Management consultant with organizations (mostly large corporations) during the day, and as a yoga teacher in the evenings and weekends. I love doing both! I feels so lucky and grateful to be able to make my living doing work I love and believe in. My partner, Bo, also is a Yogi and teaches meditation here at Grace on Sunday mornings. I feel so lucky to have a partner in my life willing to travel our spiritual journey together. One of my favorite things to do in the morning is to read to each other inspirational yogic teachings, poems, or psalms. And then we practice yoga poses and/or meditate together. Life is good!