Yogi of the Month: John Schuck

Practicing yoga began as a means to improve my flexibility and limit the impact of injuries sustained in other sports. Ultimately, though, I became part of a positive community that made me feel more at peace with myself, my surroundings, and gave me a deeper connection to my society.
I do lots of physical activity, such as running, swimming, basketball, soccer, football. Basically, if it’s a beautiful day, I’m outdoors doing something to keep my body in motion. All this movement leads to a lot of tight, sore muscles and I had not really taken stretching seriously. I would halfheartedly stretch before practice, and maybe stretch once in a while on my own at home. My stretching was limited to unsuccessfully attempting to touch my toes and other simple stretches. I now realize my form was terrible and those stretches probably didn’t do anything to improve my flexibility or help prevent injury, which was my intent.
As I got older, and injuries became more frequent, I decided I needed to get serious about proper flexibility.  I walked by Tranquil Space often as I headed to a running group in Clarendon every week. I noticed the sign for $50 unlimited yoga for a month, so I decided to give it a try.
From the first class I could tell that I would enjoy practicing yoga. At home I spend lots of free time doing push-ups, sit-ups and other calisthenics. Now I could do something similar with a whole room full of other people. As a runner and swimmer, I enjoyed the challenge of keeping my breathing steady regardless of the intensity of the exercise. I also liked not having to plan my next movement, just focusing on the present movement and waiting for the teacher to give instructions on where to go next. I also enjoyed the supportive positive environment. The teacher, the studio staff, and the other students were all very welcoming and helpful. Unlike some of the other activities I engage in, there is no trash talking, no one really cares what you do or how well you do it. Everyone is just focused on whatever will help them feel better. The combination of the positive energy, the stretching and the light exercise usually leaves me with a really pleasant feeling running through my brain and my body.
I’ve been practicing yoga for over one year now and I have seen great improvement in my flexibility. I am also more relaxed during stressful times. I also feel like I am part of the Tranquil Space Arlington community. The teachers, the other staff members and many of the other yogis recognize me, and many know my name.  I am glad to have found Tranquil Space.

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