Jessica Jennings, MS, ERYT, RYPT
Founder, Ma Yoga® for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond
As a prenatal teacher since 2001, a lifestyle educator, transformational group facilitator and teacher trainer, Jessica believes passionately that the way we step into our power and wisdom is by learning how to nurture ourselves.
For her Masters in Exercise science, Jessica developed and ran a group visit and prenatal yoga program at Kaiser Permanente. After working with OBs, midwives, Lactations consultants and lots of moms-to-be for six years, she saw how well yoga works with modern medicine. She left to combine both western science and eastern philosophy in her school of yoga, Ma Yoga® for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond.
Jessica is passionate about helping anyone learn the keys to co-creation to support the birth of whatever’s gestating within: a baby, a project, or a new way of being in the world.
Jessica teaches Align & Flow for All and Kids yoga live online (free for members), I WILL (Ideal Weight/Ideal Lifestyle Lab), self-paced meditation and back pain relief programs, and teacher trainings.
To connect with Jessica, just reach out at Jess@MaYogaLiving.com.
Hi I’m Jessica!
A friend dragged me to yoga in 1998 because my chronic neck pain had gotten so bad, I couldn’t turn my head. Up until that point, I’d always been bored by yoga. When yoga healed my neck within a month, and made me feel taller and more optimistic about life, I became a little obsessed: I wanted to know why yoga works so well to relieve suffering, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I wondered what it was about doing these poses with conscious breathing that makes us feel so good.
I was particularly interested in why yoga makes physical aches and pains go away, since my dad had chronic back pain his whole life and I felt so powerless when it “went out.”.
I thought maybe seeing what was inside the body would help, so I signed up for a 2-year certification program as a Health & Fitness Instructor at UCLA because we got to study cadavers with med students. While this led me to my first yoga teaching job at Cal State LA, and to my Masters in Exercise Science, it did not teach me the “why” I was looking for.
It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Ansuara yoga that I finally got my answers. My teachers taught me that we all share the same “optimal blueprint”, and when we move toward it – by moving toward our natural curves of our spine, or engaging our muscles to create steadiness – we feel better. When we move away from it, we create suffering. It was called alignment, and while my grad school professors scoffed at the idea, I saw how alignment worked consistently to relieve pain and help people heal over time.
After my first teacher training I was asked to teach Prenatal Yoga. I loved it! I found that pregnant women are open and listening in a way that most students aren’t. Maybe it’s because when we’re pregnant, we have all new motivation to listen inward and take care of ourselves. We want to do what’s best for baby! We are often able to make changes we’ve been meaning to for years, because we know baby’s going to be learning by watching how we move, breathe, and live. And the challenges of pregnancy can be so great that it’s worth it.
In 2004 I teamed up with the Ob/Gyn staff at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center and developed a group prenatal medical visit program called Pregnancy in Balance: Group Visits, Community & Yoga. For six years, I led group discussions side by side with doctors and nurses at Los Angeles Medical Center, and after the check-ups, we all got to do Prenatal Yoga. I learned that with the right kind of support, guidance, and inspiration, people become the “Ma” they want to be.
In 2010, I found myself longing to create a community with other like-hearted teachers who felt drawn to help pregnant women find both support and alignment-based yoga.
I re-connected with several graduates of my trainings, and Ma Yoga was born!
My vision was to help create a “MAma Circle” in every neighborhood in the world, partnering with pregnancy and mom businesses nearby to offer Prenatal Yoga and New Mom Yoga. With more than 10 locations in Southern California and our online resources for creating a home practice, we continue to uplift more and more women on the journey to motherhood and beyond.