Santa Monica was once the Mecca of Bodybuilding–or wait, maybe it was Venice. These days, Santa Monica is the Mecca of Yoga Studios.
There are literally 6 studios within 5 blocks of each other.
As I wrote in a previous post, I was once a yoga whore.
Yoga whore, meaning I never seemed to stay with one teacher, I jumped from class to class every week with no desire to be true to one teacher.
After many years, I found a teacher I practiced with every week and shared the time with a friend. We loved our time together until our schedules changed and we were off on another quest to find a place to fit in.
There are a some great teachers in Santa Monica–actually some of the best teachers in the Country make Santa Monica their home. While they may be great teachers, most of them don’t have the quality of connecting with all their students.
It’s hard with a room FULL of students I’m sure, but as a student, it feels good to be seen and touched and known.
Just the other day, I was at a special event workshop. I was in the restroom and I saw a face I recognized but wasn’t sure who or how I knew her. I told her she looked familiar and asked her name, she then told me her name.
She was a “famous” teacher.
Most people when asked their name would reciprocate with, “what’s your name?” No, not this teacher–she is more of a “celebrity” yoga instructor.
She had no desire to know my name.
She has grown comfortable in her status of the Santa Monica yoga scene! To me, that’s so sad.
Finding a teacher that is warm and inviting is not always an easy task here in Santa Monica. My friend and I couldn’t make it to our regular teacher’s class because of time constraints so we went to a new studio (at the time it was new, it’s a year old now), Yogaco.
That’s when, serendipitously, we met the second teacher that made her way into our hearts, Jennifer Pastiloff.
We wanted to give the new yoga studio our business and we arrived and waited and waited and waited. I wanted my friend to meet Aras and experience his class but we found out later he had been in the hospital with food poisoning. The person at the desk told us, “Jennifer’s class is starting at 9 and her class is really cool.”
We had been wanting to find our female favorite but hadn’t had much luck. What a pleasant surprise she was.
Jennifer is the kind of teacher I would be if I were teaching in a public setting.
She is approachable, warm, inspiring, real, playful, authentic, and she cares about who YOU are and what your name is!
I could go on but I will just say, she is easy to be with. Her spirit is so loving and giving and supportive. Everyone who knows Jennifer absolutely adores her. Her mother says, “that’s the way it has been her whole life, everybody loves her.”
When the time that she teaches works in my schedule, I’m in her class.
When I’m there, I know I can just BE.
There is no serious vibe going on…she encourages everyone to sing out if they feel the music and need to express it. When I am there, in some bizarre way, the music she plays is perfect–just what I need that day. Synchronicity!
There is so much about being in her class that appeals to me…I can let my inhibitions go and just BE. Sometimes the music moves me so much, I am teary eyed with joy and wonder. Sometimes, I am encouraged to go for a pose I had been too intimidated to try. There is something so magical about getting past a block–the feeling is amazing and she is there to walk you through it.
The words she speaks are inspiring. One of her greatest influences in life has been the teachings of Dr. Wayne Dyer. We are like-minded in that regard, if you haven’t heard any of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s teachings on the Public Television channel, get some of his CD’s–he is amazing! Jennifer and I were fortunate enough to hear Dr. Dyer speak in Santa Monica last month.
Jennifer has hosted many workshops and retreats. Recently I attended her Yoga and Manifestation Workshop.
It was a deeply profound experience full of epiphanies and breakthroughs.
She lives what she teaches and is more than happy to spend as much time as needed to help you “get it”.
Jennifer is someone you want to know. She will go out of her way to support you in whatever you’re up to.
Her heart is as gold as it gets. Go visit her class. Be in her space, and introduce yourself, she cares who you are!
***Check out more of her artistry at http://themanifeststation.net/2014/05/08/soul-tattoo/