Co-Founder and Development Director
ake Hays, BBA, AAS, RYT 500, RMT began his personal journey to yoga as a weightlifter with a desire to increase his flexibility and strength. Not only did yoga significantly improve his athletic stamina, it brought him new-found peace, awareness, self-acceptance, and self-love. These values are the foundation of his teaching path, which he shares with his students, encouraging everyone to experience their own practice as a journey of discovery by tapping into the energy of radical self-acceptance. Jake’s extensive knowledge of body types has benefited the many students and athletes he teaches with purposeful modifications and adaptations. He’s worked with local sports teams including The Ohio State University Men’s Crew, Westerville Crew, Upper Arlington Crew, Greater Columbus Rowing Association, Columbus Coyotes RFC, and Stonewall Sports Columbus.
Jake’s yoga teaching philosophy is influenced by his athletic background and his belief that yoga is for everybody, regardless of gender, size, and physical limitations. Through his teaching, Jake invites students to fully experience yoga, including breath awareness, mindfulness, and enhanced flexibility, to enhance their strength building and body awareness. He welcomes every student with an open heart by fostering an atmosphere of respect, fun, and judgment-free self-discovery.
Jake is dedicated to sharing his ongoing study of yoga, pranayama, reiki, meditation, and wellness modalities with all his students. He obtained his 500-Hour from Carolina Yoga Company and is also a Reiki Master Teacher, student of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, and has certifications and specializations in Yoga for Athletes, Pranayama, Restorative, and Trauma-Informed Yoga. In October 2016, his work with underserved youth was recognized with a “Distinguished Community Partner of 2016” award given by Kaleidoscope Youth Center. In 2017, Jake was named one of the top fitness instructors in Columbus by Columbus Navigator.
Jake is the co-founder of Danja Yoga. He has a corporate career as a Business Analyst with J. P. Morgan Chase holding an Associate of Applied Science in Technology and Business from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Franklin University.
My first inspiration for Yoga was more flexibility and range of motion. However, as I continued to practice Yoga, I found additional benefits such as increased peace of mind and stress/anxiety reduction. I became a teacher to share these benefits that I found helpful for everyday living.
E-RYT 200, E-RYT 500, Yoga for Athletes, Restorative Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga, Meditation, and Pranayama.
One of the best aspects of Yoga is the community and at Danja we foster a community of compassionate and welcoming Yoga teachers and practitioners. Also, we offer a broad range of classes to make Yoga accessible for everyone!
You don’t need to be flexible to start or be successful in Yoga. Yoga is a practice so start slow and consistent and you will see and feel the results.
I love standing balance poses such as tree pose as they encourage finding the perfect balance between body and mind.
The Body Keeps the Score as it references how our body holds past trauma.
I am a huge houseplant enthusiast and own over 150 different plant varieties.
In my free time, I love doing anything outdoors, travelling or finding unique treasures while antiquing!