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Jon George


Born and raised in Minneapolis, Jonathan George built tree forts and threw rocks at trains during his childhood. He eventually matured, and attended Amherst College in 1994 where he studied psychology and neuroscience under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Turgeon. He played soccer for four years, leading his team as senior captain to the NCAA Division III championships in 1997. He was actively involved in yoga, meditation, and capoeira by day, and at night he ran the College’s EMS service, which sometimes served as an excuse to park in the best spots on campus. He graduated in 1999 with the publication of his honors research work studying an animal model for schizophrenia in an esteemed neuroscience journal.

Jonathan George is an explorer with creative independence and curious eye for uncharted waters. After graduating from college, he moved to Seattle, where he worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, conducting longitudinal research on quality-of-life issues in patients receiving bone marrow transplants. His office had no windows and which led him to explore the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. His mountaineering experiences in the Cascades, kayak adventures on the ocean and inland on rivers, and backcountry ski trips in Canada forever changed his perspective. As Jon became an avid outdoor adventurer, he also began volunteering with outdoor mountaineering groups and taking people climbing in the backcountry.

A year after his experience in the Northwest ended, he went to Nepal. There he taught English in an orphanage and studied yoga and meditation under the tutelage of an astute yogi based in Kathmandu. He fell in love with the Hindu culture and arranged a classical apprenticeship to study the principles and philosophy of Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) under an aging master, which lasted several months. During this time, he became more interested in inward exploration than outward adventure, and although he climbed for several months throughout the Himalayas, it was his interest in meditation that piqued his curiosity. To engage meditation further, and to understand better its implications for medicine, he studied meditation in the mountains of northern India. There he also studied Tibetan medicine for several months at the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Jonathan shares a vision congruent with that of Fitness Forward. Both believe that genuine, inward happiness fuels outward positivity, improves human lives, and can help foster peace in the world. To Jonathan, persistent, unshaken inward well-being is the missing component in human life. To remedy this, he is driven to create a world in which inward exploration guides outward understanding and leads to healthier, fuller living. He wishes to create a world in which balance between work and play is supported, a world in which people are transformed and understanding, not enmity, flourishes. Jonathan has said "We must be the change we wish to see in the world," and indeed is a model for individual for the personal practice of rigorously validated integrative approaches to healthy lifestyles.



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