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Michele doing a yoga pose

Meet Thavma Yoga Lakewood Ranch’s October Student of the Month: Michele Benedict

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 44 years old, a mom of an awesome 12-year-old boy and I’m married to the love of my life Todd. I am a NEARLY 10-year cancer survivor, living each day to the fullest and trying my best to be a positive, awesome person every day as I’m very thankful for my life!

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

Neither of us have done any other yoga in the past.

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

I first became interested when I moved to beautiful Lakewood Ranch, FL, I was looking for something different to try and something which would benefit me both spiritually as well as physically.

4. What made you choose Thavma Yoga Lakewood Ranch as a Studio?

I found a Groupon deal, tried one class and was hooked right away. I remember walking in, seeing the beautiful Kate and Marina and they were so welcoming and warm, I instantly felt at home.

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

At first, the heat nearly got to me, it was quite challenging on my body, I was a good 50 pounds heavier than I am  now and found it quite difficult to hold any position but I told myself, give it a few more sessions, I came to love it very much and always felt very cleansed and purified after.

6. What makes you come back?

The feeling of literally letting go of every toxin and negative thought that I might be holding on to. I envision it all leaving my body and soul as the sweat pours.

7. How long have you been practicing?

On and off for about 2 years now.

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

I have lost weight and I’m definitely a lot more of a positive person. I feel proud of myself for how far I’ve come and how strong I’ve gotten. 9 years ago I fought the battle of my life, (leukemia), I was given a 40% chance of survival and just look at me now, I’m thriving and I know that Thavma Yoga is a big part of it!

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

It helps my balance for sure, I stand a little taller and am more aware of my posture!

10. What is your favorite pose?

Tree.

11. What is your least favorite pose?

Camel.

12. What do you like most about Thavma Yoga Lakewood Ranch?

Not only the teachers but also the other students, everybody is friendly, welcoming and very encouraging! Also, seeing little Cocoa on Sundays is a nice treat.

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

I feel as though I can really do anything I set my mind to, I can push my body to limits I have never thought possible. I learned I am a survivor and a warrior in many ways, I have so much more to learn and so much more life to live. Practicing yoga with my husband Todd means everything to me, I LOVE this time we spend together and we are bonding more than ever, we both feel so great afterward and he definitely keeps me accountable and I wouldn’t dream of missing our double Sunday classes.