WE ARE BECOMING — Jaime Hepburn

Jaime Hepburn is a Los Angeles based yoga instructor, setting her classes to her consciously-curated playlists and combining fluid movement with static core-driven holds and playful inversions. She runs yearly retreats around the world, and is currently leading classes on Instagram Live to give people a way to move their bodies while staying safe at home. On the OZMA Journal, Jaime tells us what this shift has been like for her, and gives us tips for seeing through the darkness to the light.


Jaime wears the House Top and Crop Wide Leg in Natural





From Jaime:

I’m sitting in my bedroom on a chair brought in from our living room, a space which currently sits dismantled. Our couch has been separated and pulled off to the sides, the coffee table transformed into a stand for a tripod which holds my IPhone. I can hear my husband clicking his mouse in the small corner that is occupied by our dining room table, his new office. Our living room: now a virtual yoga studio.

This is what life inside our 700sq-foot apartment looks like every day during lockdown. He in his space, working away at his computer on a remote desktop; me, online, streaming daily live IG classes from our living room floor. I’m in a groove now. I wake up, have a tea, spread the couches to the farthest edges of our apartment, move a plant, set up a mat, position a tripod. Repeat.

It's our new normal, it's been this way for 21 days.

It feels pleasantly productive, this new set-up; I feel a sense of nourishment after each class I teach. Despite our circumstances, I feel a new wave of creativity has taken hold of me and I’m letting it run wild. This is the first time I have sat down to write something this honest in nearly 5 years.

Of course, lockdown hasn’t been all sunshine and productivity. The days, which seem to have melted into one long endless March, have varied in both energy and emotion. Some afternoons have seen me melt post-class into one half of our split couches, eyes glued to re-runs of shows like The O.C., something I’ve seen a hundred times now and never changes. Something I thought I should be past by now, but the rules don’t seem to apply in a lockdown. Even the appropriate hour for a that first glass of wine has become blurred.













I’m a full-time yoga teacher, so I, like so many, lost my job the day they decided to close yoga studios. Three and a half months into a big move from London, UK. Three and a half months into a grind that saw me start to re-build everything I had just left behind. To say it was hard on my soul would be an understatement. But sitting here now, I know I am one of the lucky ones.

I spent the first few days, probably as you did, in a dream-like state of confusion and uncertainty. But I feel like my life prepared me for this somehow, one road-block in front of the other. The perfect amount of life-challenges. This was just another opportunity for me to overcome, albeit, a big one. I made the decision that Sunday to take things online. I felt the world was crying with anxiety, and I wanted to be of service. I was absolutely terrified of putting myself out there, but knew if I announced it I would show up. So, I did, and on that first class more than 300 people tuned in.

I used to really panic about how easily I was able to wear a different face for different scenarios and people. It really bothered me about myself. In the last year I've been working to accept and celebrate what lies and the root of that ability: the desire to connect and belong with other human beings. And recognize that as something pretty pure and sweet. I can try to free myself of the absolute need to be what I think others need me to be, while also being gentle on myself when that impulse wants to dominate. Really, the slow stripping away of wearing-the-right-face, is a very important part of me getting to know who I really am and what I really want in this lifetime.

In the aftermath of that first class that I felt more connection than I had since moving to Los Angeles. An outpouring of messages came flooding in, each with a very similar tone. Nearly everyone was scared, and everyone was struggling. So many people are sitting on the breadline, hoping they will make it out the other side alright. I have friends that have just started businesses, trying hard to keep things alive online.

There is currently an immense amount of darkness, but if you look for it, also a tremendous amount of light. This is a global crisis, so in a way we’re more connected than we’ve ever been before and we are finally working together towards the same cause. We are staying home even though we’re struggling. Buying gift cards for later to help keep our local companies afloat. Offering help to our elderly neighbours. The community is gathering and it is stronger than ever. And so, we fight. Together. One day at a time.


Follow Jaime's work here, and tune into her Instagram Live yoga classes here.  Jaime will be leading a Yin Yoga class on our Instagram Sunday 4/12 at 10am PST. 







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