I get asked this question from my friends all the time. And my answer is always YES – do it all and figure out what feels right for YOU. Of course, there are limitations if you have injuries, are pregnant, or experience chronic fatigue–in that case, modifications are in order–but Yogaworks offers a variety of classes, all with wonderful benefits.
Iʼm fortunate enough to teach not only Yoga (RYT 500) at YogaWorks, but Iʼm also certified in Mat Pilates, BarWorks®, SculptWorks®, TRX®, Pre/Post Natal, Yin Yoga, and pretty soon the Pilates Reformer. I love it all. I love to see transformation in my students, both mentally and physically. I love to see my students become stronger and connect with their body. I love when I can teach a pose to a student and see it click for the first time. I love when I see my students leave with a smile. I love those breakthroughs. I love when I can make someone LOVE their body and feel good in their skin. Not because they are the “perfect” size, but because they feel good in their body exactly as it is.
Funny thing, I used to hate working out. I loathed going to the gym. I also thought yoga was too easy. Grant you, I had never tried it. I had this belief that yoga was for old ladies who liked to chant and were into that hippie love stuff. Then I went to my first yoga class. It was 2001. I was an angsty teen whose father had just died, and I had the worst chip on my shoulder. There, I met my first mentor and got my judgmental booty handed to me on a plate. Yoga was hard. I mean hard! I was amazed at what some of these “yogis” did with their bodies. There were women in their 60s balancing on their hands and going upside down, bending into weird pretzel shapes, all while my instructor talked in this weird language I didnʼt understand. Sanskrit, they called it. It was like a foreign circus, and I found my home.
In the beginning I went to yoga for the asana, the physical side of yoga, but slowly something happened to my heart. While bending in these weird contortions and om-ing to my hearts content, I started feeling that hippie love stuff. The chip on my shoulder started to go away, and my heart started to feel better. At the time, I didnʼt understand everything, I just knew it felt good. Yoga worked! Years passed, and I was managing the studio. I went through my first teacher training in 2008 and started teaching. I loved it. After a few years of teaching, I felt like a yoga rockstar. Life was great. Until 2011 hit and I suffered two big losses: my boyfriend died, and the yoga studio that I called home closed. My heart was broken, and my safe space to help it was gone. That chip on my shoulder came back, heavier than ever. However, this time I knew how to get rid of it. I went to my mat.
I started teaching at other studios, eventually landing at YogaWorks. I went through another yoga teacher training. I combined my love for yoga with my love for the children at the orphanage that I volunteer at and, along with some friends, started Project Open Heart as an amazing fundraiser. My heart was full, and it was piecing back together.