We’d like to introduce you to one of our favorite yoga instructors, meet Jenna Saunders. Jenna is a kind, loving and passionate yoga instructor. She has a radiant light about her and always a smile on her face. Jenna’s warm and calm demeanor make her classes inviting and accessible to all.
Join Jenna on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm for Hot Flow or on Friday mornings at 6am.
What was your introduction to yoga?
My introduction to yoga was in 2007 while I was attending college at Virginia Tech. My roommate signed up for some group classes at our on campus gym and I decided to join her one day to a yoga class. I had always been curious about yoga and was pleasantly surprised about how great I felt after that first class.
At what point did you decide you wanted to teach?
I developed a steady yoga practice once I moved to Carlsbad from the east coast in 2008. I had such an appetite for yoga and I craved more than just the poses we were doing in class. I wanted to learn more about why we were doing these poses and from where did they originate, and what exactly goes on in our bodies when we do them. In 2011 I received an email about a yoga teacher training that was coming to PLAY and I felt inspired to sign up to get some of the answers to my questions and deepen my own practice.
What/who has made the largest impact on your practice?
Learning to detach from my asana practice and any expectations that I bring onto my mat had made a large impact on my practice. I am always working on accepting that I am a different yogi each time I step onto my mat and that whatever goes on in my practice on a particular day is exactly how it should be. Unrolling the mat and showing up to do my best is all I can do.
What’s on your playlist?
Recently I have been playing a lot of Alt-J and Odesza in class. I love playing “California Sunrise” by Dirty Gold during my Friday 6am class as the sun rises. Ben Harper has also been on my playlist the past few weeks during Savasana.
Your favorite pose? Why?
Lately, I have been focusing a lot of my energy on my handstands. Every morning I come downstairs and do a few against the wall in my living room. Then I do a few more when I come home at night from work. I now have a few footprints on the wall that often serve as a reminder to keep practicing my handstands (also a reminder to buy one of those magic erasers one of these days!) I love handstands because they are both challenging and invigorating.
Your most challenging pose? Why?
Splits, splits, SPLITS. Oh, Hanumanasana, I think I request this pose every class that I attend. Why is this pose challenging for me? Because my hamstrings say so!
Best yoga moment/accomplishment/memory?
My best yoga moment was choosing to do my teacher training. Becoming a yoga teacher was something that I had wanted to do, but doubted my capabilities. Taking the leap to participate in the teacher training completely changed the course of my life and my career. I am forever grateful for the experience.
What do you like most about teaching at PLAY?
I love everything about teaching at PLAY! I love Jess & Ian and all of the talented instructors and all of the strong and inspiring students. I feel so very lucky to be a part of this PLAY family whether I am teaching or on my mat as a student. I always feel at home at PLAY and I love the sense of family that I feel each time I walk into the studio.
What else inspires you? Keeps you going?
My husband, my family, my friends, and my pure feelings of gratitude that I feel for the entire PLAY family inspire me every day.