I am so pleased to be a part of City Yoga and DolceMindBody Spa as a Licensed Massage Therapist (MA69170), Licensed Skin Care Professional (FB9729653) and Certified Yoga and Prenatal Yoga Instructor. I currently provide Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Swedish and Sports Massage; Foot Reflexology; Body Treatments (wraps and scrubs); relaxing and revitalizing Facial Treatments with Eminence Organics; Private Yoga Instruction as well as teaching group classes. My teaching style at its core is based on Kripalu Yoga, meditation in movement, and infused with compassionate alignment based guidance and hands on adjustments. My intention is to provide an environment of openness and ease, giving participants the opportunity to reach their full potential on every level of the eight-limbed path of yoga. Body, Mind, & Spirit.
As one of the current practitioners of an amazing team, I would like to introduce myself and share my journey that has led me to City Yoga and DolceMindBody Spa.
From a young age I discovered that movement was a way to keep me grounded and focused. Dance and gymnastics was an outlet for emotion and energy during my school years. Upon graduating high school and moving into adulthood it was clear that I needed this outlet for a lifetime. While attending college at Florida State University I began practicing yoga, it was a way to keep movement in my life yet on a deeper level. Yoga helped me manage the anxiety and demands of working my way through school. I graduated from FSU in 1987 with a BS in Communications and a minor in Sociology.
That same year I married my love, Michael Brock, we celebrated 25 years of marriage this year 2012.
I began my professional life as an intern in Advertising and continued that work as an Account Executive at The Tallahassee Democrat and The Florida Times Union, two large Florida newspapers. After a move to Southern California and then back to South Florida, I realized the career path I began as a young adult was no longer fulfilling and took a chance on following my dream to travel. I was hired by American Airlines as a Flight Attendant in 1991 and loved that job for 15 years. In 1994 another great love entered my life, Hannah our daughter. After her birth, Michael and I returned to his hometown of St. Augustine to raise her.
Through my years of practice it was during pregnancy and motherhood that yoga became an even more integral part of my life. When I moved to St. Augustine in 1995, I practiced weekly, for several years with Uma Seaman and was so inspired. I wanted to teach this great practice. In 2001 I began teacher training close to home with Deva Parnell. I received my 200-hour Kripalu Yoga Certification from Discovery Yoga in 2002 and my Prenatal Yoga Certification in 2003. I now have been teaching for 10 years with over 6000 hours of instructing in the St. Augustine community.
- Your yoga, your time: Reserve regular sessions at times that work around your busy lifestyle.
- Personalized attention: Address specific mind-body issues such as low back pain, anxiety, or insomnia.
- Cross-training: Learn postures to help you improve your experience of the activities you love so much, like tennis, golf, or running.
- Next level: Work towards challenging postures such as headstand or crow pose.
- Custom home sequencing: Bring home a specific sequence designed just for your needs and desires.
- Less social overwhelm: Enjoy the comfort of practicing at your own pace and have ample time to ask all the questions you need as you go along.
- guessing if you are properly aligned in a pose
- anxiously awaiting for the next time a specific pose is taught in class
- feeling overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by the pace of group yoga classes
- ready to do yoga for YOUR body when YOU want…
Image courtesy of meepoohfoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There’s a lot of buzz these days concerning items found in skin care products, and for good reason. This is because most mainstream beauty products are compromised with synthetic preservatives and other highly processed and contaminated ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, and artificial dyes and perfumes.
Being that our skin is the largest organ, which eliminates body waste and is our largest immune defense barrier, when we put these toxic ingredients on our body, it is absorbed up to 60% into our blood stream. Over time, our skin becomes overburdened and weak as our bodies try to cope with these foreign substances. The results are anything but nurturing, rejuvenating, or healing, and can actually affect our health negatively and accelerate the aging process.
Studies have shown that applying pesticides to plants forces them to produce enzymes and antibodies to survive. These antibodies are produced in abundance to fight the toxins found in chemicals, and are then absorbed by our bodies when we eat the produce or apply it to our skin, causing physical reactions.
Over the last 50 years, tens of thousands of new chemicals have been developed, most of which have never been properly tested on humans. It is reported that only 11% of 10,500 chemical ingredients that go into personal care has been tested in the US. Increasing studies show illnesses such as eczema, fatigue, allergies, sensitivities, breakouts, and hormone disruption have a direct link with these synthetic products.
Even more alarming is parabens -a preservative used in many products to maintain shelf life- are being found in cancerous breast tumors.
There is hope though, and the answer is simple: go green!
Organic skin care products are extremely beneficial because ingredients are mainly comprised of fruits, vegetables, plants, and other naturally occurring items found in the earth that have not been tampered with. Much like the benefits of eating organic foods, when we give our skin the proper nutrients it needs, we allow our body the ability to care for and mend itself.
Unfortunately, there are no regulations for claiming a product as organic at this time. Often times, the “natural” and “plant-based” items we find on our local grocery shelves are nothing more than chemically-induced products that have been lightly sprinkled with the ingredients being advertised on the bottle.
The only way to know if a product is truly organic is if it has a USDA seal of approval. If there is a USDA print on the package, this is what a buyer can be sure of:
- environmentally friendly- crops are harvested in a manner that is not destructive to the environment
- cruelty free
- made without the use of harsh irritants, chemicals, or carcinogens
- will not cause adverse effects like peeling or burning
- does not contain artificial dyes, fragrances, or synthetic preservatives
- no GMOs- has not been genetically modified
The facials performed at City Yoga & Dolce Spa are administered with the help of Eminence Organic Skin Care; with a USDA seal of approval, this company is deemed one of the “greenest” lines on the market. Not only do I utilize these products on my clients, I personally use this line for my own skin care regime.
As someone who has alway struggled with acne-prone skin, I can testify that this is the first line I have used that has not dried out or irritated my problematic skin. The fruits, vegetables, and herbs found in Eminence leave my skin nourished instead of stripped as it heals my acne in a healthier and more radiant manner.
In the end, whether choosing organic products or not, please note that the most important way to keep our delicate skin youthful and radiant is to simply wear sunblock. Regardless of what beauty companies claim, the most effective way to protect skin is to shield it from the sun. UVA rays are literally considered aging rays because these rays are what causes hyperpigmentation, age spots, and wrinkles. Look for an SPF 15 for daily use and SPF 30 for prolonged exposure
*If you’re interested in finding out if the products you use are safe, visit www.ewg.org/skindeep to get comprehensive results of the item(s) in question
To purchase Eminence Organics visit our store or call us at 904-671-2860
Visit Glow Green Skincare to read more posts by Allison Schwartz
In my eight years of being a Reiki Master, I have heard many things from my clients and students about Reiki. Many swear by its ability to heal, calm, and restore. Many are shy, fearful, and even wary to try a Reiki session. Many are not exactly certain what Reiki is. And others think Reiki is a silly, “woo-woo” New Age practice. Some say they have experienced a Reiki treatment and not felt anything. Others say they were blown away by their experience and received more benefit from Reiki than from a massage.
Regardless of the varying viewpoints, Reiki is an amazing healing system that works with the body’s energy. It has been found so healing and helpful that it is now recognized by the Florida Department of Health as a treatment for the diminishment of pain in various cases and a tool to assist in the treatment of cancer. Therefore, as it is considered a medical discipline, a Licensed Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist, Nurse, Medical Doctor, or some other state licensed individual authorized to touch are currently the only ones who can perform Reiki in Florida. Reiki can also be administered by a clergy member as a spiritual “laying on of hands” transmission.
Reiki means “universal life energy” or “unseen spiritual force”. The root rei means “spirit” and “bringer of life”. The root ki means “energy” or “force”. Reiki is a Japanese word which derives from Chinese lingqi, the most highly refined form of qi (energy/essence) which is accessed and developed in an individual’s body through the Chinese system of Qigong. The energy of Reiki, the ki, is the same energy spoken of in other paths and cultures. Its other names are qi, chi, prana, baraka, mana, and huna, among others.
Today there are many paths of Reiki that exist, just like there are many different types of Yoga. The original system of Reiki practice, however, is the Traditional Usui Reiki system, named for the system’s founder, Mikao Usui. Usui was a Tendai Buddhist, born August 15, 1865 in Gifu, Japan. He studied and practiced Buddhism, travelling to China and other places for his spiritual education. After coming upon some severe bad health, he took a personal 21 day retreat at a Buddhist temple on top of Mount Kurama to perform his spiritual practices.
Usui wanted to know where the power to heal comes from, and he fasted, prayed, and meditated for answers. Legend tells it that he had a spiritual experience where he felt energy pouring through his crown chakra, he saw the Reiki symbols, and was blessed with the knowledge of the symbols and how to use this energy for healing. He first tried Reiki on himself, healing himself completely of his illness. He then successfully performed Reiki healing on his family. In April 1922, he opened a clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. This is the first technical start of Reiki. Mrs. Hawayo Takata was a student of Usui who brought Reiki from Japan to the West in 1937, and she continued to practice and teach until her passing in 1980.
It is due to Usui and Takata that we now have the Traditional Usui Reiki system of healing. Reiki is one energy path of many, but it is an extremely effective one. In order to practice Reiki, one is trained in three levels of the Reiki system. Level One deals with the physical body and allows a practitioner to heal at the physical level. Level Two deals with the emotional and mental bodies and allows a practitioner to heal at the emotional and mental levels. Level Three is the Master Reiki level where one commits to learn self-mastery of the Reiki energy and learns how to teach Reiki and pass the symbol attunements.
A Reiki session is performed with the client fully clothed, laying face up on a massage table or sitting in a chair. In the Usui system, the Reiki energy is then passed through a hands-on series of hand positions, moving mostly joint to joint after having worked the energy of the chakra points and the energy points at the head and feet. Energy is within us and all around us. The Reiki practitioner concentrates his or her mind on the Reiki symbols, allowing only pure healing energy to flow through with loving, positive intentions. That energy then moves into the client’s body. All energy is intelligent and so moves from there where it is needed most for healing.
A Reiki session generally lasts one hour. In that hour, the client may feel heat from the Reiki practitioners hands. Inside his or her own body, the client may feel cool sensations, tingling, spinning, lightness, heaviness, or a host of other internal sensations as the energy of the body is rebalancing itself. When the session is over, the client will feel light and energized, possibly slightly spacy. Walking around for a few minutes to ground will relieve the spacy feeling. I have never had a client react negatively to a Reiki session.
In Part II of An Introduction to Reiki, I will discuss how Reiki works in the body and what exactly is happening on an energetic, mental, emotional, and physical level to bring relief and healing to the many people Reiki helps.
If you are interested in receiving a Reiki healing session or are interested in learning Reiki from Jennifer, please contact City Yoga Dolce MindBody Spa at 904-671-2860 for more information or to book your appointment! Book Online Here
Jennifer Jacobsen is a Nationally Certified and Florida Licensed Massage Therapist (MA46676), Reiki Master, and Certified Yoga Teacher practicing at City Yoga- Dolce MindBody Spa (MM29422). She has been with City Yoga since its inception.
Jennifer graduated Cum Laude from Huntingdon College in 2001 with Honors in Religion and Philosophy, a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy, a B.A. in Acting, and a minor in Psychology. After college she went on to work with Heritage Repertory Theatre in Charlottesville, VA. In 2002 she moved to Orlando, FL to attend the University of Central Florida in order to pursue her M.F.A. in Acting. Realizing that professional acting was not going to support her, Jennifer began working in marketing and advertising for several small advertising agencies in Orlando and was asked to join the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando’s opening team.
While marketing, sales, and acting were all enjoyable, Jennifer wanted something more soul-fulfilling as a career. In 2003 she enrolled in High Tech Institute, a medical massage training center in Orlando, and she began taking evening classes in massage therapy. Jennifer fell in love and has been in love with massage to this day. Jennifer has always believed that the body can heal itself naturally and that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected. After declaring that she wanted to be a healer and wanted to connect to the Divine and help others do the same, Jennifer was called to Yoga through a series of synchronistic occurrences. She began practicing Kundalini Yoga at the Baba Shri Chand Ashram in Altamonte Springs, FL and from there was introduced to Yogi Amrit Desai, the head of Amrit Yoga Institute in Salt Springs, FL.
Jennifer began her 200 hr teacher training in 2003, and was attuned to Usui Reiki Levels 1 and 2 by a fellow yoga student. By 2004 she was a certified Yoga instructor and had graduated with her license in Massage Therapy. Jennifer moved into Amrit Yoga Institute’s ashram and started their Massage Therapy program. She began practicing massage and Reiki on the yoga students attending yoga teacher training as she went deeper into her own personal practices. Jennifer also learned some Ayurvedic treatments and worked in the kitchen learning how to cook Indian food. She felt deeply connected to Amrit Desai’s Guru, Swami Kripalu and Kripalu’s connection to the Kripalu Muni Mundal Yoga Lineage and its founder, Lakulish Muni. In 2004 she received her Master Reiki attunement and began attuning others to the Reiki energy. The ashram environment changed Jennifer’s life for the better and she discovered the true meaning of “taking Yoga off the mat”.
Jennifer’s hunger for Yoga and the connection to the Divine deepened and she began to pray for a Guru, a teacher who would teach her the deepest secrets of Yoga and how to merge with her Highest Self. Shortly after, she was introduced to Yogacharya Swami Ashutosh Muni, the current Lineage Holder for the Kripalu Muni Mundal line. She was given an offer of a lifetime, the chance to study Yoga in depth, the chance she had prayed for.
For the past 8 years Jennifer has been traveling to study with Swami Ashutosh Muni one weekend out of every month. She has been trained, and continues to be trained, in Lakulish Yoga, and her training includes all eight limbs of Yoga as well as in depth study in Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and Narada Bhakti Sutras. Jennifer is also continues to learn Ayurveda and alkaline health and nutrition from her Guru. Jennifer teaches what she has learned from her Guru in her Lakulish Yoga classes as well as her Yoga Teachings classes at City Yoga.
After moving out of the Amrit Yoga ashram in 2005, Jennifer worked for Cameo’s, a small day spa in Ocala, FL and joined the Villages Hospital Wellness Center team in 2006 where she taught yoga and did rehabilitation and medical massage. In 2008 Jennifer moved to St. Augustine, FL and got a job working at the PGA Tour Spa Laterra and worked there until they closed in 2010. Jennifer then started her own business, Skillful Touch Bodywork and performed outcalls as well as working with Renaissance Hotel at the World Golf Village performing massage for their corporate and group events. She also was asked to join Sphere’s team in downtown St. Augustine. Jennifer received a great amount of training in Aromatherapy, including Raindrop Therapy, while at Sphere and in 2010 Jennifer also traveled for her continuing education in Traditional Thai and Lomi Lomi massage.
In July of 2012 Jennifer moved her massage, yoga and Reiki all into one basket as City Yoga opened the Dolce MindBody Spa. Jennifer’s dream has always been to participate in a wellness center and now she has the amazing opportunity to do so. Jennifer performs all of the massage and body treatments on the Dolce MindBody Spa menu and teaches the Basics of Yoga class on Thursday evening as well as the Thursday morning and Tuesday evening Lakulish Yoga classes. Jennifer also offers workshops in Yoga Teachings and other topics at City Yoga.
As the new owner of City Yoga- Dolce Spa, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself for those of you that I have not had the pleasure of meeting. I am originally from Southern Illinois and lived in St. Louis before moving to beautiful St. Augustine. I attended the University of St. Augustine where I received my Doctorate in Physical Therapy and now work Mon, Wed, and Fri at First Coast Rehab on the University campus. Tues, Thurs, and Sat I am at the studio & spa.
I have enjoyed getting to know many of you over the past several months, but for those of you that I have not met I look forward to meeting you in the near future.
I have been practicing yoga for 8 years, but am currently not an instructor. I love to incorporate yoga into my physical therapy practice and enjoy taking my practice off the mat.
I am excited about the wonderful things happening at City Yoga- Dolce Spa and am very thankful to have such wonderful clients and staff!
Aromatherapy massage has many benefits. Aromatherapy affects the body in two main ways. The inhalation of aromatherapy oils affects the nervous system, changes heart rate, breathing, digestive functions, stress levels, and triggers memory.
Aromatherapy essential oils, when applied to the skin in a massage, travel through the skin into the blood vessels and directly into the blood stream. From there they have powerful affects on the body. They can purify the blood, increase digestion, warm or cool the body, relieve anxiety, increase or decrease heart rate and breathing rate, and re-balance hormones, just to name a few benefits.
Essential oil blends made with oils such as marjoram, black pepper, and peppermint can be used in your massage which will help with Fibromyalgia and muscle pain. Blends made with eucalyptus, pine, and spike lavender can be used to clear out the lungs and sinuses and support respiratory function. Clary sage, rose, and geranium can be massaged into the skin to help regulate hormone function. Oils like vanilla, sweet orange, and jasmine can create a euphoric, relaxed feeling.
Aromatherapy oils can have an energizing or a relaxing effect. They can relieve pain and relax muscle tissue. They can even work medicinally in the system to help prevent or aid in clearing disease.
Aromatherapy oils are used in all of the massages offered by Jennifer Jacobsen, LMT at Dolce MindBody Spa. Let Jennifer know your concerns and she can combine a blend specifically for your body!
If you are interested in booking a Massage with Jennifer today, call Dolce MindBodySpa at (904) 617-2860 or book online Here.
What is the Lakulish Yoga posture flow like at City Yoga? How does a Lakulish Yoga class differ from other Yoga classes you may have taken?
The Lakulish Yoga posture sequence, as taught by Jennifer Jacobsen, is one that is performed primarily seated on the Yoga mat with a few warm up standing Yoga postures. The idea is to start low and start slow, turning all the senses inward and mindfully paying attention to the breath, movements, and flow of energy. The entire practice is designed around building digestive fire, purifying the 72,000 nadis (energy channels) in the body, and increasing prana (vital life) in the navel center, manipura chakra (the third chakra, solar plexus). When both the inward moving energy of the upper energy centers in the body (prana) and the outward moving energy from the lower energy centers in the body (apana) move into the navel center, a spark is created, a fire, a pulse (as in physics). This energy is the digestive fire, one of the first fires of Yoga that we need to build in the body to begin purification of the body and its energy lines & centers, according to the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, Puranas, and Vedas, the main textbooks of Yoga.
The Bhagavad Gita, Jnaneshwar’s version, states the following in Chapter 15:
ahaḿ vaiśvānaro bhūtvā
prānināḿ deham āśritah
pacāmy annaḿ catur-vidham
Having become the abdominal fire,
I live in the bodies of all creatures;
and united with the inward and outward breaths,
I digest the four kinds of food.
The Lakulish Yoga postures, as they are taught by Jennifer Jacobsen, and as they have been taught in her Yoga lineage, employ repetition of postures and retention of the breath. In yoga centers around the globe, many students are instructed to breathe deeply through a posture. In the Lakulish Yoga posture series taught at City Yoga, you do not breathe through a posture. In some postures, you will exhale and hold the breath out. In other postures, you will inhale and hold the breath in. Doing so builds tremendous amounts of energy, light, and heat in the body to create the digestive fire. You will then be instructed to transmute this energy by offering this energy into the space of Love, Light, or towards your Internal Self. The postures are repeated up to 10 times each, depending on the class time and Jennifer’s assessment of your body’s needs. Some more challenging postures may only be repeated a few times until you are able to work your way up to more repetitions.
Lakulish Yoga is a process of internal alchemy. We transmute energy into a higher vibrating, purer form of energy. Lakulish Yoga postures are about building Light and prana in the body.
The postures as they are taught by Lakulish Yoga instructors most definitely build internal heat, increase metabolism, purify the body, and provide you with energy. Do not let the postures being performed mostly in a seated position fool you. You will get quite a cardiovascular workout and will shed excess body fat in the process through these postures if that is what is needed for your body! Your body, mind, and energy will become fit, steady, stable, comfortable, and flexible through these postures.
Click Here to see our full schedule of classes at City Yoga- Dolce Spa.
If you would like to read more about Lakulish Yoga, Click Here to visit Jennifer’s Lakulish Yoga website.
I originally found this recipe on Pinterest (Follow me Here) and to my pleasant surprise it is wonderful! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
- 1 cup (dry) oatmeal- I used old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes- Toasting optional!
- 1/2 cup peanut butter- I use half peanut and half almond butter
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed or wheat germ- I use whole flax seeds
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried fruit (optional)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into balls or spoon out as desired. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Original recipe can be found Here