Kicking it with Fitness Pro Jillian Keaveny
Brooke Dilling | @brookefrances
Ever wonder where a fitness professional goes to get her butt kicked? Or what music inspires her? I recently sat down with Jillian Keaveny (check out my previous article on Keaveny and The Sound Off Experience), fitness professional, DJ, and all around bad*ss broad to talk about yoga, fitness, and her views on being a women in Denver.
- What is the biggest difference you see with men and women and yoga?
I don’t want to generalize men’s and women’s yoga experiences, as they all are such individual experiences. I will say that when it comes to yoga in the western world (1980’s - today), there are preconceived notions about what it is or what it isn’t. Sometimes, men who haven’t had any experience with yoga communicate to me that they think it’s “easy,” “more for women” or “just stretching.” I absolutely love to see when a guy attends a class, possibly just to make his partner happy, and ends up loving it.
What is the greatest challenge facing you as a woman in today’s world?
For me a few things come up: body image, equal pay, society’s view of what a woman “should be/say/do.” I think I find struggle in finding this balance within myself. For example, women aren’t supposed to… be too hard or too soft, too loud or too quiet, highly successful or no job at all, overly opinionated or opinion-less.
We are expected to reside somewhere in the middle of all of that. And that’s the problem, we have our own ideas about where we land within those extreme lines, but that doesn’t always match up with what society, our boss, our families believe to be true. We have to find this solid understanding within ourselves of our beliefs and values and how we show up in the world and present our gifts.
What’s your favorite yoga pose?
Handstand. Period. I love it. It’s what kept me coming back to yoga in the beginning, in all honesty. It keeps me present and curious 100% of the time. There isn’t one second to check out mentally.
What’s your favorite fitness move?
I secretly love a one-legged burpee. I have no idea why, and I don’t really question it.
What’s the yoga pose that challenges you the most?
Back-bending postures. All of them.
You know when a yoga teacher says “who you are on your mat, is who you are out in the world”? Let’s break that down. What it means is this: Let’s take my example: Camel Pose, on your knees, hands at your low back, performing a back bend. When I am in Camel Pose this is my internal dialogue: “This sucks. I need more information. Is this right? Where should I be feeling this? Should this feel good? I hate backbends. What if my hands go here instead? Why isn’t the teacher telling me more? Can I come out now?”
All of that takes place for me and is my process outside in the “real world” or outside of yoga. That dialogue is running for me all of the time in many of my life experiences. So, what I love about yoga is that we get time to practice noticing, through both movement and stillness, and then possibly re-writing some of that dialogue. I remind students in class that the postures you struggle with, physically, mentally, whatever, are your biggest teachers.
When you need to have YOUR butt kicked in a fitness class, where do you go?
What’s your go-to post workout meal?
On-the- go or in-between classes is Isagenix protein shake, for sure. It makes me feel the best and I know it’s great for my body. The top choice is obviously tacos from Adelitas!
What music do you play to “get-this-party-started”?
Asking a DJ anything favorite in the music realm causes immediate stress and indecision. So you get two: Missy Elliott & Odesza.
What music do you put on when you are blue?
James Blake, Bon Iver, Gregory Alan Isakov
Finally, what is y music, album, or artist do you listen to when you are angry?
Skrillex… because then I get dancey and less angry.
Wanna see Jillian Keaveny in action? You can find out more about her and her schedule here.