We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeanne Heileman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jeanne, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
In the first 20 years of teaching yoga, every moment of my life was about yoga. I was practicing yoga, studying yoga, attending yoga workshops on free weekends, teaching a full schedule, and saying yes to any sub job that came along. It was yoga, yoga, yoga. As I built my school I needed the time after teaching to do all of the administrative work, write the manual and research material so that I could feel worthy of stepping into the role of teacher. I worded on my computer until late at night, then got up to do the full day again.

For most of the time, I was exhausted. it was also a really inspiring time. How fantastic to have a job that is also something that I’d like to do in my free time, in a field that is about self-development and inner growth. How lucky am I?

Around 2016 I started to feel tired and started to lose the drive with my motivation. I was entering my 50’s and just didn’t have the adrenaline-fueled drive that I had in my 20’s – 40’s. (This is natural.) My higher wisdom knew that working all the time was not a healthy way to live. It is suitable to meet a specific goal, but not for the long-term.

Balance is not something that I ever really experienced or understood. Yet I knew that I needed to soften my approach or else I would burn out completely. I needed to let things be a bit imperfect. Mostly, I needed to invite the Divine to be part of my every moment and let Spirit do some of the things instead of me. Since then, I pause more. When worry arises and I don’t know how to solve a problem, I sit on my cushion and ask for help.

This life is not one to be lived by or for our ego. I truly believe that our life is an opportunity for our soul to play through our body and talents. So I pause and remember that even if everything falls apart, my soul is finding this to be a fun ride.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Tantra Flow Yoga is a school that weaves the fun flow of vinyasa yoga with the wisdom ingredients from the world of Tantra. Yoga is an ancient practice designed to guide the practitioner towards their True Self. In the past, it was more meditative and simpler on the body. In order to gain popularity, yoga became commercial and a form of exercise. This is fine, but can be unfulfilling during tough times, which we all will experience here and there.

When we practice the poses with deeper breathing, perhaps in a specific manner, or moving our mind to a specific focus, then we don’t need a playlist nor a clever pose to entertain us. We need less on the outside for we start to become more fulfilled with all that we currently have.

My classes weave in clean alignment and a sequence designed to guide the energy of a student towards their Truth. Not all yoga classes need to be upbeat. This can be exhausting and bypass issues which may need to be honored. We may move to still and quiet students, or to fill them with grounded Prana, or to lift them up out from the mud, or to digest and process experiences. It depends on what is sincerely needed, not what will get the highest numbers.

I have a favorite thing to say at the end of a class:
The WHO that you are now, is closer to the WHO that you are meant to be, compared to the WHO you were when you first walked into the room. From this place, go share your talents.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To start, I would take them to the Center for Yoga for a great yoga class. Then we would get a good coffee at Go Get Em Tiger, and walk up and down Larchmont Boulevard. I love the shops and may suggest having a nice lunch at the Petite Greek.

That night I would take them to a show at the Mark Taper Theatre, their shows are great and there isn’t a single bad seat.

Next day we would go to Griffith Park for a Thai Chi practice and a walk in the park. (Literally.) We could have lunch at Birds Restaurant which has some good vegetarian options if you don’t eat meat. Then a visit to LACMA for the latest exhibits. If we are lucky, maybe there is some live music in the courtyard. They also have a nice restaurant and it would be fun to have a nosh while watching people.

Of course the next day we should go to the beach. But to earn the rest on the sand, we should take a yoga class at YogaWorks on Main Street where many of my friends still teach. Then to my favorite sandy area, the Will Rodgers State Beach. I like it because it’s a bit out of the way and the water is nice. We would stop at the Rose Cafe in Venice for dinner before heading home.

One must experience the walk on Hollywood Boulevard and a movie at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, plus some shopping for some souvenirs in the local shops.

It would also be fun to spend a day on the Santa Monica Promenade, watching people, peeking in the stores and having a nice dinner.

We could close with a Restorative Yoga class at the Center for Yoga and a quiet night at home on my balcony, exchanging memories.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Kayoko Mitsumatsu and Yoga Gives Back.

Kayoko created the non-profit Yoga Gives Back from her heart’s desire to see some of the money that was spent in the yoga world return to the source of yoga – India. She created her organization to help women and children who are struggling in India. India does not support women and many are single mothers. It is extremely hard to climb out of the poverty trench, yet her organization has directly impacted many people to live better lives.

I am inspired by Kayoko and hope that more people will join her in her selfless efforts.

Website: https://jeanneheileman.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeanneheilemanyoga/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanne-heileman-81a1066/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanneHYoga

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeanneHeilemanYoga

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TantraFlowYoga

Other: Lisa Walford interviewing me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_ylgMbknks&t=340s

Image Credits
Image credits to: Robert Sturman Photography, Elisabeth Granli Photography, Thomas Baar Photography, Yoga International

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