December 2016 Hot Yogi of the Month

What a delightful surprise it was when Sandra told me she had selected me as December’s Yogi of the Month. Whaaaat?? Me??? Awesome.dscn1956

I juggle my life well. Like so many, my plate is full, but I am not that woman who is on an epic search for a way to ‘find balance in my life’. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what I stumbled upon at Muskoka Hot Yoga. To be honest, I detest exercise (yes, I know, I’m not supposed to say it). Simply, I’m a little too old to do things that I don’t enjoy and I’m way too young to stop looking for ways to improve… improve my health, improve my body, improve my outlook, improve me… as long as it feels good and makes me happy. I’m so happy I found hot yoga and the best shift in me since I started at Muskoka Hot Yoga is so simple yet enormous. I’ve gone from championing the phrase “I am enough” to believing it!

For years, I’ve enjoyed yoga every time I’ve partaken. The experience used to feel a lot like a visit to a spa. It was like a treat that allowed me to feel relaxed and calm. And like the spa is a place reserved for “ladies who spa”, yoga practice felt like a space reserved for yogis who were kind enough to make room for me when I came by.   I admire the strength, the grace, and the beauty of each yoga pose. I watch yoga YouTube like people watch sports… “These yogis are animals!” They are so strong, so graceful, so gorgeous. It never occurred to me that being a yogi is as simple as taking my place on my mat…. Because, I’m enough.

I started practicing regularly in September. I was nervous when I started because I hadn’t done anything physical in so long and I feared I might be a complete disaster.   As I moved on my mat, Sandra inevitably said just the right thing to help me “get out of my head” and get into a perfect place of knowing that my effort and form was just right. It’s just right EVERY time it get on my mat.

I use my block(s) and strap for many poses. Recently, I have managed to touch my head to my knee once or twice (yay! Hello knee!!). My crow is so close to flying, so so so close… any day now it will soar! I feel stronger and more flexible all the time. Some days, I leave the studio feeling like I’m floating and other days, well… I leave happy to know I get a redo very soon. The beautiful truth is that I have a fresh understanding of how fluid I am. I’ve come to appreciate that every day every pose can be different. I love that there is room in every pose to release and to challenge and to accept. The time I spend in the studio is special to me because it is where I go to get out of my head and really practice being in the now.

All that said, I have to say that hot yoga is a great work out! I feel it everywhere. My body feels like I’ve been to boot camp some days and the real miracle is that I actually love it. I have finally found my exercise. My body has shed about 10 pounds since September and as the scale continues to creep down my body is morphing into a healthier, stronger new version all the time. I’m really pleased that I notice I have more energy, more patience and I generally feel great all the time.

Sandra’s studio is always welcoming and free from egos. She and her instructors have a friendly way about them and the classes are always professional. Aside from my personal insights and experience, my take-away from Muskoka Hot Yoga is no matter your age, your body type, your gender, or your experience level, we are all yogis when we get on our mats. Each of us is enough. Namaste – Linda T