Jasmine Powers lives up to her name as the owner and founder of the Benicia Biker Barre, the place to go when you’re ready to transform your body—and your life. Powers purchased the fitness studio in the historic arsenal from The Daily Method in 2015, and says it’s her life calling. “If I can change just one person’s life, I will be fulfilled,” she says. “I want women who come here to feel beautiful inside and out, and to feel comfortable in their own bodies.”
The Benicia Biker Barre is not your typical fitness studio, and offers classes like Buti, which fuses tribal dance and power yoga. She also offers PowerSpyn for a cardio burn on a bike, and a Barre class that combines ballet, Pilates and yoga—all classes starting with setting a positive intention.
“I believe we’re responsible for our own happiness. We can’t rely on anyone else,” says Powers, who teaches many of the classes herself. “You have to make sure your cup is filled up, because a lot of people depend on you. There’s no way you can take care of anybody else when your cup is empty.”
Powers speaks from experience as a mother of three who struggled with weight in her early 30s. At 5’2” she weighed more than 180 pounds, and says she hated everything about herself. It turned out she had a thyroid problem caused by a malignant tumor. Once it was removed, she was determined to change her life. “It’s not about losing inches, it’s about being okay with the way you look in the body you have right now. You can be slim, but if you’re not okay inside—if you’re not good enough for yourself, then it doesn’t matter.”
Born in Hong Kong, Powers moved to Vallejo with her parents when she was 9. She has always enjoyed performing, even acting in commercials as a young child. She still loves to sing, and has performed with a jazz band at the Union Hotel. She gets it from her father, who played stand up bass in a jazz trio. Her mother was an English teacher at St. Catherine of Sienna School in Vallejo. At 17, she took an office job at a law office in Fairfield, and worked her way to become a legal assistant. Eventually a door opened at a law office in San Francisco, where she met her husband Matthew, a litigation attorney. They moved to Benicia eight years ago with their children Tatiana, 19, Jacob, 14, and Cameron, 11. “We live in the most beautiful city”, she says.
Powers believes we have to step outside of our comfort zone in order to change our lives, and she’s not afraid to kick our booties. “You have to start somewhere,” she says. “It doesn’t matter where you are in your life. In order to be great, you have to start somewhere.”