How I Got Here

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I didn’t intend to be a yoga teacher. When I was five years old, I knew I was going to be a child psychologist. The day I left for college, the plan hadn’t changed. Three days into freshman year, I changed my major to English and went into journalism as my career. I worked in newspapers and then settled into my dream career of editing a family magazine. It was perfect.

Technology happened, and print media lost its luster. After the magazine closed, I went into marketing, nonprofits, fundraising, that sort of thing. Stress was part of the job and part of what drove me. I craved stress, the way some people crave booze or cigarettes.

I moved from creative job to creative job every couple of years, looking for something that could keep my attention, something that would fulfill my need for constant stimulation. Eventually, I discovered weightlifting. I worked with a personal trainer, devouring fitness as I had my many jobs. One day, my trainer tried to assist me with stretches and announced I was completely inflexible. He told me I needed yoga.

I’ve written in other blog posts about my unexpected introduction to yoga, so I won’t rehash that here. I’ll just say that I started yoga to get a more flexible body. I stuck with yoga because it fed my ego. I went to teacher training because I wanted to teach yoga to kids. I learned, during teacher training, that I was (my term, not theirs) an Ego Yogi. I had been practicing five days a week for four years, and I had never “gotten” the true purpose of yoga practice.

Yes, I could talk the talk. I could pop into impressive poses, I could lecture people about the “therapeutic value” of yoga, I could warn against stretching without warming up. But until I went through the heart-wrenching process of self discovery that is yoga teacher training, I had no idea what yoga truly is about.

Through the catharsis that followed my training, I found a passion for sharing the full benefit of yoga with others. I discovered that I’m uniquely qualified to help people like myself find peace and purpose beyond a self-defeating need for constant stimulation.

When my husband was relocated with his work to Muskogee, I needed two things: a job and a place to practice yoga. I found that jobs in my field are pretty scarce, and the nearest yoga studio (which was an awesome place, by the way) was 25 minutes away. Hmm. I have this certification, and this passion for sharing yoga. What to do…

Opening a yoga studio has its risks, but it’s been more rewarding than I could have imagined. I truly believe that the best people in Muskogee have found their way to my studio steps (or are on their way to them).

Teaching here in Muskogee has been one of the most amazing things I’ve done in a life filled with amazing things. I can’t wait to meet more of Muskogee’s best people.

Along the way, I’ve earned my CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) through ACSM so that I could better understand how the human body moves. I’ve led workshops on mindfulness, change, weight loss, and more. I’ve proudly taught a weekly outreach class of teen boys at the Allaxis Boys’ Home for nearly two years.

If you’d like to come visit, we’re located at 826 E. Broadway.

16 thoughts on “Jena Barber, E-RYT, CPT, Owner

    1. TheYogaNinja says:

      Hey Tammy! We have a Beginner Workshop coming up May 7, or you might enjoy a Gentle or Vinyasa Basics class. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. Thanks!

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      1. Davin says:

        My wife and I live in Wagoner and we are interested in a beginners class. I am a chronic pain patient and want to find alternative workout.

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      2. TheYogaNinja says:

        Hi Davin, the beginner’s class will be an excellent fit for you! Be sure to let your doctor know you’ll be trying yoga and ask if he/she has any specific instructions or limitations for you. The next step is just to register for a class and get started. Clients with chronic pain have had great results by incorporating yoga into their lifestyles. If you have any questions, check out the FAQ page on the website or send me an email at jena@yogabindi.com and I’ll be glad to help. See you soon!

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    1. TheYogaNinja says:

      Hi Kim! Beginning in August, we’re considering putting together a beginner series. Please sign up for our emails and we’ll keep you posted. Also, follow Yoga Bindi Studio on Facebook. Thanks for your interest!

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  1. Kassie Burwell says:

    I work 5 days a week for Muskogee Public Schools, so I would need a class after school or on the weekend. I’ve never done yoga, but everyone that does loves it. I’m 69 years old. Any thing avaiavle?

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  2. Rhonda Palmer says:

    I am a 53 year old women that had a stroke 14 years ago. I have chronic migraines & a very weak right side. I have tried many of physical & orthopedic therapies. That caused right side swelling, & a migraine that put me down for days. I have found that stretching & massage helps me out a lot. I really want to try Yoga to help me get more flexible & mind health that doesn’t trigger swelling or stress. I was told yoga does both of those. As a certified yoga instructor do you believe yoga has both of those qualities built in the workout? Would love to hear from you. Trying to get a better quality of life without living on pain meds. Thank you in advance for a response.

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    1. TheYogaNinja says:

      Hi Rhonda, it’s great to hear from you! Gentle yoga and beginner yoga are generally great for most everyone. As a yoga teacher, I can share my confidence in yoga as a general wellness and lifestyle activity. As for what yoga can do medically, I’m actually not allowed to give any advice on that end. But be sure to check with your doctor, because the American College of Physicians has recommended yoga and other treatments for many chronic pain, inflammation, and stress issues. If your doctor says you’re ready for yoga, I can definitely help you!

      Thanks, and I hope to see you soon!
      Jena (E-RYT, CPT, teacher)

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