• Congratulations,┬áNicole Vargas!

    What is your personal reason for starting and continuing your yoga practice?

    I've never really had a problem eating healthy but I always dreaded working out. I knew how important it was to stay active but I somehow always found an excuse not to be. Working and being a full-time student made it easy for me to justify laying on the couch and watching TV after a long day. I got really tired of telling myself, "I'll start working out next week," and when my sister told me about an app called ClassPass I decided to join. I went to a few classes at local studios with her but none of them interested me. Most of them were very fast-paced and I'd leave exhausted. I decided to sign up for a class at Grace Yoga because I had never practiced yoga before and wanted to see if this studio was different than the others I had tried. I was hooked after my first class! Not only did I get a great workout but I left feeling energized and happy. It was such a different feeling than all the other studios/gyms I had been to. I ended up quitting ClassPass and joining and have been going ever since! I continue going because I love how friendly the instructors and other students are. I feel like I'm part of a little community!

    What additional benefits have you gained from your yoga practice that may not be offered in another form of exercise?

    Yoga has definitely helped me learn how to relax. I am an extremely anxious person and tend to worry about everything. I've noticed that I don't stress out so much about things that would normally bother me. I actually use a lot of the breathing exercises we do in class to help me calm down when I'm feeling anxious. I was feeling super stressed out during finals a few weeks ago but I tried to take some time for myself and make it to class. It's crazy how much better I felt after leaving!

    Your practice has been very consistent since you started. Do you have any helpful tips for fellow students to stay committed?

    What's worked best for me is establishing a routine. Now that I'm on summer break I try to make it to morning classes so that I can make plans for the rest of my day. When I'm in school I go to the 4:30pm classes so that I'm home early enough to work on homework.

    Please tell us a little about yourself: career, family, background and anything else interesting you would like us to know.

    I'm a full time student at Palo Alto University majoring in psychology. I plan to continue with school after I graduate so that I can earn my master's degree in social work. I'd love to have a career that allows me to make a difference in people's lives! I spend most of my time at school, working on homework, or spending time with my amazing boyfriend. Something interesting about me is that I lived in Australia for 8 months and traveled around Southeast Asia and Japan for about 4 months with my older sister a few years back. It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had and I met some incredible people!