Like many people when they seek out yoga, Tyloria Crenshaw was looking for something to help relieve stress when she discovered Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness in 2011.
“I had gone through some life changes, and one of my best friends was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said. “I saw a story on Today about Bikram yoga. I googled and found a studio in Mobile. I called Lucille, went by the studio and the rest, as they say, is history!”
Tyloria hadn’t practiced yoga prior to her start at Sterling, but the initial results were enough to keep her coming back!
“When I first started, I dropped about 2 dress sizes and came off several medications,” she said. “Now that I have a consistent practice, my doctor just tells me to keep doing what I’m doing.”
But Tyloria didn’t stop there.
“My friends encouraged me to share this [before and after] after so many people were shocked by my previous photo. The one on the left was taken Sept. 12; the one on the right Dec. 31,” she said. “What did I do? A major lifestyle change! I changed my eating, took a good long look at myself and stepped up my yoga practice. I made it through the holidays and gallbladder surgery and still managed to lose more than 20 pounds!”
Among those changes were giving up sugar, stepping up her yoga practice with the help of Sterling’s 2020 year-long yoga challenge and regularly using red light therapy with Coastal Contours & Wellness.
“I have lost 31 lbs since September, 4 inches off my waist and I’m building muscle in my legs and arms,” she said. “I’m so grateful for this challenge and this yoga. I’m committed to my healthiest self!”
Seeing those results is part of what keeps Tyloria motivated to keep practicing.
“I see the changes in my body and my health overall, and everyone is always so positive and encouraging,” she said. “I get support from people as soon as I walk in the door. After a while, your body gets used to it and starts to crave the stretching, breathing and sweating. It’s great stress relief, it’s meditation and relaxation. I don’t have ANY trouble sleeping!”
But it wasn’t always as easy as Tyloria makes it seem now, going on nine years after she started practicing.
“My first class was a 90-minute class, and it was taught by a visiting teacher,” she said. “It was challenging, but it was something I wanted to do. With every posture, I kept thinking ‘I’m going to learn this; I’m going to do this; I’m going to get this!’
“I wasn’t’ discouraged—just determined,” she said. “It was hot and I kept looking for ways to cool off. I was wiping sweat! But after a while, I was so focused on what I was trying to do, I didn’t worry about sweat or anything else.”
Along with Tyloria’s determination, staying focused on her newfound yoga practice was easier because Sterling was close by, convenient and it offered a flexible schedule.
“Most of all,” she said, “ everyone was so friendly and positive. Even when I was feeling down, no matter what was going on with my day, I would be so glad to get the studio. It is truly my happy place!”
Since practicing consistently, Tyloria has noticed major changes in her body and mind, but she’s most surprised at the smaller changes that happen by being dedicated to showing up on her mat often.
“I’m surprised by the way my body responds in small ways,” she said. “Maybe deeper breathing, greater stretching, lengthening and expanding. I’m building muscle and feeling and looking leaner. I’m amazed that I can put my leg over my head in standing bow (my daughter begs me not to tell people that) and that I finally can touch my forehead to the floor between my feet!”
Getting started can be intimidating for new students, but Tyloria said it doesn’t have to be because yoga is “equal opportunity.”
“Anybody can do it! You don’t need special skills or equipment,” she said. The hardest part is getting in the room—just do it! You will get so much support from teachers and other students. It is the most positive, encouraging thing you can do for yourself. Your body will thank you and your mind will be grateful!”
But perhaps the biggest impact Sterling has had on Tyloria’s life is influencing her to become a yoga teacher.
“Even as a teacher, I feel that my first responsibility is to a consistent yoga practice,” she said.
“I owe it to myself and to my students. I think the students are encouraged by it and I think it makes me a better teacher because I’m right there with them. Bottom line is that I believe I should ‘practice’ what I preach!”
Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness changed Tyloria’s life in many ways, and it can change yours too. To get started, sign up here for our 30-day intro and get unlimited classes for just $30!