We have a wonderfully welcoming and inclusive community of students at Pure, and they tell us so regularly. Some stories are simply a quick thank you while others paint an intimate picture of personal growth through immense struggle and hardship. Whatever the story is, they're all sincere and heartfelt and we love hearing them!
Down But Not Out
Good morning Kristine,
I hope you are doing well. I think you were away, hopefully you enjoyed a restful break with your family.
I am writing to sadly inform you that I have to drop out of my 45 day challenge. We were on a ski trip this weekend and I had a really bad fall. As a result, I am home bound with my knee in a brace and on crutches. The worst part of all of this is that I won't be able to complete the challenge I'd signed up for.
I had always seemed to avoid any of the challenges that the studio offered, thinking that I simply wouldn't be able to accomplish such a goal. To my surprise, and with your gentle, positive encouragement, deciding to join the 45 day challenge was the best decision I'd made to date this year. I have gained so much more than I imagined I would. My practice grew stronger, my form seemed more accurate but the gains went far beyond the physical. I learned to tackle the challenge daily rather than absorb the enormity of it. Life gets so incredibly busy and with 4 active children and a husband with a demanding career, it is so easy for me to get overwhelmed by all that there is to do. I am trying to tackle my busy life daily, little by little rather than looking at the enormity of it. The beautiful art of Yoga really seems to parallel life. Michelle's words stayed with me often "It wouldn't be a challenge if it was easy" So very true. I seem calmer and confident knowing that everything will just work out. In your beautiful classes, you often encourage us to be grateful for the strong and beautiful bodies that we have, and I certainly have a new appreciation for what that really means. The challenge has also opened the door to new aspects of Yoga that I had never really considered. The Yin classes are now one of my favourite things to do. What a peaceful,emotional journey a Yin class can be. The meditative practice really allows the mind and spirit to grow along with the body. "You will only get what you've always got, if you only do what you have always done" Amber's wise words also ring very true. This was the first time in sixteen years since my first son was born that I put myself first, and it felt GREAT! It is really true: by giving to myself, I felt I was able to give so much more to the people around me. I also really adored my entire family who appreciated my effort and time and encouraged me along my journey. What a gift!
Thank you Kristine for the wonderful studio that you have created. It is always a pleasure to walk through the doors of Pure and be so positively welcomed. Thank you for the inspiring,beautiful instructors that you choose to teach the variety of classes offered, I feel blessed and honoured to have met so many of them. Thank you for the constant support, knowledge and dedication you give to your Practice, your work and your clients, it is inspiring and you are a perfect example of a life well lived. Thank you for Pure!
I will take what I have learned and most likely turn left at the top of the stairs to the Physiotherapists rather than right towards the Yoga studio, but none the less, set my goals high and aim to reach them. The first one being to get my knee healed and strong enough so that I may sign up for the next challenge!
On a final and positive note, now that I am home bound, I find my self able to give my complete undivided attention to those around me rather than constantly multi tasking. Monopoly,Sorry and Chess are actually so much fun when you're focused. This is quite new for me and I must admit ,I love it!
Warm regards,hugs and Namaste!
To Rehab and Beyond!
Dear Pure Hot Yoga,
I know it is a little past your two year anniversary but I wanted to sincerely congratulate you on making that milestone.
I have been trying to figure out how to thank you for all the help you've been to me for the almost two years I have come to Pure. I'm not sure I can adequately express my gratitude. However, I thought I would at least try to give you a sense of what Pure means to me. I'm still working through it myself but hopefully this makes some sense to you.
Initially, I came to Pure Hot Yoga because I needed to rehad my knee from a complete tear of the PCL. Yoga was one of the recommendations that my physio gave me and am I ever happy that I actually followed through. I can't really remember the first class but I can only imagine how much amusement someone probably got from watching me really try to follow along. All I can say for sure was that it was really hot and really challenging. I'm just happy that I didn't fall on my face or something equally embarrassing I now know no-one would probably have cared. But I'm a bit stubborn. I had bought a number of passes and I was going to do my best to use them up.
I'm glad I did. Over those eight classes I realized that I was going to get a lot more out of the practice than I had ever imagined. I did have the thought that the practice might be good to help deal with stress of my life. Little did I know how much I would come to rely on Pure and the classes there to help keep me centred, sane and ultimately to help heal me.
Everyone has their challenges in life. The most immediate ones in my life started about five years ago. My father passed away after a heart attack in March of 2008. I was left to support my mom and my aunt here in Calgary. Not long after my dad passed away my mother became ill. Unfortunately in July 2010 she passed away after a battle with cancer. Having lost both my parents in their 60's and my aunt having lost her best friend and sister we helped each other carry on. In 2011 my aunt started to have health issues as well. There were numerous visits to hospitals and clinics over the year but her health continued to decline. In the summer of 2012 she was admitted to intensive care and passed away almost two months later in September 2012.
Family was always the most important thing in my life and now they are only with me in spirit.
Physically I am left with only their estates and belongings to work through. It's amazing how "things" both seem so unimportant and yet hard to part with. With my family all gone the memories tied to those items are my connection to the past and happier times. Every Saturday I go to Hot yoga which gives me the calm grounding to then head out to my aunts to continue cleaning out her home and business.
I don't claim to be hard done by. I don't even like talking about it because you can't live your life looking for sympathy. That presumes I have it worse than other people. And I don't want to live my life looking back at the negatives that have happened. They are part of my life but I don't want them to define me. However, I did tell you this to give you some context. Pure has become a sanctuary to me in a world that often seems over flowing with Duty, stress, guilt and the grey monotony of routine.
I am lucky to have a lot of good friends, my health, a roof over my head, a fridge full of food and money in the bank(most of the time). I have it better than a vast majority of the worlds population.
You have created an environment that is welcoming, non judgemental and very supportive. I'm sure everyone has a different perspective but I find every class I attend helps me in different ways. Some days it is simply a great physical work out that helps me focus on working my body to help it grow and reshape itself. Other times it helps me slip away from the painfully overwhelming and stressful life for an invaluable period of time. That mental and physical break is a powerful force that I grow more in tune with over time. I know it is a life long journey. Clearly there are still days I'm sure I'm almost sure I will fall over in class but I wouldn't have it any other way.
It's something I can never really properly thank you enough for.
I just want to wish Pure Hot Yoga (and all of it's beautiful souls) many more happy years to come.
Just a short note, to thank you for your support with my experience with Yoga, in your studio.
I entered your studio, April 2011, with issues with carpel tunnel and chronic lower back pain. Sixteen months later, the issues with carpel tunnel are almost gone along with the lower back pain. Along with this, has come other benefits of increased energy, strength, balance and flexibility.
Most of all, I thank you for creating a great studio and a supportive positive environment. The instructors/guides which teach/practice in your studio are true professionals and all very dedicated. This makes it very easy to attend classes and follow through with my Yoga practice.
A Personal Yoga Journey
As the celebration of your first year approaches, I thought it might be appropriate to share with you my yoga journey so that you may understand the life-changing effect your studio has had on my body, heart, and spirit. Though it begins grim, please trust that there is a happy ending.
As an impressionable youth, I’ve always had difficulty relating to my body in positive ways. It changed when I didn’t want it to, and resisted change when I made an effort to adapt to society’s expectations. I loathed it, and became consumed by an eating disorder by the time I was 17 years old. Being bulimic is not the glamourized experience that the media makes it out to be. It didn’t make me thin, it didn’t make me pretty, and above all, it didn’t make me happy. Instead, it tore away at the trust and love I once felt for myself, bit by bit, until I was a shell.
This went on well into my college and university years, become more vicious with every secret I held. I would lie to my friends and family, convincing them that everything was under control, but in every second I spent away from my loved ones I was committed to destroying the thing that made me miserable - my body. I tortured myself with food, exercise, and an obsession with perfection that extended beyond my body into my everyday life. I was irritable, irrational, volatile, and selfish. I will spare you the details of the pain I inflicted on myself, but just writing this I can’t help but shed a tear for that jaded young girl, so thick with emptiness and resentment.
Finally, my loved ones had had enough. I was given an ultimatum, and I entered hospitalization. I spent my time there healing my damaged metabolism, re-learning how to eat and exercise without anxiety, confronting my emotions, and removing dangerous behaviors from my everyday life. When I was discharged, I felt a mix of emotions. I felt that freedom was within my grasp for the first time since my teen years, but I had lost something very definitive of me. I needed a new way to express myself, positively.
This is where you come in. During my time at the hospital, part of my therapy involved a gentle yoga class. It encouraged the patients to feel through their body in a nurturing way, and I always left the sessions feeling a little more hopeful than before. I decided to seek out a yoga studio, and found you. Somewhere between the gentle kindness of your instructors, your soothing environment, and the vibrant energy of your classes, I found peace. Peace in my heart, calmness in my soul, and a love for my body. It was true! The thing that I went from loathing, to hating, to torturing, and finally to accepting - I now loved it! Every class in your studio is a celebration and expression of my spiritual journey, and I look forward to experiencing my body in new ways each time I step onto your floor. Somewhere on my mat, every class, I find that I am beautiful and worth the moments of strength, serenity, and redemption that I feel.
Today I had a very difficult practice, and that is why I was compelled to write to you now. Current stresses in my life had begun to creep into my bones, and it reflected in my class. My body was tight, my emotions were even tighter, and every pose was a struggle. I couldn’t perform the way I believed I ought to, but instead of despairing in this, I came back to my breathe, my body, and my intention. Instead of giving up or feeling like a failure, I pushed through as best as I could. The instructor supported my experience exactly as I needed her to, and I made it. It is during difficult times that one truly sees their potential, and it is sheer determination that saw me through today’s class. When I felt my tears welling up, I exhaled. When I felt my body begin to ache, I let go. I left class today feeling as though I had made great emotional strides, and had learned new coping strategies for when I feel a loss of control, or the pressure of perfection gnawing at my heart. These are lessons that I can apply to all areas of my life, and hopefully, share with the loved ones who so believed in me when I needed it.
So thank you for being a continuing source of inspiration for me, and for supporting me as I work to heal and excel in my new life. When I need to feel balance, strength, and love, I know I need only to step into your studio and abandon my doubts.
I am no longer trapped inside my body - I am awake in it, and I cherish every breathe. Thank you!
From the heart,