Ella Luckett, the founder of Jai Yoga Arts. (all photos by Katarina Hybenova)

The first class of Bushwick-trained yoga teachers walked happily out of Jai Yoga Arts studio only a couple of weeks ago. The fresh yoga teachers were raving about their 6 months of training, their teacher Ella Luckett and how it changed their lives so much. We had to look at Jai Yoga Arts in Bushwick a little closer.

 Jai Yoga Arts is a yoga studio located off Morgan stop at 47 Thames St. Unlike traditional yoga studios in the area where you can only practice yoga, at Jai you can also become a Yoga Alliance Certified teacher. The studio and its programming are the brainchild of Ella Luckett, a former dancer and a yoga teacher of more than 10 years. In 2012, Ella surrounded herself with the Universal forces and good people like her business partner Emily Snyder to open a studio in a loft space in her home Bushwick.  Ella lovingly ponders the story of Jai and its beginnings, a studio created on almost a zero budget: “We went to Ikea’s reject area and picked all the discounted stuff. Things started to happen very fast!” Today Jai is one of the most successful yoga studios in the area, frequently attended by locals seeking peace of mind, spiritual enlightenment and community. “We wanted to create a place where people can also hang out after the class and get to know the neighbors,” says Ella. “We serve tea after each class and encourage people to hang out here on the couch,” Ella smiles.

On January 10, the second yoga teacher session begins, and Jai is still accepting applications to fill the small class of 20 students. If you feel the calling to become a yoga teacher or simply want to deepen your practice, you have a great chance to do so, right here in Bushwick! During the six months of training, you will meet with Ella three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday from 7AM to 8:30AM and on Sundays 10AM-6:30PM) and You will learn all you need to know about Anatomy, Sanskrit, Yoga Sutras, Yoga Philosophy, Teaching Technique, Ayurveda, Business of yoga, and more. A 3-day Ashram Retreat concludes the course.

At Jai

During and after the training, your life is likely to change dramatically. We asked about the experience and the best moments of one of the recently graduated yoga teachers, Sarah Lowndes (you probably know Sarah as one of the organizers of Bushwick Open Studios). She said, “The teacher training program at Jai was absolutely life changing. Ella is an amazing teacher, a truly inspiring human being. She created this really safe space for us to explore ourselves–our bodies, our minds and our spirits–and embrace everything. It opened me up in so many ways. This probably sounds so hippy-dippy, but it’s true: I feel so much more LOVE!” says Sarah.

“It was seriously a reality shift. There were times when I’d feel like I was going crazy because things were changing so much, like the way I related to the people around me, my day-to-day experiences.” About her plans for the future, Sarah says: “I want to continue learning and teaching; maybe quitting my job and teaching as I travel. It was so good! I’m so grateful for Jai and Ella and the people who shared the experience with me. It’s a whole new world!”

Ella Luckett on Thames Street