Sarasota : Sarasota Showroom

Jaye Martin Ambassador Alumni

I've always been physically active. I ran track in HS, swam in college, and have always enjoyed skating, gardening, hiking, and canoeing since I was a kid. Of course, my career as a professional dancer was the most physically demanding thing I've ever done. Being a classical ballet dancer can be very stressful for the mind as well as the body...sometimes performing twice a day, rehearsing, and taking class in order to stay in shape and keep up technical standards. When not performing, sometimes I felt like I was at a constant audition with pressure to always look good and act vibrant and energetic even if I was tired or injured.... This was very important in order to be cast in good roles. In the ballet world it wasn't much about how you felt or whether or not you listened to your inner voice, it was about what you looked like on stage, performing and acting. I did some damage to my body. I was in subconscious denial of this for years. Thankfully, through yoga, the damage is revealed to me, sometimes it's repaired itself! When I look back, I see profound changes in my body since beginning yoga in 1998. These days I almost always feel good! If I don't, I'm very likely to listen to my inner voice and respond in an appropriate way. My body can move and express in ways it never did, I'm a better listener, more compassionate and WAY more balanced than ever in regard to my physicality.

Of course, Yoga is something much bigger to me than the physical. The reason I first came to yoga class was for stress relief. Working as a dancer was stressful enough, but then I was going through a divorce at the same time. I needed to be accepted, loved, just as I was. I needed to believe and know that I was good and worthy of unconditional love no matter what I looked like, no matter how I performed. Yoga has brought all this and more to me. I especially cherish the heartfelt connection to all, the feeling of oneness, and that we are co-creators in this the universe. What a big blessing it is! And what a wonderful gift it is for me to teach, to help and empower others the way my teachers have done for me. Blessings and all love to all my teachers including the one inside of me!