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

Nothing! There is no reason to feel guilty about food and nourishing your body. It's time to make peace with food and stop focusing on the "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong" because food does not have power over you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down With An Endocrinologist To Ask All My Questions About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

There are so many moving parts of hormonal health, so I went to an expert.

1804
Anjanette Tan

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1 in 10 women. Any woman who has PCOS can attest to the fact that no two cases are the same — there are so many aspects of hormonal health that can impact a woman's reproductive health! For many, PCOS is a trial and error condition, with many doctors' appointments depending on the stage of life the woman is in.

This week I sat down with Dr. Anjanette Tan to get the expert opinion on all my PCOS questions. Dr. Tan is a board-certified endocrinology who's worked in private practices since 2004. She currently works at the Diabetes and Thyroid Center of Fort Worth, one of the largest all-endocrine practices in the area, where she is the managing partner and head of clinical research.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Since I can remember, I've always been a light sleeper, with the quietest sounds waking me up, and I regularly wake up with the sun.

- While talking to a gynecologist friend of mine, she mentioned the importance of using an eye mask for quality sleep, which regulates hormonal levels.

- I was serendipitously sent the Crane & Canopy Silk Sleep Mask almost right after that conversation and was honestly reluctant to try it after testing other sleep masks that felt uncomfortable and irritated my skin.

- This sleep mask was extremely comfortable, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I slept in far past when I usually do on the weekends and woke up feeling more refreshed than I can remember — I've worn it nearly every night since then.

The older I get, it seems that sleep becomes an increasingly important topic of conversation amongst my friends and me. Yes, of course we complain about how tired we always are, but the pattern seemed to be a lack of sleep on the weekdays followed by late nights and sleeping in on the weekends without any solution.

Keep Reading... Show less

As college students, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Four tests in a week and you only passed one of them? I feel that. Days like that, you just need time for yourself. A time where you're nice to yourself and put your own self-care before anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Smile Project Just Launched An Ambassador Program, And I Can't Wait To Get Started

Looking to shift your perspective, be happier, or just get involved in something truly amazing? Look no further.

373

The Smile Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading happiness, founded by Elizabeth Buechele. It all started on a random day in the fall of her senior year. She was driving home from school when this thought crossed her mind: "Day 1: Happiness is…those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs."

Keep Reading... Show less

I'll never forget the day that someone told me these words: "Madison, I think you're a good friend to everyone but yourself." I stood there completely in awe of that statement. Before that day, I never really thought about being a friend to myself, and at the time, I didn't really know what it meant. Now, I realize that you can't fully be there for other people unless you're there for yourself, too. You can't show up for others until you're willing to show up for yourself.

Here are five things everyone should learn in order to be a better friend to themselves. These steps are hard, but they're so worth it.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's no secret that social media can be harmful to our mental health. The barrage of heavily edited photos of Instagram models that we see every day only fuels our insecurities. There is a good side to social media, though. It allows us to keep up with friends and family across the globe. Plus, it provides a platform for mental health experts. Listed below are five therapists on Instagram who will fill your feed with motivational quotes and positive infographics.

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Last week, Netflix released its original film "The Devil All the Time," based on the 2011 novel of the same name. Directed by Antonio Campos, the film boasts an all-star cast including Bill Skarsgard, Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough, and Tom Holland.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

In Honor of PCOS Awareness Month, I Researched 25 Things About The Autoimmune Disease

Ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms!

900

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affects young women, especially those of reproductive age. Women with PCOS often exhibit symptoms ranging from increased levels of the male hormone androgen along with cysts in their ovaries. However, ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms! Here are 25 things I found out about PCOS.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

To The Boy Who Said I Was 'Unlovable' Because Of My Back Rolls, My Body Is NOT A Problem

I realized I need to stop blaming myself for staying single. The problem wasn't me. It was you.

322
Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

I told you I was going to be okay if you said what was on your mind, but honestly, nothing could've prepared me for the words that came out of your mouth. After getting off of the phone with you, I burst into tears. Those words shattered my heart and continuously repeated in my head.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments