“When I was younger, I can vividly remember going to a yoga class with my mom, laying in savasana, eyes wide open, fingers and toes fidgeting, and being so annoyed that my mom found it “fun” to lay quietly with a room full of people doing the same thing. I felt like I had way better things to be doing than “napping while trying to stay awake.” I just didn’t get it. This attitude around yoga kept me sceptical toward the practice for many years.
Throughout high school and middle school, I participated in various sports – tennis, volleyball, and track, and was a generally active kid. These hobbies fizzled out when I went to college, and I found myself itching for a new way to stay active that didn’t involve playing on a team or signing up for a club activity. I liked the freedom of yoga classes, and the way yoga helped me to connect with myself. I guess you could say that it was in those yoga classes that I discovered the meaning of the body-mind connection.
Articulating thoughts and feelings with words has always been difficult for me, but the impact of my first hot power yoga class gave me a sensation so powerful that I finally began to understand the concept of listening to my body and the importance of sharing these discoveries of the body-mind connection. Lying there in savasana in a pool of my own sweat, I felt thoroughly exhausted, and yet, I felt strong. It was clear to me, no questions or doubts. Based on my form and strength, you could say it didn’t go very well - I didn’t know the name of most poses, and those I did know, I couldn’t hold for very long. I spent most of class panting because I couldn’t catch my breath, and I could barely see because sweat had dripped into my eyes so many times. Despite all of this, my body was rejoicing, buzzing, and full of energy. I got to the end of class, and I smiled to myself because I had gotten there all by myself.
This feeling of accomplishment wasn’t something I had ever experienced playing a team sport or performing an instrument on stage. It was a new sense of self-awareness, and for the first time I found myself saying “good job,” rather than “you should’ve done better.” I was hooked.
After college, I moved to Houston, Texas. Because I didn’t know the layout of the city very well, I found myself in all corners of Houston trying out new yoga studios. Some had carpet, others had concrete floors. Some were in a room heated above 105 degrees, others weren’t warm enough and we barely moved. All were okay, but I knew my practice was missing something. Then I found BIG Power Yoga.
After my first 30-day trial, I signed up to become a member at BIG. I soon learned that BIG was so much more than just a building that offered phenomenal yoga classes. BIG is a community that offers diverse ways to explore and discover your own yoga journey, on your own time, however that may look. In December 2015, I was encouraged by a teacher to consider BIG’s 200-hour yoga teacher training. I didn’t have any astounding reason except that my body was telling me it was time. I tear up even thinking about my decision to sign up for BIG’s teacher empowerment program because it was one of the best decisions I could have made for my life at that time.
The trainings and programs at BIG were the first time I started taking full responsibility for my own actions. Most of my life, I had played the victim to my “problems,” and hadn’t sought help because I felt they were hopeless and impossible to fix. BIG empowered me to make choices in my life that lead me to living a happier life.
Yoga now isn’t just a hobby, or something I check off my list each day. It’s a lifestyle, and it is a necessary part of living my life. It’s second nature, natural, and just like food or water, something that will always be necessary in my life.”