Love of community and generous heart
Roseville, CA- Jesse Bennett loves her community and her generous heart is always looking for ways to give back to others. Jesse began her training as a Pilates and yoga instructor after college and has been practicing for over 15 years. She found a home teaching at Life Time Fitness shortly after she moved to Roseville five years ago.
Jesse has established herself with a devoted group of members and if you attend one of her classes, you will see why. Member Tamatha Cook shares, “This class just makes me happy. She is such a calming spirit.” Like many members would agree Tamatha says, “It feels like something is missing from my week when I miss her class.” Jesse sets a tone of acceptance for all students no matter where they are in life, and encourages the class as if they were her closest friends.
With multifaceted talents, Jesse also became a published author (and illustrator!) in 2018, tying together the two things that she is so very passionate about – yoga and her children. Her first book, The Yoga House, is based on an evening meditation that she wrote for her children, Madison and Samuel. They read the meditation together every night and it’s included in the back of the book for readers to use themselves. “A yoga house is anywhere you can feel safe and supported,” Jesse explains. The book includes positive messaging and promotes deep breathing for children.
Her second book, Sunshine, spreads the message that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes, with assurance that the “clouds” will pass. It even includes a “toolkit” to help when days are hard. The book teaches positive “I am” statements to boost children’s confidence and self-image. Jesse has loved the entire process of becoming a published author and credits her children for giving her the incentive to pursue it. “My children inspire me and I wanted to do something for them,” Jesse shares.
Putting it all into action
Putting her books and training into action, Jesse volunteers weekly in her son’s classroom, where she teaches yoga and finishes the practice by letting the kids create their own “I am” statements like “I am smart” or “I am funny.” Jennifer Hardy, a first grade teacher at Stoneridge Elementary, shares, “It’s cool to hear [I am statements] from kids this age. It helps them focus on positive talk.” The impact is also lasting. “The kids are using it outside of the time she’s here. A student told me after recess, ‘I thought of a new I AM! I am helpful because I picked up trash!'” Jennifer shares.
Jesse also promotes the messages of her books at local school assemblies. There, she speaks to students about mindfulness and self-respect while encouraging kindness to themselves and others. “The world needs more kind kids,” Jesse says. As her books and message gain traction, she’s been asked to speak at more schools and make television appearances.
Jesse hopes to write another book and continue spreading the message of kindness to help children love themselves and believe in who they are. “I feel overall she is so dedicated and it really is making a difference,” Jennifer shares. “Kids love to see her not just during yoga but any time because she is positive, warm and kind. They do their best to put her teaching into practice. It’s like a chain reaction.”
Words of wisdom
Imparting wisdom for all ages, Jesse writes in Sunshine, “Stick with people who make you feel like sunshine.” If you have the pleasure of meeting Jesse, that will be easy to do.