Meet the owners of Modern Yoga: James & Joyce

 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d do a special spotlight on the two that founded, fostered and made Modern Yoga Studios what it is today. Meet James & Joyce, the wonderful humans that brought our communities a beautiful and safe space for like minded people to come together and better themselves physically, mentally and emotionally through the practice of yoga! Here are their stories of how they found yoga, what inspires them to teach and practice and how Modern Yoga came to be…

Meet James & Joyce

Over 15,000 hours of teaching combined!!!

Joyce…

I’m Joyce, an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher certified by the Yoga Alliance. With over 8000 hours of teaching under my belt, I co-own Modern Yoga alongside my husband, James. My journey with yoga began in 2008 when my curiosity took me to a yoga studio that opened near my home. I had been figure skating competitively for almost three decades and I thought yoga might be a great complement to skating. I was right, but, to my surprise, yoga not only helped my body but also improved my overall physical fitness. What’s more, it sharpened my awareness and focus through consistent practice. My go-to pose? Handstand, a place that makes me stay present.

Yoga found me about 6 months before a very stressful time of my life. It started with a low back injury that ended my skating career, which was a huge part of my identity. Looking back, I don’t think it was a coincidence. I took a serious mental health journey and found myself gifted with the opportunity to really accept that my physical, mental, and emotional self were not ever separate. I got to know my true self on my mat for the first time ever, and every time I step on my mat now it’s like going home. 

In my classes, I stress self discovery. I want students to be ok with where they’re at and give themselves permission to feel whatever comes up. I envision a moving meditation, emphasizing the connection of thought, movement and breath. I offer a variety of classes with modifications suitable for practitioners of all levels. If you can breathe, you can do yoga. Come join me for a class and explore the transformative power of yoga firsthand!



James…

I am James, co-owner and founder of Modern Yoga. I’ve delved into meditation practices for over 20 years, focusing on zen/chan, vipassana, and theravadan approaches. My journey includes certifications in power vinyasa and yin yoga teaching, along with completion of healing yoga training. As an ERYT yoga teacher, I’ve dedicated over 8000 hours to guiding yoga classes.

Martial arts, particularly Brazilian jiu jitsu (blue belt), and elements of qi gong enrich my yoga teaching. My background in movement, honed through martial arts, informs my approach to teaching.

Before I found my way into yoga, life took me on quite a journey. I was a “navy brat” and spent most  of my childhood in east asia.  My mother was Korean and my father is from Idaho, so I am a truly American mix. I went to college, served in the army, and after my service, I had a successful career in business sales management. Joyce and I share an entrepreneurial spirit, and we both yearned to create a business we could truly be passionate about. That’s how the idea for Modern Yoga Studios was born!

Yoga initially entered my life as a means to alleviate lower back issues, but it quickly became integral to my well-being. Not only did it resolve my back pain, but it also significantly enhanced my meditation practice, self discipline and has helped me deal with issues in life, which we all have, and life can be hard, so I need this practice! The best thing yoga has gifted me with is increased compassion, which I cherish.



Join James & Joyce for a Beginner’s Workshop this Saturday!! All Levels Welcome!

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?


James: Initially to enhance my Yoga practice and share insights from my practice with others. It’s a great way to practice compassion.

Joyce: I was at the point in my practice where I felt safe in my vulnerability and I trusted my teachers when they said that teaching was the next step of the journey. The idea of it made me nervous because I felt like even though I knew the poses, I didn’t feel qualified to teach yoga in a way that would make a difference like it did for me.

What is one piece of advice for your students?

James: Breathe deeply.

Joyce: Practice what you’re looking for in life, on your mat.

What inspires you to get on your yoga mat?

James: My practice teaches me how to practice empathy and compassion, both to myself and others.

Joyce: I’m answering this question at an emotional time. We decided that we’re putting one of our dogs down this week. I was trying to figure out why I was so resistant. Her quality of life is not good and I know it. On my mat I allowed myself to truly trust that letting go is ok, that this is and is going to be very difficult, and that it’s ok. This is what it’s like to love and care for an animal so much you’re willing to make the most difficult decision in her honor.

What is your favorite yoga related book/blog/podcast?

James: Growing up I really liked “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. Today I would recommend The “Subtle Art of Not Giving a #@%!

Joyce: I own every self-help book on the planet and they all relate. The Modern Yoga podcast is my favorite. I also like The Huberman Lab and We Can Do Hard Things.

What are you passionate about (Outside of the world of yoga)?

James: My Family and BJJ

Joyce: My family, including our dogs. My Mini Cooper (I’m trying to detach.)



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