Meet Jacquie “Sunny” Barbee
1- In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you.
I am a yoga practitioner in an aging, plus sized, chronically ill body that hopes to make yoga more accessible in as many ways possible to every body. I try to help practitioners connect, love and be grateful for the body that shows up for them everyday in whatever capacity it is in at that moment.
2- What inspired you, if any, to join the Warrior Flow 200-Hour Yoga Training’s faculty?
I appreciate that this YTT is more accessible than many trainings I’ve seen, even the one I attended myself. It’s rare to see the diversity in the faculty come together like this and offering such variety of experiences and knowledge.
3- In simple words, what does yoga mean to you?
For me, yoga is service to the whole community. It is action beyond the poses. It is the connection with myself and how that is carried out into the world. Yoga is a vehicle towards peace, balance, and healing for all.
4- What is the main difference between learning yoga now and when you took your first yoga training?
Before, it was the poses and breath work and helping me to cope with my illness both mental and physical. Now, along with that, it is how can I make a difference in the world with action rooted in yogic principles.
5- In your opinion, why is this a key moment in time to learn yoga?
The world needs so much healing, maybe now more than ever.
6- Who would you be without yoga?
I would still be in a corporate, capitalistic driven career that was making me more sick and stressed. Before my practice, I was always in pain and anxious and not living my best life because when I wasn’t working, I was in bed struggling.
7- Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are today?
During YTT, I found yoga teachers in bigger and chronically ill bodies loving themselves and living their best lives. Teachers like Dianne Bondy and Amber Karnes showed me that more teachers that looked like me needed to be leading classes and sharing how yoga truly is for every body! Jivana Heyman taught me how to make the deeper connection between the physical practice and the philosophy of yoga and how to make it even more accessible to everyone.
8- What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
As a teacher practicing in a plus sized body, I wasn’t sure that students would take me seriously or even want to practice with me. This made me doubt myself at times. I learned that putting your leg behind your head or having the perfect handstand wasn’t necessary to make an impact or a good teacher. I teach from my heart and my personal experience and that is enough.
9- What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
We need to pause, rest and work on healing our own traumas. This will help the collective community to do the same and see each other as a whole. We must be standing up and speaking out against all the “isms” and injustice happening around us rather than sit passively by thinking “this doesn’t affect me” because we are all connected.
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