Alpha Female Friday – Jenna Switzer

Every Friday I am going to feature a woman that I adore. They exude all the qualities of an Alpha Female and I want to dig into their lives to get some nuggets of knowledge to help us all live happier, healthier lives finding harmony between work and life. 

Definition of an Alpha Female

An Alpha Female is a powerful and assertive woman. Her confidence is due to being an intelligent and intellectual problem-solver. Being an Alpha Female is a State of Mind based on choosing ambition and being proud of it. She strives for a happy and healthy work/life harmony.

Type A Alpha Females often come across as strong willed and selfish. However, when we stay true to our authentic selves and our missions we shine. An Alpha Female puts herself first so that she can fill up her cup or gas tank or put on her airplane mask first so that she has enough energy for her friends, family, and coworkers. She strives for synergy with the world around her. She knows that work/life harmony is found by staying true to your priorities and what makes you happy. She is never complacent about striving for better and nurtures relationships with all the people in her life.

Meet Jenna Switzer!

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Jenna Switzer is an anatomy geek, yoga and tune up teacher as well as the yoga and wellness manager at The Retreat at Strathmere (a spa & wellness retreat centre just outside of Ottawa, Ontario – my hometown which I just moved back to. After meeting Jenna at a Yoga Tune Up class at OCR Academy my boyfriend’s gym and loving her vibe & energy. I just had to introduce her to you. Welcome Jenna.

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How are you an Alpha Female?

I am unapologetically me. My personal evolution has taken me on a crazy journey and I’m thankful for all the twists and turns (and the ones that I know are ahead). This journey, though, has made me incredibly confident in who I am as a person and I just won’t be anything except genuine. I’m SO lucky to be mostly surrounded by people who appreciate that about me, but I’ve definitely run into more than one occasion where people get a bit upset, offended, or sometimes angry. I may be gentle, but always firm, in my response: this is me and I’m thrilled to be the unique version of a human that I am.

What does work/life harmony look like for you?

Because what I do for ‘work’ is something I’m hella passionate about, I find it’s a fine line to know where I’m ‘working’ too much, and I’m working enough but still have non work time. When I first started teaching yoga and mobility, I loved it so much I wanted to teach all the time. I thought you couldn’t over work if you loved it. That’s a lie. No matter how much you love something, you can totally take the fun out of it when you don’t give yourself time to rest and rebuild.

What are you most passionate about?

Self confidence and love through connection with our physical bodies. Sometimes that can can come from new  movements, sometimes through book learning, sometimes through just playing. I love seeing people’s connection and love for their own bodies grow through the various work I do.

What are you daily health habits that keep your immune system boosted?

Oh man. Candid answer: I’m bad at this. My number one non-negotiable is quiet time in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea. Giving myself the time to think over my day and be quiet and tune in has a major impact on the rest of my day. Helps me de-clutter what I don’t need and prioritize what I really want. I have a habit of adding lots to my schedule which tends to wear me down, but this morning quiet time helps me to stay focused and say yes only to what I truly need and want in my life

What is your weekly fitness routine like?

I love any kind of playful movement. I try to take at least one class outside my own practice a week. Being in different studios with different teachers helps keep me inspired. I’m in love with open gym at the gymnastics centre close by. I also love to move weights. I don’t get in to do crossfit as often as I like, but I LOVE weight lifting when I can make it fit in my schedule

How do you challenge yourself fitness wise?

I’ve been able to move around with friends who are incredibly strong and flexy so I love learning and being inspired by them. I’m part of Yoga Tune Up(r) which is home to some incredibly inspiring teachers across the world and I’m frequently inspired by their posts and our interactions. Every now and then I’ll give myself a challenge to work towards… for a long time I was focused on getting strict pull ups. Felt SO empowered when I finally accomplished that one. I’ve also been trying to get a standalone handstand…. It’s been eluding me for 4 years now BUT I’ve learned some AWESOME wrist mobility work, core strengtheners, and shoulder stabilizers in my pursuit.

What are you daily/weekly nutrition habits that keep you well nourished?

Eat ALL the veggies. Over the summer I had a fab CSA and cooked with veggies I had never tried. Since that ended I’ve been more adventurous in grocery trips, found fun local markets, and I’m loving it. Also, let’s be honest here, planning ahead is KEY! The best way to stay on top of staying well nourished is making a plan ahead of time.

What are your daily habits for winding down at night and reducing stress?

Less coffee.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love coffee. A lot. But I have found that by only [savouring] one cup first thing in the morning and drinking herbal teas throughout the day, my stress / anxiety levels drop dramatically.

Say NO

Prioritizing rest and downtime is big for me. I’m an extrovert, so I LOVE being around people… and I’m so fortunate to have amazing, inspiring people in my life, but when you love what you do and you’re passionate in your work, sometimes absorbing more energy from others, even if they are awesome people, can keep the nervous system on overdrive.

What are some pain points of being an Alpha Female that you have to problem solve for? 

A friend recently said ‘ya know Jenna, you do you’, and I think that sums up a major issue we have.

What is your definition of happiness?

I recently heard a recording of Alan Watts (LOVE that guy), and he talked about how life is like a song. We frequently think about where we’re going and what we’re trying to get done… but we don’t listen to a beautiful song because we want it to end. If that was the case, the best songwriters would just write super short songs that end quickly. We listen to it because we love the experience of listening. When it’s over, when it ‘gets to where it’s going’ we’re kinda sad. I think that happiness is being satisfied listening to the song that is your life… with no expectations. It can  be unpredictable. It has really fast parts and really slow parts, but the song doesn’t need to end or get somewhere, it just needs to keep playing to be beautiful. I think really accepting that truth, that ‘be in the moment’ attitude is where real happiness comes from.

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