Yoga is a wonderful practice to take up no matter your age, size, sex or balance prowess. That’s part of the reason why now 14-year-old Jaysea Devoe decided to try it when she was only 8.
As a fitness-loving girl, she was looking for something that would fulfill an active lifestyle, but wasn’t too keen on contact sports. “I tried basketball, volleyball, and all those school sports. I would always run away from the ball,” Devoe told Elle magazine. So instead, she started taking yoga classes at her local YMCA in Encinitas, California, and pretty much knew from the start that she had found her calling. Within three years, she was told she was good enough to become an instructor, so she started teaching Vinyasa classes once a week at Bergamot Spa. How’s that for an after-school job?!
Except it’s much more than that for Devoe, since she doesn’t attend a conventional school like other kids. Her parents enrolled her and her brothers Ryder and Fisher in a one-on-one teaching academy that only meets three times a week so they could have more time to pursue what they love. As such, Ryder and Fisher are now sponsored surfers, and Jaysea is the youngest yoga instructor in the United States, and the youngest SUP (stand up paddle board) yoga instructor in the world.
She became a certified yoga instructor by completing a 200-hour five-month-long yoga certification program through Yoga Alliance when she was only 12. Now that she’s 14, she’s a three-time returning instructor to the illustrious Wanderlust Festival in Oahu, Hawaii, which is like Mecca for yogis.
Needless to say, she’s garnered a lot of attention on social media, and has been approached by brands like Sanuk to be their spokes-yogi. At the tender age of 14, she already has 12,800 followers on Instagram, even though, unlike most other girls her age, posting pictures on social media is low on her priority list.
“I try not to spend so much time on social media. I like to be outdoors and play around. My friends are really amazing and we love to be outside. We’d rather be outside playing in the ocean and experiencing life [than being on our phones],” she told Elle. Now isn’t that refreshing coming from a teen?
Considering she’s not spending all that time on social media, or stuck in a classroom, Devoe has already accomplished more than most 20 somethings. She opened up a store called Sea Vibes, which sells girls’ clothing and jewelry that she makes herself. As such, she’s definitely got a head for being an entrepreneur, and a heart that will likely lead her in a charitable direction. She’s already working with NPOs like One Love Movement, Children Mending Hearts and Uplift Yoga Bash, and plans to do much more. She says yoga inspires her to give back as much as she can without the need for return.
As you can see, this young woman has a great deal to teach the world, and only part of that has to do with sun salutations and downward dogs.
More: 7 reasons to take your yoga practice outside the studio