Taylor Hunt is a devoted student of Ashtanga yoga. He makes yearly trips to study with his teacher Sharath Jois at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, India.
Taylor is the first Ashtanga teacher in Ohio granted Level II Authorization to teach from KPJAYI. Taylor is dedicated to sharing the practice with others by teaching daily Mysore classes at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus and offering workshops around the world. He continues to inspire others through his story of personal transformation and accessible approach to the practice. For more information about Taylor, please visit his personal website or www.awayfromdarkness.com.
Jessica Hunt is co-owner of Ashtanga Yoga Columbus, co-director of the Trini Foundation, and a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga teacher. She makes yearly trips to study with her teacher Sharath Jois at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. She is honored to have his blessing to teach the healing practice that has changed her life.
Jessica has a unique approach to teaching informed by her Ayurvedic studies as well as having practiced through injury and the birth of two children. She enjoys working with beginners, helping other moms navigate the practice, and bringing Ashtanga yoga into underserved communities.
Dawn Blevins is a Level II authorized Ashtanga teacher, business owner, and writer who holds a Ph.D. in education. She makes yearly trips to study with her teacher, Sharath Jois, at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India.
As soon as Dawn stepped into her first Ashtanga class, she felt an immediate connection to the traditional practice. After several trips to India, she began teaching at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus. Dawn teaches because she wants to extend the reach of yoga to individuals of diverse backgrounds. She strives to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable in her classes. Dawn believes that the practice truly is accessible to all.
Sharath Jois has graciously agreed to serve as honorary director for the Trini Foundation. We are beyond grateful for his support to bring the transformative practice of Ashtanga yoga to those who are suffering.
For more information about Sharath and the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, please visit www.kpjayi.org.
Ashtanga yoga is a therapeutic system designed to purify the body, promote proper functioning of the digestive system, build strength, and restore range of motion to the body. The method of practice taught in Ashtanga yoga relies on linking postures with deep, even breathing and steady gazing. The system of linking the breath with movement is known as vinyasa and encourages the blood to circulate properly allowing the removal of unwanted toxins. The gazing point helps to facilitate a state of meditation, having a profound effect on the calmness of the mind. It is a transformative and healing practice.
Trini is the Sanskrit word for three. In Ashtanga yoga, asana (which refers to the physical postures) is the third of eight limbs. We begin with asana as a technique to quiet our active minds. It offers an entry point into developing the other limbs of yoga which include guidelines for living peacefully, as well as meditation and breathing techniques.
There was a time when I was ashamed of my story. I didn’t share it with others outside of the recovery community because I didn’t believe my past fit the mold of who a yoga teacher is supposed to be. What would others in the yoga community think of me if they knew that I struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction for a decade? In the midst of my addiction, I lacked any true human connection and lived in complete isolation as I stood at the brink of death every single day.
It was only during my fourth stay in a treatment center that I was finally brought to my knees and became willing to accept a plan for recovery. As I struggled to get sober, I slowly regained my will to live. I caught a glimmer of hope and suddenly understood that I had been given a chance to put my life back together. I fully committed myself to the twelve steps of recovery, even though nothing about that process was easy. I had to become humble enough to admit my mistakes and do the difficult work of cleaning up my past. The gift I received from that work, in addition to a sober life, was the embrace of a community of caring individuals who were willing to accept me for exactly who I was.
Early in my sobriety, a friend invited me to attend her yoga class. I was reluctant, but she persisted until I finally agreed. My sponsor told me it would be part of my eleventh stop work, which involves prayer and meditation. Once I began practicing Ashtanga yoga, things changed for me. I released the self-hate that had plagued me for years and gained a new sense of acceptance and self-worth. I felt more compassion for myself and for others. I quickly understood that yoga offered me a pathway toward physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. I never looked back.
As I learned more about yoga, I discovered that the principles of recovery and the principles of Ashtanga yoga are highly complementary to each other. Combined, they provide an effective tool for self-transformation. Because my life has been profoundly affected by yoga, I want to share the practice with as many people as possible. I am no longer ashamed of my story. The more I talk with others about it, the more I realize that we have all struggled with something. I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to struggle alone. I established the Trini Foundation as a way to introduce the healing practice of Ashtanga to people recovering from addiction as well as individuals in other underserved communities. I believe in the transformational power of the practice and that everyone can begin a new chapter in their own stories.
If you would like to support the Trini Foundation's efforts by making a contribution, please visit our donation page.