SUP Yoga

I recently completed SUP yoga training in lovely Leelanau County Michigan with Stoked Yogi. I've been interested in SUP yoga for a few years and wanted to get extensive training in the sport. If you're not familiar with this exercise, SUP yoga is the practice of yoga on a 10 - 12 foot stand up paddle board. Stand up paddle boarding originated in Hawaii and has become a popular activity worldwide. SUP yoga combines the practice of yoga with stand up paddle board surfing and is practiced on a calm body of water. 

During my training I learned SUP paddling skills. This is so important! Paddle techniques include stroke and maneuvering, board anatomy and handling, entry and exit know-how and caring for your board. I also became knowledgeable in weather and water safety. I learned rescue and lifesaving skills in the USCG (United States Coast Guard) approved water clinic. I'm familiar with equipment used and know how to adapt and sequence asana (yoga poses) on the water. Your fun and safety is so important to me! 

If you're interested in trying a SUP yoga class, please ask yourself these questions first:

1. Is the teacher certified in instructing a SUP yoga class?

2. Does she/he have Paddlefit, RYT200 (yoga) and CPR certifications? 

3. Will I learn proper paddling techniques?

4. Does the teacher or business follow safety guidelines?

5. Will she/he know how to rescue me if something happens? 

6. Does the instructor know how to use the equipment? 

All of these things are so important on your SUP yoga journey. I'm here to help. Please contact me if you're interested in scheduling a private, or group class. See you out on the water! 




The muladhara/root chakra is the first chakra and located at the base of the spine. Its element is earth and its color is red. This chakra connects us to the earth and grounds the body, mind and spirit. When this chakra energy is balanced we feel grounded and safe. If the energy becomes blocked or depleted our connection to people and the world around us may begin to feel shaky, or unstable. When the energy is over stimulated a person may have trouble letting go of possessions and place excessive importance on material wealth. The person may become afraid of losing wealth and possessions. 

Some yoga poses to balance the muladhara/root chakra:                                                     

Mountain (Tadasana): The mountain represents stability of the earth.                                          

Tree (vriksasana): This pose will help with stability and a grounding connection with the earth. It helps the body to align with inner growth and self realization.                                                    

Staff (dandasana): This is a very stabilizing pose. 

Essential oils to use during your yoga practice to help balance the muladhara chakra: 

Grounding: This blend may help to ground and stabilize us in order to deal with reality. Best when worn on the back of the neck and temples.

Hope: This blend connects us with feelings of strength and grounding. Apply on the outer edge of the ears, chest, heart, temples, back of neck, feet or wrists. May also be worn as a perfume. 

Joy: This is one of my favorite essential oils. The fragrance of this blend helps to promote feelings of love, self love and confidence. Rub over your heart, ears, neck, temples, brows and wrists. 







What is a chakra?

Chakras are a part of Indian yogic tradition. The human body has seven major energy centers called chakras. Each center moves at its own frequency, or vibration. Chakras are a central part of a hatha yoga practice. Hatha yoga poses evolved as a way to balance and open these energy centers. Hatha yoga is primarily associated with the practice of asana (yoga poses). Practicing various yoga poses is the way a person balances their chakras, or energy centers.

The first chakra is muladhara and can be found at the root of the body at the base of the spine. It is associated with the color red and its element is earth. It acts as our connection to the earth and fundamental needs of survival. When this chakra is balanced there is a sense of grounding and safety. When unbalanced there may be feelings of instability and if ignored may manifest into neglecting our physical needs. Energy can also become overstimulated and if this happens we may become too attached to things such as material wealth and possessions. Physical imbalances in this chakra may include cancer, colon/bladder problems, reproductive issues, fluid retention, sciatica and yeast infections. Psychological imbalances may include: dependent personality, accident prone, weak ego structure, identity issues and operating in survival mode.

The second chakra is Svadhisthana and its location is the lower abdomen. Its element is water and its color is orange. When in balance a person experiences healthy sexuality and creativity. An unbalance may cause anemia, PMS, lower back pain, allergies, diarrhea, kidney/pancreas problems, diabetes and hypoglycemia. Psychological imbalances may include depression, hysteria, an inability to be sexually intimate and a chameleon personality. 

The third chakra is manipura and located in the solar plexus. Its color is yellow and its element is fire. Issues include self esteem and social roles. A balanced manipura chakra contributes to healthy social aspects in life. Physical imbalances may include cancer, premature aging, obesity, MS, digestive disorders, adrenal issues and coordination challenges. Psychological imbalances may include sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive behavior, addictive personality disorder, compulsive behavior and excessive anger or fear.

The fourth chakra is anahata and its location is the heart. Its element is air and its color is green. Issues in an unbalanced anahata chakra may include pessimism and depression. A balanced chakra brings feelings of unconditional love. Areas of the body affected are heart, lungs, shoulders and arms. Health problems may include heart, respiratory, auto immune disorders, circulatory problems, high blood pressure and upper back issues. Psychological imbalances may include an inability to bond with others, alienation, suicidal tendencies an a feeling of being at war with the self.

The fifth chakra is vishuddha and is located in the throat. Its color is blue and its element is space. It is the center of creativity, expression, communication, hearing and eloquence. Physical imbalances may include speech disorders, neck/shoulder pain, lymphatic problems, cancer, ear/hearing issues and thyroid imbalances. Psychological issues may include weak verbal expression, or non stop chatter, stuttering and poor auditory memory.

The sixth chakra is ajna and located in the third eye which is a point between the brows. It contains all the elements and its color is violet. Its significance is intuition, imagination, awareness, intellect, wisdom and perception. Physical imbalances may include cancer, visual disturbances, headaches, sinus problems and brain tumors. Psychological imbalances may include confusion, poor visual memory, inability to focus and living in a fantasy.

The seventh chakra is sahasrara and located at the crown of the head. Its color is white and its element is beyond. Its significance is bliss, cosmic consciousness, union and infinite energy. Physical imbalances may include Parkinson's disease, pituitary issues, migraines, epilepsy, cancer, brain tumor and baldness. Psychological imbalances may be nightmares, multiple personalities, gullible and memory disorders. 

Additional reading material: Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith and Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, PH.D.             

Why do I use Young Living essential oils?

I first discovered Young Living essential oils through a friend ten years ago. She introduced me to the oils and I was very curious about them, but did not know how they worked, or understand how to get them for myself. My friend was nervous about sharing this information with me, because she didn't want me to think that she was trying to sell me something. In 2012 she had an internal breakthrough and realized that she was doing me a disservice by not educating me on how to purchase Young Living essential oils. Before she explained how to me, I went to the Young Living website and attempted to order oils for myself, but I ended up feeling lost and confused about how to order, and ultimately gave up on the process. Thankfully in December of 2012, due to the change in her thinking, my friend was able to help me sign up for Young Living essential oils and I ordered my own premium starter kit and haven't looked back since.

There are so many things that I love about Young Living essential oils, but for now I will start with a very imperative reason that I use Young Living over other oils and this reason is the Seed to Seal quality commitment.

Step one in this process is the seed. The seeds and plants that are used to create the essential oils are verified for their potential to produce high quality essential oils. Young Living experts partner with university researchers to evaluate the essential oil potential of the seeds. The seeds that are selected are for their ability to become plants with the highest possible levels of bioactive compounds.

Step two in the process is cultivate. Young Living farms, located around the globe, are dedicated to perfecting responsible and sustainable growing and harvesting methods. Experts travel the world visiting co-op farms to verify that their growing and cultivating processes match high standards. These operations provide an ongoing source for essential oils that meet Young Living’s demanding quality standards.

Step three is distill. I had the opportunity to visit the distillery at the Young Living lavender farm in Mona, Utah. There I realized that Young Living combines ancient and modern techniques and is recognized as an innovator in essential oil distillation. At this distillery they use a gentle, proprietary technique for steam extracting essential oils and preserving their precious constituents. At other places they may use cold pressing and resin tapping methods for select oils.

Step four is test. To guarantee consistent, verifiable quality, the oils are tested in Young Living’s own internal labs, as well as in third-party facilities. Young Living never accepts diluted, cut, or adulterated oils. Young Living states that the testing methods ensure that the oils meet stringent specifications, exceed international standards, and contain the desired levels of natural bioactive compounds.

Step five is seal. Young Living completes the Seed to Seal process in their 107,000-square-foot facility in Spanish Fork, Utah where each essential oil is carefully bottled and labeled. From here the oils are carefully bottled and shipped to members worldwide.

I am so impressed with this process and believe that I'm using one of the best essential oils available. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I will share my knowledge about Young Living's essential oils with you. Please join one of my yoga classes, or set up a private session with me. During my classes I like to incorporate the benefits of using these oils. Come check it out.




Yoga Om's with jess

Hi everyone. Thank you for visiting my online space. I began my journey with yoga in 2005. I signed up for a class at a local church and have been hooked ever since. I can still remember the evening after that first class, coming home and feeling so relaxed, it was pure bliss. Yoga entered my life just in time! I had been dealing with some stressful situations that began manifesting themselves in my body as health issues. I had previously gone to the Dr. for some tests only to discover that I was perfectly "healthy" and that my body was coping with stress. Everyone's body deals with stress differently and what was happening to me was the way my body was handling mine.

I did not think that first class was easy, in fact I thought it was challenging. I remember wondering, "What is she doing? What am I supposed to be doing? My leg goes where? There is no way that I can do that!" I did not let these limiting beliefs stop me from going back. I realized that if one class made me feel so good that first night, then this is something that I should not give up on so easily, and so I went back and I kept going back.....

Fast forward to the fall of 2011.... I was working out at a local YMCA and noticed a flyer for yoga teacher training. I decided to sign up. I went to the classes at the University of Northern Iowa and got a certificate to teach yoga. I began teaching my own class at the same YMCA in January 2012. I have been teaching there ever since.

I wanted to deepen my practice and my knowledge of yoga, so in the spring of 2014 I began researching 200 hour yoga training programs. I found a program that I thought was a really great fit for me and began training in Sept. of 2014 at Balance Yoga Lounge balanced breath school of yoga located in Ankeny, Iowa. I graduated in May 2015 as a 200RYT. 

I'm so happy that you found me! I'd love to share my knowledge of yoga with you.