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Calling All Yoga-Haters! This One’s For You.

A personal story from a reformed yoga-hater.

Hello! My name is Lauren and I ‘m a yoga instructor at Creek Stone Integrated care! I wanted to introduce myself and tell you all a little about my story to becoming a yoga instructor.

If you had told me 5 or 6 years ago I would be a yoga instructor one day I would have asked you what you’ve been smoking. I was 5’2″ (still 5’2″) ranged from 140 to150 lbs and even got as high as 170 lbs.

I ate every unhealthy thing I could think of in the American diet. This included french fries, pizza, cake, and all of the other bad stuff you can think of. Yes please! I was a neurotic, emotional, and anxious mess.

So, I joined the Air Force when I was 18 so I could get out on my own and maybe even afford going to college later on. I lost weight during boot camp but it didn’t take me long to pack the pounds back on plus some due to the intense stress. In the military, you have to pass a fitness test twice a year while serving so that you stay “fit to fight” as they say.

Basically, I would eat junky food and not work out until a month before my fitness test. Then, i would get it together and run, do some push ups and sit ups until the test so that I could pass. I soon started to ask myself, “Why don’t I just take care of myself year-round so I don’t stress about this and spend time hating myself and feeling unhealthy and tired all of the time?!”

So, I started going with friends to all sorts of fitness classes like Zumba and kickboxing until one day I went with a friend to a hot yoga class. Hot yoga is done in a 100 degree room with 25+ people who I thought were staring at my rolls and buckets of sweat pouring off of my body on to my mat, making me slip and fumble over myself more than I already was. Needless to say, I hated it. I absolutely hated it.

I tired yoga that wasn’t in a boiler room. I still hated it. Due to peer pressure I kept going back though. After a couple more classes, I started to realize something. It wasn’t the yoga I hated. It was my body. I was so upset with myself. Gaining a large amount of weight like I did, I wasn’t flexible. In fact, I barely fit into my workout clothes. I wasn’t eating right so I felt extremely lethargic. It wasn’t the yoga it was me!

So I kept going back without the pressure of my friends because I knew something had to change. Soon, and I mean very soon, I saw huge improvements in my body. I was stronger, I remembered not to eat junk food so wasn’t feeling lethargic anymore, I had definition in my arms and most of all I was really happy!

Soon, I was the one putting pressure on my friends to come to yoga with ME! Soon, I began to appreciate my body and respect it by giving it the time and nourishment it needed. I was no longer ignoring the way I felt. Yoga made me confront my body issues and, at first, I really hated that. But, after I realized what it was asking of me, I gave in and now I’m a devoted yogi and I know EVERYONE has the potential to be one too.

You just have to listen to your body and yoga is a great way to start that conversation.

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