I had been very active my whole life; playing sports year round in high school and regularly working out, but after I had graduated high school and no longer had a practice to attend or a soccer game to play, I was sort of lost when it came to having a fitness routine of my own. I had also had a pretty extensive brain surgery in highschool that left me with some physical precautions to take when it came to my physical routine.
In November of my freshman year in college, Sumits Hot Yoga opened up in Columbia, Missouri and the buzz around town was that it was the newest and best work out people had ever tried. Since I had been searching for a while for a work out that fit my lifestyle, I decided to try out Sumits Hot Yoga shortly after the studio opened. Now that I look back on my first class, I will not say that it was easy by any means, but for the first time since high school I had finally found a workout that fit my lifestyle, challenged me mentally and physically, and was so much easier on my body than any other workout I had tried previously. For most people, the first class at Sumits feels like getting slapped in the face with everything you are NOT good at, whether its flexibility or following direction, but unlike most people, my first class was not difficult. And that’s exactly why I went back again and again. It wasn’t that yoga came easily to me, because I honestly had never tried it before, but each week I found myself discovering a change in my attitude, and in the way I saw the benefits of working out. For so long I had been a part of team sports, and had practiced and worked out with my teammates, so one of my biggest challenges was discovering working out on my own and becoming my own “coach”. Sumits Hot Yoga gave me a way to not only be my own motivator but continue to work out with people that valued hard work, encouraged relationships within the studio, and supported each other’s practice.
It is easy to get addicted to any trend, but I think there came a point where my addiction came from the feeling I felt walking out of the yoga room after each class, than the workout itself. Sumits Hot Yoga became my second home, to say the least. I worked out at the studio, showered at the studio, and built friendships, and because of those friendships I was encouraged to take the leap and become a teacher of the practice I had welcomed into my life on a daily basis for over three years.
As a teacher now, I do not take my job lightly. It is because of those teachers that supported and encouraged me in my practice that I am the student I am today. I am constantly growing, and learning new things about myself, and as a teacher I like to remind my students of that very thing, “Yoga is not to be performed but to be lived. Yoga is not about what you have been. Yoga is about the person you are becoming”. So, I encourage you to try it, because you just might discover something you’ve been missing!