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Meet Jenny Arrington

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Arrington.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I knew I had to be a yoga teacher and became one without considering what that meant. It didn’t matter. I was drawn to go through training as if I had no say in the matter. About ten years ago, a few years into practicing yoga, I realized I was always filing away teacher’s cues; what worked, what made sense, what didn’t make sense, and thought about how I would explain concepts and postures. I was training to be a teacher before I consciously knew I’d become one. I now believe that when we start doing something, taking steps towards a certain outcome, without any furrowed brow or internal debate, it’s clear that we are on our path. This is the case with me and teaching. I started out teaching Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, and Aerial Yoga, then became a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher as well. I now teach at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Urban Yoga Chicago, and North Shore Yoga.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Identity, family, and uncertainty have all provided challenges but I believe that obstacles aren’t in our way, they are the way. We find ourselves while we travel over and through all the challenges. If we escape into food, screens, shopping, and alcohol, we ignore the challenge, and in turn, don’t find our highest selves. Part of being a spiritual teacher is mastering the ability to sit with the challenges and not run away.

A “yoga teacher” brings up a certain vision for most people and it usually has to do with flexibility and down dogs. There are lots of yoga teachers. I had a challenge identifying as a yoga teacher for several years. I didn’t think it was important enough and I always thought I’d do something else, keeping teaching was a side hobby. I developed a product that got me accepted to an accelerator at MIT and made it to the second round of auditions of Shark Tank. For a while I thought that was the important thing I’d do. But the business didn’t float, and I was still teaching yoga. I found Kundalini Yoga, which healed my deepest traumas, and as I began to teach it, I realized that teaching yoga is the important thing I’m here to do. In Kundalini Yoga, we’re trained to be spiritual teachers, focusing on our student’s spirit and wellbeing. It goes beyond how well aligned someone is in trikonasana. When I realized the kind of yoga teacher I am encompasses being a spiritual teacher, it helped me see the value in what I do.

About two years into teaching, I started the divorce process, sold a house, and moved. Parenting through this challenge, while stepping into the unknown, I became comfortable living with uncertainty. I share this life challenge with many readers here and we all know it’s one of the hardest things we may face in life. Having this experience is another challenge that has made me a better teacher.

Jenny Arrington – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in teaching beginners, skeptics, academics, and executives who think they should be doing yoga but don’t fully understand why. Each of my classes has a theme and I make sure my students understand how the teachings can improve their daily life. When I work with a student one on one, I help them figure out what their biggest obstacle is and what’s blocking them from living in line with their highest self. In executive speak, we figure out what will give them a competitive advantage. I use asana, Kundalini Kriyas, and choose from hundreds of meditations, tailoring practices that directly affect the student’s challenges.

Amongst the Kundalini Yoga community, I’m known for my expertise in teaching alignment, posture, anatomy, and sound healing. I’m co-authoring a Posture Manual with Gurudass that will be published this Fall. My Northwestern students know me for making esoteric concepts relevant and understandable. I’m proud that in every class, I always offer little, easy tools for students to take with them and use in their regular life.

I also co-founded a monthly yoga-beer fundraiser at Temperance Beer Co. called Temperance Trikonasana www.temperance.com/yoga where I teach an hour and 15 min class, then we taste a beer, and meet a representative from the recipient charity. 100% of the proceeds go to a different Evanston non-profit I choose each month. We’ve been doing it for three years and last year Chicago Magazine chose us for their “Best Of” issue.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I’m excited about working with more students one on one in my more intensive program. When someone is really fed up with a habit, a pattern of thinking, anger, self-loathing, weight, insecurity, and they’re ready to be done with it, that’s when they are ready to work with me. Real change happens when we meet our pain threshold and we’re ready to make a commitment. I provide a lot of in-person teaching, phone calls, personalized video, poking, provoking, and elevating so that my students see a different version of themselves at the end of the 16 week session.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Chad Leverenz
Michelle Kaffko

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