ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA— The practice of yoga began in India more than 2,500 years ago. It was introduced to the West about a century ago, and has become increasingly popular. For some it is an exercise, for others it is also a spiritual practice.
While people of all ages attend yoga classes in the U.S., the instructors are usually adults. But one young yogi in Southern California is breaking the mold.
“I just love yoga so much, just loved how it made me feel,” said Jaysea DeVoe, who discovered yoga when she was eight years old and fell in love.
She loved it so much that this year, at the age of 12, she decided to teach it.
"I’m the youngest certified female yoga instructor in the U.S.," she said.
DeVoe teaches yoga every Tuesday. Her entire family, including twin brother Fisher, try to attend her classes when there is room.
“I’ve been to every one except one because I wasn’t here. I think it’s awesome [be]cause just like...a kid teaching yoga like... by kids for kids kind of thing," she said. "I think it’s [awesome].”
“I think it’s fun because it’s really fun to do Yoga with friends and family," said Eli Park, 8, one of DeVoe’s younger students.
“That’s really inspiring for somebody who's been doing yoga for a long time to meet a 12-year-old girl who not only does yoga but teaches yoga," said student Rachel Williams.
"It was a really nice flow, really nice balance, really good energy in the class and I loved that she consistently told us to smile," she said. "I think that’s important because often it becomes super-serious and not very playful so it was really nice.”
When DeVoe is not teaching yoga, she is practicing with friends or by herself at home.
"Well, I practice every morning about 30 minutes to an hour every day, just makes me feel energized and healthy and calm and it teaches me to be in the present moment and enjoy life,” she said.
DeVoe says for her, yoga is both a physical and spiritual practice, and she wants to share her passion for it for as long as she can.