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Meet Jasmine Rausch Leventhal of ROOT Yoga Therapy in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Rausch Leventhal.

Jasmine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Have you ever felt stuck? Well, that was me 5 years ago, as I felt like my life had hit a wall of frustration and chronic pain. I was in an unhealthy relationship, my back pain and asthma were wreaking havoc, and I was clueless about the direction of my career. All pretty clear signs to make a change, right? Wrong. Like so many people, I ignored the warning signs all around me. I knew I wasn’t living up to my potential but I was terrified by the idea of a full-life overhaul. Instead of acting, I stayed in survival mode despite the increasing dis-ease that was taking over.

Then my yoga teacher asked me to join her 200-hour teacher training. As a casual yogi, this idea sounded ridiculous. I rolled my eyes and laughed as I came up with a million and one excuses as to why this was not a good use of my time. But, the longer I sat with the idea the more I questioned why I was so reluctant to change my unhappy routine. I made the leap and decided to sign up. I had no interest in teaching but hoped that, at the very least, the shift in my schedule would offer me some good.

That one small shift in my routine completely changed my life. As my yoga practice deepened, I became more aware of my body and began to understand the root of my physical pain and anxiety. I realized that I had never fully healed from my childhood traumas or the loss of my dad as a teenager and that I had been carrying around that pain – in the way I moved, breathed, and loved – for years. The more I processed those feelings, the more I began to heal in all areas. And in that time, the wall disappeared. I had the power all along.

Soon after, I enrolled in the Clinical Yoga Therapy Program at Loyola Marymount University (the only university accredited program of its kind). I was so inspired by my own transformation and wanted to share this with the world.

Since completing the yoga therapy program and gaining clinical experience working with chronic pain patients at the Venice Family Clinic – Simms/Mann Health and Wellness center, my passion for this field has grown even greater. I have witnessed how yoga therapy weaves seamlessly into contemporary western medicine, resulting in more well-rounded patient care and improved quality of life.

The practice has taught me the difference between healing and curing and to understand that we don’t need to be “sick” or “unhealthy” to need more balance in our lives and within ourselves. It has given me the tools to manage my stress, confidently face life challenges, and support my mental health.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wish! Nothing is ever smooth, especially when you’re building your own business from scratch. Challenge and risk are inherently built into entrepreneurship. It’s been challenging balancing the need to continues growth with facing the uncertainty of trying something new.

My biggest struggles I have faced thus far are:
• Making time to grow
• Prioritizing my self-care
• Leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability

With that, I think what defines a smooth road is the way you face the challenge and your ability to let go of your attachment to the way you think things are supposed to look. Very mindful of me, I know!

My first year as a business owner was all about proving to myself that I could support and sustain my lifestyle financially, which meant saying “yes” ALL the time. I quickly found myself busy working in my business and left with no time to work on my business. I realized that being a yoga therapist did not mean I would naturally be successful at running a yoga therapy business. The skill set of an entrepreneur is completely different and I needed to make time to build those skills.

I’ve also struggled with setting boundaries and ironically my self-care. I felt guilty saying “no” and often put my client’s needs and wants before my own. The very thing I was teaching to my clients was the very thing I was not doing personally. I was burnt out and had no energy for my relationships. I’ve learned that to show up for my clients, I must first show up for myself.

Vulnerability has been my biggest challenge and is something I still work on. I used to think that people only trusted perfection and that if I shared my whole story, I’d be discredited. The more I tried to appear perfect, the less approachable I became, which created a wall between myself and my students, clients and audience. I had to learn self-acceptance and how to embrace my story. I continue to practice letting go of shame and judgment every day.

Whenever I allow shame to dictate what I share or the risks I take, the more I become stunted in my growth. And I’ve already lived that life stuck at the wall and fearful of moving forward. The discomfort of vulnerability is well worth the price of really living life.

So yes, I have struggled and will continue to for the sake of growth and the ability to thrive. However, with each challenge, I come out with a new tool or learning which in turn makes me that much more equipped for the next chapter.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ROOT Yoga Therapy – what should we know?
There is a young pueblo quote that I LOVE. He writes, “true power is living the realization that you are your own healer, hero and leader.” This is the basis of ROOT.

ROOT was founded on the same principle that saved me with one small shift everyone has the power to regain control of their health.

We teach people how to use mindfulness, meditation and yoga to make small and simple shifts in their everyday habits to see big shifts in their healing and well-being. Through habit change, we empower and nurture individuals to live more mindful, free and authentic lives. ROOT means getting to the root of the issue for a long-lasting change.

We offer one-on-one in-person and virtual sessions to individuals with chronic pain, stress, anxiety, grief, depression, respiratory conditions and challenges with self-love and self-worth. We partner with our clients to build specific yoga therapy plans to meet the personal needs and goals of the individual.

But our services don’t stop at the individual. We love working with groups and companies to share the benefits of mindfulness and yoga in any setting.

• Our self-care workshops and events target areas of the mind/body connection like how to end toxic relationships, put yourself first, and clear the mental clutter to set and achieve goals.

• Our corporate wellness programs, retreats and ongoing education courses help professionals learn how to practice mindfulness to reduce stress and become more productive on and off the job. We have a popular MCLE (continuing legal education) course that is all about using mindfulness to stay compliant with their obligations and responsibilities as lawyers.

As a company, we are most proud of the approachability and sustainability of our teachings. Our practice is so unique because it centers on starting with small steps that anyone can take. I pull from my own experiences in feeling so intimidated by change. So many programs require a huge commitment, detox or a week-long expensive retreat without any support when you get back to the real world. These approaches either scare people away or prove unsustainable in the long-term.

Instead of full-life overhauls, we keep things simple. We understand how challenging it can be to make changes to the way we live our lives, interact in our relationships, and engage with ourselves. Undoing habits and patterns takes effort and consistency. We offer simple and manageable tools, so people feel comfortable and confident to implement the practices into their daily lives.

We’re currently working on a series of online courses and videos to help more people access our teachings from wherever they are in the world.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Vulnerability. Vulnerability has been the key to creating connection and an authentic audience, building trusting relationships, and lets people know that they are not alone.

When people see that you’re human, they are also more willing to be human. Sharing my story with the world (as much as I struggle with it, for all the same reasons many of us do) has allowed me to live more authentically and practice what I preach.

As I began to share my journey, my struggles, my pain, and my victories with the world, I noticed an immediate difference in my relationships, my audience engagement and the opportunities that came my way. Vulnerability has also allowed me to “dare greatly” and take risks in my business. This isn’t because I have no fear, but because I can feel the fear and do it anyway.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sarah Williams

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