Hello, my name is Kristina Hardy, I am a 500 E-RYT and I would like to introduce you to a new yoga product that I have been developing over the past 2 years. First, however, it is important for you to know how I came to this idea. This is the story of the Jevin.I stepped onto my yoga mat for the very first time 18 years ago. I was very tight and inflexible with poor posture which caused me a lot of shoulder discomfort and jaw pain and I thought practicing yoga would help me alleviate these issues. Coming from a very active family, (my husband was a professional athlete in the National Hockey League and both of my children were college athletes) working out was our lifestyle. I was a dedicated marathon runner and I had it engraved in me to work out hard, so I immediately gravitated toward the Vinyasa power classes because I loved the sweaty workout. Unfortunately, I paid little attention to the alignment of my body or whether I was doing the poses safely. I powered through the classes assuming I was doing the postures correctly, but I later discovered I didn't fully understand how yoga should feel. My flexibility was slightly improving; my posture, a slight change. However, I still had jaw pain and new painful sensations were arising in my body. Overall my practice began to feel generally stuck, like my body was out of sync. At this point, my muscle memory through repetition was getting really good at making the same alignment mistakes over and over again, causing pain and bad habits to form.
Fate brought me to one particular teacher who focused strictly on alignment and she changed my life. She taught me that by going over the alignment in small parts (each part slowly until I could do it well), I could gradually begin to reverse the bad habits that had formed in my body. At this point I was already a certified instructor teaching Vinyasa flow, but I still began an intense study of the body under the guidance of alignment-based teachers and mentors.
What I really learned from my studies is that proper alignment is hard! It’s very easy to misalign and form bad habits. We want to get into the poses quicker than our bodies are able too; it’s just in our nature, instead of taking the time and energy to do the poses correctly. I love how one of my teachers put it, and try to think of it this way:
"Our minds are like microwaves, our bodies are crockpots."
When our bodies are misaligned it blocks the free flow of energy. Blocked energy causes dis-ease in the body. It brings stress to our joints and our movements will become ineffective; it is the quickest way to injury. We want our yoga to strengthen and rehabilitate, not weaken and debilitate. Instead of working harder with fewer benefits, wouldn't you rather work less but achieve maximum results? The point of a yoga practice is not how deep you get into the pose, Its how you get there. Clear lines of energy for free flow of pranayama (breath) is our focus. These results will only come when you are in a state of power, strength and ease, and only in alignment can you achieve this.
As my learning and teaching progressed I began focusing on alignment first before flow. I wanted my students to find their ideal positions to help the muscles and joints produce and reduce force in the best manner, thus minimizing any risk of injury. As my classes grew larger, though, I still saw students struggling with alignment. I became frustrated that I could not attend to them all throughout the class. That’s when the idea of the Jevin came to me.
My first thought was to create something simple that would help keep shoulders positioned safely in forearm stand. The strap and blocks felt awkward and unstable to many students, myself included, and I often see tight shoulders internally rotate, bringing the elbows out and the hands inward which will lead to injury. Thus, this idea of an uncomplicated solid tool was born. I designed and manufactured an initial prototype, and at first I had just planned on using them on myself and my students. When I started testing them, it turned out they were becoming helpful in several poses. We played and explored the benefits they offered and I was receiving quality feedback. So, I decided to name it, share it with the world and hopefully help others find alignment, refinement and freedom in their bodies while also erasing, fixing and preventing bad habits so commonly picked up in their practices. My product truly comes from my heart, the same place I keep my love for yoga and my family, so I thought it fitting to combine the two together and name my product after my children. By combining their names, Jessica + Kevin, the Jevin was truly born.
I have now been introducing and exploring the many benefits of the Jevin for the past 2 years. My brother-in-law is in charge of the manufacturing and we have worked together efficiently to now introduce and make the Jevin available to all. I am extremely proud of my product and the positive effects I have seen it manifest in my students' bodies, and I hope to continue seeing the benefits in yogis everywhere.