The Master: Could Jared McCann Be Yoga’s New Messiah?

Looking back at the lost boy who walked into her studio eight years ago, Tricia Donegan now sees a man who has transformed into an exemplary role model for his peers. “What I have seen emerge in the past two years as he gets more comfortable in his own skin is him helping other competitors and being supportive of them,” says Ms. Donegan. “I think yoga was a tool to find out that he could have a better life, that he could do things that he didn’t think he could. And now it has become his tool for the world.”

With a new business on the horizon and a major competition awaiting him this summer, Mr. McCann has certainly been making good use of the tool that was given to him. While he may have attained the spiritual calm that was lacking in his partying days, that doesn’t mean he’s traded in pleasure for Puritanism. “I would like to take this spiritual passiveness out of yoga culture,” he says. “Because I am a body. I’m Jared. Maybe that would be nice to go back to God and forget about everything, but actually, no, I like it here. I’m having fun.”

And inner repose is certainly not akin to loss of ego—as evidenced by his advice for those who have yet to jump on the yoga bandwagon. “Stop thinking about it and just go!” he says, grinning. “Actually, I wouldn’t say just go. I’d say: come to my studio.”

asilman@observer.com