Professional photographer, ocean lover, and yoga enthusiast, Janalyn Rose finds her inspiration through movement and breath. Traveling around the globe and working with other passionate yogis has given Janalyn experience and knowledge to further her career in yoga and to encourage those who follow her story to live a happy and simplistic lifestyle. Her passion for natural movement and comfort makes her a perfect ambassador to join Comfort Collective.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BEGIN TEACHING YOGA?
Yoga has been the most incredible pathway in my life, right alongside surfing. I started practicing in 2001 when a friend had a crush on a Yoga teacher who had just opened a yoga studio about three miles away. We biked there and even after being an athlete my entire life I almost died in the heated Vinyasa-Bikram style class he taught. I cried at the end of Savasana from the crazy emotional release and then walked away feeling two inches taller (*and I'm already 5'10") and extremely Joyful. I was absolutely in Love. I practiced almost every day for the next four years and in 2005 I completed my first Teacher Training and started teaching at my favorite studio in San Diego.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE HESITANT TO TRY YOGA? HOW DOES YOGA MAKE YOU FEEL, INSIDE AND OUT?
Yoga is in everything. It is the way we step, move, breathe, become. People who are hesitant to investigate a yoga class can ask themselves- is my hesitation to try something new driven by love or fear? Because everyone is already doing some type of yoga just by being alive, by breathing, it is just whether you begin to apply formal practice to movement, breathing, eating, paying attention. Or as I am hoping to spread, yoga is a beginning to the cultivation of joy. There are many pathways, but yoga is an accessible way to positively change your mind, body and spirit. Jump in. Find a teacher who resonates with you. Or join a retreat. Maybe with me ;)
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO SONG FOR A YOGA SESSION?
I play live music on my ukulele and guitar for many yoga classes, but when I am teaching or practicing I can't play, so I love either teaching without music so that people can clearly hear the cues and each other's breath and be encouraged to breathe more deeply, or music that is really moving instrumentally. I admit, I love alt ... for the right class though.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE, ON AND OFF THE YOGA MATT?
I love the ocean, I love to dance, I love the play of color on color, and I love the sense of strong and graceful. My style tries to emulate something between a land locked mermaid and a dancer off stage. I love the colors that Bluprint has chosen for their footwear, and the sense of ease, comfort and natural style. On the mat I hold myself in a way that lengthens the body and spine, and yet remains soft and subtle enough to encourage an inner glow. Off the mat my attempt is to retain these same angles and linear postures, with that glow.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR ULTIMATE 'COMFORT' ZONE? WHERE ARE YOU, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING, AND WHO ARE YOU WITH?
My ultimate comfort zone is with my best friend in the world Grant LeBeau, the KaiKane (Ocean King), whom I've known and loved for 8 years. We love to workout, be surrounded by friends, playing music, cooking amazing meals, practicing our crazy hand stands, and usually going in the ocean in any form. We own a healthy cookie company together Rickaroons, and it encourages us to be constantly active and support the health of every person we meet. My other ultimate comfort zone is during retreat. I have been leading surf-SUP and yoga retreats for 7 years. When I am leading yoga retreats that also involve the ocean there are always transformational possibilities for every person involved.
YOU TEACH YOGA, YOU PHOTOGRAPH, YOU SURF, DANCE AND SING . . . IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU STILL ASPIRE TO LEARN?
I am currently on assignment in Sayulita, Mexico, a small surf town with a strong yoga culture. I am simultaneously learning to Stand Up Paddle Surf and speak fluent Spanish. I have a background of learning in both areas, but truly feel in both as if I am about 8 years old. I have been surfing and Stand Up Paddling for years, but the combination of the two is so challenging! I also have the desire to become a Yoga Therapist and want to go back to school to know everything possible about anatomy and positive psychology.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY CAPTURES THE BEAUTY AND MOVEMENT OF YOGA CULTURE. WAS THERE A SPECIFIC MOMENT IN WHICH YOU DECIDED TO COMBINED THE TWO?
My favorite teacher led a retreat to Baja in 2007 with one of the girls I first started practicing with and who encouraged me to do my first teacher training. One of the first yoga photos I ever set up featured these two teachers in a partner yoga pose on the beach, sandy and salty after surfing, and looking like Goddesses ... Being a yoga teacher makes a massive difference in the way I approach yoga photography. I have been photographing weddings for many years so I have a deep understanding of how to help people feel beautiful as well as technical lighting and composition knowledge. With yoga photography there is an entirely other level to the profession. Many people feel as if they have been to a workshop or class after they have been through a yoga photography session with me because alignment is so important during the session that I teach, even as I photograph. It makes me so happy to see the yoga culture grow in a way that offers the practice to more and more people worldwide, and that yoga photography can encourage people to practice even more!
YOU HAVE TRAVELED TO MANY BEAUTIFUL PLACES, ANY ONE SPOT THAT YOU DARE TO CALL YOUR FAVORITE?
Parts of the South Island of New Zealand, certain waves in Australia, pieces of San Diego I haven't explored yet, a small island off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada that is called Thetis where I photographed a wedding once, maybe my little princess castle casita I am currently staying in above the jungle near the sea in Mainland Mexico.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST IN YOUR PHOTOS AND YOGA POSES?
I am inspired by the way that light interacts with human beings, both internally and externally. When I photograph yoga or model a yoga pose, my goal is to bring the inner beauty and outer beauty to a level that matches the natural setting. I am inspired by background, by lines, by composition, and how to make poses look structurally correct and graceful simultaneously- just like Bluprint Shoes! ;)
SO TELL US HOW HORIZON LIGHT PRODUCTIONS CAME TO LIFE? HOW DID YOU BUILD YOUR BUSINESS? WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY?
I wanted to create space for people to feel like there is always something beautiful on the horizon, a ray of hope, a light. One way to do this is to capture the essence of people doing what they love, or being in love- through photography and videography- so that they can see themselves and their lives from a new perspective. It is also possible through teaching yoga and yoga retreats. Horizon Light Productions produces all of these things. The challenges of being a business owner, especially a female entrepreneur, are really in forging pathways. There aren't rule books written yet about how to have a healthy relationship with both your significant other and your business, or what to do when you have to spend all of the money to potentially make any money, or how to find the right employees and make them happy as well. Every time I take a step in a new direction, partner with a new company or another yoga teacher or photographer, there is the risk of differing ideology and also the hope of creating something beautiful. The challenges have all been worth the rewards.