Master Yoga Teacher Jenn Chiarelli Wants to Guide Students Deeper in Their Practice
In honor of National Yoga Month, we're sitting down with some of the Valley's favorite instructors to find out how they first got involved in yoga, how it changed their life, and why they believe everybody should incorporate yoga in their lives.
Jenn Chiarelli is pretty much a household name in the yoga world. That's true not just because many of the Valley's notable instructors came up through teacher training programs she's been a part of and regard her as a big influence in their lives. Chiarelli, who was a professional ballerina before finding her true calling in teaching yoga, is known for her nurturing presence and her ability to create the space for yogis to be themselves. She talked to Jackalope Ranch about how having a baby changed the way she teaches, how a serious back injury was a powerful lesson on what's truly important, and about her desire to take herself and fellow yogis deeper in their practice, past just the physical poses, or asanas.
Tai Kerbs Jenn Chiarelli
You recently had a baby, has it changed your practice or teaching at all?
It's definitely changed my teaching for sure, I kind of feel like I've opened up a little bit more to, I don't know, just kind of express myself more through my teaching. With her, having a baby just kind of cracks your heart open a little bit more than it used to be, and I kind of feel like I teach a little bit more openly, I guess. And my practice is hard, because of course I need to practice, I want to practice, but it's so hard, because to be away from her... I teach so much, and then to try to practice and be away from her all that time is hard. But I usually try to stay at the Madison [Improvement Club]. Harmony [Fulton] teaches a class right after mine, so I try to stay and get in a little bit of yoga. But I do a lot of practice on my own, and meditation on my own, it's just getting to the classes, they're hard. But it's worth it, every little bit of it is worth it, because she's just so darn cute.
That's what everybody says, that it's all worth it, but it must be hard
What everybone tells you is so true. You know, everyone says "it's so hard, it's so hard." It totally is hard. I'll never say, "Oh my god, it's so easy." It's so hard, but it's like, you come home and you see this little thing that came from you, and they just smile, and you're like, "Oh, god!" It melts your heart, and then you're all goo in their hands, putty. You always think -- I mean for me, I knew I always wanted kids -- it's always thinking about what it's gonna be like, or what she would look like, or he would look like. You have all these visions of what you think a kid will be like in your life, and then when you really have it you're like,
"Oh, okay." It's a big life-changer. Complete life-changer. If you ever want to have a kid just make sure you're ready, that's all I would say.
Everybody says you'll never be ready for kids, so you just have to do it though.
You know, I thought I was ready, cause I'm older now and my husband [is, too], and we're married. We wanted to make sure we were married for a while before we popped out a baby. And you know, we traveled, and we did all the fun things we knew we might not be able to do as often with the baby, so I think we were kind of ready, I don't know. I guess I have to say we were kind of ready! Before we were married we traveled a lot and we were just those kind of people who are the get up and go, "Let's go here, take a weekend here," and now that's all changed. But you know, but we're trying to get out, my mom's coming out in October around my birthday so we're gonna try and go to a concert, and we're like so excited, we're like, "Yay, we're gonna go out!"