Jen Schappel, LMT, E-RYT
I’m Jen, a bodyworker, yogi, mama, and creative soul. I’ve gathered some tools over the years to help me live more skillfully and intentionally and I created this space to share them with you.
I grew up in Cincinnati, OH and moved to Knoxville, TN for college. While in college, I had the opportunity to travel throughout Asia, namely to China, Cambodia, and Thailand. I spent about a year and a half living and teaching English in Bangkok—one of the most formative experiences of my adult life. When I returned to Knoxville to finish my last semester of college, I got a job at Starbucks and met my husband, Travis. It was love at first sight—except that we were both too shy to do anything about it. We flirted over coffee, scones, and apple fritters for about a year before anything happened. When we finally went public with our relationship, our coworkers were less than surprised. ‘It’s about time.’
On one of our first dates we drove to Asheville to see Ani DiFranco at the Orange Peel. On our way back we passed Gatlinburg, TN (home to a number of wedding chapels) and joked about pulling over to get married. We had been dating for two weeks. We got engaged after two months and got married the following year. That was 2010. Although we’ve been nursing dreams of getting the heck out of dodge, we’re still settled in Knoxville with our two kiddos, Audrey and Coen.
Currently, I'm working part-time as a bodyworker and yoga teacher. Travis works as a video editor and a sometimes rock ’n roll, sometimes country drummer on the side. Check out his band, Gone Country!
We lead a simple life full of love, laughter, family dance parties, and—let’s be honest—family meltdowns.
The blog section on this site is my voice and my vehicle for sharing things that have helped me heal and deal over the years. I offer you a piece of myself and my journey in the hopes that you will take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. Maybe it’s a touch of megalomania or narcissism, but I’ve always felt like I have a lot to say if only somebody would listen. Are other people on the interwebz already talking about this stuff? Probably. Are they doing a better job of it than me? Also likely. Do I care? No (well, actually I kind of do but whatever). All that to say, thanks so much for reading. I hope you find what you’re looking for.
Yoga + Mindful Movement.
Getting into my body (aka embodiment) has been a huge piece in my journey of self development. Practicing yoga and receiving insightful bodywork has helped me on toward greater awareness, skillfulness, and compassion. As a result, you’ll see posts about using yoga for self care and also how to give yourself the gift of bodywork even when you can’t book a session with me (i.e. self massage using therapy balls, foam rollers, door frames, wooden spoons, etc). There will also be meditation and breathing techniques thrown in because I like to approach things from all angles. I also need to say that [puts on lawyer glasses] any of the yoga or movement presented here is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure what ails you. Remember to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. Follow along at your own risk. [Takes off lawyer glasses]
Embracing my ‘womanity’ has been a big part of my journey as well. That journey really began for me when I went off The Pill in order to get pregnant. For the first time in nearly a decade, I was cycling. Shifting how I viewed my cycle and the symptoms that go with it helped me heal and deal and inspired me to create the Go With Your Flow program. At the most basic level, awareness of your monthly cycle can help you determine when it’s ok to slack off and when you should be pushing to achieve your goals.
Pregnancy + Motherhood — a sacred time in a woman’s life when everyone feels entitled to tell her what she should and shouldn’t be doing (or eating or thinking or feeling). While I’ve swallowed the moon three times and have two kiddos earth-side, I do not want to tell you what to do (or eat or think or feel) while you’re pregnant or mothering. I’ll share yoga + mindful movement strategies that have helped me feel more at home in my body during the tumults of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond. I’ll let you take what works and leave what doesn’t. Sometimes motherhood can feel isolating so I’ll share anecdotes and other miscellany that will hopefully make us laugh together and feel more connected.
I fancy myself a healthy eater. I don’t come from a family of good cooks or anything; what I know I have taught myself. I’ve been a vegetarian since around 2009 and I love preparing healthy, frugal meals for my family (now if only someone else would do the dishes). Since my daughter turned one at the end of 2015 and a number of her food allergies/sensitivities cropped up, I have had to adjust what’s cookin’ significantly. She outgrew her peanut and soy allergies but now her little brother has them too. Right now, most of what I’m serving at home is free of dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, and sesame. (oh my god what do we eat then?!) Because I don’t enjoy preparing three different dishes for each meal, I just keep us all on the same dietary page. And because time is of the essence, I often do bulk prep or cook at odd times (not right before dinner time because every one is turning in to a zombie). I’ll share some of our family favorites and bulk prep ideas here. In the age of coconut oil, I know there has to be some other families out there rolling their eyes and looking for recipes without it.
My Street Cred.
First and foremost, I consider myself a teacher. I have experience teaching all kinds of things (from swimming lessons, to yoga, to ESL/EFL, to Medicaid policy) to all kinds of people (from inner city kids, to college students, to wealthy housewives, to refugees, to civil servants). My creativity, strong intuition, and ability to break down and organize complex ideas into manageable bits are some of my greatest strengths.
I started doing yoga in 2004 with a Yoga for Dummies VHS tape. Somewhere around 2008, I started ‘practicing’ yoga (which is a fancy way of saying I drank the Kool aid). Since I started teaching in 2010, I have accumulated over 1000 hours of teaching experience and have continued my education by studying with a variety of teachers. I’m registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT and a continuing education provider for other yoga teachers (YACEP). I have been a licensed massage therapist in private practice at Glowing Body Yoga & Healing Arts since 2012 and have studied myofascial release, ashiatsu, Thai massage, Maori healing, and Reiki. As a student of life, I consider my relationships to be my toughest teachers.
Who are you, reader?
I’d venture to say you are a woman on a mission. (Don't worry guys, you're welcome here too!) You are busy with your own mix of work, family, and carrying the world on your shoulders. You are looking for inspiration, validation, and down-to-earth ways to better care for yourself. Hopefully, you also like to laugh (frequently at yourself). Remember, we’re all in this together. Thanks for stopping by!
Jen’s creativity and strong intuition set her apart. On her journey of embodiment, practicing yoga and receiving insightful bodywork have made all the difference and have led her toward greater awareness, skillfulness, and compassion. She enjoys sharing these tools with others and feels honored to be a teacher and guide.