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How Yoga Changed My Life: Confessions of a Yogi

By Rachel Burt 

How Yoga Changed My Life: Confessions of a Yogi 

My Uphill Battle: Gaining Weight While Abroad 

It was about four years ago, that I had arrived in Sevilla, Spain, to study abroad for six months. When I arrived, I was so mesmerized by the Spanish lifestyle that I thought "when in Spain, live like a Spaniard," and that I did. Eating tapas and drinking wine all day with the locals, smoking cigarettes, dancing the flamenco, strolling around through the little old cobbled streets until dawn, enjoying my siesta during midday and an espresso in the morning with long baguettes to accompany it.

It was after almost two to three months of this lifestyle that my body really started to take toll. I was having major digestive problems, gaining weight, and felt very tired all the time. Basically my metabolism was not immune to this lifestyle, and I needed a change. 

Me in Sevilla, Spain

Thus, I started to go to the gym about four to five days a week, I took spinning and pilates classes, and ran on my days off. I started to feel alot better but still felt I was missing something.

My First Yoga Session: Bye-Bye Toxic Food & Alcohol 

This is when my Brazilian roommate introduced me to yoga. I can remember our first yoga session: there was just three of us on our terrace watching the sunset. I felt so relaxed and calm afterwards. I immediately noticed after the class that I did not crave all that toxic food and alcohol; instead, I was very content with something healthy and light. From then on, we started to practice a couple times a week and my body began "melting" down even thinner than when I first arrived to Seville. I aced my spanish tests and was becoming more fluent without the wine!

Hot Yoga Bikram Class: One of the Best Feelings Ever

Returning to Hawaii, I decided to take on another challenge: I was introduced to my first ever hot yoga BIKRAM class. It felt like one of the longest, hottest, most dreaded hour and a half; with that said, after sticking through it, it was one of the best feelings I ever had in my life. I sweated more than any other activity I tried with a total adrenaline high. I then started to take three to four classes a week, sometimes even five or six.

Me Practicing Yoga 
Beauty Benefits of Yoga: My Skin Was Glowing 

Not only did I feel that I was in the best shape ever, I had all sorts of remarkable benefits that I began noticing. People started to tell me that my skin was glowing. With the blood flow moving when practicing yoga, you are clearing toxins, which in return give you your natural healthy glow back. My digestive system also started to improve, my skin felt silky smooth and brighter, my cravings for healthy foods increased, my mood was much calmer and relaxed. 

Me: Yoga and Beauty

Bye-Bye Sleepless College Nights

Also, I realized the amazing benefits it had on my school schedule. Instead of over-studying for several hours before tests, I would study just a couple hours the night before, take a hot yoga class in the morning and be completely focused and ready! I went from taking four classes a semester (and struggling the year before) to taking six classes and working a full time job.

Yoga on the Beach
Since Practicing Yoga, My Body Has Changed 100%

Since my first time ever practicing yoga, my body has changed 100% because I have continuously been practicing yoga. My muscles became longer and leaner, I have lost inches that never seem to return and have been told I have 
grown in height! My favorite styles are Vinyasa and flow yoga classes... in a hot class of course!

Enjoying Yoga on the Beach
Why Yoga: Easy to Practice Anywhere in the World 

Yoga has completely helped change my body, metabolism, skin, and mood in tremendous ways. With a surroundings always changing and a traveling lifestyle, it is hard to keep ourselves healthy. As we change time zones, fly across oceans, and are introduced to new foods, it is important to find something to help keep you balanced. With yoga, you can practice on the beach or in your room. It was how I managed to keep in shape and reserve time all to myself.  The great part about practicing yoga is that there is always something new to learn, so the chances that you will be bored are extremely slim! Until next time...

Me in Hawaii Practicing Yoga

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