Teaching Recap: January 2023

The New Year Boom

Okay, I’m attempting to resurrect these monthly recaps. January was, as you might have guessed or witnessed, marked by jam-packed, sold-out, and wait-listed classes. So many folks use the start of the year (and those generous studio sales) to start or restart a yoga practice. This was the first January since the pandemic that I had to cajole yogis to play Tetris with their mats so that we could tuck a few more people comfortably into the room. I felt the temperature rise with the heat of those hardworking bodies, and saw condensation appear on the windows. I met lots of people for the very first time, I received gleeful, bouncing hugs from people who’d been away from their mats for a while, and exchanged patient, knowing smiles with regular students who have never broken their stride and were making peace with all the extra humans in the room.

I adjust my teaching style slightly for January classes. I choose to explain things a little more, try to avoid complicated shapes when people are struggling to see me in a packed room, and frequently “play the hits” in terms of asana. I try to connect verbally and/or physically with everyone over the course of the class. It’s such a big deal to me that people willingly share part of their day in practice―I want recognize that by offering a helping hand, a compliment, or specific guidance.

I launched a new virtual offering, called Midday Mobility. You can check it out on Thursdays, 12:00-1:00p. I love this new class! It features movements for building awareness, stability, and range of motion around the joints (and in the join capsules themselves). Shoulders and hips get the most love, but we’ve also focused on the spine, ankles, and knees since the class began. I’ve ditched some of the trappings of a traditional flow class, so if you’re someone who is deterred by things like stillness and quiet, you might be into Midday Mobility. The general feedback has been along the lines of “wow, that was very hard, but I feel so good!”.

I also joined the teaching staff at Boston Bouldering Project down the road in Somerville. I’ll be picking up a regular Power Flow class there after they complete renovations to their fitness spaces. In the meantime, I’m grabbing a few classes here and there as a sub.

The Deets

January by the numbers:

  • 66 classes
  • 72 hours, 30 minutes of teaching time
  • 753 students in attendance
  • 9 locations
  • 3 new babies welcomed!

My all-time hours are now over 3,100.

Your Words

And here are a selection of sweet comments and funny feedback from students and peers, received or overheard. The ones that made my heart twinkle are in bold:

  • You’re not just helping my hips, you’re helping my anxiety.
  • I had one of those beautiful moments where you feel real-time reorganization happening in my hip when I took your class last week. Can’t stop thinking about it. Loved your class!
  • Two and a half years practicing virtually with Jill = way less anxiety, more body awareness, strength, and flexibility, and an absolute bliss feeling at the end of class.
  • I took your class last night at Soma and wanted to let you know how much I LOVED it. I can never make your Align & Flow class, but I really appreciate how you brought the attention to alignment to this flow.
  • You teach a very technical class, but it’s still lighthearted. And you always say something that connects us back to the theme, or some larger concept or yoga philosophy. I’ve really missed these classes, I’m so glad to be here tonight.
  • I love the Midday Mobility class so much! I feel great, and I love doing something different but still so familiar.
  • Jill is fantastic.
  • That was great! So totally different, but great!
  • I have never ever seen that pose before, and it was really fun to try!
  • I invited my friend to class and she was asking if it was very advanced. I said, “it’s not a really advanced class, Jill’s just a really advanced teacher“.
  • Oh, man, was this your first Jill class? Welcome to the club!
  • Thank you for your gentle nature and endless pregnancy knowledge to usher me and my classmates through our pregnancies. I felt stronger than I expected during labor clearly thanks to all the body preparation I did with you over these past few months. I’ll miss your warm, welcoming class space so much.
  • My partner was grumpy today, so I told him not to come to class. This yoga is my true love! Don’t ruin it for me.
  • Wow, all my muscles feel so alive!

I write your words in my sequence notebook and tap them into my phone. They are also safely inscribed within my soul. Thanks for sharing your practice and part of yourselves with me, yogis.

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