Featured Yogi: Jana Renee Roemer
Jana is no stranger to the Edmonton Yoga community, or the yoga community in general. Since moving to LA last year, she's been back for workshops, events, and to run the recent Gaiatri teacher training alongside Sarah Zandbeek and Emily McNicoll. Jana is an important teacher and mentor to a lot of us in the city and beyond... enjoy getting to know her and definitely catch her when she's back in YEG!
How did you get your yogic start?
If I'm really honest, my mom is a yogini in disguise, so much that she didn't even know that yoga is a thing until I started digging into the practice. The yogic lifestyle and many of the philosophies are just the way she is, as was her mother and probably the reason I chose her as my mom! So my start down this path was embedded into the way that I was raised. If I look back, I see I meditated Krishnamurti-style, open-eyed presence from a super young age, although, I definitely didn't label it as such and no one taught it to me. It's something I naturally did growing up on an acreage, in nature, with a LOT of time alone.
I was first introduced to yoga philosophy while attending the University of Saskatchewan in 2001. That started a deep dive into the Spiritual realms & contemplative philosophy. It took me another three years before ever stepping on my mat.
Who brought you to your first class, what was that like, and where was it?
I was fresh out of University and super poor. My mom bought me a gym membership at the Talisman centre in Calgary, but I didn't have running shoes. My roommate at the time suggested that I come to a yoga class with her that was included in the membership. The teacher was Trevor Yelich, we did handstands that first class & I've been hooked ever since!
Tell us about your first teacher training.
My first teacher training was with Gaiatri Yoga. My teachers were Trevor Yelich (my first teacher) & Ally Bogard, who has also served as a powerful mentor in my life. I had recently moved to Edmonton, broken my back in a snow boarding accident and was craving an alignment based practice in order to help me heal. The teachers I had found in Edmonton were great, but not addressing alignment with the refined details I had grown accustomed to while practicing in Calgary with Ally & Trev. I actually didn't start the course to be a teacher, I enrolled in the course hoping to understand alignment within the practice so I could take charge of my own healing process. As the course went on, it became so obvious that this is my calling. Not only to teach yoga, but to work at the same depth that we traversed through the teacher training. It literally completely transformed my life. I actually started my second teacher training before even finishing my first! I wanted to learn everything I could from as many different perspectives I could find!!
Where's your favourite vacation spot?
That's a tough one. There are so many magical places on this planet. I'm currently living 100 steps away from the sand of Venice Beach, California and am feeling quite spoiled as I type this from my home & can hear the ocean crashing. Now that I live in Venice, I crave Canada in a big way, so heading home is an appealing vacation destination. I'm only days away from heading back to Black Rock City, Nevada which is a temporary city that is completely built & taken apart, all within a month. It's quite simply one if the most magical places I've ever visited.
When I was 21, backpacking through Australia with one of my best friends, we decided that since we get to choose where we live, why wouldn't we live in a place were people go on vacation? If we can choose how we live our lives, why wouldn't we choose to live life like we were on vacation? Wouldn't that make for a good life?!?! I feel like I've done a fairly decent job of making that my reality. Since stepping away from my 'real' job and committing to this path, I've never felt like I have a job. I live fully and embody my passion and any time I am 'working' its truly just an extension of my life and an experience of 'following my bliss.' Because of that, I don't feel like I even need vacations anymore. Life just is one!
What is your favourite meal to make and share with friends?
Anything crazy awesome healthy in my vitamix. Chaga & reishi tea. Fresh organic veggies & fruit.
What's the coolest experience you've ever had with a student?
Too many to choose just one. I fall so deeply in love with everyone in the teacher trainings & retreats that I run. It's such precious work. I adore Humans, especially the ones that allow themselves to get vulnerable with me. To witness the unfolding that happens in the framework of yoga teacher training is a Divine gift. It brings me to my knees! Talk about Sacred space. Woah!
Who inspires you?
What is your favourite festival to attend?
If you could study with one person who would it be and why?
God. I much prefer going straight to Source.
Share your favourite self-healing practice.
Loving myself through nourishment of ALL kinds. Whole organic foods, Kangen or spring water, meditation, breathing, movement, inspiring relationships, true romantic love, spending time alone, kind & loving thoughts toward myself, forgiveness, gratitude.
Share one of your life goals.
My biggest life goal is to lead as many Humans as possible to the unlimited supply of Self Love that lives deep inside themselves. The more people we have in this world truly, madly, deeply in love with themSelves, the better place this will be. When I'm 100, I want to look back & know I made a difference in this world.
Where's the next place you want to travel?
I've actually been traveling non-stop since 2004. Right now, I just want to be still. Stay home, love my husband and prepare my home for this little baby we're about to welcome earthside. First, Black Rock City, then Joshua Tree for a 10-day silent meditation retreat, then stillness. We're planning a retreat in Mexico in February 2015... Stay tuned for details!
I LOVE YOU!!
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