June 2014 Student of the Month

Tracy Slaughter

slaughter Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m from Buffalo, NY. I came to San Antonio 16 years ago on assignment with the Air Force and made it my home. I have two wonderful sons in college that I love more than life, and the most supportive mother in the world. The most important relationship I have is with Jesus Christ.
What brought you to the yoga practice?
It’s funny that I came to yoga as a last resort and now I’ll never live without it. Exercise was a chore for me; never fun just necessary. Upon military retirement my new philosophy became “if it’s not fun it’s not for me.” After years of searching I discovered pure fun in Zumba; 2 years later I was totally devastated when doctor’s orders forced me to quit due to arthritis in my back. I felt condemned to a lifetime of poor fitness and obesity. Fortunately, my physical therapist recommended yoga for my condition.
How often do you practice?
I average 4-5 days a week, but I benefit most when I take 6 classes a week.
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking your first class?
Before yoga my only problems were arthritis and my weight. After my first class I realized I had zero flexibility, poor balance, I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was, and I was breathing all wrong.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
Yoga is ridiculously impossible!!! It’s so stinking hard!!! Whose idea was this??? I have never experienced such immediate and gratifying rewards!! It makes no sense to me yet I’m compelled to continue with this ridiculousness. An entire staff committed to yoga and students. Each instructor brings unique challenges and information. I’m constantly learning something new, even different languages.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
Absolutely mind blowing! In 9 months I dropped 30 lbs (Are you kidding me? You can lose weight doing yoga?) Blood pressure dropped 120s/80s to 110/70; BMI dropped 33.4 to 28.5; increased strength and flexibility. The most miraculous loss was my hopeless addiction to sugar. I discovered I didn’t need a diet; I needed the balance naturally achieved through yoga. Yogis are the most supportive people I’ve ever known. We share our suffering and successes. I’m always encouraged; I love life in the no judgment zone (aka HOT ROOM)!!!
What is your favorite part of the yoga?
(Duh! Savasanna) Yoga works!!! All that scientific mumbo jumbo the instructors say is happening to my internal organs with each torturous posture is apparently true. My body is changing right before my eyes. I feel like I have control of my health. We practice in a group but it is a very individual experience. My practice is my own personal prescription for life. Yoga and “The Union” took away my excuses and made me a believer.