Kayla Gatlin is a respiratory therapist at Mobile Infirmary, and her job has become understandably more stressful during the COVID-19 pandemic. But she made a change a year ago that’s made all the difference.
“When I moved to Midtown a year ago after some big life changes, I wanted to improve myself, body and mind,” she said. “[Starting my yoga practice] was the best thing I could have done for myself during that time.”
Kayla was never a big fan of going to the gym, and she never participated in any sports because she felt like she was too uncoordinated. But she didn’t let that keep her from trying yoga.
“I was very nervous about my first class, but after I arrived I was glad to see people of all ages, sizes and skill levels there. I was unable to do many poses, but I wanted to keep coming until I could do them all,” she said. “The staff at Sterling was so welcoming and encouraging, I couldn’t wait to come back.”
In the year that she’s been consistently practicing, Kayla has physically gained muscle tone and flexibility and mentally greater focus and more clarity and peace.
“I keep coming back because of the change it has made for me mentally and physically, and because of the staff and new friends I’ve made there,” she said. “I like mixing it up with Pilates and Iron Hour strengthening in addition to the regular vinyasa and Bikram classes. Going to the gym was never for me, and the classes help me to push myself further than I thought I could.”
Kayla used to feel “too uncoordinated” to participate in sports, but even that has changed through a consistent yoga practice.
“What I’ve learned is that with patience, practice, consistency (and a lot of hydration) anyone can be good at yoga,” she said. “It feels good to see how far I’ve come in my practice.”
Kayla is grateful for Sterling’s selection of day, evening and online classes that have made yoga accessible even with her 12-hour shift work schedule and the stress of the COVID pandemic, as well as Sterling’s continued commitment to safety at the studio.
“The staff at Sterling is exceptional. They are very understanding and accommodating to personal needs, work schedules, etc.,” she said. “During the COVID pandemic, they went the extra mile by offering online streaming classes and taking extra precautions by disinfecting the studio after each class and taking temps at the door so we could continue our practice safely, which I greatly appreciate.”
Kayla vividly recalls her first class and understands that trying yoga, much less hot yoga, for the first time can seem intimidating. But she wants to share some wise words with anyone considering a class.
“At some point in time, it was everyone’s first time in yoga. Everyone in the room around you has fallen, but they got back up. Never be afraid to try something new. Your practice is unique, don’t compare yourself to others, but strive to do your best in the body you brought to class,” she said. “The heat is not as overwhelming as it seems, and the more you practice the more you crave it.”
If you’re inspired to take your first yoga class, you’re welcome to join us! Every class is beginner-friendly, and we want to help you find relief from pain, anxiety, stress or whatever is prompting you to consider yoga.
You can get started for just $30. That gets you 30 days of unlimited practice with us to try all of the classes we offer. Take the first step and sign up here!