We recently connected with Jomally Fernandez and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Jomally thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Can you share an anecdote or story from your schooling/training that you feel illustrates what the overall experience was like?
I’ve completed several Yoga Training and workshops so there is a lot to pick from! During my 200 YTT one anecdote that still resonates with me is that it was a Sunday and we always began training with a practice to feel the yoga in our bodies before diving into class theory. After that class I felt really sick to my stomach, not in a bug kinda way, but in something’s wrong kinda way. My teacher asked me to sit through the discomfort, which I did for a while, until I realized I knew my body better than she did and I needed to get myself to the hospital. It was the first time I was shamed for seeking medical treatment in a yoga setting and it affected me so much that it influenced the way I teach to this day.
My invitation is always to listen to your body because you know your body better than I ever will and to follow you gut instinct always. It taught me as a teacher to be more compassionate and to listen, not only to words, but also to body language. The teaching of yoga is about best serving the person on the mat, not yourself.
I’m currently undergoing my 300 YTT and the experience 8 years later has been incredibly different. I’m grateful for all.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I got into yoga initially because I got diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis and my ability to move and care for myself became difficult due to joint pain. Yoga allowed me to rediscover my body and it’s ability to move in a way I had never experienced. I hadn’t realized that my struggle wasn’t only physical, but also emotional. I had a lot of sadness and anger surrounding my diagnosis. Yoga allowed me to sit with my emotions, to process them, while nurturing my body back into healthy movement. I became strong, mentally, emotionally and physically so I wanted to share with others this practice that had so deeply affected me and continues to challenge me to grow everyday .
I love working one-on-one with clients and target to their specific needs, especially individuals identifying as females and parents. While my health struggles got me closer to my inner warrior, it was motherhood which allowed me to tap into my divine goddess energy. So my goal is to create a brave space where one can tap deeply into the self, recognize it, honor the good and bad, and move forward in life with a clearer perspective of who you are and what you’re capable of accomplishing on and off the mat.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
There are so many things to unlearn! Eternally if you are someone who wishes to learn continuously. I’ve had to learn about humbleness and being willing to ask for help. I think many of us out there struggle with keeping control of your business in whatever capacity that is. My first retreat I did EVERYTHING. Marketing, booking, gifts, food, childcare for heaven’s sake! Learning to collaborate, not only releases you from all the load, but it allows to either teach or learn something (usually both) from those you’re collaborating with and that is where the magic happens!
Pretending that you got it all figured out and you can do all on your own only feeds your ego and leaves you drained of energy. Learning to lean and support others who compliment your business not only gains you more knowledge, it serves your clientele best and that’s what it’s all about.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
I like to say that in another life I was in Real Estate because it feels like that was a different person living another life, and it was. When I started in that business I was only 23 years old, recently moved to San Diego from Puerto Rico, determined to make something out of myself. As the years passed my salary increase and in less than 5 years I had doubled it. Truth is I never liked the business. I tried so many different roles, but I never came close to enjoying what I was doing.
Divine intervention is what I like to call my change of career. The burst of the real estate ‘bubble’ coincided with my lupus nephritis diagnosis. I don’t know that I would’ve ever had the courage to leave the industry on my own, but my health had deteriorated to a point where I had no choice but to take a leave of absence. That time gave me the clarity to understand that stress was taking a toll on my body and doing me zero favors so I left the big company and went smaller, then smaller until one day it was obvious it was the end of my story, ‘It’s not you, it’s me”, I said to my career and kissed it good bye.
A dear friend and fellow yogi suggested a Yoga Teacher Training during that time off and the rest is history.
- Website: www.jomallyfernandez.com
- Instagram: @soulwarrioryogi
- Facebook: @Soul Warrior Yoga
Photos by Dayley Photography