Yoko Jackson: Dedication Pays Off

Look out Adult 50+ Women’s Division! YogaWorks Pure Om Fairfax’s competition team has a new competitor this year who has a beautiful and strong routine. Yoko Jackson has only been practicing yoga for three years, but she brings the commitment and dedication of a true competitor. She is a true demonstration of the old adage that its never too late to start your practice and see real results.

Yoko grew up in Japan where she met her husband who was deployed there with the U.S. military. They moved to the U.S. permanently in 2008. In 2014, Yoko injured her hip joint playing her favorite sport at the time -- tennis. A friend told her about the benefits of hot yoga, and she gave it a try. To her surprise, the yoga helped her hip pain, and Yoko was hooked.  She began practicing every day, making steady progress in learning the asanas.

Yoko, who turns 50 this competition year, now enjoys not only traditional hot yoga but also Vinyasa, Barre, Yin, Power Yoga and Rocket Yoga.  When she started practicing yoga, she couldn’t even touch her toes. Her flexibility and strength have grown so much that she felt ready to compete and demonstrate optional postures such as Upward Stretching and Crane. Upward Stretching is her favorite posture in her competition routine, though her Crane is looking very strong too!

Yoko says that in addition to increased flexibility, she has seen her core and other muscles grow stronger and stronger. Yoga has also helped ease an old back injury that has plagued her since high school. She concentrates on doing yoga postures with proper form, slowly increasing the depth. Why did she decide to try yoga competition?

“I wanted the challenge and to see what I can do,” she explains. Working with the Pure Om competition team “is helping to improve my postures and timing --- things I could not do on my own,” she says.

Yoko also believes that her yoga practice is key to good health. She notes that she has not had a day of sickness since beginning her practice three years ago. She practices yoga every day, and though she does not teach, has taken teacher training for Rocket Yoga and Pure Power to improve her form. Yoko also follows a healthy diet, starting her day with Chai Tea, eating lots of vegetables and little meat, and drinking Kombucha as well.

Though her husband and two children (ages 16 and 21) do not practice yoga, they are very supportive of her and encouraged her to try the competition. While she’s a little nervous about performing live, Yoko knows that the support of her studio, her team and her family will give her the confidence to demonstrate the best routine that she can.

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