There are three things that immediately become apparent when you spend time with Jessica Jordan: She’s a true yoga fanatic, she’s a big fan of her two sons, and she has a lot of love to give. The four-letter L-word passes her lips no fewer than 20 times over a cup of tea, and every time she says it, she means it wholeheartedly.
Jessica truly loves what she does, which is refreshing when many parents would rather talk about anything but their day jobs. As the founder and owner of Super Yoga Palace (SYP), a donation-based studio in the versatile Life in Deep Ellum (LiDE) building, Jessica has cultivated a community of Om enthusiasts – a growing following of Dallasites looking to tap into their more centered selves.
More than a decade ago as a vocalist in the Dallas-based band The Polyphonic Spree, the then-24-year-old new mom was on tour all over the world. Her music took her on the road for only two and a half weeks at a time, so the lifestyle was nontraditional but doable for her young family. “When you want something to work and you have an idea of what that looks like, you just figure it out,” Jessica says.
A crowded tour bus wasn’t an ideal place for toddlers to play, so Jessica’s freelance filmmaker husband, Josh, was the at-home parent whenever Mom was traveling. But family was never far from sight. The boys attended shows every chance they got, and her youngest son’s cryactually shows up on the Spree’s song “What Would You Let Go” from theThumbsuckersoundtrack.
Looking for a more flexible situation so she could be available to her kids, Jessica chased her passion for fitness and nutrition and became a certified yoga instructor. It was a natural fit for someone who did gymnastics as a child and was inclined toward any exercise that involved twisting and contorting her body. So she threw herself into the yoga lifestyle and started hosting yoga classes in the LiDE coffee shop, Mokah.
And that was just the beginning. “It was what the community was asking for, so it kept growing,” Jessica says.
Now in its fourth year, Super Yoga Palace is just down the hall from the java joint where Jessica once set her mat as an instructor. The space is reminiscent of an industrial but airy studio with exposed brick details, sky blue walls, a southward-facing collection of windows and a cement slab floor. On the wall opposite a large mirror is the SYP logo with the message “Empowered by Love.” The urban ashram opens its doors to anyone with an open heart and mind.
“It doesn’t cost much, but it doesn’t make much,” Jessica says. She finds the best instructors in the area and actually pays them above market. Beyond that, it takes “a stretch and a prayer to keep everyone happy,” she says. “You will not find any more heart than right here.”
It’s true. Jessica is one of those women who effortlessly exudes warmth and a serene energy to those around her. It’s the kind of vibe perhaps only a yoga instructor can harness so masterfully outside of the calm, quiet studio. “That transformation doesn’t just end after you wake up from shavasana,” she says about keeping focused on the positive mind-body-spirit connection. “It goes into the decisions that you make and how you react within your own opportunities and challenges off of the mat.”
It ties into how Jessica and Josh parent their two young boys – Julian, who is 12 years old, and Sonny, who is 9. The working parents invest endless amounts of time and energy into their boys with the goal of sharing experiences that will help cultivate their passions and interests. For Julian, right now it’s basketball and cinematography (just like Dad). For Sonny, it’s anything music-related, from tap dance and hip hop to guitar and piano.
“We don’t put them in front of a TV or video games. If we’re doing something, they’re doing it too,” Jessica says. “Our biggest thing is to invest on the front end, so that when they’re 18 they know exactly who they are and what they want to do.”
Coming from such imaginative parents, it would be no surprise if creative pursuits spoke most powerfully to Julian and Sonny. And they’re starting to understand that not every parent is part of a choral symphonic rock band that’s performed at a Nobel Peace Prize concert and recorded songs for major motion pictures. “It’s quite cute when the kids start to realize band life is not something every parent does,” Jessica says. “Recently, I’ve seen backstage Instagram pictures pop up on Julian’s feed or Sonny’s favorite Spree songs added to their playlist.”
The boys’ pride in their mom’s work is something that would make any parent feel fulfilled. And with her yoga enterprise on top of continued performing, Jessica aims to be more than just “an available working mother.” She wants to appreciate her hours at work as much as she does her time at home. “I don’t want my kid to be sick and then have to go to a job that I hate,” she says. “I want to love working.”
When talking about 2014, Jessica is decidedly hopeful. “The word that comes to my heart and mind is fullness,” she says. “I think that abundance and fullness are going to be this year. Taking things to next level.”
If taking things to the next level means reaching for the sun, Jessica is well on her way.
Published January 2014