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Glo teacher Ivorie Jenkins on following her passions

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Passions: Travel. Time for Pause. Motherhood.

Once upon a time, I took a 3 month, solo journey to India. I named it Soul Travel because, at the time, I felt like I was in search of something I could not name. I wrote extensively about my travels in a blog titled, In Search of the POLKA DOTTED UNICORN. The PDU was a name given to me by a dear friend as we discussed the differences in our nature. My friend’s pragmatic and grounded sensibility found something admirable about my nature which was something like – he paused for dramatic effect – a POLKA DOTTED UNICORN!

The PDU is a free spirit that frolics the forest to protect its innocence from the fangs of fear. This freedom of expression is unusual among regular, non-polka dotted unicorns. I was endeared by this description because these were qualities I wanted to continue nurturing within myself. My journey throughout India was an attempt at exactly that. It was a means of keeping enough of a sense of abandon about my life to know that I could give up the luxuries and privileges of my world in L.A. in exchange for new experiences and perspectives.

The freedom-of-being I experienced on this journey is what I aim to recreate in my Yoga classes. I want students to feel free in both body and mind. I want them to remember all the details they have forgotten – how to love, laugh, relax, compliment themselves, be optimistic. I want to remind students that the universe is working in their favor so it is okay to chill out sometimes and enjoy the gift of this present moment! I suppose I want them to connect to their own PDU!

The freedom-of-being I experienced on this journey is what I aim to recreate in my Yoga classes. I want students to feel free in both body and mind.

There is a phrase I learned from meditation teacher and author, Sebene Selassie, called the pathology of productivity. The pathology of productivity is the constant need to be busy. It is the equation, accomplishments = self-worth. Behind it, lies an anxiety that I am not doing enough, I don’t have enough, and will I ever be enough? Instead of unpacking the real need behind ambition, we keep on grinding.

Besides this lifestyle wreaking havoc on our bodies, it keeps us from being able to pause and enjoy the beauty and mystery that always surrounds us in the present moment. The flowers in bloom, the sound of rain, your toddler playing quietly by herself, a hummingbird outside your window, the smell of a home-cooked meal, the way your lover sighs, a sunset. How many times have these moments passed and we remain oblivious because of hyper-focus on the future or the past? If you are like me you’ve lost count. My counter to the pathology of productivity is meditation and restorative yoga. Both of these require us to take pause. Upon first starting these practices, I was surprised at how much I received by doing less and also surprised at how much closer I felt to my PDU after practicing to pause.

As of the last 3 years, my travels have also taken a pause. I gave birth to my son, Asa, 2 years ago which means my explorer desires have taken a back seat to keeping this new human being alive. There are seasons in life. I am in the season of planting seeds, tilling soil, and staying close to home. If I am honest, at first, this new season was frustrating. As a self-described free spirit, motherhood felt like a restraining order passed down from the Universe. Don’t get me wrong, when I look at my son I am overjoyed and all the gushy things first-time parents say about having a baby rang true for me also. But, what also rang true, was that I would never sleep in again…like ever. And my time was no longer my own. And anytime this little guy needed food, I’d have to cook it!

Thankfully the teachings of yoga prepared me with the tools I needed to weather the peaks and valleys of motherhood. After about a year in and many meditative moments of pause, I could see that motherhood was simply a new Dharma path I was embarked on. Although I was close to home, I was still on a journey with as many twists and turns as my Soul Trip to India. And the innocence, joy, abandon, and freedom of spirit of the PDU were now on display to me through my son, as all children are the epitome of POLKA DOTTED UNICORNS. Now I have the wonderful job of nurturing the PDU in us both.

We are honored and thrilled to welcome Ivorie to Glo! You can learn more about her and take a class with her here.

Read more: blog.glo.com

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