For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in the mind/body connection.
From age 7, I knew I wanted to be a communicator and use my gifts as a singer and performer. Even then, I was fascinated by the writings of Abraham Maslow and his theory of self-actualization. In high school, I began meditating and dabbling in many of the modalities I now teach, but that was many years before I would return to serious study.
After earning a BFA in Music and Theater, I pursued my performing goals all the way to Carnegie Hall, earning a Bistro Award for my one-woman show, recording a CD and receiving other accolades.
Some twenty years later - after many years of performing - I felt called again to my high school interests and redirected my focus. Interestingly, I was specifically called to therapeutic yoga. This was many years before the advent of Yoga Therapy as a profession in the west. I immersed myself in an eclectic array of studies including Gentle and Therapeutic Yoga, Ayurveda, Pranayama, Anatomy, MBSR, Raja Yoga and Sacred Mantra.
I began a private practice in NYC, which quickly grew. At the same time, I was invited to teach a chair yoga class at a metropolitan Guild for the Blind where I ultimately taught for 6 years. In fact, that time remains one of my most cherished teaching experiences. The work involved a steep learning curve. Since the students had physical and emotional challenges that required attention, much concentration to detail and precise languaging was required. I learned as much - or more - than I taught.
After some time, I founded Resilience for Life®, the business under which I now offer a variety of services aimed to educate and motivate people on their own path towards wellness.
I’ve been blessed to be mentored by extraordinary women like Tao Porchon-Lynch (who will be 99 years young this August) and Judith Lasater, with whom I traveled and assisted for four years. It’s one of the primary reasons I’m now thrilled to be a mentor of the Yoga for Arthritis Level I graduates, as I firmly believe in ‘passing the torch.’
I became a Senior Faculty and co-presenter for the Stress Management Teacher Training program through the Integral Yoga Academy. For the past 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach people from all over the world and provide mentorship to many of the students.
More recently, my connection to Integral Yoga and my work as a Stress Management Trainer led to my being hired by Dr. Dean Ornish, working as an Ornish Faculty on his Program for Reversing Heart Disease.
As a stress management trainer, I’ve long understood the connection between stress and disease. Stress can have a significant and negative effect on arthritis, which is now the leading cause of disability in the US. Becoming a Yoga for Arthritis certified teacher seemed a logical progression. I’d also heard wonderful things about Dr. Steffany Moonaz and her team.
Arthritis has touched my own family. My father and grandmother were both personally impacted by the condition. My Dad had an affected knee from his college football injuries. My grandmother’s swollen knuckles caused her horrible pain and made it increasingly difficult for her to write, open mail or perform the simplest activities. Their experiences shaped my understanding of the devastating effects of arthritis and are a driving force behind my work today.
It excites me to now have the multitude of tools I’ve learned in the Yoga for Arthritis training and to be of service to not only my students but to offer support to my family. I’m equally committed to taking care of my own health as I age so that I can continue to be vital.
In the past several years, I forged a relationship with the Northern California Arthritis Foundation and have presented Resilience for Life Stress Reduction Workshops for Arthritis at their EXPOs. Most presenters at the EXPO deliver a straight lecture; mine is one of the only experiential programs, and, consequently, the feedback has been very high. Given the opportunity to be exposed to the useful practices we offer opens windows of possibility to arthritis sufferers. It gives them hope, and it improves the quality of their lives.
Finally, in the past 9 years, I’ve added coaching to my toolkit and am now a licensed HeartMath provider and also New Life Story Wellness Coach. A highlight for me in 2014 was the inclusion of a client case study in the publication Successful Life Story Transformations: Using the ROADMAP System to Change Mind, Brain, and Behavior, edited by one of my teachers, Dr. David Krueger. This fall, I’ll be sitting for the first National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) accreditation, from ICHWC.org.
I’m grateful to be a part of the Yoga for Arthritis community. Deep bows to Steffany for planting the seed and creating it! I look forward to continuing to share Yoga for Arthritis with groups, individuals and as a mentor, supporting those seeking the Yoga for Arthritis certification.
Jaymie is the founder of Resilience for Life®. She's a licensed HeartMath provider, Health & Wellness Coach, C-IAYT yoga therapist and Ayurveda Health Educator. In practice for nearly two decades, Jaymie is passionate about helping people learn how to reduce stress, increase resilience and enjoy healthy aging. She has presented at the National Institutes for Health, IBM, Panasonic, and the Arthritis Foundation, among others. Jaymie believes the mind, body, and heart have much to teach us about our internal - and often untapped wisdom. Learn more at: www.resilienceforlife.com