Today I have a little treat! How do I stay in great shape? Well besides cardio, I don’t really need to get into weight training anymore because I have a little secret and its obviously…. power yoga. I practice power or hatha maybe 4-5 times a week and it makes me in the best shape. More then the strength I’ve gained from all this hot yoga and cardio is the fact that yoga brings me balance. It makes any bad, troubling day better in every way. I owe a lot of my stress relief to a wonderful woman named Tiffany Thompson. I wish some of you would live in this state and have the opportunity to take some of her classes. She is a godsend in the way that she starts every class making sure you sweep your negative bad thoughts away. She makes sure you dedicate your practice to something or someone. Half way through the class, she asks you what you’re grateful for and reads gratitude quotes daily. She honestly is the most positive, caring person and I asked for a mini interview for my blog. If any of you DO live in Washington, come down to her studio, Get Zen Hot Yoga and try it out for a couple weeks and see how you like it! It’s been my favorite studio so far. SO here we go with my interview:
First tell me a little about yourself:
I started to practice hot yoga in 2000 in California after my mom passed away. I was incredibly close to her and losing her knocked me off my game to say the very least! I read an article that Madonna practiced hot yoga and so I started looking for a studio in town. (That’s the honest truth as to how I first heard about hot yoga) My start in yoga was traditional Bikram and my first class was awful! I felt sick and I didn’t understand what kind of torture they were subjecting me to and why they found this was so beneficial! I wanted to puke when I left and I swore I wasn’t going back! A couple of days later, I felt amazing and for the next year, I had a love/hate relationship with hot yoga but I always went back for more.
In what ways has yoga benefited your life?
Yoga changed my life on every level; mentally, spiritually and physically. I was a lost soul when I got there and I had removed God from my life completely when my mom passed. How could there be a God when such horrific things happen in this world was my mind set at that time. Through my yoga journey, I began to claim ownership of my life again, I began to become accountable and switched from a victim mentality to an accountable mentally and I began to have faith again. I believe that there is a master plan and I am not to always know what that plan is, that God has in store for me but I am to have faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and things are exactly as they are supposed to be. It was also through yoga that I started to explore what my purpose was on this earth. I had completed my Masters degree in Psychology/Counseling in 2000 but had yet to do anything with it. I knew I wasn’t cut out for private practice but I wanted it to have some sort of application in my life. With the studio and the relationships I have with people in it, I hope that I am useful when they need a sounding board or someone to speak to confidentially with what is going on in their lives and I trust that my degree is being put to use and that I have only scratched the surface as to what it will evolve into in the future.
Where did you do your training?
I did my training with Ali Valdez in Bellevue, WA and will continue to expand my teaching credentials as long as I live.
Tell me about Get Zen Hot Yoga:
Get Zen Hot Yoga’s mission is to provide a safe and nurturing place for people to experience and practice yoga. We don’t want an heir of stuffiness or better than, we want it to be an environment of love and kindness where hopefully people leave class with a smile on their face and feel better for having come and practiced. We play music, we try to keep it uplifting and I try to always incorporate a bit of spirituality in each class I teach. I don’t care what people believe in as a religion or if they even have one but a collective energy or something greater than one’s self that we can all draw from, grow from and expand within.
What kind of Yoga style do you teach?
I teach hot hatha and hot power classes and I love each for different reasons. I love hatha due to the structure and the intense focus it requires to hold a posture correctly and the internal benefit of a static posture to center and quiet the mind and align the body. I love power due to the intensity of it and the multitude of asanas available to teach. It’s never ending and an instructor is only limited by their own creativity as you have so many of them to choose from.
Do you typically practice the same style of yoga you teach?
I like to take a wide variety of yoga, I have tried many types but I always come back to hot because I like how my body and soul responds to it.
Do you do any other workouts?
Yes, I love to snowboard, wakeboard, surf, swim and crossfit. I have also completed two marathons so I supposed I would include running in there although I haven’t done much since the last marathon.
What’s your diet like?
I try my best to eat a plant based diet as that is what makes me feel the very best. I also love to juice and throw anything in but focus on greens and berries. I do eat crap every now and then and I pay for it. I get a wicked food hangover!
What is your favorite quote?
“If you think I’m the problem, then you have to change me. If you realize that you’re the problem, then you can change yourself, learn something and grow wiser. Most people want everyone else in the world to change but themselves. Let me tell you, it’s easier to change yourself than everyone else!” From the author of: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Do you have any people in the industry who inspire you?
I am most inspired by my students to be totally honest with you. Watching someone who is new to yoga, master a posture or an inversion is what I think a parent might feel when their child takes their first step. To see the excitement in my student’s eyes at their accomplishment is what truly inspires me at the end of the day. I honestly think I get more excited than they do! I have been known to clap, jump up and down and have the entire class clap for them. Ha!
What are some interesting things about you that that not many other people know?
- I love to sing and sometimes hold friends hostage and sing for them (it’s not pretty)
- I’m totally creeped out by clumps of things, especially if they’re moving
- I talk in my sleep and sometimes with my eyes wide open
- I’m a nerd, I love to read and I read a lot
- Mushrooms freak me out
- I don’t like watching reality shows where there is a competition because I always feel too bad about the people who get voted off.
I hope you all enjoyed that. She is fantastic and a real inspiration as someone who appreciates life for what it is. She is so happy and grateful and says how much yoga benefits her life. I encourage all of you to try it and see all the benefits you will gain.