Jonah Kest was born into yoga. His parents were among the first to run a yoga studio and teacher training program in the Midwest. Jonah’s father, Jonny Kest, is a well known Ashtanga yoga teacher who learned yoga from his own father and eventually passed on the tradition to him.
As part of his parents’ yoga lifestyle, they followed a plant based vegan diet on which Jonah was raised. Although he continues to follow a vegan diet, he’s got no beef with meat eaters. As he puts it, “I don’t judge anyone for their preference in diet. Everyone has different bodies and needs. I was born and raised vegan so it just happens to work well with my body.” Nutrition, like exercise in general and yoga specifically, is often about finding what works best for your body. Clearly, Jonah’s body has no trouble building muscle sans animal protein.
Do not imagine, however, that Jonah is immune to the mental and emotional struggles that you and I deal with. Discontentment and lack of self-acceptance are issues he’s encountered himself. We’ve all felt dejected at some point by failing to achieve an elusive pose. Or perhaps our practice has become an endless chase for that ever increasingly difficult pose, never leading to any sense of satisfaction or gratitude. However, through mindful yoga practice, it becomes possible “to be happy with where you are at, not where you want to be or not even where you think you should be, but where you’re at right now.” as Jonah has learned. Do not assume either that because of his family’s yoga lineage, that it does not require Jonah immense discipline and dedication to deepen his practice. “Something I’ve learned from practicing yoga, is that if you want to accomplish any specific goal or yoga pose it takes persistence, consistency and determination. If you’re not on the mat every single day how can you expect to improve?” he posits.
You may not have been born into a legacy of yoga and might still be experimenting with your diet. But, one thing you control fully, is to get on your mat - every single day.
All photos: Instagram @kestyoga
- Nutrition and exercise - find what works best for your body.
- Yoga and life - be content with where you are right now. Be grateful for what you’ve accomplished as you work towards progress.
- Yoga and life - accomplishing goals takes persistence, consistency and determination.
- Yoga - get on your mat every single day.
Follow Jonah Kest on IG @kestyoga