Like many in the West, Jessica Radovich found herself entering the yoga world via trauma. A vicious assault occurred in her Philadelphia neighborhood, close to her residence. She arrived home 10 minutes after the attack and witnessed the aftermath, which put her into a state of shock.

Jessica Radovich teaches yoga, stretching and mindfulness at the Center for Mindful Use. Photo courtesy: Jessica Radovich.

Not only did she feel concern for the person involved, but the reality weighed on her; it could have been her. She needed an outlet. A few days later, she walked into her neighborhood’s local yoga studio and everything began to come together.

“I remember crying that first time, feeling myself changing, beginning to let go of my trauma,” Jessica says. “After my first class, I felt so much awareness in my body; I knew I needed to make it a part of my daily routine.”

This was the beginning of Jessica’s yoga practice, 10 years ago, while she was studying for her master’s degree in clinical counseling at Eastern University.

Through yoga, she learned what made a healthy mind. She found that Western Psychology and Yoga overlap a lot. She saw she could help people get through deep levels of pain in multiple ways, with both counseling and yoga.

Jessica and a group participate in resting meditation on Orcas Island. Photo courtesy: Jessica Radovich.

“Yoga opens up an experience in contrast with your waking life,” Jessica says. “I felt so distinctly different. I was hungry for whatever it gave me.”

Jessica wound up in Seattle, where she taught yoga full time for a year. Two years ago, she discovered Bellingham by accident, stumbling upon it during her travels. Although it was a place she had no prior knowledge of, she knew she wanted to stay.

After relocating, she drove by the Center for Mindful Use and promptly googled “mindfulness in Bellingham.” She needed to do her research and find a good spot to hold her classes.

The Center for Mindful Use proved to be the perfect place.

“I love the mission they have regarding cannabis,” Jessica says, “to stimulate education on the use of cannabis, and tell attendees, if they choose to come to classes having used cannabis, they won’t be ridiculed.”

Funnily enough, Jessica’s first experience with yoga involved cannabis too. She says it’s great to be open about these topics and have a dialogue about them.

Jessica poses at Mount Baker. Photo courtesy: Jessica Radovich.

“Mindfulness gives you space to notice what is happening as it’s happening, and I’m thankful to be able to help people find that.”

Jessica practices mindfulness, yoga, meditation and rest under the name “The Heart School.”

Every first and third Monday of the month, she teaches S L O W: A Restorative Stretching Class. The first and third Wednesday of the month is Yin + Deep Rest. And every Saturday morning is Yoga for People Who “Can’t Do Yoga.” All classes take place at the Center for Mindful Use, located at 100 East Maple Street Suite B in Bellingham.

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