Name: Jen Seaman
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It’s hard to think that far back … I remember wanting to be a nurse, doctor or veterinarian. Doesn’t every kid? Now, as I reflect, I see what was real about those childhood intentions – a desire to bring wellness to other beings. Intention is powerful.
List three words that describe you: Tenacious, Inspired, Real
Tell us about your first experience with yoga:
I was 16. My best friend, my sister and I took a yoga class through the Lakewood Recreation Department. It was a 6 or 8 week class that met once a week in the basement of a local elementary school. The woman who taught the class was, in my teenage mind, the embodiment of Buddha – she had definitely attained enlightenment. Aside from the 3 of us, the majority of the practitioners were senior citizens. I remember a lot of stretching in the class and probably a few Sun A’s. We were obnoxious teenagers and probably laughed more than was appropriate. Savasana was absolute heaven on earth and I remember leaving with a feeling of renewal. I didn’t come back to my mat for another decade or so after that, but it definitely planted the seed.
What is your favorite aspect of Yoga?
I say this in my classes often … unravel. I come to my mat to unravel. To allow myself to shed my armor, to soften my edges, to be wrung out, and to become malleable. I come to remember that I am not all the “I am’s” and “I shoulds”, but that I am indeed a bright light. So my favorite aspect of Yoga, is that I can safely unravel, and get closer to that light, closer to me, closer to real. Oh, and the breath. The breath! It’s imperative for the unraveling to take place.
What is the most challenging aspect of yoga, for you personally?
It’s two-fold. From a posture perspective – inversions are hard for me. I was never quite comfy with my long limbs. I could NEVER even do a cartwheel – still can’t. There’s something terrifying about getting my feet above my head. The other side of that is the mental aspect of the practice. It’s challenging for me to unbind from my mind – the mental chatter that tells me all sorts of half-truths or complete lies. I identify with every thought that enters my mind. It’s a practice – digging through the mental muck; and turning upside-down.
How have you seen your practice change/impact your life?
This could be an entire blog article on its own … My practice has made me stronger and more flexible mentally and physically. It has showed me the power of the breath to move energy, to balance, and to break through. It has revealed my connection with the world outside of myself, and thus has made me more compassionate towards all beings. It has equipped me with tools to move through life more gracefully, intentionally, and mindfully.
Why do you love teaching at Cleveland Yoga, and what is your favorite aspect of teaching?
Cleveland Yoga was one of the first studios I practiced at when I came back to my mat over 11 years ago. CY is a community of stellar and inspiring teachers and students. It’s a great place to call hOMe. The reason I teach is to connect – union – YOGA. I love when the yoga room comes alive with the energetic connection of the bodies in the room. It’s truly brilliant and so inspiring.
Do you teach yoga full time? If not, what other things do you do for fun/work?
I teach a lot, but not full time. I have my own graphic design business, which offers me flexibility to focus on my true love, which is teaching. Other than that, I find joy in spending time with my family, especially my daughter who is 3. Also traveling to see my siblings who live in New York City and LA. And, this may not sound like a “party”, but finding stillness. Stillness brings me lots of joy – and clarity. And Yoga. Of course, YOGA!
If you had one piece of advice for a beginner yogi, what would you say?
Come as you are. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with the practice. Take your time and allow yourself space to not know – yet. There is a gift in not knowing. There is freedom there.
If you had no restrictions (money, responsibilities etc.), what would you with the next 12 months?
I would spend every waking moment doing things that feed my soul – only things that are an intuitive YES. I’m working on doing that regardless. The money always follows.
What is your favorite song to sing aloud to when you are alone in your car?
It used to be Godsmack “Whatever” – no joke. These days I’m either driving in silence or playing “Disney Radio” on Pandora and singing “Love is an Open Door” (Frozen) with my Daughter.
Who inspires you to be your greatest self?
My daughter, my mom, my sister, my brother, my husband, my cats. They are light –reflective and illuminating. They are color – vivid and dynamic. They are my mirrors – revealing to me my light and vitality – mySELF – the highest and truest version of me. When I’m having an especially challenging moment my daughter will tell me “mommy (or sometimes “jen”). callllmmm down. it’s ok.” I say, “thank you angel. and, please keep reminding me.”
What is your your favorite quote:
There are too many. Here’s one I recently found …
“Come as you are,” said he. “But I love you, so I will not let you stay there. I will move you, and it will hurt, but I promise I won’t leave you.” – sum.c