Brought up by the sea with two brothers, DeVoe's family is close-knit. Her parents — a father who manages bands and surfers and a mother who stays at home — encouraged her to try yoga at a young age and continue to support her journey. (Yes, they come to her classes, too).
And when she's not meeting the demands of schoolwork, DeVoe is devoted to studying asana and yoga philosophy — always furthering her education as the youngest 200-hour certified teacher in the United States, registered with Yoga Alliance. She's also the world's youngest certified stand-up paddleboarding instructor.
Already branded as an ambassador for several yoga clothing lines and the board company Glide SUP, DeVoe is a rising star in her community. She's also passionate about the non-profit work she does for organizations geared toward helping disadvantaged youth, for charities like the One Love Movement in San Diego, and Children Mending Hearts and Uplift Yoga Bash in Orange County.
MindBodyGreen caught up with the busy teen and asked her a few questions about the unusual life of a young yogi.
MBG: How did you first decide to become a yoga teacher?
JD: When I was 8 or 9 years old, my mom took me to a kid's yoga class in our area. It was awesome! I didn't know much about yoga because I was so young, but I had a lot of fun with it and felt so energized afterwards. So we went back every week.
Then when I got older, I did teen yoga with Kristen Butterfield at Bergamot where I teach now, with a couple of my girlfriends. That's when I met my amazing mentor, Lindsay Russo who teaches at The Soul of Yoga in Encinitas — she taught me about the spiritual side of yoga. She inspired my friends and me to become teachers and got us accepted to do the training, which started in October 2013 and finished in February of last year. My friends are a bit older than me, so as far as we know I'm the youngest certified yoga teacher in the U.S.
As a teenager, how do you take your practice off of your mat and into your life?
It's definitely stressful to get all of my work done! School days can be a lot of work, especially on Tuesdays when I have to teach. So I wake up, go to school and then teach yoga, and it's dark out by the time I come home. But when I get to the studio and see people coming in, I feel so much more energized and relaxed.
If I'm ever stressed out or have exams, I always meditate before them. That helps me a lot. Anytime I'm nervous about something, I meditate and feel 100 times better. I normally meditate with my mala or my crystals — they really inspire me. Most people tell me I'm an old soul, and stuff like that.