Yoga Tribe Blog


Teacher of the Month January 2014: Jason Wilkerson

What is your hometown? Lake Forest, California

What was your childhood aspiration? To play point guard in the NBA

When and where was your first yoga class? March 1995 at Bikram’s Yoga College of India on Chestnut and Lombard in San Francisco. Bikram’s first studio in the United States established in 1973.

Who is your most influential teacher and why? My late mother, Cindy. She taught me how to be a human being. She was the most real human being and showed me that our mistakes can become our greatest blessings. I watched her battle cancer for 5 years and doing so without complaining. She did it with the constant thought of others and how she could serve them. She is my hero. She loved me unconditionally and gave me the opportunity to live my dream of opening a yoga studio. She is responsible for the opening or the studio 10 years ago and for the recent expansion.

When was the defining moment when you realized you wanted to teach yoga? In 1996, Bikram’s first lecture during Teacher Training. There were only 36 of us as compared to 450 in a training now. I was the quiet one sitting in the back row and his words spoke through me. He described yoga and what is it to teach it. I had a spiritual awakening because I identified with his words because they described me. I knew then and there what I was going to do with my life and set out at that point to be the best yoga instructor I could be. I found my passion. He inspired me to teach and gave me the foundation to teach what I love.

What is your favorite pose and why? Savasanna - of course! It is the foundation to the Dayton Method Hot Yoga class. It’s the most vital part of the class as it allows the opportunity to practice focusing the mind and creating a consciousness that I never have experienced before in my life. It relaxes the nervous system and repairs my body, mind and heart. It’s a class within the class.

What is the most challenging part of your yoga practice?
Not thinking about the business. I practice here and my mind won’t stop thinking about what is going on and what needs to be done next.

Who is the person who has inspired you most? My mother, Cindy

What are your secret comfort foods? Alden’s Organic Mint Chip Ice Cream from Mother’s Market.

What is the cause you feel most passionate about? Leading the 200-Hour Dayton Method Teacher Training. It’s very gratifying watching students grow into teachers. I love being a part of the change that takes place and the struggles they overcome. These teachers then get the opportunity to change other peoples live.

What is your local retreat? Time spent with my son – Hudson! I forget about problems and live in the present moment with him. My love for him is boundless and I am grateful for every second with him. He is a gift from God.

What is your teaching philosophy? Acceptance. Accepting ALL parts of us – mentally, physically and emotionally. Acceptance is the most important part of my life without it there can be no peace.

How long have you been teaching yoga? 17 years – The best years of my life.

Why is yoga important to you? It has given me a purpose in life. It heals me and I get to give it away to others in class.

What are your favorite hobbies? Parenting, yoga, swimming, walking, meditation, Lakers, USC football.

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