December 2013 Student of the Month

Kim Hoang

hoang What brought you to the yoga practice?
A few years back I was obsessed with long distance running and cycling until I didn't recover from a marathon one year. I had pain in my hip that would shoot down to my knee when I walked and even just from getting up in the morning. A guy at the bike shop recommended that I try yoga, so I did. My good friend who always convinced me to try crazy things with her got me to purchase the Groupon about 2 1/2 years ago.
How often do you practice?
I try to practice as much as possible about 5-6 times a week. I was fortunate to complete two challenges this year. Yoga is just a part of life now. If I see myself slacking, it's time to do another challenge.
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking you first class?
I had pain in my hip that would shoot down to my knee. I also had lower back pain from sitting all day at work. I saw many doctors and physical therapists, but I realized that medicine was not working for me. Within a couple of weeks of practicing yoga, the pain I had for a whole year was non-existent.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
I will preach it to anyone who asks me about yoga, I could go on and on. While practicing I can just feel all the kinks in my body working themselves out and your body feels "tuned up" after class. I just don't feel right when I don't get to practice. I have also been able to maintain my weight since I began practicing yoga. Yoga is not hard on the body like running, but it can be just as intense of a calorie burning workout. Then there is the detox, detox, detox...I like to reward myself with beer, guilt-free, thanks to yoga.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
I’ve been able to maintain my weight and keep off 30 lbs. for over two years now. Over time I noticed muscle toning that I had never seen in my body before. Yoga has also helped me keep a sense of calm, especially during stressful situations. Work life is usually very hectic, so going to yoga after work allows me to distress and not think about work when I go home.
What is your favorite part of the yoga?
Every day we get the opportunity to improve our postures. If you can't get it one day...there's always tomorrow or the next day. Then just when you think you have it right, the instructors provide you with guidance to improve even more. It’s an incredible feeling to see how far we can push ourselves mentally and physically in the hot room.