“Empower Your Body, Empower Yourself!”
Physical Performance Coaching & Athletic Arts with Jehan Izhar
Photos of my journey through yoga, circus, tarot, and falling in love with this Earth we call home. Follow me on Instagram @one_jehan << PreviousNext >><< PreviousNext...
“Jehan” is an Urdu word meaning “the world” Jehan (or J) is a traveler, yogi, circus performer, poet, tarot card reader, and physical performance coach. She is an eternal student, a lover of life, and a...
I offer private coaching, classes, and educational workshops in the following “alternative” fitness styles: Physical Performance Coaching Yoga Therapy Aerial Circus Arts FlyGym Aerial Fitness Pole Dance Martial Arts Rehabilitative...
Spoken Word Poetry ~ Aerial Circus Arts Why Circus? Because when a body knows no limits You can become anything you imagine You can go further than just telling a story You can become the story. ”I have always been...
Weekly classes at Green Tara Yoga & Pilates Studio M in Claremont, California Specialty Classes & Workshops available upon request Click photos to sign up: This class is suitable for older adults, those who...
One month, 3 cities, 10 workshops, and 33 new instructors later… and I am back California after having the time of my life teaching Fly Gym in Australia! The idea for the Fly Gym Down Under tour started a year ago, when I started posting pictures of Fly Gym on Facebook and my Aussie friends (most of whom are yoga teachers) started asking when I was going to come visit and show them some aerial moves. After traveling to Australia in 2009, and also doing my yoga certification through an Australian yoga school, I knew that Fly Gym would be a huge hit in the country, I just had to find a way to get myself over there again!
Well, it seemed the universe heard my call because not too long after I had the idea, I received an email from Fiona Hargraves of Fly Girl Fitness in Sydney. Fiona told me she was opening a new studio in St. Ives and she wanted to be the first to get Fly Gym into Australia, and wanted to offer the full teacher training program. At the next Fly Gym meeting I said “let’s do this. Just trust me, it’s going to be great!” We scheduled the training, got Fiona set up as the official distributor of Fly Gym equipment in Australia, and started contacting studios in all the cities I planned to go.
It was slow going at first, and we wondered if we would get any interest at all! But by the time I got on the plane to leave, I had two full trainings booked: one at Fly Girl Fitness and the other at Pole Divas in Melbourne. I laugh now when I remember how I thought this trip would be a relaxing break from “real work.” From the moment I arrived in Sydney I was writing new content for our Fly Gym programs and exercise ideas. Then, because word had gotten out that I was in the country with Fly Gym, my email inbox was flooded with emails from people wanting trainings, private lessons, classes and workshops.
The training at Fly Girl Fitness was completely booked. I had 13 students total, including 2
men and 4 students who did the entire level 1 & 2 training. I was glad that the training took place before Fiona’s official grand opening because it meant that we had three whole days to learn and play. I was impressed not only by the caliber of the instructors in attendance but also by Fiona’s new studio space and fun & inspiring personality. It meant so much to me to see how enthusiastic everyone was about Fly Gym, and I came away from the training bursting with ideas for Fly Gym uses. Somehow in the midst of all the Fly Gym mania, I managed to sneak in a beach day in beautiful Bondi (I had perfect weather that day too!), a few lazy afternoons in the botanical gardens, a theatre night at the opera house, and a contortion class at the infamous Aerialize studio! Not too bad for a week in one of my favorite cities in the world!
After the training in Sydney I was headed to Perth to visit a friend of mine who is also a yoga teacher, and specializes in childern’s health & wellbeing. I was really looking forward to this
part of the trip because I had never been to Western Australia before and I was excited about having a week off. Well, a “week” off turned into just a few days because when I posted on Fly Gym’s facebook page that I was headed there, I got so many responses from people wanting classes that I knew I had to set something up! Luckily, one of my newly certified Fly Gym instructors, Sayshie Poynton, is from Perth and she helped me to find a studio that we could hire to teach a workshop. I also did a few private lessons for friends and other interested folks while I was there. I cannot describe much much I fell in love with WA. I went wine tasting in Margaret River Valley, I did a road trip along the coast, and I was actually staying in Freemanlte which reminded me so much of my hometown Santa Barbara that I really didn’t want to leave. I made great friends while I was there and I became so attached to the rugged beauty and friendliness that surrounded me everywhere I went! I am really looking forward to going back to WA, because I was not able to hold a teacher training this time around, and the interest there was so high I know I need to go back and do it. Sayshie, I hope you are busy teaching out there, when I left it seemed like you were already getting booked with Fly Gym clients….I will be back soon for more!!
The last leg of my tour was Melbourne. Melbourne is my favorite hipster city! I have always loved the cafes, the vintage stores, the brick walls covered in weird graffitti….this city has “fly gym” written all over it! I was staying with another friend of mine, who is also a yoga & Pilates
teacher and who signed up to do the Fly Gym training at Bottoms Up! Burlesque & Pole studio. Now is that not the best name for a studio or what?? The training at Bottoms Up was so much fun! These girls were creative, high energy, and were coming up with all kinds of new ideas for moves they were going to try with Fly Gym! The training was like a big brainstorming session where fun, creative minds were coming together to figure out how we could best hang our bodies in strange shapes in the air! Bottoms Up! Is also set up perfectly for Fly Gym Pole training as well
After teaching at Bottoms Up! I did a two day teacher training at Pole Divas. Oh, what I would do to have a space like the Pole Divas studio! There are actually 4 Pole Divas in Melbourne, I was at the Richmond studio, which was honestly made perfectly for Fly Gym!
The “aerial room” in the studio had a big metal truss going around the room, so that they could hang hoops and Fly Gyms easily, without having to worry about bolting into the ceiling! With the truss, it meant we also had poles and ladder bars to climb on, and as many rigging options as a girl could dream of! The question wasn’t “how can I make this work?” it was “which option for rigging do I choose?” The training at Pole Divas was the last one of my Australian tour, and the 11th training I have done since I began with Fly Gym a year ago….well 11 must be my lucky number because I felt that out of all my trainings, this one went the smoothest. I managed to get in all the information I needed to give, and we ended right on time! The girls at pole divas were kind, intelligent, and so organized! I could tell that they were instructors who really care about their students…. It was a great note to end on for the whole Australian Tour.
I was so sad to leave Australia, I was really contemplating purposely losing my passport so that I would have to stay! I cannot wait to see what all the new Fly Gym teachers come up with for their class designs, and I am excited to see how Fly Gym takes off in Oz! My goal is to go back over the summer (THEIR summer…so december/january) and offer more trainings and workshops….and even take some Fly Gym classes myself! If you are in Australia, definitely look these studios up! Other studios that now have certified Fly Gym instructors are Pole Catz (Queensland), MissFit Pole Studio in Sydney, and Fit Sistas in Canberra.
I want to give a big huge massive thank you to everyone who made this tour a success: all my friends who hosted me, the studios who hosted trainings, all the new Fly Gym instructors, and to everyone who attended my classes and workshops. It was the best three weeks I have had in a LONG time….I meant it when I left and I said “it’s not goodbye, just see you later!”
Much love to all of you,
I love the build up towards Spring. In March, the world around us is coming alive, and as the days get longer and brighter we begin to shed our cozy winter selves as we emerge into the light. I began this March with a trip back to Santa Barbara, to Ellwood Beach where I used to live. There is a butterfly sanctuary there where the Monarchs come to hibernate for the winter. In the Spring they emerge and continue their journey north. Visiting them on March 1st and seeing them leaving their safety of the woods to fly into the unknown had a certain symbolism for me. I felt like I was emerging this month too and coming out of my own hibernation (although mine felt like it lasted a lot longer than just this past winter!)
Throughout the month of March, I have tried to keep this idea of “emergence” in mind, so that I may bring myself into deeper alignment with the rhythms of the natural world. The first “emergence” I experienced was the launch of this website. I had been working on the website since January; and by March I felt ready to show it to the world. Creating this site gave me a sense of direction and purpose; the process of writing and revising my philosophies in so many various aspects of my life and career helped me to remember who I am, what I believe in, what I’m passionate about, and WHY I’m so passionate about it. It made me feel alive again. You don’t have to create a website to do this, but I think it is important that every year to reflect on who you are and what you stand for. These things may change, but knowing who you are, what you are working towards, and what you value in life can help you get out of a rut or feeling like you don’t know what you are doing with yourself or where you are headed. Here are some example questions that I used when I was making this site that helped me to get started:
Who am I right now?
What am I most passionate about in life?
How do I define what I do for a living? (not just career-wise, but literally- what am I doing with my life as a whole?)
Why do I do what I do? (why did I choose this path in life?)
How do I hope to make a difference in the lives of others?
What are my current life goals (in my lifestyle, family, career, etc)
You may have other reflection questions you can add to the list; but this gives you somewhere to start. In writing your answers to these questions, you may discover things about yourself that you didn’t even realize. I truly believe that the first step to success is knowing who you are. If you are going to emerge as “something”, you have to know what that “something” is!
After I launched the website, I was flooded with opportunity. I felt like the universe put a skateboard under my feet and said “Oh, there you are. Now that you’re ready its time to go for a ride!” Next thing I knew I had taken off!
First, I was honored to be asked to lead a Yoga seminar for a group called Girls Talk at Grace Yokley Middle School. The purpose of this “Girls Talk” group is to help young women build confidence, self esteem, discover creative outlets, and promote positive body image. Talk about “emergence”! This group was ALL ABOUT it! I was so happy when I walked in the room to be greeted by a number of 12 and 13 year old girls who had so many questions for me and stories to tell. I was impressed by their willingness to share their experiences, to ask questions without inhibitions, to laugh, and to participant freely. We talked about what yoga is all about, what is the point of practicing it, how breathing can help us to control our emotions, and how we can use physical movement practices (such as yoga, dance, sports etc) to promote positivity in our lives. I walked away from that seminar feeling energized and inspired. I was thinking that I would be leading this seminar to teach these girls but they were the ones who taught ME. Sometimes our adult minds are like cages that stop us from expressing ourselves. Next time you are wondering something, just ask the question. Share a random story about your day with someone. Listen to music and MOVE your body without inhibition! To truly emerge we must take down the barriers we have erected to hold ourselves back.
After the Girls Talk seminar, I headed to LA for the weekend to represent FlyGym at the Pacific Pole Championships. I spent the weekend in total amazement at the strength, talent, and creativity of the incredible women and men who performed and competed on stage. It is always very moving for me to watch these performances because I know what I am seeing is MONTHS of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication all coming down to this one moment. What I loved most was seeing the first time performers. It was like I was seeing their transformation and their emergence right before my eyes. I could see them walking on stage, a little nervous but still determined; and then they would lose themselves in the rhythm of their performance: dancing, spinning, holding poses that seem to defy gravity….and when it was over, when they walked off stage, it was like I was seeing them as a whole new person. They were “real” performers now; with heads held high and giant smiles. The thrill of “letting it out” showed all over their faces. It takes a lot of courage, to stand on stage in front of strangers, judges, and professionals, and bare your body & soul in a performance for the first time. But courage brings confidence; and if you can dare to do something different, to truly express yourself to the world, imagine how much more confident and FREE to be yourself you could feel.
So I ask you again:
Who are you right now?
What are you passionate about?
Are you following that passion?
If so, keep yourself motivated by writing a short “intention” that describes why you love what you do and what your next goals are. This will help you stay focused as you progress to the next level. If you aren’t following your passion, why not? It’s time to break free from whatever is holding you back and take that courageous leap forward. Spring is the perfect time to do it! And what if you don’t know what you are passionate about? Well then, the universe is presenting you with a wonderful opportunity to explore!
As we move into Spring, pay attention to the natural world around you. Notice the leaves starting to come back on the trees, the flowers blooming, and the color coming back to the world. What can you do at this time to bring the color back into your life and emerge as your true, radiant self?Read More