We all have stories.
Each year, the 30-Day Dare brings out amazing stories of strength, courage, and perseverance from Funky Buddha Yoga students, new and veteran. Natalie, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing yours.
"I never took myself for a yogi.
Since committing myself to leading a life focused on fitness and wellness, I have gone through several phases (or obsessions…) with different workouts. There were times when all I wanted to do was run for days, when I loved conquering (what felt like) a near-death experience during every INSANITY workout, or when lifting the heaviest weights possible was all I could think about.
But never yoga.
When it came to working out, all I really cared about was the calories I was burning. I clearly recognized all of the physical benefits of exercise, but never considered the mental and emotional benefits it could also bring—that it should bring. Until I gave The Funky Buddha a try.
Before coming to The Funky Buddha, I had some experience with hot yoga, but not much. For months, I figured one class a week was enough to grow my practice. And then I abandoned my practice for about six months, ironically, when I needed it the most.
This year has been a difficult one for me—coping with several deaths of close family members and friends, and my dealing with my dad’s cancer returning after 5 years of remission. I first heard about the 30-Day Dare when I was starting to feel like I couldn’t handle the emotional turmoil any longer. As much as the thought of committing to my practice for 30 straight days intimidated me (yoga is not easy), I knew this was just what I needed to gain a different perspective and feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically. Funky Buddha dared me, and I decided not to back down.
I would be lying if I said the 30-Day Dare was a breeze. Of course I expected the Dare to be physically challenging; holding chair pose and half-pigeon for minutes on end, 30 days in a row definitely prompted some extra-loud ooji breaths now and then. However, I did not expect to experience as much of an emotional release in one month than I did.
It really all came together for me on the first Tuesday evening of the Dare during Katie’s 7:30pm class. She told us how yoga is perceived solely as a tool for relaxation, but what most people don’t realize until they get deeper into their practice is how yoga brings up things we couldn’t see before, or ignored to see. In short: Yoga exposes underlying truths, and can make us downright pissed off. I immediately burst into (silent) tears and could not stop for the rest of class. I was angry and sad, and it finally revealed itself. My entire practice changed forever that night.
Now that the 30-Day Dare is over, I can say that I am now 100% addicted to yoga, physically stronger, but most importantly, much more mentally and emotionally stronger than I have been in a long time. I cannot wait to continue on this journey as a Funky yogi.
To all the fabulous instructors and participants who inspired me every day, thank you. I am honored to have been able to share my practice with you! Namaste." - Natalie