GoRecess Playground Pro: Erin Jacques of SLT Yoga, NYC & Montauk
Studios Where She Teaches: Co-Founder & Director of SLT Yoga
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Favorite sports team: TEAM USA from the Olympics (LOVE!)
Background: Erin is the embodiment of a modern yogi - as appreciative of the physical fitness benefits of yoga, as she is of the spiritual aspects. She’s part DJ, part marathoner and newly a kite boarder. Erin is warm, fun-loving, energetic, and motivating. Her classes are accessible yet challenging and her music rocks! Erin received her degree in Exercise Physiology from College of Charleston and has been teaching in the fitness industry for over 15 years. She has worked for several corporations including Exhale where she was the Director of Yoga and Teacher Training for over six years. She recently opened SLT Yoga with Amanda Freeman, the owner of SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone).
ABOUT SLT YOGA
What inspired you to start SLT Yoga? I love Maha Yoga and Yoga Hop in LA and felt like NYC needed a studio similar to their vibe. I have always wanted to have a studio where yoga was fun and about music, but also an incredible workout. Amanda was a long-time client and friend who also saw the same vision and literally one day the space fell right into our laps. It’s always timing.
What is unique about SLT Yoga and why do we all have to try it? There are a lot of great yoga studios in the city but the thing SLT Yoga focuses on is not taking it too seriously and that yoga should be fun but also challenging physically as well as mentally. MUSIC…it’s key. It drives the energy and we like it LOUD! So you might find yourself dancing on your mat or singing along with the tunes. In addition, we have a really strong network of teachers who I truly think are the best in the city.
How does SLT Yoga complement the traditional SLT Megaformer workout? I believe they both complement each other and require a whole mind body connection. SLT is done on a machine where you have to have a lot of focus, balance, strength and stamina while yoga is done with your own body resistance and also requires the same. Although yoga naturally is more stretching.
Do you need yoga experience to try SLT Yoga? NO! In fact we welcome people who are intimated by yoga or people with ADD (like myself) to come. But we also encourage yoga devotees to come try a class.
GETTING TO KNOW ERIN
What’s your favorite thing about teaching? I love people and knowing their backgrounds - I am just curious and fascinated by their stories. And if I can give someone an hour where they can let go of their day, not think about kids, spouses or work and feel good, empowered, strong and relaxed, then I have done my job.
How would you describe your teaching style? How does it make SLT Yoga unique? I defiantly love teaching hard classes but also making them fun, creative, core-focused and set to great tunes! I always thought why can’t yoga be challenging, sweaty AND a good workout? The guiding principle at SLT Yoga is that yoga should be fun! We’re NYC’s first music-focused, high-energy yoga studio. Our challenging and dynamic vinyasa flow classes are set to your favorite upbeat tunes – hip-hop, rock, pop and soul - featuring an authentic, but athletic and energetic flow. Accompanied by loud and motivating music, you’ll experience a mindful moving meditation with the breath and body, pushing you to your personal edge. We add a physical, athletic twist to a spiritual experience.
How do you like spending your time when you're not teaching? Hmm, good question – teaching a lot these days :-) I love being outside so any chance I can get I want to be out moving, like power walking (hiking is my favorite) or running. I can turn my mind off and let go. However, now I really appreciate the still moments where I can just relax.
SLT Yoga always features amazing tunes. What’s your “go-to” workout song? Really depends on the mood. I always love anything by David Guetta he’s amazing! Recently I discovered these songs:
- Hurricane by MS MR
- No Sleep by Wiz Khalifa
- Dedication to My Ex by Lloyd
- ....and for the mellow mood, William Fitzsimmons and anything from Phoenix.
What do you eat/not eat? I can’t wake up without having my morning coffee with extra foam - I crave it! I have to keep my energy up during the day so I always have raw cashews, almonds, dried mulberries and The Perfect Snaque around. And I couldn’t go with out my midday snack of almond butter and Greek yogurt...ADDICTED! I also eat a lot of veggies and fish two to three times a week and NO MEAT! Oh and do love red wine...all things in moderation.
Your guilty pleasure? Sleeping in!
Vacation style - beach bum or active adventurer? Active adventurer, but on the BEACH!
Your most memorable teaching moment? I have a student who practices yoga who is blind and so amazing. I’m so humbled every time she comes to class and grateful for what she teaches me.
The yoga move/pose everyone should master: Child’s Pose! One of the hardest poses because yoga can be humbling and most of us constantly push to the extreme and we need to learn that it’s ok to slow down. It makes us stronger.
If you could give GoRecess users one piece of fitness advice what would it be? Not to take your practice or workout too seriously. We all have days we’re strong and other days we’re not. Just don’t stop moving, but slow down and don’t get discouraged.