I am Joe Hessenius. Meditation and yoga changed my life and I wish to share the practice with others. I found yoga in 2012 after recovering from a fracture in my fifth metatarsal, the bone on the outer edge of the foot. With my foot in a cast for 2 months and suffering from borderline loss of sanity, I thought it might be beneficial to regain balance. Thanks to the expertise of my instructors, Lisa, Noreen, Sarah, and Joe of Prana Yoga Center in Geneva, IL, I was introduced to the foundations of Hatha, Vinyasa, Forest, and Restorative yoga.
My interest grew and I pursued my 200 hour Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at the White Lotus Institute in Santa Barbara, CA in 2014. I wanted to deepen my practice and I was encouraged to do a teacher training. I appreciated the knowledge of my teachers, Ganga White and Tracey Rich, coming from the perspective of long time practitioners of over forty years. I learned the positives and negatives of a long term yoga practice and how to preserve our body for those of us that hope to have a life long practice, which I find highly beneficial being in a hypermobile body.
In 2016 I suddenly began teaching when an opportunity arose in Humboldt County, CA and I have enjoyed it ever since. Around this time I began practicing/learning from Samantha Akers, an experienced yoga teacher, yoga therapist and bodyworker.
With Sam’s guidance, I began exploring the world of therapeutics and Yin yoga. What I learned from my body through these practices was/is a complete wake up call. The importance of alignment has intensified tenfold and with the support of Metta Meditation and breath awareness, I’m blissed.
In 2018, I took a leap in my teaching skills as I began teaching at several retreats in Spain and Portugal. I spent the most time at Yoga Sutra Shala, leading Hatha and Yin Classes, as well as meditation. I was able to work with students one-on-one for about 6 days, witnessing huge growth in such little time. My confidence grew immensely and the appreciation I received from students has only inspired me to continue learning not only for my students, but my own practice as well.
As Fall 2019, I completed my 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Sam, ‘Cultivating Presence and Deepening Practice through the Lens of Therapeutics,’ over the course of 7 months. It was great to have such an extended time to learn and integrate new techniques as I was practicing and teaching, witnessing my growth from my experience overall.
To wrap this up, I guess I share my story because I only teach what I know and what I know, I feel in my body and breath. As I practice, I associate my teachers with certain poses and cues because of the light bulb that went off when I truly discovered the potential of a pose, meditation, and breath, which I only hope to pass onto my students.
Thank you for reading and your support!