I was a part-time yogi. I would do yoga 2-3 times a week, and lift weights another 4-5 times a week. Yoga was a perfect compliment to my routine. Power, Hot Power Fusion, and Yin classes were my typical rotation. I stayed away from the other classes like the plague. I would come to class, stretch, sweat out my impurities, shower, and then go about my day. Never did I see myself as the everyday yogi, like others. That’s until I did my first 30-day challenge.
I can’t lie. I was reluctant to start. When asked about it, my default answer was “Yeah I don’t know. Maybe.” That phrase would end with a slight grin and a shoulder shrug. I would quickly change the subject. My hesitation was brought on by several reasons. Firstly, 30 days of hot yoga is just a lot. Period. Secondly, like many self-conscience, ex-athletes, I thought that it would reverse my gains from the gym. Sitting at a solid 205 pounds, I didn’t want to lose my size or strength. Lastly, I’m busy. How was I going to add yoga into my schedule EVERYDAY?!
Then Day 1 of the challenge happened. Like most people, it is quite easy to start something. I took my usual Power class, and happily placed my sticker on the board. Day 2 came, and again, repeated the cycle. Then something strange happened after seeing my third consecutive sticker. I realized that I HAD to complete this 30-day challenge. This was a breakthrough for me.
Luckily, being a member of staff, forced me into the studio for work. Therefore, if I had to work, I was going to take class. The problem with this is that my typical classes were not always the ones before or after my shift. I had to conquer my fears, starting with Yoga Sculpt. Sculpt was the fifth class that I took at Hot 8, and was almost my last. I almost died in Marxel's class. But, now I was in it. I had no choice.
After I got through my first sculpt class with Layna, I felt truly powerful. It was as if I fought and beat up the older bully that had been taunting me. From that point, I was invincible!! I took on Yoga Barre, Hot Yoga, and Yoga Sculpt head on, sometimes on consecutive days. Teachers didn’t scare me either. Nancy, Marxel, Leigh, Janette, Chelsea, Brit – It didn’t matter. I went in confident and came out stronger. I doubled up on classes for the first time, if I missed a day. I was a focused yogi. On the last day, I took two classes. I’ll never forget of putting up the final sticker on the board. 30 DAYS!! Deanna and Jonatan were there. I almost cried, and I’m not really emotion. It was a significant accomplishment, and even better was that it was unintended!
Since I’ve completed this 30-Day challenge, I feel immensely stronger, both spiritually and physically. I have leaned down to 197 pounds, but surprisingly, have gotten significantly stronger in the gym. My max has increased by 30 pounds, and I went to the gym less (I had started to go only 2-3x a week)! My abs are more defined, plus I have gain more mental focus and clarity. My body clock has naturally reset as well. I’ve begun wake up before 6am everyday, with no alarm! I have so much energy! Doing yoga everyday has also made me more cognizant of what I eat. More fruits and veggies. Less meat and sweats!
This challenge has been “eye” opening. I recommend yoga for everyone now. This experience has been life changing. I am an official yogi now. Thanks Hot 8 and all the wonderful yogis and teachers that have been with me through this journey. I even bought my own mat!