Jess Smith

Studio Associate

For the better part of the past decade, I’d had a warped relationship with fitness. As a collegiate athlete turned model, working out was always part of the job – performance was always part of the job. But no matter what I did, it never felt like I was good enough. Over time, a general dread for the gym turned into resentment, and I found myself completely burnt out. I’d let outside forces dictate my relationship to fitness, my body, and ultimately myself. I was stuck and unsure of where, or how, to make my next move. Then I discovered Vinyasa. I actually cried after my third class because it was the first time that I had ever felt like my body and I were on the same team. There was a deep sense of gratitude that washed over me, and where there had previously been judgment and expectation, I had found acceptance and appreciation. From that day forward, I had a positive association with movement. I became unstuck and started to make moves again in the areas of my life that I’d become stagnant. Suddenly, my time on the mat was some thing I got to do, instead of something I had to do.

Yoga has taught me a lot of things; patience confidence, and the power of my own breath, but more than anything else, it has taught me how to love and be kind to myself.