Student Spotlight

October 2014

 I am honored to be chosen for the Inner Fire Yoga student spotlight. I started practicing yoga a year ago when a professor from my program challenged our class to make a lifestyle change. She wanted us to make a change in our life, big or small, and practice it every day for one month. This experience helped us gain perspective into how it might feel when we, as therapists, ask a client to make a change in their life. I am currently a student in the Master’s of Occupational Therapy program at UW-Madison. For those who have not heard of occupational therapy (OT) before, the profession helps people throughout the lifespan participate in meaningful occupations/activities that they need or want to do through various interventions. OT looks at individuals through a holistic lens; emphasizing wellness, prevention, and life balance. OTs can work in school settings, hospitals, or clinics and are usually on teams with physical therapists and speech and language pathologists.

  Upon starting the OT program, I was feeling overwhelmed and experiencing a great deal of stress as our program began with an intensive anatomy course and cadaver lab. I attended UW-Madison as an undergraduate and was very familiar with the campus; however, I found it difficult to adjust to graduate life. I was not sleeping well at night and tried multiple relaxation techniques. I knew I needed to make a change in my life if I was going to successfully make it through the program. To be a successful therapist, I first had to balance my life before I could assist others. Inner Fire Yoga opened a campus location in the Lucky building around the same time my professor challenged us to make a lifestyle change. I did not know very much about hot yoga, however a couple of my friends practiced regularly and encouraged me to go. I decided to challenge myse lf to workout daily, but wanted to spice up my workout routine which consisted of the treadmill and elliptical. Inner Fire Yoga was the perfect alternative and with its $30 Intro Offer, this one month trial allowed my to try the studio without having to commit to a membership right away.

  I was nervous for my first class as I walked in the heated room at campus and felt like I could barely breathe. I thought, “How am I going to workout, when I can barely just sit here?” I did not raise my hand when the instructor asked if it was anybody’s first class. I did not want to be judged by everyone else in the class who I was sure was extremely experienced. I thought, “Alright I can do this. I’ve played competitive sports my whole life. It’s go time.” My one goal was to not leave the room and I did not, so I was quite proud of myself. I have been hooked ever since that first class at the campus studio. The benefits I have gained from a regular practice have been abundant and my life has changed for the better in ways I could not have imagined. I love practicing yoga, not only for the physical workout, but also the spiritual aspect. When I practice for an hour a day, I feel like I can truly breathe and let go. All of the teachers at Inner Fire Yoga create a safe and welcoming environment where mistakes are accepted. I love to learn new things and I sincerely appreciate the supportive and encouraging atmosphere. Trying new arm balances is my absolute favorite and I have been working on perfecting my headstands. As a student in a professional graduate program, the level of academia and research can be intimidating. I find Inner Fire Yoga to be a place where I can escape the competition of academics and where I can calm my mind. I will graduate from my occupational therapy program in May, and hope to offer what I have learned at Inner Fire Yoga to clients who may have anxiety or need life balance. I plan on getting certified as a yoga instructor so I will be able to incorporate yoga and life balance into my career as an occupational therapist. If I can help one person feel more balanced in their life and find the same peace I have found through yoga, I will feel successful in my career and as a person.

  Thank you Inner Fire Yoga staff and community!

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