I first met Johanna about ten years ago or so…
I was working behind the desk at Sonic Yoga, and Jo, a vibrant lady I had only just met had lost her shoes… somehow on my watch a beautiful pair of red leather shoes had walked off. With what I later learned was customary aplomb, Jo said, “Don’t worry about it!” and with a huge smile she danced off wearing the only shoes that happened to be in the lost and found: a pair of strappy, gold, spike heels that looked like something out of Saturday Night Fever.
That is the perfect image of her spirit: undaunted, joyful, and dancing in a pair of rockin’ gold shoes.
Over the next ten years I got to know Jo both as a teacher and as a dear friend. I first got to know her as a teacher when she assisted one of my favorite mentors, Jonathan Fields. I remember that even as an assistant she was so detail oriented in her teaching while being so kind in the offering. I have never learned so much about alignment as I did from Jo in her assisting and her early teaching. This was her foundation.
But from the beginning it was clear that Jo had a different and profound sensibility. From the beginning of her teaching career her classes combined rigorous alignment with equally rigorous acceptance; spirit and the arts were seamlessly woven into each one; her classes soon became a huge following: places of learning, of community, and of deep spiritual awakening.
Jo always has a theme to guide each of her classes, a spine that connects each tenet of her practice together. She begins class with a personal piece of writing that introduces the theme and her thoughts that surround it- she connects herself personally to her asana sequences. In addition, her sequencing is profound: deep, connected, mythic and transcendent, there is something about the way her sequences work that serve to give the greatest possible opening and transformation. My friends and I often say that Jo’s classes are, indeed, a spiritual experience.
Over the ten years that I’ve known her, Jo’s classes have only deepened. What began as the best classes I’ve ever taken have grown to be something more: when I go to her class I can be assured of new perspective, of true growth and of a body, mind and heart opening that can only be experienced through her unique weave of asana, metaphor and soul. I know for many of us her classes are a healing practice, a way to shift and move the breath through difficulties in the body and the mind. With each passing year she is more and more the guide that all of us seek and the light that all of us follow.
If I were to describe her classes in a few words I would say they are:
Deeply Meaningful on a Heart, Mind and Soul Level
Easy to Connect To
In short: Jo’s classes have opened windows in my soul.
Actress, Author,Yoga Teacher