Tamara Y. Jeffries
My first encounter with yoga was as a child watching “Lilias, Yoga and You” on PBS in the ‘70s. (She was so bendy! And that long braid!). But I didn't start practicing until the late 1980s. After many off-and-on years, I entered teacher training at Triad Yoga Institute—more to learn than to teach—and completed by certification in 2013.
Now I'm a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) with the Yoga Alliance, and a member of Yoga Service Council, an organization dedicated to bringing yoga to underserved populations. I've contributed to the editorial team for the Journal of Yoga Service.
As a yoga teacher, my intention is to help people gently increase their awareness of and connection with their own bodies. I encourage a non-judgmental, non-competitive yoga practice, helping students reach their capacity, but avoid the physical harm or emotional stress that can come from a "no pain, no gain" mindset. My approach has been informed and inspired by Todd Walton’s Open Body: Creating Your Own Yoga, which emphasizes honoring one’s own body, its wisdom and capabilities.
I enjoy working with people who are new to yoga and especially welcome people who are in bigger bodies or otherwise not your "typical" yoga types. I also teach the women at Bennett College, the first for-credit yoga course at a historically Black college. I've taught in summer camps and after-school programs, and work with private yoga clients as well.
By profession, I am a professor and journalist who covers all aspects of health and wellness, and have a special interest in how yoga can encourage mental and emotional wellness. I've completed a 5-day workshop on "Yoga, Mindfulness and Neuroscience" with M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D. at Satchidananda Ashram. I've also workshopped with Amy Weintraub, author of Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga, and Bo Forbes, author of Yoga for Emotional Balance. As part of my yoga teacher certification, I wrote a paper titled “The Blues, The Worries and the Wiggles: Yoga For Children’s Mental Health.”