Sabrina’s Yoga Experience in our Westlake Village Studio

Sabrina's Yoga Experience in our Westlake Village StudioIn the last 2 years, our family has experienced immense loss. Loved ones who were grounding, loving and always there for us passed away, some unexpectedly, some after fighting long battles with their health.

 

With each loss, I tried to rally. I held onto those who were still here in my heart and whenever I can, tightly in my arms. And I tried to continue on, by participating in the usual daily routine of life.

 

It was during one of these routine life things that I met Doug Milliron. I was feeling down and decided to pick up a yoga class. And since it was a pick up class, I remembered the schedule wrong and was accidentally 15 minutes late when I thought I was half hour early. Peaking into class, I saw that it was full and was about to turn away, when I noticed he was enthusiastically waving me in. I must have shook my head or made a face as the next gesture he made was for me to set up my mat next to his. My mind quickly filled with how rude it would be to run away so I reluctantly joined the class.

 

I found Doug’s style of teaching to be mindful. On the surface, it is energetic, joyful and full of butt kicking fun. But really, while he is presenting this butt kicking fun class, he is inviting you to explore, inviting you to feel, inviting you to grow and inviting you to just be. And always, he sneaks in words of encouragement.

 

I took a couple of Doug’s classes that week and went home to encourage my family to do the same. Our daughter, who was just about to start working as a lawyer for Interscope Records was feeling the onset of young adult life challenges. My husband has suffered from back pain. But they did not feel comfortable in a class setting because they were afraid they were “not good” at yoga. A few private classes with Doug quickly reassured them that they can and should do this. In fact, practicing yoga reminds my family that any challenge we face is something we can and should overcome. Sabrina's Yoga Experience in our Westlake Village Studio

 

A Buddhist monk once told me that life is not random but actually filled with conditions. And when all the conditions align, something happens. He reminded me to keep an eye on these conditions, because some we can control and other we cannot. I often reflect on the conditions that brought me to that class- the condition of loss that I cannot control and the condition that I can control which was the decision to go to a yoga class.
Doug is an incredible teacher. The world could be burning and Doug would remind you to be grateful for one thing, one person, one quality that you have in your life. And maybe this one thing, or person, or quality you have will be enough to bring about a new condition, one that is full of possibility and hope.
– Sabrina Chu-Hurd

Lauren’s Experience with Sweat Yoga in Santa Monica

sweat yoga santa monica hot yogaMy name is Lauren. I’ve been practicing hot yoga for a little over a year now, but I’ve been coming to Sweat Yoga in Santa Monica for about two months. My story is about a class I took with Danielle in the beginning of July.

The back story is that this year has been a bit of a tough one for me and my family, as we’ve lost two family members within the same year. I have always struggled to accept grief and to allow myself to feel things (just ask my mom, she’s been telling me for years that ‘it’s okay to cry’), and this year was no different. I have had a hard time dealing with my family’s loss, and coped by keeping myself so busy that I don’t have time to think. If I’m not at my full time job, I’m picking up hours at a second job to stay busy. If I’m not at the second job, I’m working out somewhere.

 

In the beginning of July I took one of Danielle’s classes after work, and it happened to be on the year anniversary of one of my family members passing away. I’d been struggling a lot that week and I remember at the beginning of the class she challenged us to just be present, and to be in the moment. I’ve wished multiple times in the past few weeks that I had a recording of what Danielle said throughout the class, just so I could remember and remind myself, but her leadership through our practice and her words allowed me to actually be present with myself and to open myself up to accepting my emotions, and to let go of a lot of the things I had kept bottled up and locked away for the past year. And that’s how I, embarrassingly, ended up crying (stealthily) during the cool down before Savasana.

To make a long story (semi) short, that experience was so meaningful and healing to me because it spurred me on to slow down a lot of other things in my life to allow myself some room to breathe and to be present, and to just give myself grace when I feel sad or miss my family.
I have honestly meant to tell this story for a while now, but have chickened out every time, so I feel like you guys asking for stories could be the universe telling me that it’s time to buck up. I truly hope that Danielle knows that her teaching and practice are beautiful and I know for me it has absolutely helped created a positive change for my life, and I’m confident that I’m not the only one.