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Meet Trailblazer Jacqui Estrada

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacqui Estrada.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jacqui. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. I remember at an early age, I would create dolls made out of cardboard and clothes made out of paper and dressed the dolls in fabulous dresses I designed and created out paper. It expanded and I made one for each of my friends and we would just hang out and play paper dolls.

And so long story short, I became a fashion designer, not one of those famous ones but I did and it was not as fulfilling as I thought it would be. I felt a sense of lack. I thought to myself, maybe if I move, it would be better. So I moved from the Philippines to LA with one suitcase and $1200 in my pocket, got a job in the fashion industry, fell deeply in love with a man and got my heart badly broken. Little did I know that this heartbreak would change my life.

I was in a lot of pain but I was determined to get out of it. I looked for things to do in LA and yoga popped into my search results among other things. And so the very next day, I took my first class at Yoga Circle Downtown and I knew at that moment that this is something I would do for the rest of my life. Practicing regularly, I got to know myself again which was buried under the love I gave to another person and the pain I felt when the relationship ended. Through yoga, I learned that you have to get to know your pain and be immersed in your pain because that’s the only way to heal it. Not by numbing it or suppressing it. The same with other emotions. Through yoga, I was able to forgive and accept things as they are. There’s so much more to it than the beautiful poses. I can say it’s a tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, after 3 years of practice, I knew I wanted to teach yoga. I went on an apprenticeship program at Yoga Circle Downtown. The studio owner, Knekoh Fruge trained me for over a year and now, I’m one of the regular yoga teachers at the same yoga studio where I took my very first class.

I felt fulfilled when I taught my first yoga class, something I didn’t feel from working in the fashion industry. Something really amazing came out of my pain. I have found my true calling, my passion.

The money is far from the same, I can speak for other yoga teachers when I say we don’t make money teaching yoga but the satisfaction and fulfillment you get from it is something money can’t buy.

Has it been a smooth road?
I would say no. I mean how boring a smooth road would be? We all need challenges to be where we want to be or to be where we are right now.

The struggles I’ve had mostly are with myself. I grew up very shy that I wouldn’t raise my hand even if I knew the answer at school. I would have a hard time expressing myself and believing in myself. I’m a totally different person now but it was not easy overcoming those struggles.

My advice for other women particularly young women is to dream and go after that dream. Find your true calling and be open to whatever life throws at you because whether it’s good or bad, there is always a lesson to learn.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m a yoga teacher at Yoga Circle Downtown.

I specialize in Power Flow Yoga. I’m known for my challenging classes and for my love of arm balance. I also teach a monthly workshop that’s all about arm balancing poses and inversions.

What I’m most proud of as a yoga teacher is seeing my students progress in their practice not just physically but also mentally and spiritually.

I can’t really tell what sets me apart from others because I don’t know them enough to make that distinction. What I can say is I always teach from my heart. I am authentic, passionate and creative which show in the classes I teach. Practicing and teaching yoga brings me so much joy and contentment. I’m very grateful I can share it with people.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Overall I had a happy childhood and I was raised by parents who supported me since I was a kid and that gave me freedom of choosing what I want to have and accomplish in life.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Yoga Circle Downtown
    400 S. Main St
    Los Angeles, CA 90013
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @jacquisassy

Image Credit:
Anastasia Vishnya, Rachel Brodeur

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