April 2015 Student of the Month

Rob Gowen

Gowen Please tell us a little about yourself. Please tell us a little about yourselves.
I am honored and humbled to be recognized as the Student of the Month by The Union. I’m originally from Houston, Texas and have lived in San Antonio since late 2005. I recently retired from 26 years in the military and have lived in various places all over the world. During my time in the US Army, I had the opportunity to do a lot of different things, meet interesting people and observe various cultures. I like to be outdoors. I like hunting and fishing and I actively support wildlife conservation. I also enjoy hiking and camping. I like all kinds of sports. I really enjoy good food and good wine. Although I am a dog person, I have a pet cat. I enjoy living here in San Antonio. The food is great, the weather is great, the people are great and you can’t beat its proximity to Austin, South Texas, the Coast and Houston.
What brought you to the yoga/CrossFit practice?
A friend recommended that I try Bikram Yoga. My first class was unlike anything I had tried before. I, immediately felt the benefits and the sequence of postures made sense to me. I recommend Bikram yoga to everybody. Over the years, I have practiced Bikram yoga in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Colorado, California and Hawaii and I can say without a doubt, the staff at The Union is by far the best I have ever encountered.
How often do you take class?
I practice yoga 4-5 times a week depending on my schedule. I try never to go more than two or three days in between classes.
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking your first class?
I have numerous sports-related injuries from years of playing football, baseball and rugby. I have also had numerous service-related injuries from my time in the Army. My previous injury issues include a torn posterior cruciate ligament, a partially torn labrum, and some neck and back issues.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
I believe the greatest benefit is increased flexibility and increased range of motion. I believe Bikram yoga has allowed me to preserve my mobility, while helping me manage my body fat percentage. I also enjoy sweating and the detox effect that comes from this practice. I know that I am doing something good for myself when I practice yoga.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
I believe strongly that Bikram Yoga is preserving my mobility by increasing my flexibility and helping me mitigate the effects of previous injuries. Over the years, I have suffered from a form of hereditary arthritis. When I am practicing yoga regularly, I do not have any symptoms of arthritis. I also believe this practice helps me manage personal stress and sleep better at night.
What is your favorite part of the yoga? CrossFit?
My favorite part of the yoga is knowing that I’m getting a good workout, sweating out toxins and increasing my flexibility. I always feel great after a good 90 minute class. I look forward to trying crossfit at Bust a Move. Mobility is key to a good quality of life and I intend to continue practicing yoga.