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I have started to receive feedback from students, many of whom have already begun to see the positive changes, even profound effects, in their bodies and their lives after a month or two of steady practice. I can’t describe how deeply touched I am at receiving this kind of feedback! This one stopped me dead in my tracks during the blur of another busy day and reminded me of why I’m doing what I’m doing – why I left my life and career in Seattle, why I believe in yoga, and why I believe in Nashville! Upon receiving the following email, I forced my 3 roommates (all dudes) to stop what they were doing and listen to me read it aloud with a little quiver in my lip and catch in my voice. :)

Dear Brooke,

Thank you for all of the shout-outs in class the other morning! I think I am starting to get the hang of things. After spending 6 years on and off hormones, trying to have a baby, and 70 lbs of weight gain, I had lost sight of the person I was…person I am. I was an avid runner and was in incredible shape mentally and physically. I have run 5 marathons, countless 1/2 marathons and races of every distance in between. I was thin…and being thin matters to me. It matters because that’s when I feel my best, look my best, am the best wife, sleep my best, eat my best, AM my best. I want be my very best for my beautiful new daughter. I want to give her a healthy image to look up to. I want to be the best I can be…I know I can’t be my best, overweight.

So, with that said, I know how to set goals and achieve them. However, until hot yoga, I wasn’t so sure I could ever set another fitness goal, much less achieve one. I tried running again…my giant milk-filled boobs stopped me dead in my tracks at, oh, about a 1/2 a block. I was devastated. I am a runner. My new body wouldn’t let me run? WTF? I was lost. Fat. Defeated. I looked like a joke in my running gear anyway, so why bother…at least, that’s what I told myself. So, I walked to Sweet 16th Bakery and grabbed a Danish…a delicious Danish! I felt better. Not really.

A few days later I “liked” your FB page and began googling “hot yoga” to see what it was all about. Remember, I am a runner. Runners don’t bend. Yoga was SOOOO foreign to me! After a few days of trying to talk myself out of it – mainly, because I thought I would look like a joke in yoga gear. I emailed you and soon went to my first class. I am so thankful for your encouraging words in those emails. They got me through the door. Better yet, your 6 am class made me sign on for a year! I have sweat off 7 lbs of, fat, stress, and defeat onto the floor of your studio. I am planning on shedding 42 more…in my favorite little corner of the yoga room.