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Meet Thavma Yoga’s Sarasota’s March student of the month: Bruce Bayton Jr

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I have been active my whole life. As a kid I was always involved in sports. My parents told me my first word was ball. I played 4 years of high school baseball and then the real-world hit. After high school I went to college and before I finished my degree. I had ambitions to be a firefighter/Paramedic. My momma helped me with that choice as she said I would make a good firefighter. In 2007 I went to fire school at the Fort Myers fire academy. I graduated fire school that year and then went to EMT school to pursue a career in the fire service. In 2008 I was hired by Alva fire department. Alva is a small-town east of Fort Myers. I grew up in Alva and my father still lives there today. I worked there for 7 years before I applied with Sarasota County in 2015. Anyhow, I’ve been in the profession of firefighting for 11 years now. Ever since I began my time in my profession being in shape is part of the job. I owe it to the people I serve and protect. I discovered CrossFit in my mid-twenties. It was the best regimen of fitness to me. I had a great experience with CrossFit and even got my level 1 certificate. I coached and trained for years and honestly loved every moment of it. Even though CrossFit is the staple of fitness it isn’t the easiest on the body as most of the movements are high impact. It was around 30 years of age when I started to feel the negative impact is was having on my body. I mostly had a lot of lumbar discomfort. I pulled my back out at work in 2019 and had to stop CrossFit. That was a bitter sweet day. Backing up to 2015 I started going to Thavma at the Bradenton location, but it was a bit of a travel for me, so I then began practicing at Bikram Yoga of Sarasota because it was closer for me. I probably practiced at Thavma at the Bradenton location for a few months or better. I was still doing CrossFit at that time up until 2019. I started going to Bikram Yoga of Sarasota downtown after my injury at work in 2019 and it was only a few months after that when I found out Thavma opened up a studio in Sarasota. I then made the switch to Thavma. It has been a great experience at Thavma. The instructor there are very knowledgeable and have made some positive adjustments to my postures and my lower back continues to feels better and stronger. I wanted to add that I really like the variety of classes at Thavma.

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

Just Bikram style yoga

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

I need some form of exercise and also healing for my back.

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

The instructors are knowledgeable and I like the variety of classes.

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

It was a great experience and the instructors are very welcoming.

6. What makes you come back?

It’s always a challenge.

7. How long have you been practicing?

Off and on for about 5 years.

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

Relief of pain in my lower back and it has also helped me mentally and dealing with the stressors of life.

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

Yoga makes a positive impact in all aspects of my life. After a long shift at work it helps me decompress mentally and brings healing to my body.

10. What is your favorite pose?

Trikonasana.

11. What is your least favorite pose.

I don’t have one.

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

The yoga instructors and the different variety of classes.

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

I have made some positive changes or modifications to my postures and I can thank the instructors at Thavma for that.

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