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September 29, 2015
  •  By: Jessica Castro

National Yoga Month

September. The weather cools down by five degrees and brings with it monsoons. School starts again. Football starts again. And Yoga is celebrated nationwide.

That’s right. Yoga. September is National Yoga Month. It became a national observance in 2008 thanks to the Department of Health and Human Services and was designed to educate all ages about the health benefits of yoga as well as inspire yoga as part of a healthy lifestyle. Around the valley you’ll notice an abundance of yoga classes, concerts, and other special events to celebrate the month as part of a global awareness campaign that aims to educate, inspire, and motive people to achieve a healthy lifestyle through yoga.

A few ways to celebrate National Yoga Month here in Phoenix:

  • lululemon Biltmore, Chandler, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Quarter all offer complimentary yoga in their stores every week, most on Sunday morning. Call your nearest store or check them out online for full details.
  • Recommit to your daily practice. 30 day challenge anyone?
  • Take a friend and try the yoga class you’ve been too scared to take before today. Power in numbers!
  • Try a new class! Always in a Vinyasa Flow? Why not try Yin?

Some of my favorite studios:

  • The Madison, Phoenix location
  • Hot Yoga University in Scottsdale
  • Sumits Tempe across from ASU
  • Fit Republic in Scottsdale
  • Yogalution in Scottsdale
  • LifePower in Scottsdale

 

jessica castro yoga

I began taking yoga when I was hired by lululemon three years ago. I had a mat at home before I was hired, but let’s just say it was a bit dusty when I pulled it out for my interview. My second interview for lululemon was a hot Vinyasa Flow class in downtown LA. Having passed the first interview and determined to make lululemon a career, I went to class telling myself that as long as I didn’t pass out, I could show I was perfect for this job. I barely survived class. At one point the teacher told us to bend over and touch our toes. A simple gesture yes, but not after a full class and about ten pounds in sweat stuck to both my clothes and my mat. As I was draped over, trying to breathe slowly to avoid passing out, sweat ran from shoulders and into my nose and eyes at the same time. I wanted to scream and gag and lie down but I also wanted the job. So I coughed, hung on tight for the rest of class and met my favorite pose, child’s pose. It requires nothing but laying on the floor in a semi-ball. My favorite type of stretching. Three years later my career at lululemon is flourishing and I take yoga at least once a week.

While I seldom go near a hot Vinyasa class anymore, yoga is vital to my mental and physical health. Yoga has taught me the power of breath and the power of looking within. Going to a yoga class is much like going to church for me. The instructor, much like my pastor, knows exactly what to say and teach for my life at the moment. I think it’s a hidden power they both have. The ability to tap into what people need to hear and feel and then help them work through life’s current struggles so at the end of that hour or hour and a half, your prior constraints brought on by fear, stress, and worry, have dissipated.

I highly recommend you try yoga and soon. It will take multiple classes and multiple teachers before you find the type of yoga and style of teaching that works best for you. Go in with an open mind and you’ll leave with a full heart.

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