200lbs (age 18) vs ~150lbs (age 21).
I love my life. I love my body and the progress I’ve made. I have worked so hard for the last 3 years and I WILL reach my goals and get my dream body in 2016.
PS: (I don’t know my exact weight, I’m trying not to weigh myself until my 8-week Bikram yoga class is over….I’m also increasing my cardio in the gym with strength training and lifting weights. My focus is turning now towards the kitchen.)

Of all the tools I have as a teacher, I’m most grateful for the time I spent in my house, alone on my mat practicing #warrior2 & and #downdog. I started my #yoga practice with the #Bikram sequence, which doesn’t include any official warrior poses or even downward facing dog. These are key poses in Vinyasa yoga and I found these poses unbelievably arduous in the beginning- I couldn’t believe that even after surviving Bikram’s nightmarish #awkwardpose holds in a 105 degree room I could still be brought to my knees by a foundation standing pose…WITHOUT ANY EXTRA HEAT INVOLVED.

In my moments of struggle, when I thought “I JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS YOGA BULLSHIT WHY AM I DOING THIS”, I would remind myself of how awesome it is to try. Even if you fall down- just give it a shot. Day after day, showing up for the honor of falling on my face. Because falling on my face or sinking to my knees felt SO MUCH BETTER when I actually gave myself the opportunity to TRY. I mean, how often do you stop short of a goal because you fear failure? Or because you think something will be “hard”? Honestly, who cares if it’s hard- doesn’t it feel good to just give yourself a chance?

So many of you have asked for help with starting a #yoga practice from scratch, especially if you’re self-conscious about practicing in a room full of people. There are people who will continue to push you into a physical studio, but I’ve seen/experienced too much unintentional yet ubiquitous judgement at the hands of students and instructors to seriously expect a different outcome for all of you. I’m a big fan of online yoga classes- I think they are an awesome way to solidify a practice without the distractions of a group class.

If you’ve never practiced yoga before, check out my beginner yoga classes on @streamyoga- There are definitely moments which will challenge you, both physically and mentally. That’s good- challenges are good. FALLING DOWN is good. I believe in you, and I believe in your ability to find a strong practice for yourself. Trust me- if I can do it, so can you. If you want $5 off any class plan through the weekend, use ’#streamyoga’ at checkout!

Today, @nolatrees and I took a baller #Bikram yoga class w/ Jen at Philly’s @diamondhotyoga before our #mynameisnola backbends workshop. Even though I began my practice with this style of yoga, it was my first Bikram class in ages and the poetic symmetry of the practice nearly brought me to tears by savasana. I know everyone has polarizing opinions about the man (the myth, the legend), but Bikram Yoga is my personal choice for first time #yoga practitioners because it makes ZERO assumptions about ability. The sequencing is dynamite because it can kick the shit out of everyone, from first timers to life long practitioners. If you’re looking for a class to stretch your horizons and boundaries, seek out your local Bikram studio. It can get expensive, but it’s definitely worth the effort and most studios run new student specials. GO. DO IT. NOW.

Philly, y'all opened my heart so much. TO ALL OUR WORKSHOP STUDENTS- I can’t thank each of you enough for the space you’ve created in my life. Every time you need a push in your practice, just remember that I love you and your practice inspires the fuck out of this chubby southern queer.

(PSST- tag your photos #mynameisnola so Dana & I can see y'all and be instagram friends!)

Since I’ll be on a train all day tomorrow, Monday Pay What You Can Yoga classes are ALL CANCELLED! I know, it’s super lame, but I also teach the Tuesday noon flow at @DurhamYoga- I’ll see y'all there!

Top- @k.deer
Bottoms- @freecountryapparel