Yoga Teacher, Author, Breast Cancer Experiencer
Sweat & soul, wisdom & compassion, artistry & inquiry seem to weave together naturally in the yoga experiences Jill Knouse creates. This emerges from her passions including movement, travel, music and imagery, yoga philosophy, and a genuine interest in human nature. Countless deep explorations into the practices of yoga, including study in India, continue to expand and enrich her teaching. This is not to overlook all that has been gleaned from simply walking through life with all its ups and downs. Jill’s recent journey through and to the other side of breast cancer has left her looking through a new, wider lens and she is even more motivated to learn, grow, and share.
Jill recognizes the value of being flexible, feeling fortified, cultivating balance and seeking appropriate alignment through asana practice. Even more importantly, she recognizes how crucial these principles are to our lives and to our living. Jill’s ongoing fascination with the human spirit — its resiliency and strength — keeps her inspired, pursuing and continuously integrating. She loves sharing her knowledge and life experience in an honest, grounded way.
What's your definition of a SoulJour?
A SoulJour is someone who is committed to their own self-realization, who is willing to take a closer look. I also believe that we lead most powerfully when we lead by example, revealing our own personal truths through our actions.
What mantra/quote/belief do you life by?
I'm here. I'm here now. I am.
What's been your biggest challenge?
This is tough for me to answer with just one particular experience. My greatest life challenges include understanding the nature of being human and accepting the nature of impermanence. I'm examining big life lessons like losing my incredible dad suddenly and way too early, facing my own health challenges (my own mortality) as I walked through a breast cancer journey last year, and I'd even include covid-19 here and the lessons the pandemic is teaching me about letting go. I've been repeatedly asked to soften my grip.
This has led me to a deeper exploration of and personal understanding of Ishvara Pranidhana.
Plus, the above led me to revisit The Five Buddhist Remembrances--
I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill health.
There is no way to escape ill health.
I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground upon which I stand.
How did you heal?
✨Doing the hard things first.
✨Going through and not around.
✨Feeling rather than avoiding.
How did you turn this challenge into opportunity?
By making meaning of the challenges. By examining and excavating what I could learn from it all. I am doing my best to be in inquiry more and more, to sit in questions.
What's your daily practice?
As per usual, I struggle to have just one! There are two things: movement + stillness. Everyday, I try to find time(s) to just sit and be. I also have to MOVE everyday. Is one more important than the other? Ugh. Honestly, if I had to let go of one of these right now, it would likely be the stillness. I spent so much of last year unable to move my body and much of the year without the use of my arms. Movement feels essential to me right now. For my head, my heart, my soul. But, so is stillness.
What's #1 on your bucket list currently?
Write an impact-FULL book.