Student Spotlight: Scott Smith
Before I had stepped foot into my first yoga class, the difficulties of life had their grip on my health, physical and mental. I felt worn out, my body was sore and achy, and I was quick to lose my cool and become frustrated with every situation that demanded more of me. Not only could I feel the tension internally, but it was radiating to those around me. My "dad-bod" was sending me signals that things were not good; I felt like my insides were vibrating with tension, my doctor said I had pre-hypertension with a BP of 130/90..."I'm only in my mid-30's!" As I look back, there were a lot of compounding factors; losing my grandfather at the age of 72 to a sudden heart attack, birth of a 2nd child, moving into a new house; but really it was the fact that I sucked at managing personal stress and I internalized everything. I had become disconnected!
I started taking yoga classes at YYF in Spring of 2017, after I had taken a weekly yoga class for months at a different space. Needless to say, I had felt something more than "just physical" in that weekly yoga class, but my body and mind needed more. I was a little reluctant at first going to YYF, as I had some preconceived notion that it was for a certain group of yogis; young, fit, "locals only" type of people (none of which I was). Luckily, feeling uncomfortable is not something that holds me back, so I took the recommendations of some trusted friends and signed up for my "first class for $5". I don't even remember what class it was, obviously it was good, so a couple of days later I was signing up for a 30 class package. I was able to find classes offerings, at times that worked for me to still be a dad, a husband, a manager, and still have some time to focus on "me". Those early morning classes are still my go-to classes, Vinyasa with Stephanie, Yin with Temple; although since then I have expanded my schedule to take classes whenever I can, or whenever the universe tells me I need to (I literally need at least 1 Yin studio class per week).
Since joining YYF, to say things have changed would be an understatement. Not only is my physical health better, I'm back to the weight I was in high school, my last BP reading was 108/78 (to be fair, I might had just left a Yin class, LoL); but I feel more connected, to family, to friends, the to world around me, and even more importantly an always improving connection to myself. Along with being a student of yoga, which I will always be, I completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, became a substitute teacher at Yen Yoga & Fitness, and more recently I am on the regular schedule!! Although I did not take my teacher training at YYF, a few teachers there were an integral part of my desire to go more in-depth with my practice. These days, if you see me on my mat practicing beside you, not taking the "options" or that extra flow, or staying in preparation, its usually because i'm in a fierce battle with my ego, letting it know who's in charge, by listening to my body; or just practicing some things on the mat that are more difficult to practice off my mat.
My advice for anyone who hasn't been to Yen Yoga & Fitness, would be "check it out", if you are feeling like I did about what type of "people" YYF is for; I can assure you as a student and teacher, it is for every type of person. The only way to remove fear is to expand our comfort zone; between the YYF teachers, other clients, and the studio, you will probably realize quickly that those preconceived notions are just barriers to your own self-growth.