June 2015 Student of the Month – Michelle De S. From Anaheim Hills, Ca
Michelle De S. – Anaheim Hills, Ca
ROZANNE: Michelle, congrats on being Yoga Sol’s June Student of the Month! You inspire us with your recent personal challenge. Can you share a little bit about that with the other students?
MICHELLE: Thank you Rozanne! I am so honored and pleasantly surprised to be chosen as Student of the Month for June! I chose to challenge myself during the month of April with a 30-day yoga challenge, which I documented here on Instagram. For my challenge, I simply needed to practice yoga for at least 30 minutes each day; enough to get fully immersed in my breath and movement to where I could feel the meditative aspect take control. Whenever I could, I attended classes at Yoga Sol, which was my preferred method of practice. On average I was able to attend classes 5 times a week. On Friday’s, I would head to the beach after I got off work and do a sunset yoga session, ending with the sun setting behind the horizon as I settled into Savasana. Often I would invite my friends to these sessions, as the sessions were extremely relaxing and fulfilling.
ROZANNE: You first came to us just about a year ago, pretty new to yoga. What first drew you to yoga? What were you seeking from the practice?
MICHELLE: What actually first drew me to yoga were the physical benefits: I wanted to tone rather than bulk up and had previous ankle and shoulder injuries that I wanted to re-strengthen. After my first yoga class, I discovered the mental and spiritual benefits and immediately became hooked. Not only did yoga allow my body to move and grow in ways I hadn’t imagined, but also my mind and soul flourished with each practice. As I continued, the mental and spiritual aspects ascended as the prime reasons I came to class, while my improved flexibility, strength, and balance turned into an added bonus.
ROZANNE: We notice that you love the high physicality Vinyasa Flow classes. Additionally, you have taken a few of our workshops to broaden your yoga knowledge. Can you share a little about your yoga choices?
MICHELLE: I thoroughly enjoy the Vinyasa Flow classes because of the challenge I face during them. They incorporate many different poses with a continual flow that allows me to connect to my breath, while challenging my body to push and either hold strong in a pose, or to move mindfully onwards. When my body is put to a challenge, I’ve noticed that my mind reacts meticulously and my focus centers in towards myself and where I am in that moment in time. The Vinyasa classes help to fade out whatever kind of day I’ve had in order to embrace my practice and indulge my mind and body into the familiar feeling of deep breathing and mindful, secure movements. My life is a little hectic as I currently work three jobs and try to keep a social life. Being able to take a class that is fast-paced and demanding helps me take my practice into my everyday life and stay on top and in control of my demanding schedule. I have taken a few workshops including relaxation, handstand, and Danda. These have all sparked an interest and I have taken them to further my knowledge and understanding outside of the regular class. I used to be in gymnastics and have never been able to hold a handstand, so I took the workshop to improve that inversion. I also used to spin baton, so the Danda’s intrigued me. They allowed me to get a deeper stretch which is very helpful as I am quite flexible and often feel I need more.
ROZANNE: We salute you this month for your personal challenge – commitment to consistency – in the month we are announcing our own Yoga Sol Summer Challenge. Can you share any words of inspiration to your fellow students?
MICHELLE: I can definitely give everyone a heads up and let them know that this is not easy! It takes patience and dedication, more inner strength than physical, and a “I can do it” attitude. The beginning will be the hardest and you will feel sore in ways you didn’t know were possible. But don’t let that scare you, I promise it gets easier! After every class, when you walk out that door, you will pat yourself on the back and feel not only the positive effects yoga has on you, but also a deeper sense of accomplishment and pride. You will never regret making sure you got to class on time and giving the best you can, despite how sore or tired you may be. That feeling alone will keep you going if nothing else does! After all, it’s not about monotonously going through the challenge and making it to the end to prove that you could, it’s about discovering a little bit more about who you are and being able to bring that same yoga mentality, focus, and relaxed control into your everyday life. Do it for the journey, do it because you deserve it, do it for you.