Jake French



My yoga journey began in the middle of the pandemic as I was working towards my “fitness journey” doing things like running, biking, and lifting, but I needed something a little more community-focused and a new challenge. Someone suggested that I try yoga and I said, “Absolutely not!” I was under the impression that yoga would be uptight, pretentious, and just not welcoming, especially as a tall guy who couldn’t touch his toes at the time. However, I put my preconceived notions aside and gave it a shot. Yonder Westside was my first yoga class, and they got me in the door with that $30 for 30 day promotion like they do. I took my first class, and it was an absolute disaster. I was looking around the room lost, like a fish out of water. It was so hot and tough, but it was the challenge I was looking for. I wanted to do better, so I showed up again, and again, and even another time. 

My progress was one step at a time. First it was touching my toes. Then it was getting through a class without stepping outside to cool off. Then it was about being able to get through that core section without breaks, all the way up to landing a handstand. I honestly just fell in love with yoga and even more so with Yonder. It became a place I loved; it became my place. Yoga has centered me and given me so much, and now I get to share that with others. I am so excited!

I am originally from Kentucky but have been in Atlanta for over 6 years. Outside of yoga, I am a civil engineer by degree but a project manager by career. I love to meet new people, travel to new places, try new foods, enjoy some drinks, listen to music, and pet all of the dogs!