Student Spotlight: Tawny Hammond

Student Spotlight: Rod Robertson

When did you start coming to Yen Yoga & Fitness?

I joined Yen Yoga in October of 2018. I had friends and associates telling me how great it was and that I should give it a try.

What was your reason for starting? (Mind, Body, Health, etc)

I think I came for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t believe in accidents or chance when we open ourselves up to the Divine. I was having trouble with anxiety and depression, but it was situational and new for me, and I also needed to lose weight. I was scheduled for a full left knee replacement and I thought it would be good to try something different to deal with the pain and some physical conditioning prior to surgery. I had no idea what I was getting into. I just felt it “calling me”. I was super nervous having old sports injuries that prevent some flexibility and range of motion.

What has been your biggest accomplishment since becoming a member at Yen Yoga & Fitness?

I have to pick one?! I didn’t have to take the anxiety medication that my doctor prescribed because it was not an issue anymore. The same with depression. It just went away. I sleep better now, and I am happier in general. The biggest accomplishment is I am kinder to myself. I greet myself with love every morning and encourage myself to keep doing well and evolving. I used to be very hard on myself and was constantly criticizing myself.

What is your favorite class?

Pick just one?! I love hot yoga. 60 minutes is my favorite. I live for the icy cold eucalyptus cloths at the end! I also have pushed myself with detox and hot yoga flow. Restorative and meditation are important for my practice for some of the issues I touched on above. Hot yoga helped me the most with anxiety and detox with being kinder to myself. The Living the Yamas On and Off the Mat class was huge for me. I find myself overcome with joy and it is not uncommon for the tears to come.

Do you have any funny Yen moments you'd like to share, or any "meditations from the mat" moments?

When I was brand new at Yen, I signed up for a Cycle class and a Restorative yoga class afterwards. I thought it was a good combo. So, I finish Cycle class and go into Restorative. Thirty minutes into class, the room was hot, I was sweating buckets and my back muscles were cramping up and we were doing all these chadarungas. I was thinking “when does the restorative begin? Is this a joke? Is there a hidden camera somewhere?” I didn’t find out until I was leaving that I had wandered into an Inspire class! It is funny now, not so funny that night. But I came back and didn’t let that experience chase me away.


What advice or words of encouragement would you like to pass along to people who haven't been to Yen Yoga & Fitness?

Yoga is so complex and simple all at once. I would encourage them to just come because what they need the most will reveal itself to them. Every day is a different gift and victory. Don’t wait any longer. I wish I hadn’t.