Retailer Spotlight | Bluebird Sky Yoga

Photo by Bluebird Sky Yoga

Photo by Bluebird Sky Yoga

I love yoga. I’ve been exploring it since I was 15 years old, and even got my teaching certification in 2016. Sometimes I fall out of practice (recently for a very stressful six month period when the business was running my life), but for the past few years, I’ve been going as regularly as I can to Bluebird Sky Yoga, a beautiful art-filled and community-minded yoga studio in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC that I also am very grateful to call one of our stockists.

Today I’m excited to share this space led by one of my favorite yoga teachers, Jennie Light. Read about her yoga journey, opening the studio, and advice for new yogis below, and visit their beautiful space in DC for a class! They have something for everyone (like farmer’s market yoga, acro yoga, vision impaired yoga, and much much more).

Jennie Light | Photo by Eric Yagoda

Jennie Light | Photo by Eric Yagoda

How long have you been practicing yoga and how long have you been teaching it?

I started a regular yoga practice in 2008 and began teaching in 2014.

What drew you to yoga and what keeps you coming back to your mat?

I attended my first yoga class as a way to exercise outside of running. I continued to practice initially because I found it was an incredible way to get out of my head, relieve stress, and stay present. Over the years, my yoga practice has connected me with friends and community, offered me philosophical guidance, been a creative outlet for expression, and kept my physically and emotionally healthy.

I love celebrating the diversity of lineages within yoga, and find my practice is constantly evolving as I evolve: some days I’m hyper-focused on a new challenging posture, some days I just flow with my breath, and other days stillness is exactly what I need.

Photo via Bluebird Sky Yoga

Photo via Bluebird Sky Yoga

Bluebird is such a special yoga studio. It feels very cozy and community oriented. When you started Bluebird Sky Yoga, what were you hoping to create in the space?

Thank you! I wanted to create a space where our community could hang out before and after class. Rather than making our lobby a huge retail space, we opted for benches, cozy pillows, and a rotating art gallery featuring local artists. My hope is that students get to know one another off the mat, and the free tea and attitude of the team members I hire encourage that.  

Jennie Light | photo by Eric Yagoda

Jennie Light | photo by Eric Yagoda

What tips do you have for someone who is just starting yoga and can’t motivate to hold themselves in downward facing dog for long periods of time?

First, I always tell people that yoga is not competitive. Serious/”advanced” yogis are so focused on their own practice they’re not watching you. I find that students tend to encourage one another. It’s not uncommon for us to celebrate each others’ growth.

Second, there is always a way to modify or adapt the practice to meet you where you are. If you can’t hold down dog, no stress. Take child’s pose.

And finally, I find that I’m more accountable to showing up to practice when I pre-plan my week. I’ll sign up for classes all week so that I’ll have to actively cancel if I end up skipping.

Ask yourself: Do you feel better on the days you stick with it and make it to my mat? I once saw a meme that said “I regretting going to yoga, said no one ever.” That stuck with me and encourages me to get up and practice on the days I want to hit snooze.

How do you feel yoga can relate to people’s everyday lives on and off the mat?

There is so much to learn from the yoga philosophy and ancient texts. The teachings offer insight into how to treat one another and how to find balance in your life. For example, this week in my classes I’ve been sharing a quote from the Yoga Sutras that I think extends well beyond the mat: “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.”

The physical practice also teaches us lessons we can take with us. We learn patience, gratitude, how to find balance, and how to block out the noise to see more clearly.

Photo by Natasha Lamalle

Photo by Natasha Lamalle

What's coming up for Bluebird Sky Yoga this summer?

We offer 45+ classes a week that run the gamut from active styles such as Vinyasa, Power and Rocket to relaxing lineages such as Restorative, Yin, and Meditation, and everything in between. So, there are options for yogis of all interests and levels. On July 4th, I’m excited to host my annual back-to-back live music classes with my fiancé Gary.

Additionally, we’re hosting workshops this summer on the neuroscience of yoga, acro yoga, mastering inversions, and yoga for runners and bikers. You can read more and sign up on our website, www.bluebirdskyyoga.com.