Student of the Month
The love and support of our students creates the foundation of our sacred space here at Cary Hot Yoga.
Each month we will honor one of our wonderful students by sharing their passion for yoga with you.
You could be next!
Scroll down to learn more about your fellow yogis.
September 2017 – Student of the Month – Nancy Graybeal
I am so honored to be selected as Student of the Month for Cary Hot Yoga. I started practicing yoga about a year ago. I found my way to yoga when Cary Hot Yoga opened close by and thought it would be fun to give it a try! I like Bikram 90 yoga because it allows for deep practice and repetition of poses. The most challenging posture for me is Triangle – maintaining balance and working the lungs and heart at the same time. My favorite posture is half moon, it really helps to limber up the body and get moving.
Yoga has improved my life in so many ways. I have more energy and focus. I feel stronger and am seeing improvement in my balance. My goal is to practice yoga five days a week – I am usually able to at least make four visits a week. I try to practice poses at home frequently as well.
When I am not on the mat or working you can find me spending time with my dogs, working in the yard and spending time with my neighbors.
What I love best about Cary Hot Yoga is the kindness and patience of the instructors. It is great to see other students and know that we are all preacticing, learning and growing. Hoa and Jeff are wonderful and have helped me stay focused on my practice. The one tip I would give to a new student is to give it a try, it makes you feel that you have accomplished great things!
August 2017 – Student of the Month – Dea Tancharoen
Growing up in a Buddhist family, practicing the spiritual and mental disciplines of yoga have always been major parts of my life as the teaching of yoga presents in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. However, I did not begin practicing the asanas until 2006. At the time, my work life consumed me and my life was completely out of balance. I was overworked, overeating, and overstressed.
I was working as a Strategic Consultant in Bangkok, Thailand. On average, I worked around 80 to 100 hours a week. I barely slept or did anything else. It was my first job and I was young. All I wanted was to excel at my work, and to earn more and more and more. I did not realize that I was, in fact, having less and less—less time for friends and family, less sleep, less nutrition, and less spiritual connection with myself.
I started to go to yoga class in the morning before work. Although I did not have much sleep the night before, I felt better during the day after the class. It was only in that 90 mins that I felt the time was completely mine. Those 90 minutes were the only time out of my 12-16 hour workday that I had for myself—to exercise, to breathe, and to meditate on me… for me. I began to make time for more classes. My health gradually improved, and I started to see significant changes in both physical and mental health.
Occasionally, I would do Vinyasa flow or try other styles of yoga; but I normally practice Bikram style yoga. I was so happy when I heard that Hoa was about to open a studio in Cary. I counted the days waiting for the studio to be opened. The studio was worth waiting for! Cary Hot Yoga is an amazing studio. It is beautiful, clean, spacious, and sophisticated. The hot room is one of the best hot rooms I have ever been in. I love CHY community. People here are kind and supportive. Hoa is a great teacher who loves to teach, provide tailored advice, identify individual students’ challenges, and continuously educate herself: all the most important characters of being a teacher. You can find me here at least 5 times a week. I just love this place!
My favorite posture is currently Rabbit or any spine stretching postures. I could feel the vertebrates stretching in Rabbit. Especially after a good Camel, I could feel warm blood rushing through my veins along my spine. It feels wonderful. My most challenging posture is Savasana. Some people find this answer surprising. As for me, Savasana is the most difficult posture to improve and maintain. I feel that I can improve other postures when my flexibility and endurance improve; but in Savasana, it is almost all mental. To give in to a complete relaxation is difficult. The mind fluctuates depending on my moods, my practices, my physical condition on that day, or my memories that come up in my mind in that moment. Having true Savasana is the most challenging thing for me.
I love to travel and experience new cultures, new languages, new foods, and new people. I also love outdoor activities, cooking, gardening, running, arts and drawing. When I am off the mat, you may still find me here at CHY. I am working hard to become a yoga teacher for Bikram style yoga. I also will start the aerial yoga teacher training with Hoa in August. In September, I am hoping to begin my volunteer work with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving to take care of the seniors in our community. I am excited to begin this journey and new experiences! Other than classes, I usually spend time with my Shiba Inu pup, Makkuro, and my husband, Jimmy. Makkuro and I spend a lot of time together at Harenhaus K-9 Dog-and-Handler Training where we enjoy playdates with Aipa, a cadaver K-9. Makkuro’s favorite sport is Nosework, a mentally challenging yet relaxing activity with many of the same benefits as my yoga practice.
What is one tip you would give to a new student that has never tried a class at Cary Hot Yoga? Walk in and try it! The teachers, the studio, the classes, and the community we have here are incredible. Be hydrated, and be present! Let this be your gift to yourself.
July 2017, James Richardson
James M Richardson is a private wealth advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services. James has 26 years of experience and wide range of knowledge and commitment to help clients navigate their road to retirement. James applies the same experience and commitment to his yoga practice at Cary Hot Yoga. James inspires other students and even teachers with his dedication and growth over this last year.
James has diligently fits his yoga practice into his life on a regular basis and it has paid off. Since last year, James started practicing the Ghosh’s Intermediate level and found his fountain of youth! If you really want to know your true age don’t look at your birth date, or your reflection in a mirror, instead gauge it on the flexibility of your spine! In yoga age is measured not in chronological years but with the saying: You’re only as young as your inner yogi. And the best part is, you are never too old to start!
So if the years are encouraging you to reach for the potions and pills, you don’t look too closely at yourself in the mirror anymore, and it feels like your body is beginning to wonder… now is the time to re-start of begin your yoga practice.
Yoga keeps you young in the only way that matters: young on the inside. When you’re young on the inside, meaning healthy organs, healthy joints, healthy nervous system, and most importantly a healthy outlook, you will also look young on the outside – You glow from the inside out. You embrace every new day with wondrous expectation. You jump out of bed happy for the day to begin. You often laugh out loud and see life with a childlike wonder. It is the way you LOOK at the world.
You can meet James at Cary Hot Yoga’s Intermediate Class each week!
June 2017, Leigh Ann
Yoga was introduced to me in my childhood as a way to relax, calm down, and sleep well. I remember doing Rodney Yee’s VHS tapes at as young as 10 years old. After trying a variety of yoga classes over the years, I stumbled into my first Bikram class probably sometime in 2009. It was hot, it was hard, and I definitely thought I wasn’t going to make it out alive. I can’t say it was love at first sight but I was definitely intrigued. I thought that anything that made me sweat that much had to be good.I felt like it was just what I needed.
Mentally and physically. I moved to NYC that year to start grad school and NYC was full of Bikram studios. You could find a class at every hour of the day. Eventually, I found myself going everyday and completing 30 day, then 90 day challenges. I was hooked!
Today, I still consistently practice Bikram method at Cary Hot Yoga. I love the CHY community of yogis but my favorite thing about the studio is how clean it is. This is the only hot yoga studio I’ve practiced at without at that “hot yoga smell”. You can find me in the hot room at least 4 times a week. Maintaining a consistent Bikram practice has brought both physical and mental health benefits to my life. Those benefits include weight loss, building strength, toning of muscles, increased endurance and flexibility, increased energy, and overall general sense of well being, happiness, and confidence. Any insecurities or body image issues I have had I have been forced to look by accident. Staring at yourself in front and side mirrors in minimal clothing for 90 minutes will do that. This is what I love about Bikram. Although the sequence remains the same, I continue to find ways to go deeper not only in the posture but within myself. This is my 90 minutes of mindfulness, a moving meditation. It has allowed me to really find and embrace my true self.
My favorite posture is really anything with a deep backbend. The first backbend in the half moon series and camel are definitely two postures I love. Back bending feels so good. The most challenging postures for me are triangle and toe stand. In triangle I am still working on the proper set up, alignment, and not over twisting or collapsing. As for toe-stand, finding my balance has been quite the challenge. My advice for new students is drink lots of water the day before and the day of the class. Also don’t give up, keep coming back (consistency is key) and try not to compare yourself to the others in the room. This is your yoga practice not a competition.
Off the mat I work as a LCSW in Duke’s emergency room. When I’m not working I’m enjoying the company of my partner, Matt, and my wonderful friends and family. You can find me hiking the trails at Bond park, Umstead and out in Western NC. My other hobbies include traveling, cooking, re-purposing/re-upholstering old furniture and other Pinterest projects, window gardening, reading, and streaming a good Netflix or Amazon show.
I look forward to seeing everyone in the hot room soon, namaste.
May 2017, Suzzie
I started practicing hot yoga in 2007. I had 2 adorable little kids at home but I needed a mental and physical outlet – and Bikram Yoga Richmond was right across the street from our house! I’d been a runner and triathlete in the past but hot yoga was it for me – I immediately fell in love with the practice. I’ve tried different yoga styles over the years but I’ve recently come back to Bikram – it’s kinder to my body as I get older and adjust to some arthritis issues. After all these years, Half Tortoise is still my most challenging pose (one day my forehead will touch the floor – I just know it!) And Rabbit is my favorite – just because it feels so good after Camel.
I try to get to yoga at least 3-4 times a week. It makes me feel good/better/great every single time. I love Cary Hot Yoga because it’s GORGEOUS, spacious, and just the right temperature. The hot pilates and bikram classes are my favorite but my daughter and I also like Family aerial yoga. When I’m not at the studio, I’m spending time with my amazing family, doing my job (software test engineer), reading, or working outside in the yard. Life is good.Share