Jess’ journey with yoga began as a casual student, attracted by the promise of a strong and bendy body. She soon realized that yoga had so much more to offer, and before long it was an intrinsic part of her week. She came to rely on her yoga practice more and more to find calm within a busy lifestyle. Eventually she decided to take her yoga experience deeper and enrolled in a yoga teacher training program back in 2007. Since these first steps she has continued her postural education with a multitude of teachers from a diverse collection of yoga styles.
While Jess has always been fascinated by a variety of spiritual and philosophical traditions, when it came to yoga she felt drawn to explore more deeply. Besides this, she had always wanted to study at university. So in 2012 she decided to combine the two and embarked on 5 years of academic study in the Studies in Religion field, culminating in her Honours thesis on modern yoga in 2016. Over the course of these studies, Jess has had the opportunity to look into the historical, philosophical, cultural, and theoretical considerations of many aspects of pre-modern and modern yoga, as well as many other religious and spiritual traditions. Jess had always been intrigued by the history of yoga related areas like Haṭhayoga and Tantra, yet along the study journey she also developed a keen interest in topics like the intersection of modern yoga and guru traditions, science, politics, and gender, to name just a few.
Jess firmly believes that critically engaging with these kinds of contemporary yoga issues has real world relevance. In a digital age characterised by an arguably over abundance of information, Jess is an advocate of slow reading, detailed and complex information, applied critical thinking combined with felt experience, and giving ideas time and space to breath. She hopes that by sharing a little of what she has learned others will be inspired to explore the fascinating stories that modern yoga scholarship has to offer. Consequently, although Jess maintains a love of postural yoga teaching, these days she also enjoys offering talks and casual discussion forums on a variety of yoga related topics. Just has lectured at the University of Queensland (UQ) and regularly speaks to groups of training yoga teachers and other yoga enthusiasts. She is currently a higher degree by research candidate at UQ, investigating notions of identity, community, and religion in the Queensland Hindu diaspora.