My 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.