Credentials: Registered Nurse in the state of Tennessee; Yoga Enthusiast
Career: Registered Nurse
Instagram Handle: @bjervis4
Why are you on the board for cOMmunity collective? It took me 33 years to find a fitness modality that I actually liked. Yoga challenges me and gives back to my life in a way that no other form of fitness has. I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life, and yoga has a way of quieting my brain and providing an inner peace. I’ve grown so much in my two years of practicing yoga, and it’s made me a better mother, wife, friend, and nurse.
While these benefits are known to me, I also realize I live in a rural, low-income area of Tennessee where regular exercise and proper diet are rarely incorporated into lifestyles. Yoga is not something that’s wildly available or pursued in east Tennessee, despite the benefits it would provide to our population. I love that cOMmunity collective supports our community and offers at-risk populations the chance to be introduced to yoga. I particularly love the work that we do in our local school systems by providing free yoga classes to our youth. These kids may be worried about their next hot meal, a home life riddled with drug abuse, or being separated from their siblings in the foster system. This is the reality of where we live. However, I’d like to think that cOMmunity collective may offer an introduction to yoga, where for maybe one hour they can forget about their problems and focus inward. Ideally, it will also give them tools to be able to carry the benefits of yoga into their lives.
Favorite yoga pose and why: Half moon, hands down. During a traditional power class at VIDA, you spend the first 30 minutes “warming up” and building heat. The latter part of the class is dedicated to balance and stretching poses. There’s something about being so fatigued and hot, and then turning your body and opening your shoulders and heart up in that moment. It’s empowering. It’s also a great mild inversion, since your heart is higher than your head. My favorite way to practice this pose is to incorporate a bind with a bent knee to really open your hip flexors. Also, adding a block invites your full potential to truly lengthen the spine and open up your heart to achieve that chest opening benefit.
Least favorite yoga pose and why: Camel. While I love backbends, this one always leaves me feeling dizzy. Most of the time, the longer I hold a pose, the more opportunity I have to settle in and make it work for me. However, the longer I hold camel the more uncomfortable and stiff I feel. As we all know in yoga, this shows where I need work. So we often have to incorporate these poses that make us slightly uncomfortable to grow in our practice. It still doesn’t help me get psyched up to do camel in class, though, and I find myself making audible sighs when cued.