3 Tips on Mindfulness from Jes Williams of Sonoma Yoga Privates

We could all use a little help slowing down and focusing on mindfulness in our every day life, so we are bringing you 3 tips on mindfulness from Jes Williams of Sonoma Yoga Privates. What is Sonoma Yoga Privates you ask? Great question.


Sonoma Yoga Privates

Sonoma Yoga Privates is a team of yoga teachers and fitness instructors and they have classes of every kind. Their class offerings include but are not limited to Vinyasa Flow (all levels), Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Beginners, Yoga for Pregnancy, Yoga for Mamas and Babies, Yoga for Athletes, Yoga for 12 Step Recovery, Yoga for Weight Loss, Yoga & Barre, BarreFLOW, Pilates, HIIT, Yoga for Wedding Parties, lets meet at the beach - Yoga at the Beach, PiYo (Pilates Yoga fusion), as well as Hikes and Outdoor Adventures. As if this list of choices isn't enough, Sonoma Yoga Privates will also typically come to you but can rent a few
different spaces around Sonoma and Boyes Hot Springs depending on the size of the group. Their main focus is currently private sessions, but will be rolling out a new program next month called Y O G A +. This program incorporates yoga plus another activity; look for yoga+ hike, wine, essential oils, nutrition, Sanskrit storytelling, gratitude, sisterhood and more! To book a private session or purchase classes, head to their website or send Jess an email.

You might be wondering how Sonoma Yoga Privates was started, and the answer lies in Jes Williams.

Jes Williams

Photo by In Her Image Photography

Photo by In Her Image Photography

Jes has been practicing yoga for 15 years now. She started Sonoma Yoga Privates when she saw a gap in the market for yoga in Wine Country. We asked Jess how she got her start in Yoga and what led her to where she is today.

"I started at a Baron Baptiste studio in Boston where I fell in love with the heat and strength of the sequence. Moving away from Boston and bouncing from coast to coast, yoga kept me grounded through life's different challenges. In 2012, I took my first yoga teacher training (Ashtanga Vinyasa) in Philadelphia and taught a little bit there before we moved to Sonoma later that year. Back in California, I began managing yoga studios + boutiques in Marin (my background is in fashion, art + design). I knew I needed to find a way to work in Sonoma instead of having to commute. I started working at Yoga Community and participated in Lisa Murray (of Yoga Community’s) first teacher training (Raja Yoga) in 2014. I began teaching right away, and taught all over Sonoma Valley and beyond; at yoga studios, gyms, private sessions at students homes, hotels, wherever there was space! That's when a lightbulb went off. A traveling yoga studio + wellness boutique for wine country vacationers, locals, corporate retreats, and more. In the beginning, I thought Sonoma Yoga Privates would be all about yoga + wine, but it quickly grew into so much more. I saw a need that was not being explored or met here in our valley or in Sonoma County. Although we will always love our yoga + wine tasting events (stay tuned for more Benziger dates this spring) we are overjoyed to work with locals and businesses to offer classes and workshops to clients and employees. Yoga is for everyone. And the time is now to jump right in."

3 Tips on Incorporating Mindfulness into Your Everyday Life from Jes Williams

Photo by In Her Image Photography

Photo by In Her Image Photography

1. Lower Your Expectations.

Most of us go into something wanting fast results, but change takes time. Create goals that you
can accomplish. Take 5 minutes to meditate. Take 10 minutes to practice a few yoga asanas.
Do something that makes you feel good, makes you feel alive. Don't think you need to devote
an hour or more to a yoga practice every day. We are all busy and if we are not busy, we all
make excuses. We all want results, so really zone in on your goals. Lower your expectations
and start small. Be ok with what is.

2. Stay in the Positive.

Picture a Venn diagram; a positive circle, a negative circle, and a gray area of bleh. What pulls
you to the dark side? Why do you stay there? Can you come back to the light? You have the
power to change your thoughts, your habits, your routine. Sometimes we like to be mad or
angry right? Or we just get so lost in it. Are you rolling your eyes right now, and thinking easier
said than done? Just try. Try to take a few breaths, step outside, smile, think of a different
perspective, reevaluate, be optimistic, look for an opportunity, and stay in the positive.

3. Let it be Love.

How do you respond to others? How do you spend the first hour of your day? How do you talk
to yourself? What guides you? How do you stay present? How do you fight fear? Let it be love.

Benefits of Incorporating Yoga and Mindfulness Into Your Everyday Life

You might be wondering why you should care about all of the above. Well, we are here to tell you, with Jes' help, that there is a long list of reasons you should incorporate yoga practices into your everyday life.

"Other than becoming more flexible, protecting yourself from injury, increasing strength, lowering your blood pressure and making you happy, yoga will help you become more present with yourself and others - you will experience life in a whole new way. Some of us live in the past, some of us live in the future, few of us live in the present moment. Being mindful of how we treat ourselves, others and our environment, in a non-judgemental way, brings us closer to our true nature and illuminates areas we need to improve. And if that scares you, what is holding you back? Is it an event that happened in the past or a fear of the future unknown? Small changes have big impacts. So start small. Unplug for an hour and whatever activity or chore you are working on, try to give it your full attention. Multi-tasking is overrated."

Coming Soon from Sonoma Yoga Privates

"The Y O G A + program  will be public events ranging from $25-$75 per student. These 2-4 hour sessions will be offered monthly, starting February 25th! Join us for YOGA+ Hike, 11:30am-2:30 pm, $30 per person or bring a friend - 2 for $40, snack included. Email us!
Looking for more? We have a few retreats in the works for 2018, near and far! Stay in the loop
on our website and Instagram.
And a little surprise, we are working with a local business to open a wellness space this Spring!
Stay tuned."

Special Offer!

Jes is thrilled to offer Savvy readers an awesome deal on classes with Sonoma Yoga Privates! 4 sixty minute sessions for just $208 (1-4 students) or 1 sixty minute group private for $108 (up to 15 students). Make sure to mention this blog post to claim special offers!

We hope you enjoyed all of Jess' tips and tricks, and most of all- remember we are all human and cut yourself some slack! It takes 21 days to build a habit so take it one day at a time. Namaste!

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