Hi! I’m Jess…
I love everything about this one, wild life that we get to experience on this planet. Originally from Tampa Bay, FL, I re-located to Vail, CO on a whim after a summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Suffice to say, my journey in Vail has shown me what the phrase “progress isn’t linear” truly means. Within the moments where I feel hopeless and isolated, I eventually experience the occasional magic that underlies every event in my life. Even when things feel especially challenging, my unwavering trust in Spirit reminds me to stay present.
This dedication to honoring the ups-and-downs of my life is a direct product of my yoga sadhana. I initially found yoga through my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) practice in 2016. I had every intention of beginning my practice with the purpose of increasing flexibility to increase my efficiency in BJJ. Prior to my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), I practiced yoga 3 times in college and had very little knowledge in the art.
Yoga changed the entire trajectory of my life. During my YTT, I was heavily depressed and consuming at least a 6-pack of Jai Alai’s every night, paired with several shots of Ketel One. At the time, I was working in technology sales, where I finally achieved the “real job” that my family (and society) so desperately wanted me to have. However, my 401K and salary were not things that set my heart aflame. As my training progressed, I was able to start connecting with my body and my aspirations. It was no surprise to me that when I do not feel fulfilled in my life, I seek those answers within an ocean of alcohol.
Yoga gently handed me the trust and freedom to dive heart-first into my life. After I finished my YTT, I left my career and began living my life according to my Dharma (life’s vocation). I have an immense amount of deep appreciation for the juicy life experiences I have had in the last five years. My life has unraveled, woven together, to only have it begin to fray at the seams again. Now in recovery from alcohol and drugs, the frayed edges of my life are beginning to feel both lighter and heavier, but even more meaningful than before.
As a student of Bhakti yoga, I am perpetually inspired by philosophy, both within the realm of yoga and outside of it. As a first generation Cambodian American, I am beginning to finally understand who I am, outside of the mythical “model minority” identity that was assigned to me at a very young age. Bhakti yoga fuels my heartfelt anti-racist activism. As I destroy the structured and suffocating walls that White Supremacy has instilled within me, I connect deeper to what captivates my heart, to the magic that makes itself known in my life, and to the work required for social revolution towards racial equity. I am an active participant in the fight for racial justice in my community. And this activism is constantly inspired by Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, adrienne maree brown, Durga, Bhakti yoga, and a relentless hope where liberation is afforded to every single member of society.
We are not free until all of us are free.
I completed my 200hr YTT in 2016 at Bella Prana with Marley Vigdorth, Roni Sloman, and Shelly Happel. In 2017, I completed an additional 100 hours of training with Marley Vigdorth. In 2020, I completed a 300hr Foundations of Yoga Therapy training with Inner Peace Yoga Therapy. Throughout 2021 to 2022, I have completed Sundara Yoga Therapy’s Trauma-Informed Yoga Therapy Levels I and II, as well as Durga Leela’s Yoga of Recovery courses (Between The Mat and The Meeting and Healing The Habits That Bind).
I have also mentored with Gretchen Hickmott in High Sense Perception training. Through this mentorship, I learned: how to receive and interpret messages from Spirit; how to open, receive, and engage in Akashic Records; and how to utilize astrology for greater healing. This work enables me to be more in tune with my own meditation practice, as well as deepen my understanding of the energies of the universe.
I’m enrolled for the University of Denver’s Master of Social Work program in Denver, CO beginning in Fall 2023. I offer nothing but sincere gratitude to the therapists that I have been fortunate enough to work with (and continue to work with) in my life. With this program, I hope to further advance my studies on how inherited trauma shows up within the body and how yoga, somatics, and psychotherapy can shape how we show up in the world with our various traumas.
Drawn to a vinyasa practice filled with a heart-centered intention, I love sharing the ancient practice of yoga with people of all skill-levels. My classes are Bhakti in nature: dynamic vinyasa with yogic philosophy, mantra, and meditation infused throughout. I encourage students to embrace both the physical practice of yoga and the unlimited mental benefits of the art. Although I specialize in vinyasa, I also teach beginners and restorative classes.