About Jessica: "Jess began practicing yoga about twenty years ago. She loves being on the healing end of the DC spectrum, because in this city, we can all benefit from an increased ability to pause and create space. Jess's studies of the teachings of Shiva Rea, Pema Chodron, Tara Brach, Swami Satchidananda, the Buddha and others are ongoing. Her most powerful teachers are her two precious daughters, Ella and Eden."
Jessica was kind enough to answer questions for us as part of our Featured Yogi series.
How did you begin practicing yoga?
My sister, Liz Lazar, encouraged me to try it. I was in my early twenties and living in Jerusalem, working as a reporter at the time. I was stressed, and she wanted to give me the tools to work with that. I thank her every day.
Why is yoga important to you?
Yoga is my main conduit for self-inquiry. It's how I meet everything that is moving through me on any given day. It's where I practice recognizing my reality, accepting it, and then refraining from acting out any destructive habits of which I gain awareness, so that I can forge more radiance and greater alignment in my life.
What made you want to teach yoga?
One of my dearest friends and first DC-based teachers, Kyra Sudofsky, told me I would be good at it. She gave me a class at her studio, 18th & Yoga, on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan in the year 2002.
Do you have a preferred type of yoga to teach/practice? Please elaborate.
I teach and practice Prana Flow Vinyasa Yoga, an innovation given to me by my teacher, Shiva Rea. I also teach restorative classes, mindfulness, and meditation in the Tibetan vipassana tradition, as transmitted to me by my wisdom teachers, Pema Chodron and Tara Brach.
Describe a yoga class with Jessica Lazar. What makes the experience unique?
A yoga class with me is always fresh. I use the underlying methodology of Prana Flow, and the precepts of Buddhism as my guide to the movement and accompanying teachings, which are fluid and open in nature. You will discover your embodied capacity in my class, but never through punitive movement. Equanimity and grace are my aspirations for you, and the tenets that guide me in my role as teachers.
Who is your favorite Washington D.C. area yoga teacher?
Hmm. Well, this is going to sound crazy, because this teacher and I do not share a direct lineage. I love Terrence Olivierra's classes because they challenge me to leave my comfort zone and face posture adversity in a new way. That's the recipe for learning a lot, and I always do.
Follow Jessica on her website www.jessicalazar.com and Instagram @jayjolazar.