After struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, Jacob Daffner turned to yoga to help him heal and get sober. In addition to teaching at studios throughout the Valley, Daffner started Spiritually Fit—a nonprofit that holds three weekly classes for those in recovery seeking support and the restorative powers of yoga.
What’s your go-to morning ritual? Waking up 30 to 60 minutes before I actually need to wake up. This simple and easy change has made a huge impact in the way I start my day. I am able to relax, meditate, get some work done or read. I start my morning with less urgency and less stress, which has an incredible effect on the rest of my day. Other than that, I always make a cup of good coffee and have a smoothie loaded with greens and protein.
Favorite yoga pose? Pigeon. It is such a beneficial posture for my body, and obviously what my body needs the most because it is so intense for me.
The secret to keeping your fitness on track? For me, it’s simply showing up. I truly believe that’s the hardest part.
Name one thing you’ve done in the past year to change your health? I started going to a friend’s gym, Fitness 5, in Scottsdale. I love yoga and hiking, but, until this past September, was never into ‘the gym.’ I’ve already been experiencing some great benefits—the added strength has been great with supporting my joints on long hikes or in challenging yoga classes.
Favorite healthy restaurants in town? Grabbagreen and Nekter Juice Bar. I also love True Food Kitchen. Not only are the meals amazing and healthy, but they rotate the menu seasonally so there are always new dishes.
Favorite food indulgence? I found this place called Pizza Heaven Bistro in Central Phoenix, and they have a vegan calzone that has been one of my favorite comfort foods.
What keeps you coming back to the mat? The way it makes me feel. It heals, strengthens and stretches by body.
Photography by: brian clay/courtesy of jacob daffner