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January Union Student of the Month

Kristal Morales

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. -Marianne Williamson

Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Kristal ” Kris” Danielle Morales, and I am 30 years old. I teach elementary math for my home district and coach middle school basketball. I have 2 incredibly loving and caring sisters and 1 amazing and intelligent little brother. Our parents have taught us the true meaning of family and love. I love my family and spending time with them whether we are playing cards, having movie night with junk food or singing songs and acting like fools together. I enjoy writing, eating, take naps, and working out. Working out and challenging myself, both personally and professionally, bring me joy and peace. I have my Bachelor of Science and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University. I am super proud to be part of the Aggie Family. I started at The Union in March of 2017 and have been attending ever since.

What brought you to the yoga practice? Inferno? CrossFit?

One day my aunt and I were sitting outside the gym that our family would workout in when all the sudden my aunt asked me, ” Pia Pia, do you know what I have been thinking about trying recently?” I replied, ” hot yoga!” We both started laughing and then before you know it, we were planning to attend. A friend of mine recommended The Union, so we decided to investigate it and then the next day we showed up. We had so many items: water bottles, thermos, 6 towels, 3 yoga mats, and other supplies. I guess we did too much research online. I spent a good amount of time in the yoga studio until I learned that members of the gym could use “the box”. I then learned what the box had to offer, and I was in love. Coaches were kind, encouraging, motivating and intentional, so it made working out in a new atmosphere so much fun.

What is your favorite class and how often do you come in a week?

My favorite class is comp class. I enjoy being around athletes who are self-motivated, encouraging and up for a little in-house competition. Each athlete, new or veteran, wants to do better and be better; they also, want to help me be and do better. I attend both yoga CrossFit/Bootcamp classes 4 to 5 times a week, sometimes 6. I have a demanding schedule and life, but my happy place is the box. I find peace and quiet when I am in yoga. Teachers in yoga help ease my mind and make me ready to take on the next day or week ahead.

What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking your first class?

I have been an athlete my whole life. I played basketball, volleyball, soccer and ran track. I had issues with my left knee on and off for years. I was diagnosed with an over stretched ligament, arthritis and microscopic stress fractures. I ignored all the diagnoses and continued playing sports and working out. Recently, a friend who is also a doctor with Airrosti helped me to understand more about my knee discomfort. My hips are not aligned and therefore, pressure is placed more on one side than the other along with some other things. I was not imaging the fact that one hip seemed higher than the other or that one leg was bowed and not the other. My doctor and I have since been working on building my weaker leg to match the more dominant one, and I have been learning how to walk correctly. Yoga has helped me tremendously. It allows me to stretch my body and work on balance.

What are the greatest benefits of your practice both in the yoga room or your workouts at the gym?

The greatest benefits of being in the yoga room:

  • Body awareness
  • Peace and quiet unless I am in Inferno Pilates
  • Building strength
  • Practicing focus
  • Learning determination
  • Stretching my whole body
  • Health benefits galore

The greatest benefits from CrossFit:

  • Building strength, stamina, conditioning, power and speed
  • Muscle gains
  • Healthy competition
  • Self-empowerment
  • Happiness

How has this changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?

The Union/Bust-A-Move has helped me to build muscle mass and strength that I was struggling to do on my own. I have learned new things from my yoga teacher and CrossFit coaches. I have continued to set new goals and crush some of them. I feel inspired, appreciated, loved and part of a family being a part of the BAM family.

What is your favorite part of the yoga or CrossFit?

My favorite part of yoga and CrossFit is the teaching. That may seem like a peculiar answer, but it is indeed how I feel. The yoga teachers and CrossFit coaches are intentional in their practice and want the best for all their students. Both have made me feel incredibly strong. I have never attended a class where a teacher or coach was in a bad mood or unwilling to help me with accommodating a workout or pose. These coaches are unique and special, and I appreciate each one of them.

What would you say to someone coming in wanting to try the yoga, Inferno Hot Pilates or Crossfit?

I would tell me to just try it and that everyone starts somewhere. Every class is exceptional and any person, young or seasoned, can benefit from taking class at The Union. I drive anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour every time I work out at The Union and I do not mind at all. I love the atmosphere.

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