Photo Credits: @jaimisyoga
Yoga. Wellness. Radical Self-Love.
These are the first three words you’ll see when you land on Jaimis Huff’s Instagram page.
And this North Carolina-based yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer practices what she’s preaching. From the moment we first laid eyes on her wonderfully open posts about her own journey with self-love and self-acceptance, we knew we had to know more about where she’s been, where she’s going and how she’s inspiring change in so many lives…
YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT SELF-LOVE AND PRACTICING YOGA WITH LOVING KINDNESS TOWARDS YOURSELF. HOW DO YOU BRING THAT INTO WHAT YOU TEACH AS A YOGA INSTRUCTOR?
To me, yoga is about coming home to yourself and learning to love where you are. When I first began practicing, I was really hard on myself. I spent a lot of time comparing, criticizing and pushing my body past its limitations because I thought I needed to look a certain way. It took me a few years and finding the right teachers to understand that yoga isn’t about what the poses look like, it’s about how they feel. It’s about self-acceptance. It can be scary, looking at yourself in the mirror in class and feeling like you need to be more like the person next to you. Trust me, I’ve been there, which is why I always encourage students to practice from a place of loving kindness towards yourself, above all else.
WHAT WAS THE PATH THAT BROUGHT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY WITH SELF-LOVE AND SELF-EMPOWERMENT?
There was a time in my life when I felt so lost, disconnected and unloveable. I questioned absolutely everything about myself and my heart breaks for the girl I was back then. When you know what brokenness feels like because you’ve been there before, you’re able to offer a deeper level of understanding, compassion and support to people who are going through it. Everyone deserves to feel worthy of love and belonging. I do my best to remind everyone around me that they are already everything.
LETTING GO OF JUDGMENT OF SELF IS ANOTHER TOPIC YOU ADDRESS. HOW DO OUR OWN JUDGMENTS OF OURSELVES HOLD SO MANY OF US BACK FROM WHO WE REALLY COULD BE?
As humans, we’re unreasonably hard on ourselves. We convince ourselves that we’re not enough, we’re not worthy of love, that we don’t deserve the life we’ve imagined for ourselves. When we push past the limited believes we have about what we’re actually capable of creating, that’s when the magic happens. This is the revolution, learning to love yourself and recognizing you have absolutely everything you need.
WHAT IF SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO START YOGA, TO TAKE THE FIRST CLASS. WHAT TIPS OR RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD YOU GIVE THAT PERSON TO HELP THEM JUST START?
A big misconception about yoga is that you need to be good at it already before you start. I have conversations about this with people all the time! The number one thing I hear is, “I want to try yoga but I’m not flexible.” Here’s the deal: we practice yoga to become flexible. All you have to do is show up with an open heart and mind. Being a beginner is humbling, but even the masters of their craft were beginners at one point. Head to the studio early, introduce yourself to the teacher and let him or her know it’s your first class. I do my best to ease the feeling of overwhelm that tends to come with being outside of your comfort zone. There are only so many yoga poses, so I tell students after about 15-20 classes, you’ll start to get the hang of it.
YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT MUSIC AND YOU’VE SHARED THAT YOU CAREFULLY CHOOSE THE SOUNDTRACKS FOR YOUR CLASSES. HOW CAN SOMEONE USE MUSIC TO ENHANCE THEIR LIVES ON A DAILY BASIS? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO USE MUSIC THROUGHOUT THE DAY TO ENHANCE YOUR MOOD?
I love music. I come from a family of musicians and it was a big part of my life growing up. One of the most powerful lessons I learned from my studies with Shiva Rea is the power of music and our ability to use it to enhance our experiences. I love listening to instrumental, ambient, electronic music when I’m writing or doing chores. When I’m practicing yoga, anything goes. Sometimes it’s tribal drums, some days I’m feeling old school hip hop, sometimes it’s Ryan Adams, Bassnectar or Hippie Sabotage. Rise (Snowfall Remix) by Tony Anderson moves me to tears every time I hear it. I’ve probably played it a thousand times.
WHAT DOES YOUR MORNING ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
I study Ayurveda so I love morning rituals. I wake up, walk the dog, scrape my tongue and splash my face with cold water. I always start the day with either warm water with lemon or fresh ginger tea. Then I’ll make breakfast for my husband and I while I sip on an almond milk latte. I teach morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so on those days, I head out the door pretty early. If I don’t have class, I roll out my mat and move my body. I always make time at some point to sit quietly and breathe, meditate and write.
ANY PARTICULAR FOODS THAT YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
It’s not very yogic of me, but I love cheese. I tried to go vegan at one point but I only lasted a few weeks. Life without cheese was so depressing! Everything in moderation, of course.
WHAT DOES LIVING A BALANCED LIFESTYLE MEAN TO YOU?
I do my best to live a balanced lifestyle. I move my body often by practicing yoga, boxing, running and weight training. I also take days off to let my body heal and refuse to feel guilty about it. I eat a mostly clean diet but I will totally get down on some pizza. I keep a water bottle with me at all times, drink a daily kombucha or apple cider vinegar and I also love red wine and good Kentucky Bourbon. Life is short and it’s meant to be lived.
WHAT’S THE ONE MANTRA YOU’RE LIVING BY RIGHT NOW?
I am the fire that will transform the world.