This time around, we sent Mojofist to chat with Jahmelia, a yoga instructor with a very diverse background and a strong passion for self-improvement, growth, and challenge. While our conversations usually stick pretty closely to the dating topic, with a varied and diverse person like Jahmelia, we found the chat ranging to overall life habits and philosophies, which is always a good thing.
From the Big Island of Hawaii until her early teens, Jahmelia lived in Albuquerque, NM, Venezuela, and other places before settling in Southern California.
Stylelife: What are your 3 “must have” characteristics in a man?
Jahmelia: He does not have to be perfect but takes care of his body (I very much care about physical attraction). Thoughtfulness, I absolutely expect romance! Willing to grow- a man who takes responsibility for his work, relationships, his life.
Stylelife: On the other hand, what are your dealbreakers? What qualities can you absolutely not abide?
Jahmelia: Cheap! I think that “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” This is beyond money and will carry into other aspects of the relationship. Rude, I notice if someone is unkind to service people- waiters, taxi drivers, their mother.
Stylelife: As a yoga instructor, what’s your sort of introductory tip to a man who might be interested in the subject, but intimidated by the chanting, mats, candles, new age music, and other stereotypes?
Jahmelia: To be uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. I forgot to mention that humility is incredibly sexy. Also, there are so many different types of yoga. I teach yoga with hip hop music, stories and what is happening in popular culture. Find a teacher that resonates with you. Yelp can be a really great source for this.
Stylelife: The idea of being uncomfortable with being uncomfortable is interesting, and sort of comes up a lot with what we do.
Jahmelia: I get and see all the time that it is difficult for men to NOT be good at stuff. Especially in front of other people or women that they find attractive.
Stylelife: In general, as it relates not just to yoga, but self-improvement as a whole: There is an amount of uncomfortableness that is a necessary part of growth and change. But there is also a level of uncomfortableness that is an indicator of going against your core beliefs, or who you are as a person. How do you balance a “good” amount of discomfort without going too far?
Jahmelia Look at the results that you have had in the past, what has worked for you? Did it create pain or harmony? Keep moving in the direction of harmony & interdependence – where you are content and the people around you (that you respect and admire) are content.
Stylelife: A lot of times, people who might care for us and think they have our best interests at heart, can actually hold us back from self-improvement and change. What is your advice to someone who starts going to yoga, but maybe his friends make fun of him about it? As we grow, how do you deal with friends or family members how might be threatened by that growth?
Do they have what you want? You can still love, admire, and respect people, but sometimes people teach us how not to be.
Think of the acronym F.O.G… I distance myself from people that I only keep around because of Fear, Obligation, or Guilt.
Stylelife: You mentioned that men struggle being observed in something they’re not good at. What would be your advice in this area? If someone is nervous to try yoga because he worries the women will think he looks silly, how does he overcome that anxiety?
Jamelia: You will look silly. Just accept it and stay on your mat. This is an opportunity to cultivate your sense of humor. Don’t stare at women in the class or go out of your way to try and make eye contact because you will appear creepy. But the woman-to-man ratio is overwhelmingly female. Maintain your space and you might find that they come to you.
Stylelife: Should guys try to meet women at yoga?
Stylelife: In a similar vein, but on a broader scale, what about meeting women at the gym?
Jamelia: Yes. Guys should try to meet women everywhere.
Stylelife: So at the yoga studio or at the gym, what is your prescription for a guy who sees a woman that he’s interested in?
Jamelia: As a yoga teacher, I have seen some really beautiful connections made through my classes. Be wise and be picky. You do not want to get the reputation for trying to date all the women at your gym or yoga class. Choose one woman and then try to be in her periphery. Proximity and familiarity does create fondness.
Stylelife: And the shared experience of sweating your ass off and twisting into pretzels doesn’t hurt either, I imagine.
Jamelia: Sweating your ass off, twisting into bizarre shapes, it’s a great conversation starter. See if you like her rather than hoping she will like you. Then go for it. Avoid the friend zone.
Stylelife: That’s a classic topic in this industry: the dreaded friend zone. What’s your advice for avoiding it?
Jamelia: Don’t act like a friend. Make your interest known. Life is short. There are plenty of women that would be interested. Don’t waste your time.
Stylelife: Let’s go back to your comment about seeing if “you like her rather than hoping she will like you.” That’s a tough lesson for many men to learn.
Jamelia: I think that you are actually doing a woman a favor by observing whether or not she is a good fit for you. That way, you both are more quickly available for the people that you are meant to meet.
Stylelife: Having the necessary self-esteem to be self-assured in that lesson is a problem for many people as well. Everyone just says, “be confident” but we don’t believe that confidence is like a light switch that you can just turn on and off. What are your tips for improving that mindset?
Jamelia: Thank goodness self-esteem is something that you can cultivate! Give yourself credit, it is a process and can take time. On the other hand, consider that when we have learned our lesson, we heal and stop being in pain or dwelling in the past. Ask yourself, “What are the lessons that I’ve had to learn?” I’m a big believer in systems versus goals.
Jamelia: A system is the trust that if I commit to a process (I will show up when I don’t feel like it, I will give everything that I have) what I want or something better will unfold. A goal can be depressing and can cut off your creativity about how something might unfold. You might get stuck on one woman and not be open to the abundance of amazing women out there, for example.
Stylelife: So how do men approach you?
Jamelia: A lot of men try to be my friend and to pretend that they are in yoga. I tend to get a lot of (and it might be particular to Los Angeles) is men inviting me to networking events and then acting like it is a date.
A lot of these men have been my students and it seems to be a typical male fantasy to hook up with your yoga teacher.
I have to be super careful in crossing that line — only for the right guy I would.
Consistency is a biggie for me. Men who show up and try. Being focused on himself and not needing the approval of others. I have had students that I thought were a-holes (yep, even a yoga teacher has those thoughts) but when they kept showing up, quite a few of them were really great guys. There might have been a lack of communication and understanding each other but eventually we found our rhythm together. Balance is a practice – we all need approval/ validation on some level, and we should want to be mindful of how we are affecting other people, but that should be in harmony with healthy boundaries and self-respect.
Stylelife: Being constant, being determined, not being dismayed because you’re not the best at the very beginning? Not giving up?
Jamelia: Keep showing up! Get uncomfortable, fall down and then get back up. Then start getting back up more quickly. Then eventually you stop falling down.
Every single person that you admire had to start somewhere and it might appear effortless but that is very rarely the case.
Stylelife: How do you suggest someone balances self-improvement — let’s say yoga — with work, school, family, or whatever? How do they know they’re putting in a sufficient amount of work at the new pursuit, but not getting obsessed by it?
Jamelia: Choose what aspect of your life most needs improvement. Dating, your physical health, your finances, etc. Start carving out one hour a day for that specific aspect. Maybe start with 20 minutes if that’s all you can do. If you get happier and better at the one thing, it will seep into every other aspect of your life. If you get better at talkign to women, you will enhance your skills at work, and so forth.
Stylelife: Let’s keep this question specifically in the dating arena: What’s the one piece of advice or suggestion you would make to men out there? This is your chance with the microphone.
Jamelia: Just one?!?
Stylelife: Men should be picky, remember?
Jamelia: Consider your 80th birthday and think of all the people that you would want to show up. Is it your wife and kids? Maybe it is a bevy of beautiful women that you courted? What will your co-workers and employees say about you? What kind of man do you want to be? Start day by day to live in accordance with this vision.
Stylelife: Great, thanks for your insights Jahmelia.[box type=”shadow”]If you could ask Jahmelia any question, what would you it be? What do you want to know? Leave those questions in the comments field below.[/box]
It could be both- but I would learn towards showing tremendous interest in that woman and the things that they like
I think that it is very flattering and gives a foundation to talk about- AND make her laugh