While the journey continues, I am over fifty pounds lighter, seriously stronger, and with better flexibility and balance than I had last fall. My joints remind me that I am not 20 something, but I know I am physically healthier than at any other time in my adult life. Coming to my mat at Sumits provides the essential time that I need to check in with my body and mind. It challenges me physically and mentally, and leaves me with enormous gratitude for where my body and mind are that day. Finally, I believe it is this balance that leads to feeling spiritually recharged, and that is what is so addicting!
Before I began hot yoga, I did not understand the appeal. I had never been very athletic and in my 30s tried several different types of cardio to stay in shape. This resulted in knee injuries, a new ACL, and planter fasciitis. I was then desperate to find a way to exercise that was intense but not high impact. I was skeptical about hot yoga because I hate the heat, I’m not very graceful, I do not have chakras, I’m not spiritual and I have been known to have panic attacks when I attempt to meditate.
Life changing is the only way that I can describe how Sumit’s Hot Yoga has impacted me. There is no part of my life that yoga hasn’t changed for the better. Every time I step on my mat, I learn more and more about myself - physically and mentally. Through the people I have met here and what I have learned, I have been able to take care of my body by changing what I choose to put in it and how I treat it. With that knowledge and the AMAZING workouts, I have managed to lose over 30 lbs. in just over two months!
I see yoga as being synonymous to me time. Each session seems differently because some are challenging while others give me a great sense of self limitless. Regardless of what kind of session it was, I walk away internally smiling because it was something I did for myself. I look forward to continuing to challenge my body, my mind and my soul.
I started practicing yoga about three years ago, when my cousin brought me to my first class at a studio called CorePower Yoga. Before this, I had never done any yoga so I didn’t really know what yoga truly was or what it entailed, but I had known for a while that I wanted to try it out. So, when my cousin asked me if I wanted to go with her to her studio, I was super excited/nervous about it. Excited because I was finally going to be able to try it out, but nervous because I had no clue what to expect.
Brandy has convinced me to do many crazy things…but the craziest may have been getting me into Hot Yoga almost 4 years ago. When Brandy decided to become an instructor she felt I needed to know what it was she had fallen in love with and convinced me to go. Not only did I enjoy the class, but I quickly what she was talking about!
Now…it’s one of my favorite and most relaxing workouts. And for Brandy she not only loves teaching but immersing herself into her yoga practice. It’s also one of our favorite activities as a couple!
I began practicing yoga in 1999 and now I am addicted! I am so thankful that Sumits Yoga came to Columbia. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. I love the energy I feel in class from my fellow yogi community.
2. I enjoy the ability to relieve stress in my everyday life through breathing.
3. The heat allows me to go deeper into a pose and stay injury free.
4. I don't have to think and can just flow in a moving meditation.
5. It pushes me to the edge mentally and physically.
I had a slow beginning to my yoga journey. Soon after Sumits opened, I would attend classes for awhile, then stop (when life got busy) then start and stop again. But one year ago I was determined to use my card before it expired and I came to class almost daily for two weeks. Before I knew it, I was hooked! I have been coming to class 3-4 days per week for a year now and I feel great physically and I see spiritual growth too.
I’m just a regular guy. Sure, I’m larger than the average bear, but I’m not particularly graceful and not overly flexible, either. I drive a truck. I’m good with a chainsaw. I like my beer cold on a football Saturday with my Tigers. Hot yoga may seem like a dichotomy in that mix, but it’s not. I’ve recently had a hip replacement and the healing aspects of yoga are not lost on me. After a six-week stint of having to rely on others to bring me food, drive me where I need to go, help me with so many aspects of daily life, I was cleared to return to Sumits again… In just one session, I regained something so simple – I could put on my own socks again!
When Sumits Hot Yoga first opened in Columbia, I had been practicing yoga regularly for several years, mostly on my own at home. I had been wanting to rejoin a studio for some time and was really excited to see a new studio opening near my house . . . but I absolutely hate heat and sweating, and so I was really nervous about trying hot yoga! Despite this, I took my first class on Halloween night of 2012. It was certainly challenging, but I instantly fell in love! (And, I actually found that the heat and profuse sweating helped me to focus and stay present.)
I found myself feeling so different when I entered the yoga room. Things just got quieter. My to-do lists could wait, the expectations I had for myself became less important, and what I saw in those giant front mirrors began to make me happy. When I am not in the yoga room, the voices of Sumit's amazing teachers would enter my head during stressful times. I started being able to let more go during the hard times and to be more present during the happy times.
I like that I do a better job of “listening to my body” now. I know when I’ve been good to myself and when I’ve not had the proper calorie intake. I can feel it during hot yoga! Sumits is great…I particularly like the silent room leading up to class, the no-talking during class, and I can’t imagine a better group of instructors anywhere.
As I'm sure it is for many, my first class was nothing short of awkward. I didn't know the poses, I didn't know how to breathe and my balance left much to be desired. But, I survived it! I went back for another class, and another, and another; I was hooked. With every practice, I got better; I felt better. I sought out hot yoga for the physical aspects, but what I've gained is so much greater. Love for myself, inside and out.
Everyone has struggles and all struggles are real. Being in a class filled with people with such different backgrounds, stories, days that they just had/will have ahead of them, all make the experience at Sumit’s such a wonderful one. I’m going to briefly talk about something that I get asked often and that I’m sure many are thinking. “How do you do hot yoga in a head scarf? Doesn’t it get too much?” And the answer is yes, and no.
I love my improved strength, balance, flexibility, patience, and have a new sense of wellness of my mind, body, and spirit! I have tried many, many avenues of exercise, but nothing has lasted or inspired me to work hard each and every day, plus the benefits and results of hot yoga are mind blowing (weight loss, toned muscles, silky-smooth skin, and a confident, happy soul).