Student Spotlight

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This is a part of our website and Facebook page where we recognize YOU, our beloved students of The Yoga Den. This shows real life yogis in action no matter what they look like or how long they have been practicing. Remember: “Yoga is NOT about touching your toes. It is about what you learn on the way down.”

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Thomas: May 2017

When did your yoga journey begin? I’ve taken yoga intermittently over the past 15 years. I didn’t really engage with this until I was injured (non-combat) while on active duty. After the surgery I realized that my days of crossfit and weight training were probably over. So part of the rehab process were to focus on flexibility and strengthening including yoga. How did you initially get involved in yoga? I took yoga the first time as a way to relieve stress. What has yoga done for you? (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually etc.) Yoga gives me a time during the day to just to shut up and be where I am. I am still in the recovery phase of my injuries and there have been improvements. Typically I just feel more relaxed and clear headed. What is your favorite pose? Favorite pose is legs up the wall- Why is that your favorite pose? it relieves so much pressure on my lower back and hips. What is your favorite part about practicing the art of yoga? I don’t know if I have a favorite part. I just like yoga. The name of the pose I am in is called “The Ernesto

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Melinda: April 2017

When did your yoga journey begin?
My yoga journey began in 2001. I practiced regularly for two years and loved it! However, in 2003, I joined the military and my practice virtually stopped. I tried on a few occasions to start back up again, taking a class here and there, but between trainings, deployments and various significant life events, I basically stopping practicing though my desire to start back up never left me. I found The Yoga Den in 2014 and started taking a few classes in the evening; however, severe morning sickness combined with a diastasis recti caused me to halt my practice once again. Then tragedy struck our family and my beautiful baby boy died in June of 2015 so my plans and desire to return to yoga withered away as I grieved. In January of 2017, my yoga journey restarted. I had a late term miscarriage that month and decided that I had to do something productive and positive to avoid the funk and depression that loomed so close. Yoga has been a great blessing to me as an individual and to my family these past few months.
How did you initially get involved in yoga?
In 2001, a friend asked me to accompany him to a few yoga classes that he wanted to try out. I was really into weight training and running at the time and didn’t think that yoga could offer me much, but I wanted to be a good friend. After taking two classes over a three day period, I was so sore (in a good way) that my view of yoga began to shift. As I continued to attend classes, I quickly recognized how beneficial it was.
What has yoga done for you? (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually etc.)
Yoga has helped me gain clarity of mind and purpose in addition to alleviating chronic pain associated with prior injuries and ten years of military service.
What is your favorite pose?
Currently, my favorite pose is Half Moon.
Why is that your favorite pose?
I enjoy Half Moon because it makes me feel strong and grounded while uplifted at the same time.
What is your favorite part about practicing the art of yoga?
I love that my yoga practice improves all aspects of my well being. I firmly believe that practicing yoga aids in the healing process of all ailments be it physical, emotional or spiritual.
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Suong: March 2017


In April 2013 I took a class called Yoga for back pain. I am a massage therapist and 90% of my clients have back pain. I got into yoga to help others. It turned out I needed yoga, the more yoga I do the better I feel. I feel strong, calm and recharge after yoga.I go to the Yoga Den everyday to practice yoga, some days I take more than one class. I am not doing it to trying and get my money’s worth. 😎 It’s a must for me. All day I take care of people in pain. I get home to take care of my mother, who is on hospice. Yoga really energizes and recharges me, that’s why I take as many class as I can. Some days I feel so down and so depleted that I don’t even want to get out of bed, those are days that I must make myself take yoga class. I feel connected to the people at the Yoga Den. Savasana is my favorite pose, such an easy pose to do. Yet most people find it hard to just let it go, just letting go and being in the moment. A waste of time is what I used to think it was. Now I can’t wait to get to Savasana. Savasana is when I let go of all the absorbed strain, let it rise out of me and feel my body absorb new energy from the earth.

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Deniss: February 2017

I started doing yoga in June 2015

I had heard about it through my sister who practices yoga in Mexico. She had told me about all the benefits that can come from doing yoga. One of my friends had actually recommended me to go and try out a free class at the Yoga Den and I absolutely loved it.

Yoga has done great things for me. It has helped me increase my flexibility, helped improve the way I breathe and has been a way to relief some of my stress. It has also helped my endurance and concentration.

I have a few poses that I enjoy doing, but if I had to choose one, I would say Pigeon.

Because it has helped me loosen out the muscles of my hips. I also love how I can just simply relax and hold the pose for a few minutes.

I love the fact that it has definitely helped me balance out the things going on in my life. I also like the fact that I am always surrounded by people who maintain a positive attitude.

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Tiffany: January 2017

When did your yoga journey begin?

February 2015

How did you initially get involved in yoga?

Many people continued to inform me of the benefits, I figured I would give it a try. I first started at home, then I ventured into the studio. Very happy I gave it a try it has become a big part of my life.

What has yoga done for you? (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually etc.)

Yoga has done wonders for me. My strength, flexibility and posture have improved tremendously. Yoga has given me calmness and helps to center myself. It has helped me develop knowledge on balancing my chakras. Yoga has made me a stronger person inside and out, which is making my rocky journey easier to bear.

What is your favorite pose?

I favor many yoga poses but the one that stands out to me is dancer.

Why is that your favorite pose?

Dancer pose (Natrajasana) looks extremely graceful to my eye. This pose will ground one’s being as well as uplifting it. This pose is also associated with the Shiva Nataraja who represents liberation or freedom. Shiva Nataraja can not stop the passage of time or the fire that surrounds him but he can find bliss amongst chaos. The history of this pose is what entices me to favor it..

What is your favorite part about practicing the art of yoga?

The ability to gain peace in a world full of chaos..

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 Don: December 2016

I began yoga over 2 years ago since I wanted to add other activities to my walking and weight training routine. Like many people I wanted to improve my flexibility. Since doing yoga I have noticed subtle changes in my body like better muscle tone, seems to give me more energy, no longer have sore muscles after working long hours in my yard, it has relieved stress, and I seem to sleep better especially on those days that I do yoga. I like any pose that helps lengthen my hamstrings since those muscles are one area I still need improvement. My favorite part of practicing yoga is calmness it bring to me emotionally and mentally.

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Eva: November 2016

My yoga journey began in the early 70s using a book to do yoga to relieve joint pain that medication did not help. In June 2011 I took part in the IMPACT Study (Improving Mind & Physical Activity ), led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center. It was a 6-month study. I was placed in the yoga program. I attended yoga classes three times a week for six months. And I continue to attend yoga classes. Yoga has helped me cop with bone density issues. Also it helps with controlling the pain from severe cervical and spine arthritis with stenosis. My favorite pose is Bridge because it helps stretch my spine and helps control pain. My favorite part of doing yoga is the breathing because it is relaxing. And I use the breathing to help put me to sleep when I am having problems going to sleep. I am sending you a photo I had taken on top of the Grand Canyon. The lama next to me is from Sri Lanka.

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Darlene: October 2016

I initially began my yoga journey in January 2016 at the suggestion of my eldest son, Sergio. I had asked him what he felt would help me with my stress, tension, depression, back pain, anxiety and weight issues and he recommended yoga. So along with making some other healthier lifestyle choices, I decided to take his suggestion and incorporate a regular yoga routine into my life. I am so happy that I did! Since I began this journey nine months ago, it has made such a difference! It has improved my flexibility and strength, has helped relived aches and pains and I have even noticed an improvement in my posture. I have felt a great improvement in my emotional and mental state as well. It has taught me to relax and be more at ease, to focus more on the positive and let go of the negative. In other words, give it to God and let it go. I enjoy all of the poses we do in class, even the one I have not mastered yet. Balance is my issue, but if I persevere, I will get it! I am stubborn and like a challenge so when I set goals I do everything I can to accomplish them. I actually have two poses that I like most; wild thing and wheel. My favorite part of yoga is everything! I love the classes, the friendships, and the great teachers. I would highly recommend to anyone that wants to make a change in their overall health and well-being to make yoga a part of their routine to achieving a healthier lifestyle.

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