Student Spotlight: Jan Karttunen

 Student Spotlight: Jan Karttunen

My first class at Yen Yoga & Fitness was in November 2010.  I truly remember it like it was yesterday because it was shortly after the studio first opened and after months of pleading, I finally convinced my now husband, Jason, to come check the studio out with me.  90 mins later in the hot room with Kate (my husband was a trooper!) I knew I was hooked! Jason and I left the studio soaking wet with sweat and I was beaming from ear to ear!  There was just something very magical about Yen…I felt as though I had come home!  I had been practicing yoga on and off for a few years prior to Yen’s opening, but was still more into going to the gym and running.  That would quickly change as my frequency to the studio increased and I really started to see the “big picture” and experience so many wonderful benefits of a regular practice.

My main reason for starting yoga was definitely for the fitness/health aspect, however I was also hoping it would become an outlet for stress.  I tend to keep a very busy schedule with both work and activities at home, and the mental sanctuary I had experienced from the intermittent practice I had at home was quickly confirmed and amplified at Yen.  It didn’t take very long before an entire change was happening inside of me.  I started to not sweat the small stuff and felt like a weight had been lifted.  Many instructor’s would advice (and still do) to just leave it all on your mat….those words became sacred to me and I really felt like a new clarity was becoming more and more apparent.  Although I’ve always been a happy person, life just started to feel more pure and more carefree.

Besides the much stronger connection to inner peace I truly have gained from becoming a member at Yen (worth every penny!), I am in the best physical shape of my life.  I attribute that to the wide variety of classes Yen offers that I try to take full advantage of along with the wonderful instructors that are constantly coming up with creative and new ways to enhance our practices/workouts, but also just being happy and having my body love and appreciate what I’m doing for it.

I have been fortunate enough with my membership to be able to try pretty much all the classes Yen offers and although I greatly enjoy SO many of them, Arms, Abs, and Assets is my JAM.  Katie does such an amazing job bringing the heat and mixing it with the high energy and variety!  I love it! Since the 2015 Tour de Yen cycling challenge I now have a passion for spinning.  If I had to pick a favorite yoga class, all of them are truly terrific for so many reasons pending on what you’re searching for on any given day, but hot and vinyasa style classes I usually gravitate towards.  Barre classes are also fun and I never regret going to a yin/restorative! (Let’s just say I love them ALL!) 

The advice I would give new students who are considering trying out Yen Yoga & Fitness would be to definitely do it!  The health benefits (physical and mental), along with the AMAZING sense of true community Yen offers is outstanding! Consider researching the different styles of yoga or other classes (Barre/WERQ/Spinning) that you may be interested in.  If you’re new to yoga, consider watching a couple YouTube videos on the different styles of yoga to help with your class selection and make you feel more comfortable with poses and yoga lingo.  Definitely do not be afraid to reach out to the amazing staff either (many of who are instructors and students themselves) for advice on which class may be a good choice for you to try. But by all means…….check Yen Yoga out! I can definitely understand how change can be scary at times, especially if you feel self conscious or like you don’t have the basics down, but don’t let that stop you! Get out of your own way and come make one of the best decisions of your life!  I would also encourage new students to let go of any expectations they may bring to their first few classes.  Our minds did not get all cobbled up in one day….don’t expect it to be cleaned out after one class.  Allow yourself the commitment of coming more than once to a particular class you enjoy.  You will likely feel silly your first few classes until you are ready to leave your ego at the door and really feel and practice.  If you come with an open mind and eager heart, the benefits are truly infinite and, like me, yoga will become an essential part of your life!