I Talked To My Favorite Yoga Teacher About What Classes Will Be Like When Studios Re-Open
Start writing a post

Jennifer Kustanovich is not only the president of the Odyssey at Stony Brook University but is also an illuminating yoga instructor. She's an inspiring proactive leader in the wellness industry. Her expertise in movement expands onto Zumba and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

On the last day of her in-person class, she gave everyone a way of contacting her and made sure to check up on all her clients. She wanted to ensure that they were doing okay and to remind them that she is always there.

"Once we started online classes, it was definitely a challenge to go from teaching a group of smiling students to my laptop screen, so I encouraged clients to turn on their cameras, so we could feel like a community as much as we could. And, of course, I always encouraged clients to unmute themselves if they had questions and ask away at any point of the class." - Jennifer Kustanovich

This is exactly why she is my favorite yoga teacher. Jennifer isn't just here to say "Namaste," she wants to see the essence from all her students and this isn't even her most genuine attribute. As a professional in the Health & Wellness industry, she takes upon her role gracefully. I have known Jennifer for a year now and I can truly say she is deeply committed to everyone's well being.

She is a real yogi.

You bet she's as ambitious as her sun salutations because she is here to talk about the reopening strategies within her zen yoga studio. I wanted to get her whole story, from the beginning of lockdown to the reopening. She has a beautiful story to tell.

Did you receive an email from the recreation center at Stony Brook University amidst the declaration of the pandemic?

I don't think we actually ever received an email from them. Once everyone was forced off of campus, that was that. After spring break, my boss reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in teaching online classes a few times a week and I eagerly agreed. I missed bringing movement to others.

What is the best way to register for your classes?

The Rec center uses the Atleto app where students and staff can register for classes. As soon as the school made the official announcement that we are moving online, all those classes on Atleto were canceled. Once we got the green light to start Zoom classes, students were again able to register through the Atleto app, and from there were sent a Zoom link.

What do you teach?

I teach a variety of classes, but, generally, I teach Zumba, yoga, core focused (Core & More) or HIIT classes, and guided meditation workshops.

Why did you start teaching?

I first received my Zumba license when I was 15 years old. I love to dance and fell in love with Zumba at a very young age. I wanted to bring a mix of fitness and fun to everyone, so I started to establish charity Zumba events where people would come and donate as much as they can for a specific charity. Movement is a huge part of my life and I want to share that with others. I want to bring people together and show them what they are capable of because we are ALL capable of so so so much.

What do you love most about teaching?

I love encouraging clients and seeing their faces light up when they realize, "I can do it and I'm so proud of myself." Lifting up others and recognizing that I'm helping people, make all the hardships worth it.

What is the current state of your studio?

Currently, the Rec Center is offering classes, but only my boss is working. We are all taking a break for the summer as the school figures out what next semester will look like.

What virtual classes are you offering? How can people find those classes?

As of today, I don't have a definitive schedule for group classes but am taking privates. You can find me on Instagram (@jenniasana) and feel free to DM me if you want to schedule something or have any questions about fitness or anything.

What is your biggest takeaway regarding COVID-19?

We will push through, but we have to do it together. We have to stand up for one another and it's our societal duty to keep one another safe.

What long-term effects do you see COVID-19 having on the wellness industry?

It is forever changed — this is one of the first times that people can take someone's class from ANYWHERE in the world. I've found some of my favorite instructors who live miles and miles and miles away. If not for this period of time, I wouldn't have found these amazing people — we can always find light in all the darkness.

What is one thing you want the world to know about the wellness industry in light of COVID-19?

We aren't going anywhere. We will always be here to support, motivate, and help you.

How comfortable do you feel being back in the studio?

I don't think studios will be opening soon. However, there are a variety of outdoor classes that I definitely feel comfortable leading and participating in.

When do you think you'll be back in studio?

Maybe by the end of the summer or beginning of the fall. I have no clue, but I can only hope.

What extra precautions do you anticipate studios taking to ensure that participants feel safe?

It all depends on what type of studio and materials are used, but overall there will be a ton of Clorox and Lysol wipes everywhere. I assume students will be encouraged to bring their own materials: mats, blocks, straps, weights, etc. And as a courtesy, studios will ask students to either take off their shoes or if sneakers are needed, spray the bottoms with a disinfectant spray. Additionally, students will wash their hands as soon as they walk into studios and a proper distance between clients will be mandated, including a smaller limit of class capacity.

Finally, as instructors, we won't give hands-on adjustments for the time being.

Report this Content
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

163325

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1624947

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1017020
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

926389
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

604757
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

388393
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

501818

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments