NYC Yoga Instructor Jamie Lugo

Yoga calms the soul, stretches both your mind and muscles, gives you clarity and provides a healthy path for your body to follow. Jamie and I met in college at UC Irvine where we took endless dance classes together. It has been so fun to follow her journey in New York as one of the most inspiring yoga instructors in the big apple! Check out our interview and find out what drives her love of yoga and how to apply some of her practice to your life.  

What inspired you to practice and teach yoga?

Well, I first started practicing in college after a breakup. It was the only time I was able to focus my mind and not think of the future or the past so it really healed me. Emotionally and physically. I danced seriously and competitively from age 5- 22 and by then my body was a mess. Yoga helped me remain active and begin to understand my injuries as well as heal them. I moved to New York after college and started quickly looking for something to ground me and tether me from the fast paced life of being a New Yorker. Yoga gave me the “pause” button that allowed me to be more present in my life off the mat. I wanted to share this with others so I knew that it was my calling. I quit my job and started working at yoga studio. The rest is history!

Favorite meditation / yoga mantra?

Hmm… I meditate every day but not on anything in particular. Just my breath. (I guess that’s pretty particular).  I try to stay with my breath as best I can. Watch it without trying to change it. See it without trying to manipulate it.  Invite the inhale to come in without grasping onto it and allow the exhale to move out without pushing it away. So just breathing as natural as possible. If I am sitting down to meditate at home I usually pick and “angel card”. These little cards have a word on them that can be used as a focus for you mediation or for your day. I love that. If I am feeling very distracted I will use a simple mantra like “Let Go” or “Om” to hone my focus.

Benefits from practicing yoga?

This is a loaded question!!! What doesn’t benefit from yoga?!? My mind is clear. My body is supple and strong. Yoga gives you an opportunity to be more awake in your life. Who wouldn’t want that?

Coolest outdoor spots for yoga in general? 

Lake Tahoe, Tulum, Mexico, Stonehendge (I had to do a downdog there… that place is magical) In New York? Times Square, Central Park, Rooftops ;)

Words to live by?

Don’t force.

What encourages you to be better at your everyday?

My husband and my two Chihuahuas. My students. My family. The earth. My teachers and mentors and peers.

Favorite author?

Yoga related: Pema Chödrön. Non-yoga related: Nora Roberts (don’t ask…)

Your top songs from calming the soul?

Other songs I love are:

Gem Club: Idea for Strings / Lanterns on the Lake: Lungs Quicken / Mt. Wolf: Hypolight / Fleetwood Mac: Landslide / Active Child: You Are All I See