Janet Stone, Founder and Director of Stone Yoga School has immersed herself in the ancient practices of yoga for over thirty years. A global yoga teacher, she shares the teachings from the heart. In this feature Janet shares how she creates a unique approach to living yoga.
Please tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to continue this path professionally?
Born into a family that had three generations before me, birthed and raised in Hyderabad, India, my curiosity was sparked and later that became a desire to explore the richness of what felt like a mystical land. During my time in the film industry, I found my way to India and the rich traditions of yoga expanded within me and my curiosity turned into deep studentship.
From pure studentship, I was taken aside by my root teacher who told me that I would teach yoga. I laughed uproariously.
Who’s laughing now? After many teacher trainings and nearly a decade of practice, I was talked into subbing a yoga class for a friend and, well, that was it. From that day forward I noticed I was teaching more yoga than working on films.
Today, 30 plus years later, I am still a student of the endless well of yoga and from that studentship, I am inspired to share the teachings.
How would you describe your style of yoga?
Embodied from the inside out. It’s an all-in approach. In other words, yoga is not something we do for 90 minutes a few times a week; it’s the way we live our lives. I am steeped in tradition but I also live a modern life, so it’s a fusion of the ancient wisdom met through a present tense lens that acknowledges the body, mind and spirit in equal measure. Alongside that, it’s infused with the tradition of Bhakti (yoga of the heart) through chanting and devotion to each breath.
Photo Credit: Lululemon
We tend to think of spiritual practice as working primarily with the mind, soul or spirit. Why is it beneficial to have a movement or posture practice as well?
Contemporary science reveals that we store our history in our cells, in our gut and internal organs. This reflects what the ancient art and science of yoga already understood: that it’s all interconnected. We can’t do one without the other. Just dealing with the body is not enough as much as just approaching the mind is not enough. It’s a full being endeavor.
Photo Credit: Lululemon
Do you have any complimentary personal routines that you regularly practice for self-care and wellness?
I’ll offer a small glimpse into my morning dinacharya (morning ritual)
- Wake up early and before I touch the phone, tend to the kids, and before the world calls me to get busy, I pause, notice my breath, sit up and place my feet on the ground. Scan the body and say a little offering of gratitude for what is here and available.
- Warm lemon (or ginger/turmeric/pepper) water
- 9 sun salutation (if I have time I’ll do more vigorous or more grounding practices)
- Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing)
- Chant mantra
- Sit in meditation
- Tongue scraping/Oil pulling/neti pot & nasaya oil in nostrils, cold water splashes on the face, dry brushing)
What advice would you give to someone who has never taken a yoga class?
Yoga is for everyBODY. It doesn’t matter where you are in the arc of your life. Yoga is a path to return home, to your true nature, the longing to feel whole, connected, grounded and fulfilled. It can be arrived at in a myriad of ways, but it is truly available to anyone as a journey of healing and strengthening from the inside out.
Photo Credit: Pete Longworth
Where can we learn more about you?
Can’t miss me. Social Handle @janetstoneyoga and website janetstoneyoga.com and youtube channel, google, Janet Stone on Spotify (4 albums) and just ask my kids…they know everything about me.
I have a complete virtual & in person teacher training, yoga practice bundles, online dharma teachings, retreats globally, teach locally in San Francisco, California.