Hi L-Yogi’s!  It’s that time again, we’re announcing our November L-Yoga Story of the Month!  Every month we randomly choose one story from the submissions we receive all month long about how yoga has impacted your life.  The winner receives one month of  FREE unlimited yoga the month that their story is highlighted.  We’d love to hear how yoga has benefited you or changed your life in some way, so please send us your stories to qualify for this monthly drawing!  

We’re excited to announce this month’s winner…Sarah Solarik.  Sarah’s story is one a lot of you can probably relate to.  We’re proud to feature her this month and share her story with the entire L-Yoga community.  If you see her in the studio, make sure you say “hi!”

“Growing up, I played a lot of sports from softball to wrestling to cross country, not to mention my brother and sisters, and I made up plenty of games to keep us busy and active as we grew up in the country , a place where you have to be able to find/make your own fun.  When I was in high school I really wanted to be on the volleyball team because “it was the popular sport to play”. When I tried out my freshman year, I made the team but was pulled aside because the cross country coach wanted me to run for his team because my eldest sister had run for him years back. I suppose he thought the running genes were in the family. With some convincing I started running. I really enjoyed running all the way up until my senior year, when I began to almost hate the sport. I hated competing and running for a medal or ribbon or some kind of placement. I would get too anxious running races because I felt the pressure of having to finish before someone else or complete the race within the top 3. This sport made it difficult for me to find a way to clear my mind. To say the least, I did not run my senior year and never really ran consistently ever again to this day.

When I came to college I didn’t really know how to work out on my own as all I had been exposed to was a little weight lifting (which I just thought was boring) and running, so I would run every once in a while but it had to be on a day that I really felt like running otherwise, I hated it. I hated how heavy I would start breathing and feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath. I hated how I sometimes felt light headed after I finished. I hated how I would get side cramps during the run and would constantly have to battle with my mind to keep going. I hated that running on the treadmill assisted in a knee injury that put me down for close to two weeks. Only once in a blue moon, so it seemed, did I feel like a run made me feel vibrant.

This was about the time I found Yoga. I was just about to start my Master’s program and my Mother suggested I try Yoga to calm my mind while I went back to school (because I’m a freak when it comes to school work)so I borrowed a video from her and gave it a chance. Turns out, Yoga was/IS for me. It was that one “sport” I could do where I didn’t have to worry about competing or winning, I could just be me. And that was what I loved the most. When I stepped on my mat, it was just me, no judgment, no feeling of anything other than love and light.  After a dabbling with one video, I signed up for classes at studio in Worthington and to my surprise; practicing Yoga in a classroom was even more enjoyable for me. So I started going every Saturday morning and eventually bought three more videos by Shiva Rea, who has now become somewhat of a Yoga goddess for me and is someone I aspire to be like one day.

However, Yoga for me became very real when I started taking classes at L-Yoga Flow and I want to say THANK YOU to Natalie for introducing me to something so great for my mind, body and soul. Yoga is now something I need, not just want. I need to do yoga on a daily basis because I’m aware that I work in a stressful job and it shows, I let stress take over my mind(I realize this is a fault of mine) and unfortunately my body is the piece that pays for it. Yoga is the one exercise I can do that makes me feel like I’m giving back to my body and the practice helps me stay calm. When I sit down for class, I send all that bad stuff, the garbage and the stress out into the Universe as Natalie advises us to do when we meditate.  When I really imagine my stress being taken away by the Universe, I can actually feel the weight being lifted off of my shoulders and for that next hour I know nothing but positive energies are coming my way. My body just feels good and I feel thankful that I have taken this time to give back to my body as it carries so many burdens every day.

The practices are challenging and it wasn’t until after about a year into Yoga that I began to notice any kind of physical change in my body, but when I did, wow. I knew I had muscle, but not like this.  That’s what I love about Yoga, the moves are challenging, but they’re doable, whereas pull-ups to me are challenging and often times (for me) still not doable. I like being able to see the effect Yoga has on my body not only in muscle development, but accomplishing poses/moves that once looked so difficult, and yet I CAN NOW DO IT! This keeps me motivated and inspires to me to keep practicing, because I know the poses will take time, but they will come, because I’ve seen it, I’ve done it!

Yoga has also encouraged me to maintain a healthy diet because when I practice Yoga for the purpose of giving back to my body, that way of thinking spews into my everyday life; my  life at work, my life at school, at home, personal relationships, EVERYTHING! The energy I get from feeling euphoric and giving back to my body simply finds its way into everything else I do, because it makes me feel joyful, grateful, and positive—why wouldn’t anyone want to feel like this, all.the.time?!.  Healthy eating wasn’t new to me before I got into Yoga, so I knew/understood/experienced the benefits from eating healthy. I knew putting good things into your body, made your body feel GOOD! Yoga has only encouraged me to eat even healthier as I want to feel healthy not just in class but all day, every day. It has also motivated me to try other healthy eating (i.e. Juices, raw, gluten free, vegan)

Finally another reason Yoga has improved my lifestyle, although by a long shot it’s nowhere close to the primary reason I do Yoga, it keeps me fit. Since I began doing Yoga, I’ve never been as fit as I am now and have been since I’ve started. Getting fit to me is just an added bonus; the real meaning of Yoga for me is finding that connection that allows one to be full of love and life. Oh, and I also enjoy Yoga because I find jeans, work pants or sweats uncomfortable, so it’s an awesome excuse to wear spandex ALL THE TIME! 😉

With all that said, I’ll end by sharing a quote from my favorite teacher Shiva Rea;

“What I love about yoga is that it permeates all of life. It teaches awareness and connection – it’s about developing relationships, both internally and externally.”

Namaste

Sarah Solarik

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