‘ What is most compelling to me, is helping people become the person they are meant to be- through yoga. I hope to be part of a larger mission to unveil full capacity and authenticity: body, mind and soul. It is more of a process of undoing than ‘doing’. Iyengar Yoga practise helps with this- imprinting positive physical and mental habits and undoing what doesn’t serve us. We are whole, yoga helps us return there. The clear, foundational and accessible practise of Iyengar yoga, helps up stay there- and go deeper than we limit ourselves.’ – Jessica Lowry
Hi, I’m Jessica Lowry.
I am a certified Iyengar yoga instructor and a classically trained actor (CAEA) who performs, creates and directs for theatre. I am a mother of three powerful and energetic young beings who teach me magnitudes about all the above subjects- and their connections.
My creative work focuses on projects that align my yoga practice with creative writing and performance in schools, theatre organizations, arts institutions and for public presentation.
My areas of special focus include:
- Yoga for every body- foundational Iyengar practise from beginners and beyond
- Yoga as a foundational physical practise for actors and performers
- Exploring yoga and mindfulness with theatre and creative expression for children/students
- Yoga to enhance community, connection, mental health and creativity in the work place.
- What is Iyengar yoga? Do I have to know about yoga and be flexible to try it?
First off, no! Iyengar’s yoga has specifically built a teaching methodology that makes yoga accessible to every body. You will learn how to build a pose and how to adjust and use props to modify. My online classes will offer quick modifications for back and knee issues, muscle tightness, energy levels- while giving appropriate challenges to those who can. You will not require props for these classes. See below.
Iyengar Yoga’s features include:
- Alignment Based Teachings that help a student learn, understand and feel where and how their body is working in a pose. This involves undoing a lot of postural habits and replacing the body with new muscle memory and skill!
- Progressive Learning of Poses. Iyengar yoga takes the time to not only do yoga, but teach yoga. Student’s learn specific poses and actions in those poses progressively to gradually open the body/mind before jumping into more advanced pose work.
- The Use of Props. In my regular classes we use many props, bricks, bolsters, yoga straps, blankets and chairs. These props are used creatively to help teach you aspects of the pose work and sometimes for extra support to make a pose more ‘restorative’. For my online classes wall space, a blanket, a sturdy chair and a yoga strap… or even men’s tie is sufficient!
- Timings, repetition and sequencing. We work up to holding the poses for 15-60 seconds depending on the pose and level of students. In these holds we focus on navigating the alignment of the body- from the outside in, and from the inside out. In this way, over time, we access the ‘meditation in action’ of the pose work. We often repeat a pose 2 times so that the muscle memory in the body builds and the body/mind learns in unison. Sequencing in Iyengar yoga is important and can always be different depending on what the instructor is focusing on. You will always be on your toes!- which keep us learning and not expecting the same thing all the time.
- Excellent Standards in Teaching and Training for Teachers. Teachers who are certified through IYAC undergo 4-5 years of practise, training, studying before undergoing a rigorous certification process. Teachers are required to upkeep 50 professional development hours per year to maintain their certification.
Why Iyengar Yoga?
I came to this practise having danced around and played with other ‘styles’ for many years. I had completed a 300 hr yoga teacher training and was teaching prior to taking up Iyengar yoga classes and then committing to 4 years of teacher training leading to certification. I will admit the classes were challenging (and still are in wonderful ways). I could not just ‘hang out’ in my flexible places and by pass the black holes in my body. My teacher saw my challenges and with her skill I was called to bring awareness to those places- and, within the tenants of yoga embedded in yogic philosophy- without harming myself, without stealing from one side to balance the other, without wishing I had my neighbours pose, without overdoing. This was… super challenging! But, in truth- nothing makes me feel like after an Iyengar class and I soon realized it was because the practise was awakening parts of myself that were dimly lit and I was being connected- aligned in ways that were entirely new, but such a physical and mental relief. I experienced more energy and more calm all at once- balance, equanimity. All the availability I’ve gained in body, mind and breath have supported my artistic work and beautiful and the hard work of mothering/parenting three children.
I cherish hearing students resonate in similar ways as the practise starts to change them. It’s the gift of Iyengar’s yoga. I am grateful to the practise and feel the responsibility to continue to learn and to share it well.
It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self and intelligence.
“Before moving to Ladysmith I was a regular Iyengar yoga student in Victoria. I was excited to learn about Align with Jessica classes in Saltair. I checked out the class and immediately felt accepted and supported. I have been a regular student know for about a year and I find Jessica to be a skilled and caring teacher. I highly recommend her, and her classes. – Gerry Brimacombe
‘Jessica brilliantly combines her strengths as a storyteller and actor to lead yoga classes that communicate her knowledge and passion for the Iyengar tradition. Empathetic, funny, and expertly able to adapt to meet the individual needs of her students, Jessica challenges learners at all levels to work hard and push their boundaries, while creating an environment that is enriching and supportive. – Julie Bevan, Executive Director. Nanaimo Art Gallery