Where are you from originally? West Tennessee
How long have you lived in Chattanooga? I have lived in Chattanooga for fifteen years other than a year I spent in upstate New York.
How do yoga and the community play a role in your life? My practice allows me to be present in my life. I see things more clearly. Asana helps me get out of my mind so I am able to see the world with more clarity. The community I have found within my practice has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.
Tell us about your childhood: I am the oldest of 13 children and I was homeschooled. It was loud, complicated, and beautiful. There was so much love in my childhood.
Do you have a nick name? My family calls me “Re” because my middle name is Marie. Most of my family and friends call me Jess!
When were you introduced to Yoga? When I was nineteen I was really seeking something centering for my anxiety. I came to yoga looking for a sense of inner peace. I fell in love with the holistic approach to life. I’ve been practicing on and off for seven years.
What pose do you love the most and why? Without a doubt, my favorite pose is Uttanasana. I love forward folding at any point in my practice. It is my grounding connection moment and feels like surrounding. It always allows for a moment when I can reflect on the present. I love to really soften my knees and stay for as long as possible.
What is your favorite quote? “We need to care less if our kids are academically gifted and more about if they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria.”- Glennon Doyle Melton