Jerry Guo: Give These Dogs an Om


How long have you been practising yoga?

I started practising yoga when I was 13. Since then it’s been on and off… mostly off until now.

Movement has always been a very large part of your life. Swimming, wrestling, football, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and powerlifting are all high-intensity sports. What about yoga (viewed as more of a zen/calming practice) attracted you? 

I think intensity is subjective. You can add as much or as little as you want even to yoga. What yoga has allowed me to do, however, is stay calm through the workouts or training and be able to reflect upon it after. Having a clear eyes and a full heart, you’ll learn more. To answer “what’s attractive about yoga”, though: it allows me to be a better, more well-rounded athlete; it gives me flexibility; it teaches the skill of understanding how to be in your body (to be a good “mover”); it helps reduce mental stress while increasing intensity; and I get to spend time with my mother.


You pretty much grew up inside a yoga studio. Do you recall the first time you ever considered teaching?

The short answer is 26. The long answer is that I hated working at the studio as an 18-year-old. I hated being there, I didn’t have a solid relationship with my mother, and being at the studio wasn’t “cool.” Honestly, I thought I would never teach. I took training after my ex-fiancée ended our relationship at 26—I was lost in so many ways. I’ve never liked being in front of people, and after the breakup I just wanted to hide. Being in the yoga training forced me to be out of my shell, allowed me to grow and heal through a tough time, and I wanted to share that with other people. 


What inspired you to partner with Tails of The Misunderstood Canine Rescue Society? 

I love dogs. Seeing them moved into a happy home with good people is more than enough motivation to try and reach out to someone. Alex, who runs their operations, is a friend and great person. We share a similar vision of an event and our path crossed at a gym. At the time I had no idea she ran a rescue. After about five minutes of conversation and me realizing she ran a rescue, we came to the conclusion that this needs to happen. Full disclosure: I just wanted to figure out a way for someone to bring me 10 puppies. Mission accomplished.


What can people expect when attending a Give These Dogs an Om class?  

Maybe a little pee, some fur, and a lot of puppies. The yoga itself is very inclusive for all ages. The mission here is to find a fur-ever home for adoptable dogs.


Outside of yoga, how do you like to spend your time?

I’m a tad bit geeky. I love video games, Magic: The Gathering, comics, and my dog, of course. That’s not geeky—I just love him. Beyond that, you can find me at the gym or getting some tattoos from Larkin James of Flipside Tattoos Inc. or BJJ with Tim Blanchard at mixed martial arts University in my hometown of Calgary. I love adventures from exploring to festivals. Music and arts are great things in combination with food. Actually, most things are better with food.


What do you love most about teaching yoga?

The most stressful part of my job is breathing. I feel like a have a grasp on that whole situation, and seeing happy people all the time is pretty OK. 


What do you love most about practising yoga and yoga itself?

To be completely honest, and to quote my bio , it’s “an unexpected gift; I found time with my mother, in an opportunity few will ever get to spend with a parent.”