Jo Parsons Engel has 15 years of experience in the yoga industry that includes managerial, start-up, co-founding, teaching dynamic classes that draw large crowds, and, of course, being a student of yoga. Her strengths are teaching yoga, team building, and finding creative ways to grow business.
Jo trained with Baron Baptiste and the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, where she completed Level 1 and Level 2 in 2006. She is currently a 500-Hour E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance, and also completed Lisa Black’s Teacher Assisting Program (TAP) at Shakti Vinyasa Bellevue in 2007. Most recently, she completed her Yin Yoga certification with Bernie Clark in November 2015.
Jo elevated her management and community-building experience as the co-founder and Director of Yoga Urban Yoga Spa, a downtown Seattle yoga studio and spa, in 2008. She was instrumental in starting and growing the business with the owners (who were not yoga teachers at the time), and was responsible for hiring all of the teachers and creating a brand of yoga that made Urban Yoga Spa a successful force in the thriving Seattle yoga community.
Before moving on to her next endeavor, the studio was bringing in $1 million in sales and averaging 6,000 visits per month. Before helping to open Urban Yoga Spa, Jo managed Lisa Black’s Shakti Vinyasa Yoga in Bellevue, Washington, for two years. Shakti Vinyasa Yoga is considered the premiere studio in the Northwest. In 2005, before Jo became a yoga teacher, she managed Hot Yoga of Kirkland, in Kirkland, Washington. She ran this busy studio single-handedly, while the owner was out of the country for an extended period, with no previous management experience--just raw talent and a sincere desire to serve. She not only kept that business afloat, she also turned it around and built it back up.
Currently, Jo is the coordinator for Shakti Vinyasa Yoga’s Teacher Mentorship Program. She reviews and auditions applicants for the four-month program and provides them with feedback after they assist teach during Shakti’s Intro Series, providing insights into what worked and what needs improvement.
Yoga Teacher Trainings
Urban Yoga Spa, Shakti Vinyasa Yoga, Open Up Yoga Teacher Training, and Hot Yoga Inc. have hired Jo for their Yoga Teacher Training programs. She has facilitated teachings in her strongest areas: leadership, teaching from the heart, sequencing, alignment, hands-on assisting, and yin.
Yoga Teaching & Workshops
Jo teaches yoga because she has healed so much of her own life with yoga, and she wants to teach others that they can do the same. A lifelong battle with depression, anxiety, and weight issues led Jo to try yoga 15 years ago, and her life was completely changed forever!
Jo loves yoga, and her students feel that love and are inspired by her. People flock to Jo’s classes because they are authentic, inspiring, fun, encouraging, and challenging. Often, students will say, “I just need a ‘Jo class’” referring to the special ability she has to make them feel centered. Jo's ability to connect with her students and understand their suffering, and their triumphs (emotional, physical, and spiritual) is as unique as she is.
Jo has co-led the City of Dreams yoga retreat in Port Townsend, Washington, from 2010-2016, where she leads students on a weekend of yoga, hiking, and lasting community building. Also, from 2012-2015, Jo was a featured teacher for Yoga for Hope, where she guided over 400 students in a yoga classes to benefit City of Hope, a cancer treatment and research center. She has also donated her time teaching fundraising yoga classes for Yoga Behind Bars and Africa Yoga Project.
The Bottom Line
Jo Parsons Engel is a rare individual. The “magic” she has is highly desirable and sought after often. Not only is she a creative and dynamic teacher, she is also a strong leader. She can do it all: teach powerful and inspiring classes, build the best team of teachers, and come up with ideas and programs that drive sales! But it’s her easy-going personality and big smile that everyone is attracted to. What Jo has comes naturally to her, she does all of this with ease, it’s just in her nature. In yogic terms, it is her Dharma, her calling.