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joannagcohen joannagcohen

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Joanna Cohen  just tryna vibe higher yoga teacher + health coach


“know your role. play it well.”

my immediate next question was: “how do i know what my role is supposed to be?” the answer was much simpler than i anticipated: “you’re living it.”

in nyc culture especially, we’re always looking for what’s next and where we’re climbing and who we’ll be *someday*. this message, that life so far has led me into the exact role i’m supposed to play, and will continue to do so so i can stop stressing out about it, brought me more momentary peace than i could’ve asked for.

know your role, play it well.

if we don’t show up as ourselves, in spite of whatever the demands or desires of the people around us may be, it’s inevitable we lose ourselves. when our actions aren’t our truest they attract the wrong people, situations, praise and criticism, energy. before we know it our whole lives can become falsehoods.

it’s a vicious cycle and all i know is the best antidotes are moments of pause. seek those out on the reg.

“teachers should have a teacher.”

by some stroke of luck or fate i found mine 2 years ago thousands of miles from New York City, but as close to home as it gets in terms of connection of the heart. i’ll never be able to describe fully in words the wisdom, humility and generosity of this man. there isn’t a word he speaks that i don’t respect. as a teacher i know that anything i’ve learned from him i can completely trust and pass along to my own students. to me that’s invaluable.

thank you thank you thank you Swamiji, always. 🙏🏻

my favorite reminder from Indian culture: pay THIS amount of care to life 🇮🇳🌹

annually, forever, my favorite post. HBD you two ❤️

speaking of soul-driven goals, this lady☝️surely represents one that came as a big surprise for me this year.

i finished @nutritionschool in September, but the prospect of setting up a health coaching practice didn’t feel like the right next step for me. hesitantly, i started to write off coaching before i even started, as it felt more like something i’d do to tell my family about at christmas than something i’d enjoy.

then Rosa asked me if i’d coach her. she had only one expectation: to feel better and be happier.

that ask resonated with me, as it’s been my personal exploration for the last 2+ years. working with people towards that end felt true. so i decided to try it but told myself that every aspect of how i approached this new “job” would have to feel exciting and right. somewhere along the line i’d internalized the notion that to succeed, we have to sacrifice FULLY enjoying the work we do. i asked myself not to let that idea creep into this work.

over the last 3 months we’ve held our coaching sessions every other week over lunch, enjoying and exploring good food and working on Rosa’s health goals. we’ve hit most of the healthy spots around Union Square, chatted through menus, even done a shopping trip to @wholefoods together focused on making smart choices.

not only has Rosa met her goals and moved on to new ones, every step of the way it’s been fun and fulfilling. our meetings are a highlight of my month.

so THANK YOU Rosa for encouraging me to think outside the box, for taking a chance on me and for all your hard work. and thank you @nutritionschool for giving me the tools to do this work.

more coaching things to come in the new year! happy, healthy-ish holidays to you and you and you and you ❤️

as i’ve been looking back on the goals i set for myself in 2017, i noticed that they fall into two very different camps: goals that were driven by my ego and goals that were decided by something i can only best articulate as my soul.

when i look honestly at my lists, some of the things i’ve been working towards aren’t truly things i want: instead they’re ambitions for myself i idealized growing up, or things i want in part because of how they’ll affect the way other people view me.

unsurprisingly, the things i realize to be ego-driven are also the things i’ve been finding it hardest to make progress on - the things i seem to have to drag myself to work towards.

on the other hand things that come from a deeper place have manifested in ways i couldn’t even have orchestrated if i tried. they’ve fallen into place almost effortlessly in some cases.

not even waiting til the new year to learn from this. the rest of 2017 + most definitely in 2018, i’ll be over here asking myself “is this ego-driven or soul-driven”?

📸cred: @vicco53 , who forced me to stop and take this on a v soul-filling father daughter kayak ride 😭

today I spent the very last dollar I saved during one of the best years of my life. luckily, these friends are 4eva. 🍙

✌️Korea, 👋 India

forearm stand continues to teach me more than any other asana. i remember two firsts with it: 1a) the first time i got into it, and then 1b) the first time i couldn’t get into it after that. it wasn’t a sit-there-and-try a bunch of times situation, i could feel deep in my body there was no way it was going to happen.

at the time it was incredibly frustrating because my outlook on life was that once you reach a goal it’s complete and checked off, behind you ✔️. if i couldn’t do something i’d once achieved, clearly i must be failing and backtracking.

for 4 years i’ve gone back and forth between being able to get upside down like this and not being able to. forearm stand, ya shattered my perspective on accomplishment and what our paths look like. they are not linear. when i can’t get into this, i’m no longer afraid that i’ve regressed backwards on my straight path. instead, i’m sure i’ve veered to the right or left in the direction of some strength or flexibility or understanding i need to make it a stronger experience the next time i get there. our minds and bodies register experiences and they don’t forget. they naturally seek out their most optimally balanced state.

it’s all happening for, not to, me. just got to stay present with the process.

📸: @caseylaynea 🙏🏻

few moments as a teacher have been as rewarding for me as this one. the mentor-mentee bond is hard to describe in words - it’s almost a parental pride I feel for these two. @lauraevelynsack , you have awed me over the last 6 weeks. all I can say is keep doing you, you’re a star. 🖤

every single woman has a story. this one's mine. link in bio, thank you for reading.


but really... these two. i am lucky to know the most generous, beautiful and kind women on earth. did you know they let me crash with them for SIX MONTHS so i could start teaching yoga? and never for a second made me feel like i was a burden, only supported my journey with all the listening, enthusiasm and pizza necessary. the reasons i love them pile up higher every day, but not a day passes that i don't stop and think about that one.

thank you for being my soulmates in life and in this city we call home. birthday week on blast. #los30 #zosstillabeb

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