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Energetic Exchange & Teaching Yoga + Playlist & Workouts

I don’t even know where to begin. This week was exhilarating and exhausting. I taught more yoga classes in a single week than I ever have since I started teaching. In an average week I teach around 10 classes. I would say my sweet spot is 7-8. This week I taught 14. For some of my peers, teaching 14 in a week is the norm but for me it’s a lot.

Many of you have asked if I practice with my classes…I do not. I keep my personal practice separate from teaching. It doesn’t help them for me to be going through the practice myself and not in tune with what they’re doing on their mats. Rather than practice with them, I walk around the room and watch my students practice so that I can see how they are moving through the practice, verbally cue them through the class and offer hands-on assists. So while I don’t physically go through the practice with them, I do energetically.

Teaching yoga is a very energy-centric thing. The students feel my energy, I feel their energy. There is an exchange of energy among everyone in the room. I give them my energy and I pick up a lot of theirs…good and bad, light and heavy. After I had been teaching for a few years, I gave up on planning my classes before going in to teach because half the time whatever I planned wasn’t the right thing for the room on that day. I can’t really explain it, there is a lot of intuition involved. It’s all boils down to being there for your student’s needs and not your own.

This is why it’s so important for teachers to be super protective of and responsible for their energy. I set my intention going into class on creating a safe and uplifting space for my students to explore, breathe, grow, feel whatever they need to feel, etc. From a personal perspective, I commit myself to teaching from wherever I am on that day, knowing that my students will connect more with my energy and to the practice when I am open and authentic. This has taken me years of work to even begin to feel comfortable doing but all I know is when you’re standing in front of your students and “acting” the part of a yoga teacher, it feels even more uncomfortable.


This morning I walked in to teach my 9 a.m. Sunday class…my 14th and final class of the week. My expectation at the beginning of the week was that I would feel run down and tired of teaching by this point, but it was exactly the opposite. I walked in and felt more comfortable and excited to teach than ever. Teaching so much this week forced a surrender inside of me to show up, take off the mask and really be in it with my students. Over the course of the week I taught nearly 400 yogis at three different studios and spent over 20 hours in 100+ degree rooms between teaching and taking…and I’ve never felt so connected as a teacher.

I continue to be amazed that every time I think I’ve gotten to the pinnacle of teaching and “oh my god it can’t get any better than this,” it gets even better. And I’m only four years in as a yoga teacher. I can’t wait to see where it goes and how I grow from here. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to teach yoga.

So, here is my playlist for this weekend’s classes.

And here is a quick summary of my workouts for the week. I typed this part before writing the yoga and energy stuff and now the workouts don’t really even seem relevant but I’ll include them anyway.


5.5 mile run

I ran 2.5 miles to the yoga studio to teach my 5:45 p.m. class, sweated my booty off teaching and then ran another 3 miles home. It was quite a workout!


Hot yoga + lift upper body

I stayed and took 45 minutes of a yoga class after I taught in the morning and then stayed after training a client at the gym later that evening to do a quick upper body lift. I can’t even remember exactly what I did now but a mix of bench press, single arm rows, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, lat pull downs and a few other miscellaneous things.


3 mile run


Hot yoga


Hot yoga + CrossFit/Strength

I took a hot yoga class in the AM before teaching and then went to the gym Friday afternoon to get a much-needed CrossFit WOD and strength session in.

5 rounds for time:

7 deadlifts
9 toes to bar
12 box jumps

I did the deadlifts at 125# and RX’d the toes to bar. Finished in about 13 minutes.

4 rounds:

10 front lunges holding 25# plate overhead (each leg)
10 kettlebell swings10 ab wheel roll outs
1 sled push down and back with 150# sled
10 push ups

I was pretty sweaty and wiped out after this one. Felt really good!


3 mile run


3 mile run + hot yoga

And with that, I’m off to hydrate (so much sweating this week) and tackle Sunday stuff like laundry and cleaning.

Have a beautiful week. So much love. <3

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Cassie April 12, 2015, 5:01 pm

    I love these types of playlists! They’re so motivational!

    • Jen April 13, 2015, 2:29 pm

      so glad you enjoy them! 🙂

  • She Rocks Fitness April 12, 2015, 5:05 pm

    That is a lot of teaching woman! I never train with my clients or when I am teaching a class. First of all I would be completely exhausted all the time and secondly my clients and student deserve 100% of my attention. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! XOXO

    • Jen April 13, 2015, 2:29 pm

      agreed! i can’t even imagine how wiped out i would be if i actually did all the classes with my students. good lord! hope you had a wonderful weekend. have a great week!

  • Courtney April 12, 2015, 8:45 pm

    I took the friday am class you taught and it was fantastic. Your assists are
    amazing. Glad to have the opportunity to take your classes!

    • Jen April 13, 2015, 2:25 pm

      hi courtney, thank you so much for taking my class and for the lovely feedback. i love assisting. 🙂

  • Sarah April 12, 2015, 10:19 pm

    Lovely post! Such an interesting reflection. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen April 13, 2015, 2:20 pm

      thanks for the feedback sarah. i’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt April 13, 2015, 8:52 am

    You put together the best playlists! Thanks!

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt April 13, 2015, 8:52 am

    You put together the best playlists! Thanks!

    • Jen April 13, 2015, 2:20 pm

      yay! glad you enjoy them! 🙂

  • Pam April 13, 2015, 10:52 am

    thank you so much for sharing about showing up, feeling the energy and taking off the mask! When I went through Yoga Teacher Training I thought I had to teach what I personally did on my mat. It never worked! I would scratch my head and try and figure out the problem. One day…I let my intuition lead and guess what!!! The most beautiful amazing class ever was born! I now teach from my true self and what Spirit tells me my students need. Thank you for sharing! As always much love and blessings to you!

    • Jen April 13, 2015, 2:18 pm

      hi pam – i loved reading your story about how that worked for you when you started teaching. so beautiful! thank you for sharing…and for teaching!

  • Kristen April 13, 2015, 10:53 am

    I took your 9am Sunday class….it was my first time at this studio and I can not express to you in words how much I enjoyed the entire experience. I have been practicing yoga about 8 years now but I still was a bit nervous to try a 90 minute hot yoga class! I am infinitely grateful that I did. The energy in the room was amazing and once the class started I felt completely at ease…and the class kicked my butt. I can’t wait to return to the studio and my mat! Thank you!

    • Jen April 13, 2015, 2:09 pm

      Hi Kristen! I can’t thank you enough for coming to class and also for trying hot yoga and visiting Charlotte Yoga. I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed the whole experience…especially since it was an EXTRA hot class. I hope I gave you guys enough circulation with fans and doors. It always gets a little crazy with that many bodies in the room. Hearing you say that you were at east makes me feel so happy. I look forward to seeing you again soon. <3

  • Cameron April 15, 2015, 12:33 pm

    This is amazing jen!! Teaching yoga is the gift that keeps on giving. I miss your classes and need to get to Charlotte soon!! Good luck today!!! <3

  • Kacy April 15, 2015, 8:07 pm

    Wow! That is a lot of teaching. Right now, I teach between a week..and many weeks way more than that because I sub all the time. I agree that you can actually feel energized from teaching. I think my energetic magic number (of teaching classes is 10. I am trying to get it so that can be my financial magic number too. I always seal myself off before teaching a class, so I don’t bring home all my student’s “stuff”. I have created a little ritual I do before class to protect myself. I like to think that they sweat it out, and I just mop it up…not take it with me.

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