Author: Steve Zazulyk, PYC Oakville Yogi, Underwater Adventurer
A year ago, I never would have thought so much could change in a short time, or how a 68” x 28” rubber mat would transform me from the inside out. I had no idea what it truly meant to leave it on the mat, or ever more so, that what I found on my mat would be nothing short of life changing. I’m very blessed to be married to my wife Kelly and have two beautiful daughters Natalie & Olivia, who are great supporters of my quest in hot yoga – no matter how sweaty and awkward I am! When I first started, my girls would remind me that I only needed to do three things: 1. Don’t think about it, just show up! 2. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks! 3. Pray for half pigeon, because you’re almost done! I’d like to add that the most beautiful word in the world when you first start Hot Yoga is Shavasana. Seriously!
I am a 54-year-old a business owner, professional diver and part-time treasure hunter. I spend my spare time traveling throughout Canada, United States and the Caribbean metal detecting and scuba diving for lost gold and sunken artifacts (I was even on the History Channel’s docu-series The Curse of Oak Island!). As interesting as that may seem, there is nothing that has truly changed me more than the last year of hot yoga at PYC. At age 53 I found myself very depressed and upset with my health and physical condition. Words cannot tell you how scared and insecure I felt that first night as my daughter Olivia basically took me by the hand to the studio in Oakville. My nerves quickly subsided after meeting the front desk team as they so sweetly welcomed us to our practice. While outwardly we might seem confident, people often don’t know how insecure we can be. Thank God for the words of encouragement I’ve had from people like Stephanie McCague and the other PYC instructors. They have taught me that when you’re at that moment in practice where you feel you can’t go on and you’re going to break down, you’re literally one pose away from your next great break-through…just ujjayi breath and go for it! You’ll be shocked what you can do!
A year later and I’m practicing between 4-6 days a week and can tell you that you just need to remember rule #1: don’t think about it, just show up, and you can’t go wrong. I now realize that yoga is more than just exercise, it’s actually a way of life! When it comes down to it, it’s really only about you and your practice. When you truly understand what leaving it on the mat means, you can really get rid of a lot of unnecessary luggage.
The Power Yoga Canada Community has inspired me so much I can’t go more than two days without practice. If I could get any point across it would be this: if you know anyone that feels insecure, scared or self-conscious to come to practice, tell them about me! I’m literally the last person that you would have seen walk in the PYC door but here I am! You can catch me at any given class during the week, in my fullest expression of dancer’s pose, and letting it all go “on the mat”! I never thought I would say that, but here I am and I’m loving it!