We’re honored to have Jackie Hoops in our sangha and teacher trainings. This November, Jackie’s our student of the month. Here’s a little about why we think she’s so special. Jackie wrote this in response to some questions we asked to get to know her better. Thank you Jackie for being you!

“I cannot imagine a time that I would stop doing yoga. For me it is the ‘how to manual for living’ and I keep going back for more. The research shows that yoga is particularly suited for the aging body; it is a safe physical practice for anybody, any age, it also helps reduce stress and the more mindfully that you take care of yourself, the more positive the outcome.  When I started this journey yoga was a refuge from the world; now I take the lessons ‘on the mat’ into my life. It is a powerful practice with many facets.

About 10 years ago, I started attending yoga classes regularly, going to a yoga studio that was on the way home from work. I had done yoga before using a book or tape, this is not the same as taking a class with a skilled teacher. Under the tutelage of various teachers I learned to live in my body, to breathe and started to meditate. I became happier, lighter…It changed my life, I was hooked.

Yoga offers what I need for a healthy body, mind and spirit…I continue to learn and grow. In 2009 I took the 200 hour teacher training with Jill Satterfield, “Vajra Yoga and Meditation” – Jill (who is also one of Emily Garrett’s teachers) taught me a lot about yoga and Buddhism. She introduced me to the value of a regular meditation practice and silent retreats in addition to a regular yoga practice.

When Laughing River Yoga opened 4 years ago I was elated… I had been yoga studio hopping for a few years and when Emily brought together this wonderful collection of talented teachers I felt like I had found my yoga home, my Sangha. Laughing River Yoga offers a beautiful, light, airy, clean place to practice with extraordinary teachers.”

I completed the first 200 hour teacher training that Laughing River offered with Emily and Sofi.  While I teach very little I have completed two 200 hour teacher trainings and I am looking forward to starting the 500 hour TT in January 2015. Attending teacher trainings as well as going to one or two silent retreats a year and attending classes at LRY regularly has opened me to a fuller, happier life. Having a community of like-minded people to support made all the difference. While I have embraced teacher trainings not to teach but to deepen my own practice, ironically, I now feel driven to share what I have learned….to teach!

When I am not doing yoga, I work as an RN in the Acute Dialysis/Apheresis unit at Fletcher Allen, working with patients with chronic and acute kidney disease as well as patients with auto immune disorders and some cancers.   I use the lessons that I have learned in yoga every day to care for my patients. I will be starting a series of yoga and breathing classes for employees at Fletcher Allen and I am hopeful that I can start a program teaching patients as well.  I will also be presenting the benefit of the practice to a Nephrology Nurses Conference this November. Healthcare needs yoga.

When I am not taking care of patients, doing yoga or meditating I like to be outside…I hike in these beautiful Vermont mountains, kayak and ride my bike.”