How California based Yoga Instructor Nina Jarnum Is Growing Her Empire . By Eleanor Klein.
As a pioneer in the wellness industry, Nina Jarnum, a 42-year old Danish woman has become one of California’s most exciting up-and-coming Yoga instructors, offering Yoga classes, workshops, and online training to her growing following of Yogi’s. Nina’s knowledgeable teaching mixed with her strong authentic personality and sense of humor, delivered with her slight accent seems to captivate yogis not just in California, but around the world.
Her story begins from injury: she started practicing Yoga to counteract the impact years of competitive horse riding had on her body. After realizing her burning passion for yoga and the ability to teach the practice to others, she used the power of passionate determination, hard work, and creativity to share her love of movement with the world, by becoming a qualified instructor.
Now with a long list of clients, an impressive Instagram following, magazine covers, and years of experience as a certified Yoga Instructor, Jarnum’s empire is on the rise.
Thank you for speaking to us today. We would love to hear more about how you got your start. Was there a particular moment when you realized you wanted to do Yoga for a living?
I had a very dedicated yoga practice for many years without considering becoming a teacher and even as I attended my first teacher training, it wasn’t with the specific intention of becoming a teacher, I just wanted to deepen my understanding of yoga. However, it was during this training I slowly realized that I had something to share, a voice and a unique perspective. My love of yoga evolved into a love of sharing yoga and that’s when I knew, I could and should be a teacher.
Many small businesses are suffering during this pandemic. How have you adapted during this time?
I’m lucky in that I already have a solid online presence, both through Instagram but also via online yoga platforms. The transition from normal studio classes to Zoom classes was therefore not that big to me; I’m used to being in front of a camera and understand how online teaching differs from real life. That being said, I do miss seeing people up close, doing hands-on adjustments, and feeling the energy of the room.
What are three lessons you have learned since starting your yoga journey?
I always like to talk about the lessons we learn on the mat and can implement into our life off the mat. For me, the most important lesson is being able to sit with discomfort. Think about it; how many things do you not do in your life because of fear of discomfort? Whether its walking away from a relationship that no longer serves us or starting a new business.. imagine no longer fearing failure, being alone, being humiliated? Truly understanding that discomfort does not kill us, and learn to sit with it… experience it.. is incredibly powerful.
Another important lesson from the mat is observing oneself; taking the time to witness my thoughts, my movements, my heart.. without interacting with the “drama” of my monkey-brain and ego. This sprouts an insight into your own instinctual patterns and reactions, which leads me to the third lesson: Understanding that you are something deeper than your thoughts, your ego, your instincts. It’s not that this is not part of you, but you are also something deeper than that. Once we understand that, we also realize that we have the power to change our patterns and reactions.
What has been the biggest risk you have taken so far in your career?
I walked away from a budding career in law and became a yoga teacher… nothing seems super risky after that haha.
I think deciding to make a living from teaching yoga is in itself very risky. It is one of the hardest industries to earn a decent living in. The yoga industry is saturated with teachers and less than adequate teacher trainings, which in many ways cheapens the profession. Another problem is that it is almost as if money is a dirty word when it comes to yoga.. like we should be ashamed that we earn money teaching the gift of yoga.
But that being said, with choosing to be a yoga teacher, I have followed my heart and despite the chance of failure, following my heart is never truly risky to me …and always worth it…
Is there a particular goal you are currently working towards right now?
Yes! I have a concept for a start-up in mind and its evolving as we speak… I wish I could share more, but I can’t. I also have a book that needs to be written at some point.
My more down to earth goals are simply expanding my knowledge. Ever since becoming a teacher, I have dedicated myself to training an average of a minimum of 100 hrs per year; expanding not only my understanding of yoga but also movement in general and mobility. This year Im doing a Functional Range Conditioning training, which is all about mobility. I think it is so important as a teacher of movement to not get locked into a box of your specific practice, but learn from other movement practices, be it dance, gymnastics, Tai Chi; it will give your a more whole understanding and approach as a teacher.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Older, a little wiser, and hopefully living 50/50 between US and Europe. I want to expand my community, increase my reach, and hopefully do my part in raising the training and education levels of yoga teachers in general.
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