Teacher Spotlight: Jennifer Capala

Meet Jennifer Capala

Why do you teach yoga?  
It was never my intention to become a yoga instructor but the practice of yoga is full of surprises and when I realized during my training what a powerful gift yoga truly is, I knew I had to do something to pass it on.  Yoga is a technique with extraordinary physical benefits but in subtle powerful ways it benefits the universe as a whole and in the end that is why I teach.  It is my small offering which will hopefully help make the universal community just a little bit better.  That yoga has taken hold in our modern culture is validation that this sweet, powerful, ancient technique is exactly what society needs at this time and should be passed on.    

What style/type of yoga do you teach?  
I teach using the Vinyasa style of yoga.  My focus is the importance of the connection of breath and movement, which I hope will allow the students to experience the joy of a moving meditation. Focusing on your breath is a powerful form of meditation but when breath and movement are connected the subtle effects on one's sense of well-being is profound.

What's your biggest hope for your students? 
My biggest hope for my students is to find the desire to keep yoga as a life practice.  I read from and recommend the readings of Donna Farhi because she presents yoga is a straightforward way which makes the practice less mysterious and more approachable as a life practice.  

Who are your most influential teachers?  
My most influential teachers have been Parmananda, the former owner of Govinda in Chatham, and of course, Supersoul co-founder Raghunath, and Sondra Loring, owner of Sadhana in Hudson. Parmananda presented yoga in a sincere, playful, yet challenging way which sparked my interest to delve deeper.  Raghunath has inspired me to challenge myself physically and to explore the harmonium, whereas Sondra is my inspiration to explore the history and philosophy of Yoga.  To have study all too briefly with this dynamic duo will be one of the greatest gifts of my life.  

How has your practice and teaching evolved? 
Staying physically active as a way to stay healthy and have fun has always been important to me. As many do, I originally explored yoga for the physical benefits.  It wasn't until recently that the bigger picture of yoga came into focus for me. When I realized that yoga could also support me mentally and spiritually I was ready to take yoga to a higher level and participate in a teacher training program.  I have never considered myself a spiritual person but most recently the inescapable awareness of our interconnectedness has made me look at the universe in an entirely new way which is immensely humbling. 

How do you stay inspired?  
My inspiration comes from the belief that yoga is sneaky and full of surprises and realizing that if one keeps the practice as a life long exploration and inquiry the gifts will be many. I also believe that the art of yoga is meant to be passed on and being in a position to teach keeps me inspired to study even deeper so that I can continue to grow and be the best teacher possible.