BeNourished is a refuge, a resource, and a reassurance that your miraculous wholeness is part of the elegant and eternal design of the natural world. Through yoga, Ayurveda, and food, BeNourished offers a simple yet multifaceted approach to wellness designed around your specific needs. A holistic concept of health is at the foundation of the practices I follow and share here, in group classes, and with individuals, meaning there’s nothing prescriptive when it comes to how to feel your best. The only requirement is having the courage to live each day with integrity, and making choices in how you eat and act toward yourself and others that honor the messages from your wise heart (and when in doubt, do nothing).
Although I have encountered many bumps along the way, and still do, I strive to stay on Ayurveda’s middle path of life—which includes learning from when I fall down or get lost, allowing for a meandering diversion to follow a butterfly or birdsong, and pausing along the way to pick up pretty stones and lavender branches, even if it means I’m late.
Hi, I’m Jennifer Kurdyla, an Ayurvedic health counselor, yoga teacher, and writer. Throughout my various careers and studies, I’ve come to realize that the ability to acknowledge and tell your story—the unabridged version, with all the sad parts and curses, the bad grammar and poetry—is integral to experiencing the fullness of life. Embracing the practice of self-study, or svadhayaya, was the revelation I needed to finally take ownership of not only where my life was going, but how I was going to feel while doing it. In fact, by following that drive to feel not just well, but vibrant and joyful, I wound up finding myself exactly where I needed to be.
My path toward a holistic lifestyle was not direct—and in fact was a painful one. One day while I was out for a run in fall 2016, I started to feel the sidewalk a little too intensely under my old Nike sneakers. Running was new to me—I’d just finished a yoga teacher training, and finally corrected the hypermobility in my knees that had caused debilitating pain when I ran all my life—so I was eager to get new shoes so I could keep up my new hobby. I was sure I’d found the perfect pair: I’d read all the reviews online and even had the recommendation of a salesman at a special running-shoe store. After my first day out with them in Central Park, I felt a mild pain in my ankles, which increased as I climbed the northern hill. I ignored it for a few days until the pain went from mild to I-can’t-even-walk bad. As a busy New Yorker who relies on her feet as a mode of transportation, I was facing one of my worst fears—not being able to keep up.
This debacle made me realize that I had been running on hurt feet most of my life, more concerned about doing than being. Even when I thought I was taking care of myself—I was a healthy young woman by all objective standards, and a yoga teacher to boot!—it was with a mindless intensity that was leading me nowhere fast.
In order to really appreciate everything and everyone I loved—including myself—I’d have to slow down and be more mindful about how and with what I was feeding my body inside and out. I’d have to stop looking outward to feel satisfied, and start allowing myself to filled up from within—by desire, pleasure, and spirit, the juicy parts of life I didn’t think I deserved to enjoy before.
Fast forward through eight years as an acquiring editor of trade fiction and nonfiction, a hard-core hypermobile vinyasa junkie, and a sufferer of chronic digestive and hormonal imbalances, I’ve settled into a holistic lifestyle that allows me to feel at home in my body—easeful, radiant, nourished, and sacred. Since 2008, I’ve been a dedicated student of yoga, and received my 500-hour certification through YogaWorks and additional specialty training in therapeutic and restorative yoga with Jillian Pransky. In 2020, I graduated from the Kripalu School of Ayurveda as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and continue my studies with Dr. Claudia Welch, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Dr. Scott Blossom, and other leading teachers of Ayurveda. I also feed the life-long storyteller in me through my own writing, and select editorial and writing collaborations.
It was with the help of an expanding and diverse team of healers—Ayurvedic practitioners, acupuncturists, yoga teachers, and friends—that I found the mind-body-spirit balance I needed to thrive. And I’m here to tell you that you can, too, because what they shared with me wasn’t some ancient secret or rare medicine. It was the space to listen to my own wisdom. In all of my offerings, my goal is to guide you to listen to your inner teacher, who might be telling you to stop running in shoes that hurt you in the way that mine did (once I let myself be quiet enough to hear her voice, and got brave enough to listen). I believe there are countless ways for each of us to find our own perfect pace and stride—a way of being in the world that lets us share our gifts, receive our blessings, and live compassionately and in harmony with each other and nature.
Born in New Jersey, I graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard University and attended the Columbia Publishing Course. I currently live in Brooklyn, New York, where I start my mornings with a generous dose of self-love (abhyanga, yoga, and cacao) to the melody of pigeons cooing outside my window, prepare meals as part of my kitchen sadhana, and try to enjoy some combination of dancing, singing, and ambling through Prospect Park every day.
I am the co-author (with Abbey Rodriguez) of Root & Nourish: An Herbal Cookbook for Women’s Wellness, publishing with Tiller Press in April 2021.