Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet the Teacher: Jenifer Parker

Jenifer Parker, Director of Healium and teacher of a number of lunchtime and corporate yoga classes, has a Kraken in her hip, a snail in her spine, and several other mythological or imaginary friends who facilitate her yoga practice. 

1. What is your favorite thing about yoga?

Yoga keeps me sane. Y'all know I'm cray-cray.

2. What is your favorite yoga pose?

Triangle pose is my absolute favorite. I just love the way it works me completely. It always takes me to my "edges" - physically and emotionally. It forces me to really focus on that present doing-of-triangle-pose. And, I don't know, I think the first time I "got it" it was like . . . the universe expanded or something.

Like I said, cray-cray.

3. What is your favorite thing to teach?

I love how the practice develops awareness. I love to teach people this awareness - an awareness of their bodies, an awareness of how their mind is working (like that drama queen who lives in my head - she might not be exactly . . . accurate in her representation of what is what). Ultimately, I love how this awareness just starts to expand into people's broader lives. I love it when they share that with me. It's cool.

4. What is your favorite posture to teach?

Mountain pose is probably my favorite to teach. That which seems so simple is actually a lot of little details. And once it's right (or even just heading in the right direction), it tells us a lot about ourselves. It also means that we've started to heal up a lot of physical vulnerabilities that we might not have been aware of, but which caused us pain.

And it's sort of integral to who we are - we stand up. When you stand up, it says a lot of things on a lot of different levels - not just physical. We often talk about "standing up for what is right" - and in a way, too, mountain pose helps us to discover what that "standing up" means.

I could teach a whole workshop just on this posture, but the poor students would be toast afterwards. It's a lot to cover in two hours. But if you want such a workshop, let me know, because I'm a total geek on this posture, and I love to teach it.

5. What is your favorite thing to do other than practice and teach yoga?

It is really wrong of me to say sleep? 

I love to sleep. Sleeping is awesome. It's like the second-best thing ever. Possibly third. Maybe fourth. I'm not going to legitimize my list, but . . . let's just say that I love to sleep. I usually get about eight or nine hours a night, unless things have gone nuts in my life - like the kiddo wakes at 2 am needing a toilet and then a banana.

Sometimes, I like to be all kinds of luxurious and sleep in for, like, 12 hours. And one time, when I was in Sweden, I was jet-lagged, and I slept for 14 glorious hours. It was so awesome.

Yeah. I really love to sleep.