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Photo of Abi and Brian doing a yoga pose together

Thavma Yoga Sarasota’s Students of the Month: Abigail Celia and Brian Jones

 1. Tell us a little about yourself.

A: I grew up in Sarasota, graduated from Florida State, and am currently a 7th grade mathematics teacher. Teaching, especially middle school, can be a challenge to say the least. However, being able to watch the proverbial light bulb in a student’s mind turn on when they finally grasp a complex mathematical concept makes it all worth it in the end. I am also so thankful to get summers off along with my students because my drive in life is traveling. I’ve been to over 35 countries already and plan to go to many more! I’ve even been fortunate enough to actually live and teach in Hong Kong and Thailand. 5 years from now I do see myself teaching abroad again. I also hope to still be practicing yoga!

B: I have always loved playing sports of all kind but soccer is my passion. After picking up several small ankle injuries and a few groin strains, I was told by a physical therapist and my father that I should take up stretching. I thought I was young and didn’t need to bother with stretching, before and after sports, so I ignored them and allowed my muscles to get more and more tight. In addition, I am working for a pool cleaning company right now which is an exhausting job that was also contributing to my daily pains. I’m glad my girlfriend introduced me to hot yoga because it is an engaging and challenging way to help me heal my body from the taxing activities that I do on a daily basis.

2. Have you done other styles of yoga other than Thavma Yoga?

A: Yes, I have tried lots of yoga studios, but I never stuck to any.

B: No, the fact that you burn so many calories doing hot yoga is what made me try it.

3. What made you decide to take your first yoga class?

A: There were free classes at the gym in college.

B: My girlfriend, Abi, told me about the classes and many people told me to do yoga in order to prevent sports injuries.

4. What made you choose Thavma Premium Hot Yoga Sarasota as a studio?

A: After moving back to Sarasota, a friend of mine encouraged me to go with her to Thavma to get back into the workout routine!

B: Abi told me about Thavma and said the instructors are amazing, after the first class I was hooked.

5. What was your first Yoga experience at Thavma Premium Hot Yoga like?

A: I felt comfortable and at home right from the beginning. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t practiced yoga (or worked out at all) in a while because they tailor the class to all levels.

B: My first experience was a Monday 26+2 class with Marina and I could not believe how intense of a workout it was. I play soccer 3 times a week and have never sweat like that!

6. What makes you come back?

A: As a teacher, I rely on Thavma to release a lot of daily stress. I also feel like I am in the healthiest shape I’ve ever been in because of these classes.

B: The classes not only keep me refreshed for soccer throughout the week, but they provide a stress relief for everyday life. They help balance my body and mind.

7. How long have you been practicing?

A: About 8 months now!

B: Around 6 months.

8. What changes have you seen since you began the practice?

A: There are so many subtle changes I have noticed since I began practicing. It is still a challenge for me, but I am much better at controlling my fidgeting and breathing. I have much more endurance and confidence when it comes to holding postures now, too.

B: My body feels so much more balanced than it was and I am much less worried about getting random injuries in sports. My muscles are looser and I am much more flexible. I’m in the best shape of my life now.

9. Where have you seen that yoga helps you in your day to day life?

A: I can put socks and shoes on without falling over now.

B: Bikram yoga has melted away my daily pains and helped me learn new methods to deal with stressful situations.

10. What is your favorite pose?

A: Standing head-to-knee, standing bow, and balancing stick because I have noticed the most improvement with these poses.

B: Camel is definitely my favorite pose! It looks so cool and I love the rush that you get from the back bend. I also love floor bow for the same reason.

11. What is your least favorite pose?

A: I find camel to be very demanding.

B: I don’t dislike any of them really, but fixed firm can be kind of painful for me sometimes.

12. What do you like most about Thavma Premium Hot Yoga Sarasota?

A: Being able to practice yoga with such a kind and motivating group of people is so mentally and physically rewarding. Though the original classes have the same poses, I feel like I am accomplishing something new each and every time I go.

B: Kate’s playlists in the Beats class are amazing, but what I love most is how welcoming and friendly everyone at Thavma is.

13. Tell us anything else interesting that you feel you have gained or learned since starting yoga with us

A: After falling in love with yoga through Thavma, Brian and I are traveling to India this summer to take a yoga course in Rishikesh!

B: I think the most important thing I Have learned from Thavma yoga is the practice of mindfulness and incorporating that into my everyday life.