Traveling yogi: Jen Tipton brings passion to yoga at Waynesboro YMCA
Have mat, will travel is her mantra, her North Face bag with 24 yoga mats ready to roll out at a moment’s notice never too far away.
Tipton teaches classes at her home Twisted Yoga Studio just outside of Waynesboro and now offers classes at the Waynesboro YMCA.
A yoga teacher for two years, Tipton – whose offerings at the Y include Power Yoga, Mommy and Me Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga – has been practicing yoga since the birth of her first child 16 years ago.
“I have a dance background and a gymnastics background. I started practicing yoga to try to recover my physical, and discovered the transformation where I was able to recover physical and mental healing,” said Tipton, who graduated into teaching because she ‘wanted to be able to share something that has been so important in my life with others.”
“I found this, and was totally unaware of what it would do for me, and as I opened my eyes to what it can do for people, I couldn’t just practice anymore. It was like I was meant to go out and share this little gem that I found,” said Tipton, who also teaches a preschool yoga class at First Baptist Church in Waynesboro.
From preschoolers to seniors, Tipton has one yoga student who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, “and she says that without practicing yoga twice a week, she couldn’t walk, she couldn’t get out of bed.”
“It just provides so much fluidity in your joints. It’s great for arthritis. It’s a great complement to strength building. It’s great for runners. Everybody is looking for this huge physical change, which is certainly there, because you’re working every muscle of your body,” Tipton said.
The benefits to yoga are physical and mental.
“Yoga encourages the development of coping skills,” Tipton said. “You’re taking all of your joints through a full range of motion. You’re developing endurance and increasing your flexibility and muscle strength.
“At the same time, it is helping you improve your mental sense of well-being. Yoga improves your sense of self-love and self-being. It definitely can complement anyone from an athlete to a couch potato. Anybody can do it. It increases calmness, teaches you how to relax.”