Bloom in Your Yoga Practice with Jackie Kowlalik
I’m always on the lookout for a great yoga opportunity to share with you! Recently finding myself in the unique position of a solo Saturday morning I did a quick search the night before of possible yoga classes I could check out. Cruising around online can be a hit or miss option looking for something last minute, but I stumbled on an opportunity to visit a place I’d heard of, but had never been in Southern California at the right time of year to see; The Flower Fields in Carlsbad.
I had heard about the fifty-acre dazzling rainbow of beautiful flowers set on a hillside overlooking beautiful Carlsbad, CA which is just north of where I live right off of Hwy 5. What I never had heard of, though, was a yoga class there! I was lucky to hunt down the teacher, Jackie Kowlalik, and score a last minute ticket.
The class I attended was sold out – no surprise – and I’m excited to share that the energy and community of the class was blooming with beautiful souls and beautiful views. I loved Jackie’s spirit, and leadership, and applaud her vision to make this event happen. I had a blast and left with flowers for my patio.
I’m excited to introduce to you Jackie. Following is our brief Q&A:
SS: How did you come to yoga?
JK: I have a background in endurance sports and had always wanted to try yoga but never found the right fit for a studio or time to make it consistent. When I moved to San Diego I found myself in such a wonderful yoga community with a lot of options to try it out. I gravitated to the outdoor class options all over the city and eventually decided to complete a teacher training. After that training I switched from swim coaching to yoga teaching and never really looked back.
SS: Do you use yoga to navigate through challenges? If so, explain how.
JK: I definitely do. I struggle a lot with anxiety and depression in my life. During my teacher training I almost quit because my anxiety was giving me so many issues. When I feel like I'm struggling I find a class that is a balance of breath work and movement. Combining the two reminds me that even though something might feel difficult or unmanageable, all I have to do is center myself and breathe. For me, yoga is such a metaphor for how to manage struggles in life. Connect with my mind, breath and body and everything starts to make sense. It's also really helped me to face fears. I used to let fear win a lot but when I calm my mind I'm able to face the fear and work with it rather than run from it. Three years ago I don’t think I could have said that.
SS: What has yoga taught you about yourself?
JK: The number one thing that yoga has taught me is how to open up to community. Asking for help and supporting others becomes so much easier when you open up and let community into your life. I remember when I moved san diego 6 years ago I felt so alone. It was like I had forgotten how to make friends. What was really happening was that I was unconsciously closing myself off from people. Once I started practicing yoga off the mat, the spirit of community shifted everything. It's something i won't ever forget and I try to remind myself when I'm feeling self conscious or unsure, that there is a community of people waiting to support me and lift me up. I try to be that same support for other students and teachers around me too. Sharing the love and lifting others up when they need community to support them.
SS: What has yoga taught you about life?
JK: Not to be so serious. Maybe it's not the most zen or yoga philosophy based answer but it's the truth. I can't tell you how many times I've messed up or made a mistake and now I'm able to just laugh about it and try again. The best way I can describe it is that life is like a balancing sequence. Some days you can flow right through it with no issue and feel super strong. Other days you fall over in warrior 3 and knock over a book shelf in your living room. What's important is that you don't let ego get to full when you succeed and don't let negative self talk get too loud when you fall. Life is about finding the balance between the two.
Jackie is teaching at the famous Carlsbad Flower Fields: a one-hour outdoor yoga flow overlooking the blooming Tecolote® Giant Ranunculus fields on April 13th. This will be a day of community and beauty surrounded by one of San Diego's most iconic landmarks.
Information about The Flower Fields:
For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world. The nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® in Carlsbad, California, are in bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year – from early March through early May – literally bringing the famous fields back to life. This annual burst of color, which has become part of the area’s local heritage, also is one of nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in Southern California.
Arrival: 8:00am doors will open, class will begin at 8:15am
Parking: There is parking on site, but it does occasionally fill up. Please arrive early to secure a spot. Carpooling and ride share is suggested for all.
Food & Beverage: There will be lite snacks available on site after 9am, this is not included with the ticket. No alcohol or tabacco products are permitted on site.
Pets: This is a pet free event. Please leave the fur babies at home
Not to leave you wishing you could have been at the Flower Flow in the flower fields I met Jackie at: She’s doing another Flower Flow event in April. Not only do I highly recommend seeing the flower fields (from early March – early May) but I thrilled to tell you there is another upcoming yoga class there.