Student Spotlight

Bill Kokott
February 2015

  Golf has always been a part of my life. After several years playing tournament golf on the North Florida PGA Tour and having competed in several PGA Tour events, my focus turned to teaching others to play the game. A student of mine was taking yoga classes and convinced me to try it. I came to Inner Fire Yoga to take the introductory month so I could tell my golf students that I was familiar with yoga and that it would be good for them. Well, that was over three years ago and yoga became a frequent practice for me.
  I have benefitted greatly from the classes and workshops at Inner Fire, both professionally and personally. As a coach of the Men’s Golf team at Madison College, and instructor of junior golf in the First Tee program, much of the yoga wisdom has given me a new perspective. Such concepts as staying in the present, letting go of outcome, and not being afraid to fall, have their equivalents in golf too. Yoga has given me new insights, a different frame of reference, and respect for a student’s limitations. It has made me a more effective teacher and coach.

  Swinging a golf club from the same side all my life and bending over a golf ball through many years of practice left me with muscle imbalances and occasional back problems. After a year practicing yoga and learning to love every twist and upward facing dog, the back pains have largely disappeared. I know flexibility has increased in some ways but those over use imbalances are still a work in progress. I attended a five-week Yoga Bootcamp instructed by Karen two years ago, and a component of the workshop was more mindful nutrition. We were asked to keep a daily journal of what we were eating and to attend a weekly meeting to discuss our findings. It also involved the difficult task avoiding fast food, but I have kept that as a rule of mine today. As a result I am about twelve pounds lighter and feel much better.
  I am especially grateful and feel very fortunate to have had such a fine staff of instructors to learn from at Inner Fire Yoga. There is always a welcoming, positive, and encouraging environment in class. I also have come to appreciate how motivating the simple phrases heard in class are, like “stay with it,” “you can do it,” or just the word “nice”, when I so badly want to get out of pose. I truly enjoy coming to yoga and being part of a room full of people, each for their own reasons, trying to better themselves. It makes me feel that I am in the right place.

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