Yoga Heights: Where did you grow up?
Jess Pierno: Viroqua, Wisconsin — on an 80 acre tree farm!
YH: What classes do you teach at YH?
JP: Back to Basics on Sundays at 9:15 and All Levels Flow on Mondays at 10:15. Plus I co-lead our 200hour Yoga Teacher Training program with Angela Meyer.
YH: What do you do outside of teaching at YH?
JP: I spend my working hours running Yoga Heights — building partnerships, making sure the studio is beautiful, and hiring our amazing teaching and management team. Lately I’ve been scheming for a big exciting expansion — which I can’t wait to tell you more about soon. When not working, I am on adventures with my daughter, husband, dog and cat.
YH: What made you decide to become a teacher?
JP: I took yoga teacher training because I wanted to deepen my practice and I needed that structure. I thought it would just be a hobby, but yoga has now taken over my life, in the best way possible.
YH: How long have you been with the YH team?
JP: Yoga Heights started in 2013 as my crazy idea to get out of my terrible office job, and it is now a flourishing yoga studio and vibrant community of yogis!
YH: What teacher(s) has/have most inspired your style and approach?
JP: Initially it was Angela Meyer, because she taught the teacher training that started my teaching career. My teaching now reflects additional training from Mindful Yoga Therapy, Charm City Yoga, Lil Om prenatal and baby yoga, and the countless students who teach me something new every time I lead a class.
YH: What is your favorite pose to teach and/or do?
JP: I love “Ardha Uttanasana” or standing half forward bend. It is often just passed by as a transition in Sun Salutations, but it is really great for lengthening the muscles in the legs and back, extending the heart forward, and drawing the shoulders away from the ears. In my classes we often flow between forward fold and “halfway lift” feeling the breath lift the body, and the sweet release on the exhale.