5 years ago I was a mess - and not a hot mess either. Just a plain old, regular, run of the mill mess.
Forget about trying to find unflattering before pics of me on FB from back then. I make a habit of either deleting or untagging myself in those and I'm definitely not going to start uploading anything like that here and now.
I was eating the junkiest of junk food. Downing 4-5 coffees a day on average. And, most importantly, I hadn't exercised regularly in about a decade.
Then I started taking yoga classes at a studio near my house. That's where I first met Deb Cunha. (My sister wants me to mention that originally it was her idea for us to start taking yoga at that studio. What. Ever.) After a few classes with Deb - more athletic than I'd imagined yoga would or could be - I was hooked. Now, as anyone who's ever taken a 'Deb yoga' class (Yes, we yogis refer to it as 'Deb yoga'.) might tell you, she's fond of stuff like planking, but at that point, I could barely hold a plank for even 3 seconds (Love her, BUT not going to lie - I was cursing her). There was something though about her challenging yet supportive energy (That's yoga lingo for her teaching style.) that made me want to hang in.
Also, the more 'Deb yoga' I did, the less I wanted to continue to live on a diet of bagels with butter, french fries, muffins, cheeseburgers and gallons of coffee. I was feeling fantastic and wanted to keep it that way. 2 words - Healthy Eating. (2 more words - Whole Foods, but that's another blog for another day sometime soon.)
So, that's exactly how Deb saved me and how I became brave enough to put on a bikini for the first time since age 6.
Yes, there's definitely something inspiring and dynamic about Deb that not only drew me to her classes, but also caused me follow her to Pawtuxet Village, where she opened her own studio - Essence Yoga - 2+ years ago.
Hanging with Deb in the Village. Pretty, isn't it?
Now, this is the part where I say if you've ever been interested in trying yoga or you've been away for a while and want to start again, look up Deb and Essence. She's the real deal. And I'm not #justsayin that because we're friends now. I'm saying it because it's true.