Teacher

Jim Bennitt

vinyasa

Practice with Jim

About Jim

Jim teaches Tantric Vinyasa Yoga: an authentic, comprehensive practice influenced by ParaYoga, Universal Yoga, the Himalayan Institute, and the Krishnamacharya lineage. Based in Chicago and co-founder of Tejas Yoga Studio, Jim's inspired teachings and demos are sought after at many conferences and studios across the country.

Interview with Jim

What style, tradition, and/or lineage are you a part of (if any)?

The tradition that has influenced me the most (and that I am certified in) is ParaYoga. Yogarupa Rod Stryker has been my teacher since 2002. For years I studied very closely with Rod and assisted in his trainings. I don’t see him as often anymore but still draw heavily on what I’ve learned from him. I think it’s important to have a lineage but to also continue learning from others, even if they are not necessarily yoga teachers. I learn a ton about the anatomy and movement from my physical therapist friend as well as others who have more knowledge of the body (and mind) than I do.

What can I expect from your classes?

If you were to take one of my classes you would likely be familiar with most of what I do but would also notice some things that aren’t in your typical yoga classes. For example, I like to incorporate three-dimensional multi-joint movements that make your body and mind work in a way that is safe but also gets you out of your comfort zone. My classes are also very breath-centric, meaning we prioritize the breath over the shapes. To me, the quality of your inhale and exhale is what’s most important for preparing for seated meditation at the end of class. It’s all a process of “moving into stillness.”

In short, you can expect to sweat a little, breathe a lot, and leave with a sense of mental clarity.

What’s on your mind these days yoga-wise?

I’m super interested in helping people understand the difference between flexibility and mobility. I also love incorporating functional movement into my classes. I’ve seen too many people injure themselves in yoga by becoming overly flexible or trying too hard to get into a complex pose just because they saw someone else do it and it looks pretty. Core strength, hip mobility, and balance is what I like to focus on these days. Of course, I still always include seated breathwork and meditation. To me, that’s what makes yoga yoga.

What do you like to do outside of yoga?

When I’m not on a yoga mat, I’m on a jiu jitsu mat. I’m a brown belt at the moment and train three times a week. It gives me a chance to just be a student, have some fun, and use my body (and mind) in a completely different way.

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