Student Spotlight: Lynn Baumann

 Student Spotlight: Lynn Baumann

My name is Lynn Baumann. I’ve been a member of Yen Yoga and Fitness (YYF) since the first day they opened. My best friend, Liz Davis, told me about this new workout place opening on Front St and we would HAVE to join it so we could spin together. I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as she was about joining. At that time, my husband and I usually took an “annual” bike ride on the Tart Trail and that was about it for me and biking! Even though I didn’t think I was going to like it, I decided to join because I knew this would be an opportunity for Liz and I to spend a little more time together. I have to admit that it took me a few months to get into spinning. After my bottom got used to the saddle (OUCH), it became more enjoyable than I ever imagined. Eventually, I took some Pilates, Zumba, and Cardio dance classes. I enjoyed the staff, instructors, and classes so much that I decided to purchase a yearly membership. Yoga also became part of my regular exercise routine. Even though I was working full time, some weeks I took up to 9 classes! Yoga was very new to me as most of my life I did cardio workouts. In the beginning, I was so focused on getting the postures correct that I was missing many things the instructors were saying. So I wasn’t getting the full benefit of these classes. Now, their words are as important as my physical participation.

When I worked for the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District as a special education teacher I could only take evening classes. After 40 years of teaching, I retired September 1, 2014. My schedule now allows me to take day classes. I found that in both time frames, it didn’t matter how many classes I took with the same instructor, the classes were always a little different and each time I learn something new. Sometimes it’s a new posture or it may be something they’ve said that I can tuck away in a my mind and use when needed…like their readings, encouragement, or words of inspiration.

I thought for the longest time that my greatest accomplishments at YYF were completing the spinning challenges. But in late August, I took a Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga (SUP) class with Leslie. Wow! During that class, I really learned how your mind, body, and breath have to work together. I did squeeze in 1 more SUP class and look forward to taking more next summer. My weeks at Yen are usually filled with 3-4 spinning and 2-4 yoga (gentle, restorative, warm yin) classes. Those sessions never disappoint!
My husband and friends say that I’m a walking billboard for YYF as half my wardrobe has come from the boutique or the challenges. Most of my coffee mugs, water bottles, and hats are from Yen, too. Love those challenges. I think I’ve only missed one since opening day.

We all know that happiness is not a destination but the journey itself. My journey at YYF has been wonderful for my mind, body, soul, and health. My time at Yen is even more important to me now. On September 8th (2 days before my husband and I were to leave for a 7 week road trip across the U.S.), I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My, how your world can change in an instant! My tummy had felt uncomfortable for a while and I thought it was my diverticulitus acting up. After all, I was just a little sore, not sick. I’ve had 3 chemo treatments since September 14th and surgery is tentatively scheduled for the November 30th. The worst part of this whole experience was breaking the news to our daughters. Telling our family and friends became part of the emotional healing process for me. It helped me hop into a positive mindset about my situation. I, now had to be mentally and emotionally strong for my family and friends. One of the first questions I had for my doctor was, “can I still exercise at Yen?” He told me the best thing I could do for myself was to keep on “living life” and that’s what I’m doing. I did sign up for the 30 day challenge and will complete it before Thanksgiving. So, now my personal challenge has been to schedule my classes around my “feel good” days. I’ve always been a positive person but YYF has inspired me to make a better connection between my mind, body, and health. I would like to encourage those who aren’t members to join YYF for a month and try as many classes as your schedule allows. By the end of your month, I’m sure you’ll see why I’m such an avid promoter of YYF. The staff and instructors are all top notch. The boutique is well stocked and the facility is always very clean…it never smells like a gym!

For me the beauty of YYF is the inspiration and feeling of well being they provide to their members the second you walk in the door. The word gratitude has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I give gratitude and am thankful for every moment of everyday thanks in part to YYF. One of my favorite quotes by A.A. Milne was displayed at Yen Yoga a few years ago. It continues to inspire me as well as the many people I have shared it with. It’s from one of the Winnie the Pooh stories:

Christopher Robin says to Winnie the Pooh…
“Promise me you’ll always remember, you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” I challenge you to give YYF a try and see for yourself what a difference it will make in your life.


Editor’s note:

Everyone at YYF has been just as touched and blessed by Lynn’s presence this past 5+ years. We love and are honored to be part of your journey, Lynn!