Erica Jago ist Yogalehrerin und Designerin aus Oahu, Hawaii. Sie ist die Co-Autorin und Designerin des Buches „Die Kunst der Aufmerksamkeit“, das sie zusammen mit der amerikanischen Yogalehrerin Elena Brower geschrieben hat. Erica ist ein wunderbarer Mensch, offen und ehrlich. Sie gibt überall auf der Welt Yoga-Retreats und schreibt grad an ihrem zweiten Buch. In diesem Interview spricht sie über ihre Träume und ihren jahrelangen Kampf mit dem Essen.
1. Tell us what first turned you on to yoga.
My first hatha teacher, Amanda Dates, used such beautiful analogies in class. She began by having us envision our yoga mats as a boat. Every inhale you were floating on top of the water, every exhale pushed you further and further away from shore. She would invite us to feel the vastness of the ocean below, the possibility of the sky above, and it was those experiences that transcended my reality during that time of life. I’ll never forget the day Amanda came to me, after 5 years of practicing with her. Class was about to start and I was siting on the bench taking my shoes off when she kneeled down next to me and asked me if I ever considered becoming a teacher. That moment still brings up such strong emotions for me because it was my first conscious experience of a pure heart awakening.
2. Tell us about your focus in your practice. Every yogi has their own take on things. What’s yours?
I live to create mystical, human experiences which is why Art of Attention, the book I designed and co-authored with Elena Brower, uses atmospheric photography and blank pages to flex your perspective. This same aesthetic mirrors my teachings. Ambient music, candles, crystals and stones to encourage us to think about whats going on within and around us and how we can design those exchanges using our awareness. The practice of design and yoga is just that, ways in which people get to know themselves better through beauty and contemplating what is seen (unseen).
3. What is your favorite post-yoga treat?
Brown rice or quinoa layered with steamed veggies like acorn squash, brussels sprouts, kale, seaweed, broccoli and topped with seeds, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. YUM
4. Who has been your most influential teacher?
Elena Brower for her heart focused poetics. Lauren Zander with the Handel Group for chasing down the lies. Oriah Mountain Dreamer for weaving spirituality, creativity and sexuality into one. Julia Cameron for channeling the divine through art.
5. What is your weirdest beauty habit?
This isn’t that weird but I use pineapple or green papaya twice a week as a mask. The enzymes help to exfoliate my skin and leave it very soft and smooth. Papaya grows in abundance here on the island and its best to get it when its still very young and green.
6. Your obsession of the moment?
Working with crystals and stones. I always heard that they will talk to you if you listen but it wasn’t until I experienced this first hand that I truly believed it. There are no arbitrary „rules“ to finding what Stones & Crystals want to work with you. I was advised to just listen to what appeals to me and then ask them how we can work together. Open your heart to them and you will have amazing conversations, through your willingness, I promise!
7. Beautifying Snack/Meal?
I’m obsessed with kefir these days and will make my own batches at home with coconut water in recycled glass jars. I love the carbonation that takes place during the fermentation and adding lemon or fruit juice to the drink is so refreshing on a warm hawaiian day.
8. What is the most incredible manifestation you have seen in someone as a result of your classes?
Talk about human experiences! Designing a five to seven day retreat where practitioners have a chance to see what emerges when they aren’t occupied by habitual routine. My all-star co-creator is Brett Larkin. Her and I found each other in San Francisco and she attended my very first yoga retreat in Yosemite, California. The retreat incorporated writing, art stations, sharing, listening and kundalini yoga. During the exercises, Brett was fearless in her communication and willingness to open up and use that space for deep exploration into her psyche. Myself and the attendees helped her clarify her dreams by reflecting back what we perceived as blindspots, voices of doubt and unrealistic fears. But it was Brett, alone, that did the work to make those dreams come true. Her company ReferBright – is helping health practitioners stand out online and get more clients. I feel privileged to have sat beside this incredible woman as she faced some of her biggest fears with elegance and grace.
9. What is the biggest lession yoga has taught you?
As a new teacher, I was constantly looking for approval from my peers and students before, during and after class; analyzing, judging and questioning my ability and effectiveness. But that has all dramatically changed since I started taking responsibility for my life. Now I enter the studio as if it was my home and instantly tap into that feeling of peace within the space right below my throat and above my heart. That feeling cannot be manufactured and it has nothing to do with whether I am a good or bad teacher. It is me recognizing the abundance of love, trust and care surrounding me. I connect, align and radiate out peace; not insecurities. The souls that showed up that day, benefit from that accelerated auric field and this collaboration is what the collective came to class to do.
Tell us 6 things on your Bucket List, personal or professional?
Author my second book, A n g e l u s, by January 2015.
Write love letters to all four of my parents.
Build a home that is close to water with room to garden, build fires, ceiling to floor windows, white hardwood floors, a bathtub, and empty rooms for practicing and playing.
Speak at the AIGA Gain Conference in NYC – I’m a dork but this conference has influenced me time and time again and it would be such a privilege.
Design a collection of yoga clothes that are street smart and versatile.
Collaborate with a musician, like the caliber of Sting, and design a yoga concert where the sequence is choreographed and every detail is dialed in to create a rich and deep experiential atmosphere.
Iam a huge fan of THE HANDEL GROUP. Have you ever taken private coachings?
Yes! This was one of the many benefits of working with Elena Brower. She connected me to Lauren Zander, CEO of the Handel Group and I’ve been working with Lauren on a daily basis every since. Lauren is rewiring my thinking towards food. I had an eating disorder for 18 years and this disease was killing my dreams of being a spiritual teacher if I didn’t get help. Today I photograph every meal I eat and record in writing, my emotional state before anything enters my mouth. Food is self-love for me and if I’m abusing food then I’m denying myself of love. Keeping such close count of everything I eat may seem a little obsessive to many, like calorie counting, but Lauren is deepening my awareness around how I hide, lie and shy away from my own power just to keep my insecurities in tact. It’s a full time job but it is truly what I have to do in order to serve my students and my family. I was meant to overcome this and to tell my story, so expect much more from me in that arena.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Your body is becoming very, very important to you. Nurture it constantly. I love you, Erica