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Teaching Yoga for all abilities

I love when I get the chance to meet new people, and I’m excited to present something a little different to you today. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Jessica Parson’s this week via FaceTime. Jessica is a certified yoga instructor in Santa Barbara. She runs a class called “Inclusive Yoga for All Abilities”, that helps people who face physical or mental challenges to feel confident and enjoy yoga. She is also the first person in the country to be born with Down syndrome and become certified as a yoga instructor.

I had first recognized Parson’s talents after a friend of mine sent me an article about her yoga class that was written up in the Santa Barbara Independent, which Jessica admitted was a wonderful surprise to experience that type of press, however, to Jessica, her love for yoga has nothing to do with press.

Why Jessica Loves Teaching Yoga

“It feels good to help people and it makes me stronger” said Parson’s about her thoughts on starting this class and seeing so many people benefit from coming to her class. Jessica teaches two times a week at the Carrillo Recreation Center. She has 5- 7 people in each class. She also teaches yoga on Wednesdays to people with special needs at the Alpha Resource Center, and that class is exclusively for the people in that program.

How Jessica Got Started in Teaching Yoga

Yoga has always been a part of Jessica’s life. Jessica’s parents, Sue Anne and Jim Parsons, are both yoga instructors and founded Let it Go Yoga in Santa Barbara. In 1986, Sue Anne and Jim opened up The Yoga Studio, which marked the opening of the first commercial yoga studio in Santa Barbara. It is no surprise through her parent’s passion and lifetime commitment to providing yoga to all that yoga has, and continues to be a passion for Jessica’s entire family. All of Jessica’s siblings are certified yoga instructors.

Get Daily Yoga Practice Easily Through Your Mobile Device

To give her peers even more access to yoga, Jessica and her sister’s, Lauren and Emily, have released a yoga instructional video called Yoga by Teens. This app provides a 40-minute class or three segmented classes featuring standing, seated and floor poses any yogi would love. To get more information about the app or to download it, please click here.

When Jessica isn’t teaching, she enjoys going on bike rides with her father and knitting scarves and hats. Right now, she’s sewing eye pillows for the student’s in her class.

Being a yoga lover myself, I was curious to know what Jessica’s favorite pose was. She replied, “I like tree”. I very much appreciated getting to meet Jessica, getting the chance to hear about her talents and knowing she is helping to make this world more inclusive and accepting. Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your talents with me!

Take Yoga Classes with Jessica

If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, and you’re interested in a unique and fun yoga experience, check out Jessica’s yoga classes through the city of Santa Barbara Park & Recreation Adaptive PE Program, at the Carrillo Recreation Center at 100 E. Carrillo St. on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and also on Thursday from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. For more information, visit or contact Jessica at, (805) 685-8079.

What’s your favorite part about going to yoga class?
What abilities do you find hidden within yourself when you go to class?

I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below in the comment box, so we can share this collective experience of yoga, together.

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