Sparked by her passion for health and wellness, Jenna McGrath’s initial interest in yoga began in 2006. Now the owner of Jasper Wellness, Jenna dedicates her time to helping others maintain a healthy mind and body through yoga practice.
"I think I went to my first yoga class out of interest in health and wellness as I was already a massage therapist," says Jenna. “As a wedding gift in 2008, my husband sent me away for my Yoga teacher training in Quebec. I spent a month immersed in the yoga lifestyle, rising with the sun each day, practicing and learning for 10-12 hours a day."
"When I went to yoga teacher training, I didn’t necessarily think I would become a yoga teacher. I went for the immersion, I went for my own personal practice.”
Shortly after moving to Jasper, Jenna started the community yoga program in response to the demand for affordable yoga practice.
“I was working for community outreach services and was just dedicating my time to leading a free class on Wednesdays at lunch hour. The more time that I spent doing casual classes, the more time that I was realizing that I needed to follow my heart and go back into the industry […] so I left my full-time job and started getting back into it.”
Along with improving physical strength, Jenna believes that yoga provides mental clarity and stability to those who decide to practice it regularly. She’s observed the positive changes firsthand with participants in her classes.
“I think the biggest instant change that I’ve observed is watching the 50+ crowd come in and have no experience with yoga, and within a couple weeks of practice being able to eliminate things from their life like high blood pressure medication […] "
They’re more grounded, more relaxed and have a better connection with themselves both physically and mentally.
Now that Jenna owns her own yoga studio in Jasper, she has the opportunity to combine her passion for yoga and love of Jasper National Park with visitors and the local community through outdoor yoga sessions.
“Every Saturday and Sunday morning that it’s nice out, we will be at Lake Annette from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM to practice yoga together. If yoga participants need mats they can request us to bring them for them and we rise and start our Saturdays and Sundays together with the practice of yoga there”
Jenna wants to emphasize that yoga is accessible to anyone. Participants don’t require much equipment, just their own two feet and a willingness to practice.
“It’s not necessarily something that you have to learn or buy expensive clothes for […] yoga and breath and whatever that looks like, that it’s available to everyone. The more we can learn about ourselves, and the more regulation we can have, the better our overall well-being will be.”
In celebration of International Yoga Day and the summer solstice, Jasper Wellness will be leading indoor and outdoor yoga classes throughout the day on June 21st.
Check out the Jasper Wellness website for more information on upcoming events and the weekly yoga schedule!