Meet The Teach: Jennifer Grims
After teaching Level 1 vinyasa at Yogamaya, artist Jennifer Grims revealed a secret: Under her pale skin and thoughtful brown eyes, Grims confessed that she was really a red-horned monster. To prove it, she flashed several smartphone pictures of her inner beast, including one of them in savasana, circled by fish.
“Devil Guy is actually my alter ego,” Grims said of the marker and pastel character she developed in 2009 as this publication’s first illustrator. Rather than shy away from awkwardness, Grims celebrated his yogic vulnerability by drawing dumfounded expressions.
Now 43, Grims has returned to yoga school (she is halfway through Yogamaya's 300-hour teacher training program). She released her beginner’s mind and personal demons with YogaCity NYC’s Ann Votaw.
Ann Votaw: You talk about "Devil Guy" in the present tense. He seems very connected to you.
Jennifer Grims: Devil Guy is about thoughts that I’ve had about yoga. I think I was overconfident when I started. I was athletic. I started in gyms and it was too advanced. I had to go through hurting my back and working through that in order to become a beginner.
AV: Do have any ongoing Devil Guy thoughts?
JG: I haven’t meditated in months. I keep meaning to do it, and there have been times when I’ve kept a regular practice and received nothing but good from it, but each morning, when I get up to meditate, I check my email on my phone instead. I don’t know why.
AV: What’s your alter ego’s mission?
JG: Wondering if you’re not good, if inside you’re really a bad person. When all of your peers are doing juice cleanses, it’s like, “Is everyone but me perfect?” I’m not a vegan. I don’t eat cows, pigs, or chickens, but I do feel bad about eating animal products. That’s because I’m an animal lover. I want to do better on that front, but I think it’s okay to admit that we’re not perfect.
AV: Do you admire him?