CHOGA was created by Jessica Waters and Richard Archambault in 2021 as a means to answer the call for the need for accessible, body positive, large body yoga that meets individuals where they are with their specific mobility needs without body or ability shaming. Jess is a certified Accessible Yoga Teacher trained by Jivana Heyman and Amber Karnes as well as a certified Yoga For All Bodies Instructor trained by Diane Bondy and Amber Karnes. Additionally, Jesia completed her RYT-200 from Yoga and Ayurveda School with Steph Ball Mitchell in the Krishnamachara lineage that also included certification in Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, Ayurveda Specialist and Restorative Yoga. Jes scompleted additional Yoga Nidra certification with Michelle Young of My Vinyasa Practice, Y12SR (Yoga for 12 Step Recovery) with Niki Meyers, Kid's Yoga with Nancy Wile and is completing her 300 hour YTT for her 500RYT through Bhakti Yogashala-Rishikesh, India, Aqua Yoga through White Crow Yoga, Subtle Yoga with Kristine Webber and Yoga Medicine Specialist Training with Tiffany Crookshanks. In addition to her yoga specialties, Jess is a licensed counselor, certified integrated medicine for mental health practitioner and has received additional training in both meditation, chant/kirtan/sound therapy, trauma, grief, anxiety, expressive arts and integrated medicine with Yoga.
Her meditation training includes being practitioner of Transcendental Meditation for over 20 years, studying Pranayama, Primordial Breathwork and Meditation at the Chopra Center and trained in Isha Kriya, Metta/Loving Kindness, RAIN, Jon Kabat Zinn's MBSR as well as Taoist and Buddhist meditation practices. She is a certified mindfulness practitioner, a master mindfulness and meditation teacher, a Therapeutic Art and Mindfulness and Meditation Life Coach, expressive arts therapist, sound artist, vibrational energy therapist and contemplative artist. She has been a student of Bhakti yoga for over a decade, engaging in Bhakti yoga studies from Krishna Das, Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass.
She actively studies with Richard Rohr and his colleagues at The Center for Action and Contemplation while embracing and calling on the power of universal energy from the Christ Consciousness, Christian Mystics, Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Sufism and Indigenous and earth based traditions including New Thought (Earnest Holmes and Charles Fillmore), Universalist perspectives respecting all paths of spirituality. She has completed her PhD in metaphysics and and is completing her PhD in transpersonal counseling focusing on the spiritual and metaphysical aspects of expressive arts in contemplative practice for healing addictions, grief and trauma.
She is of Ottawa/Ojibwe decent and studied Indigenous tribal studies including extensive work in animism with Dr. Daniel Foor, Jose Lucero , Gemma Benton, the 13 Grandmothers, Sandra Ingerman and several other notable teachers and elders.
Rich is her avid supporter, problem solver, partner and co-creator assisting in the creation of the physical spaces that she needs for her practice and business. Together they work to deliver assistance to the homeless and support those on the sober path of recovery.
As a large woman, I too, was intimidated by attending yoga classes that were fueled by the thin contortionist woman of the yoga industry. I actually didn't even believe I could be a yoga teacher, even though I felt pulled to it, based solely on my size and my mobility issues. Before I changed my diet, eliminating most processed foods, glutens, most grains, limiting sugar and dairy and filling my life with abundant veggies and fruits, eating eggs, beans, plant protein and tiny amounts of fish/poultry, my body pain from fibromyalgia and other diseases was so intense I could barely walk. Within a month of these food modifications, my pain decreased by 50%. No medications for pain outside topical CBD. Not even Tylenol. As a chronic, complex trauma thriver (not just survivor), the energy of trauma is held in my body. I spent decades studying trauma and running from my own, especially within my body. A few years ago I decided to stop depriving myself, body loathing and self harming with toxic thoughts and food and to embrace the luscious body temple that is the sacred container of the soul on this earth.
So I dove into yoga teacher training, with no intention of teaching yoga at all, and honestly believing I couldn't based on my size. As I went through my YTT 200 I discovered tons of other women and men that felt just like me. They were ample in size, even supersized and they wanted so much to engage in this wonderful healing tradition of body sanctuary through yoga, but had felt shamed, shunned and limited, even invisible or demonized in other yoga classes and the Western yoga marketing industry. That's when I discovered Amber Karnes, Diane Bondy and Jivana Heyman. Amber and Diane became my biggest inspirations showing me that large bodies can do yoga and it's a wonderful, blessed and jubilant thing. That body shaming our batwings, abdominal aprons, folds and curves was never going to get us to love our bodies, but embracing them and standing in the flowing energy of being that surges through all those areas will. Jivana and his Accessible Yoga Teacher Training took me to a whole other level in learning modifications and instead of seeing modifications of asana (poses) as an ala carte option to traditional "full expression of the pose", making modifications normalized, as they should be, allows full embodiment of the energy of the pose. Studying with other teachers and now completing my YTT 300 in preparation for my RYT-500 through Bhakti Yogashal - Rishikesh has given me a rounded perspective, immersing me in the traditional culture of Yoga from India, not the Westernized athletic form. Yoga... means union. Not athletic practice. It is so much more than asana (poses). You'll discover that and a path to loving your full bodied self, whatever your mobility level, when you join me.
All private 1:1 session clients are required to meet on Zoom for an initial intake in order to get to know one another, explore the goals for movement and health with each other and to develop a CHOGAMedicine Treatment Plan for future sessions. This is a 60 minute session that includes your first session of warm up and stretch. Additional sessions are booked depending on the need of the individual client. Typically a session includes wellness coaching, specialized yoga sequences for you, mindfulness/meditation practice, pranayama, affirmation and gratitude practice as well as processing for a short time after. Sessions can run from 30 minutes for a yoga only session or up to 2 hours for a 1 hour session with extended breathwork and visualization, processing and therapeutic art.
No Group sessions at this time.