Jen Schappel is #MadeForKnoxville.

Jen isn’t down with today’s fitness mindset. Rather than the all or nothing mentality, she chooses kindness and compassion for herself and her health. She created KindBody Movement in the hopes that you will too. 

For Jen, movement is medicine, and it’s also accessible—no matter where you’re at in life, mentally or physically. She offers a range of services, from massage therapy to a virtual fitness studio, to help you on your health journey. The best way to help yourself is to help your body, and that’s what KindBody intends to do. 

“The world needs more kindness. Why not start with your body?”

Jen presenting at the 2021 Maker City Summit:

In Their Own Words..

For me, movement is a solution for many problems. Want to get healthier? Let’s get you moving. Want to lessen your carbon footprint to help the planet stay healthy? Let’s get you moving. Want to invest in the health of your community? Let’s get you moving (with others). I envision a world made healthier by people who move. But I haven’t always had this level of clarity. My entrepreneurial journey started in 2010 when I began teaching yoga classes as a side hustle to my 9-5. Eventually I found myself working full time and teaching five days a week. Internally, I was ready to leave my job and go to massage school to round out my wellness offerings.

 But my finances required me to keep that day job until I could save up some cushion to keep me going during the transition.

The answer came from hail.

A huge hail storm totaled my car. Thankfully, it was still drivable so I took the insurance payout, gave my two week’s notice, and paid for massage school. Some months later, I was licensed and ready to begin my self-employed life!

I began building my massage practice at the Glowing Body because that’s where I was also teaching yoga. I loved (and still love!) that space and all that it offered to me as I was starting out and as I started my family.

I continued teaching yoga and offering massage therapy into the ninth month of each of my pregnancies. I negotiated the tricky financial gymnastics that come with two maternity leaves as a self-employed person. I set my schedule so that I could pump in between clients because breastfeeding was really important to me. I was thankful to have the freedom and the space to call these shots for myself.

But motherhood really does change everything. At some point, yoga stopped feeling good for my body. I found other movement modalities that helped me tune into my blind spots and develop more strength. And then, after nearly a decade at the Glowing Body, it became time to move on and head out on my own.

I moved my practice to the Knoxville Healing Center in Bearden. The transition was smooth and all my clients came with me. Things were going well and I looked forward to continuing to build my practice.

But then, COVID hit. Like most everyone else, I had to shut down for a while. I eventually reopened and I’m still seeing clients but it’s a new world out there. 

My time at home with my family during COVID was an incubator for clarity. When the problems of the world felt overwhelming, I realized that movement really does move me closer to all my values. Movement became the solution and the vehicle for me to take care of my body, the planet, and my community.

With this clarity of vision, I rebranded and launched KindBody Movement, which includes my massage practice and a virtual wellness studio full of on-demand fitness classes to help folks manage stress and move well for life.

The world needs more kindness. Why not start with your body?

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