At the risk of sounding cliche… yoga has 100 percent changed my life.

I understand why people quit their jobs to pursue a full-time practice in yoga.

I’ve been practicing now for about 3 solid years.

Before COVID, I was going to yoga almost every single day. Seven days a week, 60 minutes of grueling, hot yoga. My current yoga studio is Core Power Yoga. They have locations in most big cities in the U.S. (and even in Hawaii!) so it makes it easy to continue practicing when I’m traveling.

After lockdowns, practicing at home was a challenge. I tried setting up a hot yoga room in my apartment, but after short circuiting the power a few times, I stopped.

Luckily, we’re out of the worst (fingers crossed) and Core Powers in Cali and other places I visited recently (including Colorado and Arizona) have all opened up again. A previous studio I was going to in San Francisco was Ritual Hot Yoga, and during lockdowns when gyms were closed, the teacher over there let me come in by myself just to use the hot room! (Love you, Kelly!)

Why I started yoga

At first, I started yoga to give me something to do during the off season from snowboarding. I had tried yoga years before and didn’t enjoy it. The repetitive movements felt boring to me — but keep in mind this was at a time when I was into bootcamps, circuit training, and running five miles, minimum.

I craved the fast-paced, high-energy, bursting-at-the-brim workouts. The kind that would make you want to eat everything in sight afterwards.

I also didn’t like the hot temperature in yoga studios. It made me feel extra tired during class, and I don’t like being hot. But oddly, when the room wasn’t heated, I felt like I didn’t get a proper workout if I didn’t sweat. I decided maybe yoga just wasn’t for me. So I stopped.

I decided to give it another try because Ritual Hot Yoga was around the corner from my office in San Francisco, so I walked there every day after work. I had been spinning at FlyWheel for a solid six months before that. To say I was bored from spinning was an understatement (same music, same instructors, same boring repetitive movement of your legs pedaling on a stationary bike).

So I decided… what the heck, I’ll give it another go.

Learning, growing, and getting strong AF

Each day, I learned something new at yoga. Whether it was something technical, like shifting my weight to the knife edge of my foot, or becoming more tolerate of the heat, I improved with each passing day.

I’m now physically stronger and more flexible than I’ve ever been in my life.

There’s a reason why you see grandmas and grandpas in yoga, just crushing it. It’s not really exercise, it’s a lifestyle. I’m so grateful I forced myself to continue when I didn’t want to… when it was physically painful and made me uncomfortable and intimidated.

When I was at the six-month mark, I became obsessed with getting my handstands, twists and inversions just right — but I’ve realized it’s not about right or wrong. Yoga is what you want it to be, and that sits really well with me. It’s a daily routine that challenges me to grow physically and mentally strong.