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Meet Jennifer Martin of Yoga Brain

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Martin.

Hi Jennifer, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Yoga Brain sprung after studios closed down in 2020. I wanted to continue teaching a live class in a safe way and offered free classes every Saturday in the park. As the community grew over the summer, the idea of a festival was formed: An outdoor event that would include diverse classes and workshops, local vendors, and performers. By the end of September 2020, we gathered over 200 people on a Saturday, to stretch both bodies and minds throughout the 40-acre venue.

This initial event was epic, and only the beginning of a much greater cause. Since the festival, Yoga Brain has hosted donation-based classes which raise money for teacher training scholarships. We’ve started a podcast that interviews local teachers about their yoga journey. We curated a workshop around the chakras as a session on self-discovery. We’ve come a long way from classes in the park yet still love to host classes in the park!

There’s no knowing what will happen next but one thing’s for sure: we aim to make yoga inviting and accessible for all people.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When it comes to creating a brand from scratch, communication plays the most vital role for Yoga Brain. From a free class in the park to a festival, I communicate with every teacher, volunteer, sound engineer, vendor and venue on a consistent basis. It’s inevitable for people’s plans to change and it’s likely something technical will go wrong, opening opportunities for improvising and of course, taking deep breaths while under pressure. Most importantly, good communication in marketing helps to build brand trust and promote upcoming events.

Besides the mishaps of coordinating events, growing Yoga Brain has been a challenge of learning from my mistakes, learning from my ignorance, and seeing how sacred and unique yoga is to each individual. My challenge as the director is to make Yoga Brain’s events and content as inclusive and accessible as possible – offering yoga for everyone. I myself have so much to learn and I’m always welcoming new resources, insights and feedback.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Yoga Brain is an events-based organization that raises money for teacher training scholarships. We throw free classes, interactive workshops and interview local teachers on our podcast.

We want to change the common misconception that yoga is about “being flexible” and teach the union of the self. We’re not here to flip you into a headstand, rather, we teach yoga disciplines that may help you clear your head for peace of mind. Our mission is to normalize meditation and our initiatives include fun, inviting events to make that happen.

When it comes to creating a brand from scratch, I’d like to add that communication plays the most vital role for Yoga Brain. From a free class in the park to a festival, I communicate with every teacher, volunteer, sound engineer, vendor and venue on a consistent basis. It’s inevitable for people’s plans to change and it’s likely something technical will go wrong, opening opportunities for improvising and of course, practicing breath work while under pressure. Most importantly, good communication in marketing helps to build brand trust and promote upcoming events.
Besides the mishaps of coordinating events, growing Yoga Brain has been a challenge of learning from my mistakes, learning from my ignorance, and seeing how sacred and unique yoga is to each individual. My challenge as the director is to make Yoga Brain’s events and content as inclusive and accessible as possible – offering yoga for everyone. I myself have so much to learn and I’m always welcoming new resources, insights and feedback.

Our next big event is Donation December – our annual fundraiser for the YTT scholarship. Every Thursday of the month, we’ll have a different teacher lead a class at 5:30 am and 7 pm at Phare in Midtown. (3216 Gillham PLZ). For more details, check out our website at www.yogabrainkc.org.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Not everyone will understand you or your mission. Not everyone will say yes to the work you feel so strongly called to do. But if you’re being drawn to something, don’t let anyone’s opinions stop you from achieving your goals. There will always be criticism – listen to it without judgment and utilize it as a tool on how you can improve.

No matter what, focus on your community and be grateful for all those who show up. Never underestimate the impact you have on your followers, no matter how small that number may seem at first. You’re making a difference to those people and in time, the service you offer will grow.

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Image Credits
TRP Productions

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