Jana Rocker reaches her ankle in Camel after one year of practicing at Sterling Hot Yoga Works Mobile.
Most new students who practice at Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile are intimidated by the level of heat in the hot room.
Jana Rocker was, too, when she signed up for her first class a little more than a year ago.
“I am terrible with heat,” she said. “But the yoga helped me a lot. I can actually go outside in the heat and it does not bother me.”
Taking that first step to try hot yoga wasn’t an easy one. Cancer took its toll on Jana’s life at a young age.
She lost her arm as a result and watched helplessly as friends suffered and died from the disease.
That experience fueled her calling to pursue cancer research, but she dropped out of graduate school in 1995 when a professor told her she couldn’t do science with one arm.
For 10 years, Jana battled PTSD, depression and anxiety until she realized she was “just settling for the status quo and not growing at all as a person or working in my passion.”
“PTSD was still a problem working in a cancer center for a few years,” she said. “I still have my moments, but one thing I swear by is yoga. The ability to control my anxious responses to the hot room has carried off the mat into my life in amazing ways!”
She ranks her decision to try hot yoga as “one of the life-changing scary moments of life.” Though the yoga studio website assures that hot yoga is for everyone, she still wasn’t sure how it would be for her having one arm.
Jana does her best in each and every class and she follows modifications on various postures to get the benefits from them.
With master’s and Ph.D. in hand, Jana now works for the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Cancer Institute “to help others not have to go through what I went through,” she said.
Between her demanding schedule of research and publishing, plus a move, Jana came up just a little short of her 15-class goal during the 30-Day Challenge. But she saw its merit as a learning opportunity.
“One thing I have learned from fitness challenges is I have a hard time completing them,” she said. “Life manages to derail my plans, but I just have to go with it.”
Jana did manage to reach a pretty exciting milestone nonetheless. She was able to reach back and grab her heel in Camel.
“When I first started a year ago, I couldn’t even lean back at all,” she said. “I had zero core and back strength. With one arm, it’s all core and back for me!”
Hot yoga’s impact on Jana’s life doesn’t end there. In the year she’s been doing yoga, she’s lost 30 pounds, experienced fewer gout attacks and gained mobility in her fused ankle.
“My right ankle is fused,” she said. “I could move it up and down, but I couldn’t rotate it. I kept trying in reverse Savasana, and now I can actually rotate the ankle.”
Jana is such an inspiration to everyone who practices at Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile. She is proof that Sterling Hot Yoga Works works!
If you’d like to see what benefits your hot yoga journey holds for you, get started today with our 30-day introductory special!