Interview with Jane Patricia, Yoga teacher at Udara

by Martina Reinbold

Jane Patricia, born in Surabaya, is part of the Udara yoga teacher team since the beginning. Her approach to teach yoga derives from her belief that yoga is accessible to everyone. Guests of Udara highly appreciate her kindness and support during yoga classes. With her big smile and enthusiasm, she makes it very easy for students to feel welcome and safe, especially when they try Aerial yoga for the first time. We sat down to talk about Jane’s personal yoga journey, why she loves teaching at Udara and how her own yoga practices have helped her through challenging times.

Do you remember your first Yoga class? When and where was it?

Yes, I remember it clearly! It was when I was in high school. At that time, I was very stressed about homework, exams and there was some teenage drama. So my mother was the one who suggested me to try yoga. We went to a yoga studio together and since then my yoga journey started. At that time, the yoga style we did was only focusing on the physical side, so I felt the benefits mainly for my body. I was still getting easily angry, I had a lot of fights with my sister and mother, but a lot has changed since then. Over the years, after I was diving deeper into yoga, it has definitely helped me a lot with my emotional life.

How and when did you decide to become a yoga teacher?

Since high school I practiced yoga, but it was on and off. Only when I moved to Bali in 2012 I started joining regular yoga classes at a studio. My teacher at that time showed me different sides of yoga that I did not know before. It was more than just the physical poses, the asanas, but he also taught me meditation and talked about yoga philosophy. He was the one who encouraged me to explore more about yoga, so I decided to find a school and went to India to study yoga in 2016. My first training in Goa was focused on Ashtanga Vinyasa. Since then I am teaching, because I like to share the benefits of yoga with other people.

How did you come to Aerial Yoga?

I became very interested in Aerial yoga, when I saw people doing it and going upside down. It can be quite scary when you first see it! I thought it was very unique using the swing for yoga poses. My Aerial yoga training was in Thailand in 2017. I found out that the Aerial yoga practice is very useful. It helps you to reach different poses, especially the inversions. You do not have to have the core and arm strength that you would need for regular inversions on the ground in order to get the benefits of going upside down. I highly recommend Aerial yoga!

What are the benefits of Aerial yoga, especially the upside down poses?

There are a lot of benefits! Many people work in front of the computer right now and sit a lot. Aerial yoga helps to decompress the spine and increase the blood flow. And it is a lot of fun! Doing Aerial yoga at Udara is very unique, you cannot get this view from the third floor to the ocean and sunset anywhere else.

What would you like your students to know about Yoga?

The main misunderstanding that I heard from many people is that Yoga is always about flexibility. Therefore, a lot of them are afraid to try it because they feel they are not flexible enough. In fact, they should think the other way around. Yoga will help you to gain that flexibility, but there is more to it. There is not only the physical practice, but there is also meditation if you want to get stillness. One of many benefits is, that it can help you to reduce stress. I encourage people to try yoga and not to be afraid of it.

Also, there are so many different styles and teachers of Yoga. If you don’t like a certain type of yoga, keep experimenting. Teachers have different ways, but everyone wants their students to grow. If one does not suit you, feel free to explore and take your time. You might actually fall in love with Yoga!

I always encourage everyone to come to Udara and experience different yoga classes, because I know that all teachers here are very qualified and Udara offers so many different yoga styles you can explore.

What do you like about teaching at Udara?

I honestly like everything here at Udara. This is really saying from the bottom of my heart! The vibe, the people, the space, the view – just everything! If you come to Udara you will see everyone smiling at you, and it is a genuine smile, they really care. All teachers here are passionate about sharing their experience and helping other people to grow. I am very happy to be part of the Udara family and forever grateful for it.  

How does your own practice look like?

I try to meditate first thing in the morning. I have been doing that for the last few years to wake up earlier, to have free time for meditation and just be with myself. Besides teaching, I also practice asanas at home. The focus of my personal practice changes over time. It really depends on how my body feels. Sometimes I feel more like doing yin yoga, a practice with long, deep stretches instead of a powerful flow.

Has your practice and lifestyle changed in the last months? How has the current situation affected you?

Before I was teaching more classes, so I had less time for my personal practice. Now I have more time for my own practice! Teaching less can be a good and a bad thing, but I always appreciate whatever we have right now, learning to accept certain things, especially in these uncertain times. Most importantly I try to keep myself healthy with yoga and eating good food – less junk food, but I still love eating dessert!

How has meditation helped you in these challenging times?

There are so many types of meditation, but the one that I often do is mindfulness meditation, because I want to build awareness of my body and about how I feel. Taking time to reflect on how I feel helps me to face certain emotions like anger, sadness or fear during this time. I become aware of these emotional states and try to figure out how to overcome them in a good way.

What keeps you inspired to show up?

My greatest inspiration that keeps me going is my personal practice and my learning process, whether it is learning about how I feel in my body and how it changes, but also about how my emotions change.

My students inspired me too. The more I share, the more I learn from my students. I learned as much as they learned from me. I love connecting with new people and seeing them grown and transform with yoga.

My teachers in Bali and India always encouraged me to keep going, no matter how fast or slow my progress is. And all the teachers here at Udara keep my inspired, seeing their passion of helping each other grow. It makes me genuinely happy.

Please feel free to connect with Jane Patricia on Instagram @jpdoesyoga and have a look at her personal website: www.jpdoesyoga.com