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Why You Should Name your Mat + 11 Other Takeaways from my Recent Trip to Texas

By Jessica Kenny



I was recently in Fort Worth, Texas. Not just because I love rodeos and accents. I was participating in Baptiste’s Art of Assisting, a 3-day intensive for anybody to learn how to be a kickass yoga assistant. I’ve wanted to do this training for a while. Assisting has always been the part of Baptiste Yoga that I have loved the most. For whatever reason, it was happening now.


No joke: I could write a three-act play about the weekend. An Off-Broadway play, but still. There were so many big lessons for me: meeting and connecting with strangers, getting sick at the worst time yet being okay with it, letting people see me without hair product and make-up, laughing pee-my-lululemon hard with people I barely know, instant forgiveness, and the worst Thai massage of all time.


Instead, I want to share my biggest ah-ha moments in an ever-so-easy-to-read list format. I hope one, if not all, of them lands with you and you find comfort in that you are exactly on the right track, as I did.




1. Self-loathing is the greatest barrier to joy.


2. Any class (or, situation) is always recoverable.


3. With more learning (a subject, or from an experience) comes a higher level of confusion. A not-understanding. But not understanding everything is much more powerful than knowing everything.


4. If you’re sick, be sick. Instead of battling it mentally, take care of yourself. Your body recovers 10x faster.


5. Some of the best yoga assists I received this weekend came from 60-year-old women. Don’t judge a person by their body or their age.


6. Name your mat. It will add lightness to your practice. (For example, next time I practice, I’ll introduce you to my mat, Mat Damon).


7. When you say “yes” all the time, your “yes” means loses meaning. Make your “yes’s” powerful.


8. Remember that yoga is the easy part of your life.


9. When you fall off track or out of a pose, when you skip yoga, or when you make a mistake, choose to drop it by saying, out loud, “Flush it.” Picture that thing disappearing, leaving you with a clean slate. It instantly works every time.


10. If you want something, ask for it. Put it out there, to everybody. But be careful what you ask for because it probably will happen.


11. When your friends take a quantum leap forward, instead of saying “Why not me?”, champion them. They’ll do it for you when your time comes.


12. When it seems like you’re taking several steps back (an injury, a financial crisis, a break-up, etc.), find in comfort in knowing that that is the slingshot being pulled back before you catapult forward into something even greater.


For everyone that I spend time with in Texas, it was a pleasure and I can’t wait until our paths cross again. For those of you that are reading this article, it is my pleasure to share with you!


About Jessica

I teach Power Vinyasa yoga classes based off the Baptiste Power Yoga Method. A very physical practice, Baptiste Power Yoga roots us into the present and opens us up to what is possible. I teach a challenging but fun physical class to build strength, confidence, and break down over-seriousness and self-imposed barriers so that we can realize our potential. The physical practice is just an outer expression of our inner badassery (it’s a word). I completed my first 200-hour training in April 2010 at MBody Yoga–a Baptiste-affiliate studio–under Senior Certified Baptiste Teacher Mark White. I teach regularly at Charleston Power Yoga, another Baptiste-affiliate, with Certified Baptiste Teacher Beth Thomas. I have trained with Baron Baptiste, completing both Levels 1 & 2 in 2012, and am in the process of becoming a Certified Baptiste Teacher. Let’s play! For more on Jessica, visit her hitPLAYyoga Teacher Details Page.