Client of the Month: Emily James
1. What is your favorite class to take at Beyond Zen?
Every class I have taken at Beyond Zen has served me during different transitions in my life. Pilates reformer is why I came to Beyond Zen. Those classes helped me reshape by body and build my core after two pregnancies in 2 1/2 years. Prenatal yoga was an important and sacred part of my second pregnancy. The classes helped me to have a relatively comfortable pregnancy and the techniques we practiced we useful during labor and delivery. Now I spend most of my time in the yoga studio. The hot yoga classes help me build strength, both mental and physical, and give me a great sense of confidence and accomplishment. Aerial yoga is a class where I conquer fears and remember that there is plenty of space for humor and humility in my practice. Picking one favorite class is impossible because it is through the holistic experience of everything that Beyond Zen has to offer that I find peace, balance, and harmony in my life.
2. What is your favorite move to do in the aerial hammock?
My favorite poses in the hammock are various inversions because the aerial hammock allows me to practice them in a different way than I can on my mat. Of course nothing beats savasana in the hammock! Floating in the hammock after deep stretching is one of the most restorative poses I have ever practiced.
3. Why do you love Beyond Zen?
When my family and I moved to South Bend in 2013 I was a brand new mom in a brand new town with a brand new job. It didn't take long for me to start feeling overwhelmed. I heard rumors that a new studio was opening that offered pilates reformer. I had been practicing reformer since 2011 and was eager to get back into classes. When I first met Bridgette and saw the studio I knew I had found a special place. In the three years since I have found more peace and love at Beyond Zen than I thought possible. The BZ women have become an integral part of my tribe. I am honored to call many of them friends. Beyond Zen is my calm place away from the chaos. It has given me tools that make me a better person. There is nothing that I don't love about Beyond Zen. I will be forever grateful to Bridgette for having the courage to follow her dreams and make the studio a reality.
4. Have you noticed a difference in your health/fitness since joining us?
My body has gone through a lot of changes since I joined the studio and although it is always a work in progress I can see and feel differences. My core is as strong as it has ever been and regular massages with Peggy have helped significantly decrease my number of headaches. The most significant difference is my mental health. I have learned breathing techniques that I use on a daily (hourly?) basis when I am feeling stressed, impatient, tired, and overwhelmed. I have come to understand that this change is as important as strengthening my muscles. For a long time I exercised hoping that I would see changes on the outside that would make me feel better on the inside. Beyond Zen helped me understand that I needed to find happiness and peace on the inside first. It is a never-ending journey, but as my confidence and self love grow I am inspired to make more physical gains, too.