To call Jessica Rosen busy is both an understatement and a simplification. A youthful, playful spitfire as well as a woman who values community, Jessica Rosen is a yoga teacher who is the founder, owner, and director of popular One Down Dog yoga studios in Silverlake, Eagle Rock, and now Echo Park. In addition to her life in the studio, she’s married to her high-school sweetheart, Daniel, and she is the proud mom of their two-year-old son, Max.
When we first met in 2012, I was struck by how much she is a force of nature. It’s a force she’s used to create One Down Dog (affectionately called ODD). I continue to be inspired by her strength—and her long-term vision for the ODD community. One Down Dog is a community—and family—that has been embedded in the studio since the beginning, from securing funding, to actually building the space, to rainy photo shoots, and to love, support, and heart.
Jessica Rosen and One Down Dog
Even the name One Down Dog has a heartfelt and community crowdsourcing-based origin story. Jessica, while searching for a name for her growing business teaching and organizing yoga in rehab facilities, had a timely conversation with a friend who reminded Jessica of her frequent in-class instructions, “It’s not about the pose; just take it one down dog at a time.” Her friend yelled, “That’s it! That’s the name! One Down Dog!”
The name stuck. A high-school friend created the logo: Jessica’s dog, Patrick—in downward facing dog. Other friends helped create the website, flyers, logo, and photographs. Jessica began photographing herself in downward facing dog anywhere and everywhere. She also created a series of “Patrick Says” memes with photographs of her dog. Taking it further, Jessica asked people to send in images of themselves down dogging during their travels.
Travels through Practice
Throughout her own journey, Jessica’s practice has been an important source of support. She began yoga when she was in graduate school earning a Masters in Psychology at the Center for Humanistic Studies in Michigan. It was her mom who suggested that an awareness of yoga and mindfulness might be beneficial in a therapy practice. While Jessica completed her teacher training, at first she had no intention to teach and was terrified to speak in front of people. Nevertheless, Jessica was asked to teach yoga at a prestigious rehab facility in Michigan. While she was eventually promoted to a full-time therapist position, Jessica discovered she preferred teaching yoga and felt it was an area where she could make an impact.
When Jessica moved to Los Angeles, her interest in working in recovery led her to Visions Adolescent Treatment Center where she met the Center’s co-founder Amanda Shumow and felt a connection to the their treatment philosophy. The group Jessica led included an hour of yoga, and an hour of sharing. While she no longer actively teaches at Visions, Jessica continues to direct their yoga program with has a few select ODD teachers running the groups. She’s committed to helping people dealing with addiction and she said yes when I asked to offer a Refuge Recovery-based yoga class at ODD.
Creativity and Community at One Down Dog
Jessica and the entire team are conscientious about creating an open and supportive environment through One Down Dog’s open, fun, playful and nourishing atmosphere. It’s a studio where people connect and practice together without judgment or fear of not fitting in. She says, “The yoga world can feel intimidating and very limited.”
Jessica says, “We are a yoga studio, but more than that, we are like Cheers! where ‘everybody knows your name.’ More than that, I want to know what do you do for a living, what brings you joy, how can we help you? There is a sense of belonging [at ODD] and people need that. I need that.”
The Juggling Act of Family, Practice, and Business
Jessica says running a studio “boils down to asking for help and delegating.” At ODD, Jessica’s surrounded herself by a phenomenal crew and she is adamant about taking care of them. Her persistence and rebel soul is part of what fuels this connection in the studio and at home, where the foundation of her family life is collaboration, joint effort, and equity.
Jessica Rosen on Fitting in Personal Practice
Teaching and running a group of studios make personal practice even more of a necessity. Jessica is honest about her challenge for maintaining the time for a personal practice with raising her son, Max. Yet life with a toddler can bring unexpected gifts—and a few realizations. For example, a current read Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right offers lessons on how to not get in the way of your…crap.
Prioritizing self-care is one of these lessons; Jessica’s journaling practice helps her uncover ideas she uses to adjust her practice based on her daily needs. Practice can include journaling in bed, a daily gratitude list, regular sessions with a personal trainer (for scheduling and accountability), as well as time on the mat—especially on Thursdays, her long day at ODD. Sometimes Max joins in. His favorite: Chanting “Om.” In addition to the ongoing practices, she schedules one day a month for self-care when she makes a point to be outside in nature with trees, dirt, and sunshine: it’s her medicine. She also makes it a point to learn and grow, integrating her commitments to business and yoga.
Inspiration, One Down Dog at a Time
Jessica keeps herself on the studio’s schedule. It is one of the many ways she connects to the ODD community and it’s an ongoing source of inspiration. She loves hearing people share their experiences, their ah-ha moments, and their trials and tribulations. Jessica is uplifted by her crew; her staff, teachers, family, and friends. ODD is a home, a place to go to when things are going well and when things have gone awry. “Community is why it works. People come together and are willing to be vulnerable. That willingness, that’s IT. Essentially, that’s love.”
For more information about Jessica Rosen and the growing One Dog Dog community, visit: onedowndog.com
Jessica would love to see your ODD dogs, so send a pic to her at [email protected]
Clothing by Soybu (selected photos). For more information, visit: soybu.com
Sarit Rogers is a photographer, yoga teacher, writer, and founder of the LoveMore Movement, who is a Somatic Experiencing™ Practitioner. She is also a contributor in the anthology Yoga Rising, by Melanie Klein: saritphotography.com. saritzrogers.com