Jessica started a daily Ashtanga Yoga practice with David and Simi Roche in 1994 while studying as an exchange student at the University of Adelaide in Australia. She moved to Encinitas in 2004 to study with Tim Miller. Since 2001, she has made several trips to Mysore, India, to study with Guruji, Sharath and Saraswati and has been granted a Teaching Authorization Certificate (Level 2) from the KPJAYI in Mysore.
Because of other career commitments, she currently teaches workshops and private lessons. Previously, Jessica has taught at Simi Roche's studio, Tim Miller's Ashtanga Yoga Center, Jois Encinitas, Creativity and Personal Mastery Courses (San Francisco, UK and New York), Quality Assurance International (San Diego), Next Generation Gym (Adelaide, Australia), and has assisted Sharath at KPJAYI Mysore. More than anything, Jessica prefers to remain a student of this amazing and essential yoga, and continues to practice daily in Encinitas, California.
What do you do best?
I asked my kids and they said I am the best at loving them. I asked my best friend and she said I am the best at making people feel good. I asked several others and they all had their opinions. I personally think I play a mean leg guitar (and leg ukulele, leg banjo, leg sitar, and leg classical guitar) but I can’t be sure I am truly “the best” at that. I think if I had to some up my qualities that I feel I am the best at, I would say my best quality is knowing that I don’t know much and because of that, I am the best at being endlessly curious.
What makes you the best?
Ummmm, I don’t really think I am the best at anything but I do get excited about the littlest things, and that fuels me with energy to keep growing, flying, dreaming, adventuring.
What are your aspirations?
As corny as it sounds, I want to spread the love and humor wherever I go. I also want to have enough work so that I have money for travel and my kids’ travel while they are young. I want to keep learning and testing the limits in my own mind and body; and, at the same time, I want to be at peace with what is. I used to have goals. I don’t have them anymore because I have learned that life never turns out the way that you want it to. Now, I move in the direction toward the thing that calls to me and inspires me, and I learn more about who and what I am through that process. Teaching more yoga and traveling more both seem to be the things that I am moving towards at the moment.
Gosh, it is hard to know what to say here. In yoga, I would say that being listed as one of the top 100 inspirational teachers felt like a big success (I was deeply moved). Also, performing with Les Twins and Magnolia Zuniga in Double Booking (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2Q4F7OVIOo) was a success because one of my dreams as a kidwas to be a hip hop dancer and that was as close as I will ever get!! Getting a job with the USDA Organic Program was a success. I have worked in organic certification my whole adult life and getting a job with the USDA feels like a great achievement. And in my personal life, I would say my biggest success was my marriage to an amazing man for 19 years, even though it is over now. I married very young and moved to a different country. That marriage taught me so much and gave me the best whippersnappers (aka, kids) one could ever hope to have (in my biased opinion, of course).
Most Challenging Moment?
Many people know about my back injury and how challenging that was and still is, and how I have overcome it to the best of my ability through yoga and other forms of movement. However, if I have to pick one thing, I would say that ending my marriage was the most difficult and challenging time of my life. There were so many moments during that time when I had no idea who I was and why I was making the decisions that I did. I realized through it all that I had lived my life trying to please everyone else and had never really payed attention to what was inside of me and what I stood for. I am learning that now and it is still a challenge, but I feel resilient, humble, at peace with all my broken bits. And that brings comfort and acceptance to all of my challenges.
Does a Rumi quote count as a motto? "Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there...” Rumi
I’d have to say that my favorite people are my two sons, Anjaneya (13 yrs old) and Narayana (9yrs old). They make me feel every range of intense emotion so that I know without a doubt that I am alive!! For the most part, they make me laugh. They have made me a compassionate being towards all life, and they have shown me what true love is.
From what I have seen so far, I would say that my favorite places are:
1) The remote mountains of Papua New Guinea.
2) Coorong in South Australia.
4) The beaches of Encinitas, Del Mar and Cardiff
6) Mammoth, California.
7) Lake Crescent, Washington.
8) Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.
9) Kandy, Sri Lanka
10) Hampi, South India
11) Coorg, South India
Strauss Organic Creamery (all products: milk, yogurt, cream, butter), Aveda beauty products, Udos essential oils (I need my 3-6-9 omegas!!), Himalania dark chocolate covered hemp seeds, dare I say it… the iPhone (love and hate it), Northface down vest, La Pavoni stainless steel espresso machine.
Flying and floating in yoga. I may not be able to sustain this for the rest of my life but it is truly the most invigorating thing I do on a daily basis. My other passions include hiking, sleeping under the stars, sitting around the fire, watching the sun rise and sun set, reading, listening to music and podcasts, dancing and traveling.