BLOGMay Practitioner Spotlight: Janay Jacobs

Dive into Janay’s Journey in Bridging Holistic Living and Mental Well-being, One Breath at a Time!

We are excited to highlight Janay Jacobs, a dedicated Yoga and Wellness Practitioner, as our Practitioner of the Month for February. Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Janay is a trailblazer in merging wellness and science through her businesses, Yoga with Nay, LLC, and Shea Love Shea Butter. After earning her B.A. in Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Janay embarked on a journey to explore holistic living, which led her to embrace yoga and mindfulness. Her passion for wellness, coupled with her commitment to representation, has propelled her to share her expertise with her community and beyond. Since 2021, Janay has been one of our esteemed practitioners providing services to middle and high school students in Maryland, as well as to people in the community. You can find her in our Let’s Talk! Resource Guide.

Personal Touch

BLHF: How do you incorporate your personality and passions into your work with clients?

Janay: “I believe my personality and passions are embedded in my work due to my personal experiences, empathy, and authenticity. From the outset, I’ve embraced being my true self and taking up space. Authenticity is paramount to me as I not only represent myself but also my businesses and brands, which are reflections of my journey. It’s essential for me to infuse fun into my teachings, as I genuinely enjoy discussing topics I’ve studied while embracing my quirks. Creating an environment where clients can feel comfortable and engaged is key.”

Innovative Approaches

BLHF: Can you share an example of a particularly creative or effective intervention that you’ve implemented?

Janay: “Mindfulness is a simple yet effective intervention that I often utilize. Last summer, during a session with students at High Point High School, we practiced mindfulness in their courtyard, surrounded by nature. Observing nature through the senses in the present moment, combined with the soothing sounds of a singing bowl, provided a unique experience. The students thoroughly enjoyed the activity and were able to connect with their surroundings on a deeper level.”

Tech and Tools

BLHF: How do you leverage technology and digital tools to enhance the therapeutic experience for your clients?

Janay: “I leverage technology to offer various digital resources, such as interviews or talks on relevant topics, especially from relatable public figures, to destigmatize mental health discussions. Additionally, I’ve been focusing on making my sessions more inclusive for clients with hearing disabilities by utilizing visual tools for meditation, such as square or circle breathing aids. Platforms like YouTube, Calm, Headspace, and Insight offer a plethora of resources that complement my therapeutic approach.”

Breaking Stigma

BLHF: What do you think is the biggest misconception about mental health among young adults today, and how do you address it in your practice?

Janay: “A prevalent misconception among young adults is the invalidation of their feelings and experiences. Many young adults are navigating significant societal changes and facing unique challenges. It’s crucial to validate their emotions and provide a safe space for expression. In my practice, I facilitate open discussions during ‘group chats’ in our Hangouts, encouraging individuals to explore and understand their emotions without judgment.”

Self-Care Tips

BLHF: How do you prioritize your own self-care and well-being?

Janay: “Prioritizing self-care is essential for me, and it begins with checking in with myself regularly. I’ve learned the importance of separating my personal identity from my roles and responsibilities. Taking a day off to reset and recharge is non-negotiable. Nature serves as a rejuvenating escape for me, and I often spend quality time with friends to unwind. Disconnecting from social media during meals allows me to be present and fully engage in the moment.”

Pop Culture and Mental Health

BLHF: How do you see pop culture influencing conversations around mental health, and do you think it’s helping to reduce stigma?

Janay: “Pop culture plays a significant role in normalizing conversations around mental health, fostering authenticity, vulnerability, and relatability. Celebrities and public figures openly sharing their mental health journeys contribute to reducing stigma and encouraging others to seek support. Authentic representations of mental health struggles in movies and TV shows create opportunities for education and empathy, ultimately leading to greater awareness and acceptance.”

Future Trends

BLHF: What emerging trends or developments in the field of mental health and wellness are you most excited about?

Janay: “I’m excited about the increasing integration of wellness practices into mental health care, particularly in underserved communities. Practices like sound therapy and somatics offer promising avenues for holistic healing. I’m particularly passionate about seeing more mindfulness and yoga initiatives in schools, promoting mental well-being from a young age.”

Fun Rapid-Fire Round:

BLHF: Favorite self-care activity?

Janay: “Spending time with friends.”

BLHF: Go-to stress-relief song or playlist?

Janay: “Homebody by Nia Palm.”

BLHF: Last book or podcast that left a lasting impression on you?

Janay: “After the Rain by Alex Elle.”

BLHF: One piece of advice you wish you could give your younger self?

Janay: “Don’t ever stop being you.”

Closing Thoughts

BLHF: Any final words of wisdom or encouragement for young adults who may be struggling with their mental health?

Janay: “You may not understand now, but keep going!”

Janay’s dedication to promoting mental well-being through holistic practices is truly inspiring. We extend our gratitude to her for her commitment to empowering individuals on their wellness journey.

Janay Jacobs
Yoga and Wellness Practitioner
Yoga with Nay

Where to find me?
Instagram: @_yayornayyy
BLHF Let’s Talk! Resource Guide

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