Here is His Journey!
What made you decide to do the 30 day challenge?
Four days prior to starting the challenge I experienced the hardest thing in my life. I had to prepare myself to make the responsible decision to put down my best friend, loyal companion, and one of the loves of my life, Tanner. Tanner was a yellow lab that I had the blessing of spending 11 ½ years of my life with until March 20th 2014. The day prior to his passing Shari and I spent every moment with him, and the most memorable for me was him laying his head on my chest under our huge mango tree in the backyard. This moment was one that brought me peace, spiritual awareness, the importance of stillness of the mind, and pouring unconditional love from your heart. I did not want to forget how powerful this moment was for me, and experienced similar feelings during my Bikram Yoga practice. Before starting the challenge I had awareness of the mind and spirit, but lacked the strength and awareness of my physical body. I wanted to bring all three into balance. This experience broke all the shackles of fear, doubt, anger, and gave me the spiritual awareness that I could do anything once I broke free from these negative emotions.
What did you want to get from doing the challenge?
I wanted to make sure that I maintained a positive outlook in life and become aware of my body. I really was looking forward to dropping weight and toning all the muscles in my body. I also wanted to make sure that I was able to practice what I learned on the day of Tanner’s passing of being strong, and not letting any negative emotions or thoughts enter my mind or body. This was the biggest gift that I was given and it needs to be practiced every day. Thavma provided a beautiful place to continue the spiritual journey, meditation, and intense physical workout.
What did you learn during your 30 days of Bikram Yoga at Thavma?
You always need to live in the present and take it one day at a time. I never looked in the past or looked at how many more days were left, until my last day of the challenge. I never knew how dehydrated I was before I started this challenge. I did not drink enough water prior to the challenge and quickly noticed once I started drinking 4 to 5 Nalgene’s of water per day my skin started to feel better, and my eyes really cleared to a bright white and the colors started to shine. My physical body starting waking up and let me know what it needed each day. Lots of green smoothies in the morning ( Marina helped with a yummy recipe for this one), daily soaks in the bath tub with essential oils and Epsom salts, eating lots of lean protein, fruits and veggies. I also learned to dramatically decrease the amount of alcohol I drank. The hot room will punish you if you drink too much and don’t feed your body with proper fuel.
What was the biggest challenge?
Keeping the physical awareness of the body and recognizing areas that were really starting to hurt. Don’t be shy after class to talk with the amazing staff at Thavma and let them know if anything is off and doesn’t feel right even if you are not doing the 30 day challenge. I was doing a couple of poses wrong and Marina was quick to find out what was causing certain muscle sprains. She gave me advice and adjustments to ensure I could continue the challenge, but most importantly getting the correct form. Doing the postures correctly will not cause pain and will prevent any injuries.
What did you love most from doing the challenge?
The ability to maintain my spiritual connection and gift given to me by Tanner, and the massive transformation my body went through during the 30 days. I lost a total of 10 pounds of fat and gained about 4 to 5 pounds of muscle. I have discovered muscles in my arms, shoulders, back,ribs, stomach, hips, legs that I never knew were there and now they are here to stay. I absolutely loved the teachers that guided me through this journey. I special thanks to my “Breathe Coach”, Curt Goeders for providing the importance of the breath. I can always hear him saying, “Turn that wind pipe into a stove pipe”. I also really loved the positive energy and support from Ashley Dresen. She was always there to push me a little harder, but would take the time to really get me into proper alignment- Triangle comes to mind here. I also love it when she busts out in excitement with one of her “OH YAAAAAA” when you really take something to your edge and bust through a boundary. Last but not least a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to Marina and Thano Bourantonis for putting their heart and souls into Thavma Yoga. Your dedication to help others is amazing, and your daily commitments to your students at Thavma are truly a blessing. I also love the spiritual aspect of Marina’s classes, which helped me stay connected and strong.