Happy Springtime and thank-you for visiting Choix d’ Vie and Lifestyle choices  

Springtime is the BEST time to refresh ourselves

In the recent blog we talked about Detox – Revive program and the value of taking personal care of our health.. Just like doing our OIL change for our car. 

Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce a good friend of mine who is beginning her Yoga teaching in Georgia. She is offering a great program that she will talk more about … keep reading. 

I want to share my quick story about my experience with YOGA.  

A few years back I hurt my back through a car accident. I had been fit my entire life due to swimming, running and working out.  After my accident, I couldn’t resume my running activity. 

My doctor suggested I try yoga. It didn’t seem that it would be as fun as my other workouts, so,

I hesitated. Once I plugged it in I found it to be so enjoyable and challenging more so than any other workout I had experienced before. I also found it really helpful with an upper respiratory problem I experienced for over 6 months.. 

"It’s not about being good at something.. It’s about being good to yourself.”

After focusing on my upper body flexibility my health regained as well.. 

So, on that note; I would like to introduce my friend Ms. Jess Hunter!! 

Hi,  I’m Jess Hunter. I am a friend of Joyce’s, as well as a big fan of Lifestyle Choices- Choix d’Vie blog.

It’s really an honor to join the podcast and blog today to share with everyone a little bit about yoga and my health journey, the effects of the pandemic, and moving forward. 

My Story 

As a child, I was a little bit of a chubby kid; I mostly fad dieted and gained weight in cycles for many years. By the time I was a junior in college in 2006, my Body mass Index/ BMI, classified me as obese. I decided I wanted to make a change!

 My best girl friend had just started taking a yoga class at the college rec center, and invited me to join her. This class and instructor were amazing! 

I experienced my first true feeling of mind/body connection, and was hooked on yoga immediately. 

We invited my roommate, who was quite a fit young man, who would turn fire engine red- dripping sweat during the peak parts of the class.

This yoga was no joke!

I also started walking on a regular basis, and lost about 20 lbs, then another 20 lbs!

Eventually I moved away from my college town.

My new yoga exposure was with gyms and fitness centers; and eventually fancy/expensive yoga studios. 

I loved going to new instructors to learn new poses, and of course get in a good workout!

Usually a yoga studio will have a new student discount, so I eventually tried hot yoga and found an appreciation for the perks of a nice studio, but no matter how many new teachers I sought, they never measured up to that first class I took. 

In my opinion, the instructor makes all the difference with your yoga experience, not the place itself. If you’ve tried yoga before and didn’t like it, don’t write off yoga, just try a new class style and/or instructor. 

When I found myself really not vibing with the classes in my area, after my most recent move, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and learn how to become a yoga instructor myself!

As soon as I made that determination and started researching programs, I found a studio that was completely and perfectly in rhythm with my life. I had just enough time to complete the prerequisites, and they offered $5 noon-weekday classes which worked perfectly with my work schedule and budget. All of my teachers, mentors, classmates, and assignments were beyond my greatest expectations.

 I truly felt like that first instructor of mine could have been trained at this exact studio. 

 I truly felt like that first instructor of mine could have been trained at this exact studio. 

Now, at this point in my health journey, I had been vegan for about two years.

I work a warehouse job that is basically an 8 hr/day paid workout. I was a fairly advanced yoga practitioner, however, in August, two months before my yoga graduation, I started developing a painful lump that prevented me from using my left arm. 

I ended up graduating on time in November 2019, followed by having surgery to remove an infected lymph node in my neck in December. This injury ended up being a blessing because I had to adapt & modify my yoga practice.

 I learned what it felt like to be unable to do everything you want to do during a yoga class. Which helped me understand others with their challenges in class.  While I was healing, the pandemic was creeping in and changing life as we know it.

The studio, Nirvana yoga- in Atlanta,

moved all of their classes online, which was really intimidating to me, since I had never taught a class in person, let alone remotely.

Q: So what should folks do if they want to try yoga but all of the studios are closed?

A: Well, fortunately, there are hundreds upon thousands of free yoga classes on youtube. I usually recommend searching for how much time you have, and where you are in your yoga practice…5 minute beginner, 30 minute advanced, etc. Or, if there is a specific area you’d like to focus on; there is a class for that: yoga for core strength; yoga for lower back pain.

You name it! There’s a class for this.

Q: What if you don’t have all of the yoga accessories you see on the rack at TJ Maxx?

A: You can get creative with it! Use a towel or blanket if you don’t have a yoga mat. Use a pillow for a bolster; a belt for a strap. It doesn’t take much space to practice, just about as much room as you’d need to make a snow angel.

Then, when the weather gets nice, you can move your setup outside!

 My big excuse for not wanting to do yoga at home was that I didn’t have mirrors to see if I was perfectly aligned or not. But then guess what? at the studio where I received my teacher certification, there were no mirrors! (Guess what, you don’t need em!) 

Then what excuse did I have? As the saying goes, there ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!

Q: So are you teaching now?

A: Yes, the pandemic has forced me to finally create a studio in my own home, and I have been teaching a free weekly “yoga chill” class.

Now, when I was doing yoga in the gym, I had never heard of any of the various styles of yoga out there. I didn’t know until my yoga teacher training that the poses, or asanas, are only ⅛ th of what yoga actually is. That’s only 12.5%, such a small portion! 

There exists a style of yoga called yin yoga, and a similar style called restorative yoga, that basically, have you hold a floor pose for 2-5 minutes, which is amazing and most relaxing. 

Other equal parts of yoga include breathing and meditating. Basically, anyone at any level can do yoga for any amount of time, and you will receive benefits of calming, centering, and basic self care. 

My name is Jess Hunter, I can be reached via email at lotusyogijess@gmail.com 

Social media platforms with the same handle in the works! 

Closing…

“In truth, yoga doesn’t take time- it gives time.”

Thank-you for stopping by, I appreciate you ..

 If you find this blog/ podcast  interesting please subscribe to receive notice and for special gifts. 

Remember to take Good care of yourself.. You deserve the Best Life.. 

Joyce 

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