Samantha Jones went to a yoga class with her mom when she was 12 years old and just never quit. Mostly self-trained from books and videos, she started teaching out of her house at 22. She lived with the monks and swamis in the Sivananda Ashram for a month for their certification program and started her first class in a formal studio in 1998. She went on to practice Ashtanga, weekend workshops with Doug Swenson, and recently completed a Strala teacher intensive.
She is also a graduate of the Florida School of Massage- ‘The knowledge I gained from learning anatomy and kinesiology in that extremely in-depth way really bolstered and enriched my teaching.’
‘I draw influences from all of the styles that I love. I like to work hard in yoga but I also like levity; it’s a balance! There is this interplay between movement and stillness- both will build strength and flexibility. My classes focus very closely on linking movement with breath. This lends a meditative quality to the practice even as you move through a sequence. My ultimate goal as a teacher is to honor that deep sense of connecting to what’s within us while making yoga accessible to as many people as possible.’
Her classes start with foundational movements, each one tailored to warming up the body for a deeper pose to come. Every asana is complimented with a counterpose so that the entire muscular system is both strengthened and stretched.
‘I teach yoga because I care about people. I’ve had students come to me and tell me that yoga has increased their bone mass, that yoga has enabled them to move in ways that they had just given up on because they’d been injured or hadn’t taken care of themselves. Two people who had been coming separately to my class for years fell in love with each other and had me registered an ordained minister so I could conduct their wedding ceremony! 'There’s just too much magic to resist it. Teaching satisfies my need to connect with people.’
‘I love yoga; to me it’s the key that unlocks all doors. I love weightlifting. I love cross training. I love to surf, I love Kung Fu. I love to dance! In every physical practice or discipline I’ve explored, I’ve benefited from the awareness gained in yoga. Yoga is about honoring your limitations and strengths, discovering your quiet place within, and expanding in physical and psychological ways.’