Juan Johnson: Vibe, Community & Fun
Juan Johnson is an incredibly creative and talented yogi. We have had the pleasure of getting to know him over the last year. He is passionate about his practice and often includes his daughter in his yogi and meditation adventures. We are so thrilled to introduce you to Juan Johnson and his inspirational insights.
DYM: Are you originally from Dallas?
Juan: Yes, Born and raised.
DYM: How do people react or what do they say when you tell them you are a yoga teacher?
Juan: They do a double take and make sure they heard me right and ask, “wait, did you say yoga?” (Laughing)
DYM: Do you have another career?
Juan: I market hemp oil and am the chapter leader for Hip Hop Is Green in Dallas. A non-profit that promotes health & wellness as the 10th element of Hip Hop.
DYM: You are so diversified! What prompted you to attend your first yoga class?
Juan: In all honesty, I was trying…like many, to measure up to the calorie, scale, body fat meters out there and tried my first yoga class at Equinox. A teacher by the name of Leslie Storms said, “This isn’t show off yoga here, we’re not here to compete with each other.” Her energy made me look past all the popular and trendy stereotypes of yoga.
DYM: How did that lead you to becoming a yoga instructor?
Juan: I started taking classes at DYC (Dallas Yoga Center) because of the variety of classes they had. One day while looking at their website, I saw there was a scholarship opportunity and was rewarded a partial scholarship which blew my mind! So I was able to get my certification.
DYM: What certifications do you have now?
Juan: I have a RYT200 in Yoga and a RYT300 in meditation.
DYM: A 300 hour in meditation! That’s incredible! Do you have a preferred style of yoga you practice?
Juan: I like different styles including Kundalini, Astanga and good ole Vipassana.
DYM: Can you explain Vipassana to us?
Juan: Vipassana means to see things as they really are. It is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and it is a way of self-transformation through self-observation.
DYM: Does your family and friends support your yoga dedication?
Juan: To my surprise YES! Although, I still want more of them to try yoga many of the ones I thought would not be supportive, were the main ones.
DYM: What can someone expect when they go to your class for the first time?
Juan: People can expect an experience that fits them. I aim for a fun class with or without music depending on the audience. I aim for teaching something beginners and seasoned practitioners can enjoy alike. VIBE. COMMUNITY. FUN.
DYM: What do you want your students to accomplish or “take away” from your class?
Juan: I want them to take away any new observations they’ve experienced on the mat or in the room and take that into their day to day life and apply them.
DYM: What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a yoga instructor?
Juan: Find your inner voice and always stay a student. Don’t get overwhelmed by the journey but know that you are ready and your students will be also.
DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had in your personal yoga practice?
Juan: Being intimidated and hurt from a shoulder injury. I remember not even graduating the RYT program and having an injured shoulder. That actually made me a better student because I understand those with injuries. It made me go slow and learn way more.
DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had as a yoga teacher?
Juan: Sticking to it and not giving up. There were lots of places that I was supposed to teach but the classes didn’t end up happening. I showed up regardless and that brought me my current teaching jobs.
DYM: What are some of the biggest changes you see in yourself since you started practicing?
Juan: The biggest change is I am more aware of things. I used to hide from myself or ignore things. Today, I cherish my time spent meditating or in practice because it is sacred to me. Honestly, I don’t remember who I was before I started doing yoga. I’m still learning the new or “re-me”.
DYM: Sometimes humorous situations happen in class. Can you think of something that you have seen or experienced that made you laugh?
Juan: Too many to name!!!!!!!!! What happens in yoga class…stays in yoga class…that’s where I’ll leave it. (Laughing)
DYM: Do you have any favorite mantras you use?
Juan: Yes, Wahe Guru.
DYM: Do you have other practices you add or incorporate with yoga to enhance your practice?
Juan: Meditation, for sure, has enhanced my practice. I have a stone collection I just started. Kundalini, Yoga Nidra, and Sound Immersion have been my favorites lately though. And I also love using hemp oil for recovery and before meditation.
DYM: If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Juan: Loving. At the end of the day, no matter how crazy this world gets. I always return to love.
DYM: That’s beautiful. If you could be on the cover of Time Magazine, what would be the reason?
Juan: Meditation over Medication. The great divide. How Juan Johnson changed the mental health industry using yoga.
DYM: Very creative! What advice would you give someone new to yoga?
Juan: Do and find what feels good to your body. Let it be challenging, but don’t let it scare you. There is no wrong way to do it. Just find the space that allows you to be you.
DYM: Let everyone know where they can find you.
Juan: Currently, private classes and every Wed at Diana’s School of Yoga from 6:30-8:00pm. I am also creating Spanish classes to teach in the Oak Cliff area.
DYM: What else would you like to share about yourself?
Juan: That I make health & wellness videos for the Spanish community and mix in Hip Hop in much of the content that I produce. It’s all on my youtube Juan Johnson Video. So, please google VEGAN GIN & JUICE aka GREENS AND FRUITS.
Get in Touch with Juan Johnson:
Social Media: @chakrazuma