Meet Our YHC Batman: Russ is Wowing Us

February 2019

"Reach out and do something different with your life; go beyond your self-imposed boundaries."

All of us at YHC are dedicated to living large, right? Three of the principles that we live large here at YHC are: 1) fit body, 2) calm mind, and 3) inspired life. Our 30 Day Challenge presents our students with an opportunity to move forward in their lives in many wonderful ways. Take our student Russ, for example. Russ says that as a result of participating in the 30 Day Challenge he has a fitter body, a calmer mind, and a more inspired life. Awesome!

What's even more awesome is this recent and true story: Russ was having "a crappy day" at work one Wednesday. We all can relate to having crappy days at work, for sure. How can a crappy day turn into a good one? Well, sometimes WE can turn it around and other times we can't. Russ can. And Russ did. Because he was dedicated to doing the 30 Day Challenge, he went to an Iyengar class after his crappy day at work. What happened? He hung upside down. That's right. Upside down! Thanks to the skillful and soulful guidance of his teacher Maria, Russ was doing sirsasana (headstand) using ropes on the Great Wall of San Carlos. He was beyond thrilled about hanging upside down and his crappy day turned into a happy day. A Batman moment perhaps? Russ was so thrilled with his achievement that he sent photos of himself to his family and friends who were inspired by his accomplishment. So what? What's the big deal?

Glad you asked! The big deal is Russ and the bigger deal is his effort. After some major health issues and gallbladder surgery, Russ faced many physical challenges. Russ arrived at YHC around Labor Day last year after having fallen into a non-active lifestyle; as Russ puts it, "I hadn't done anything physically active for 25 years. I was teaching and coaching basketball for 35 years and got sedentary. I was concentrating on work." Well, now Russ concentrates on hanging upside down like a bat...or doing yoga asanas. Russ beams, "I concentrate and focus on what I'm doing. When I relax more physically and mentally, I do better. I'm very pleased with myself. I feel taller." It looks like our Batman, Coach Russ, has learned to coach himself. He says, "I did the 30 Day Challenge because I like to challenge myself, hold myself accountable, and reach a goal. I feel more comfortable every day. I improve a little each day." And that's no guano!

When I asked Russ how his life has transformed as a result of participating in the 30 Day Challenge, he reflected, "I have better posture and I feel more confident. I walk down the street standing tall. I feel good doing what I am doing. I want to look good and feel good." Here at YHC, we see the connections between having a fit body, a calm mind, and inspired life. Look at Russ. Amazing! He feels good in his more fit body, he responds to crappy days with a more calm mind, and he lives a more inspired life and inspires others with his feats of Batman-ism at his young age of...around 70.

But Russ is quick to point out that his growth is not all about his individual effort, no. Russ, the quintessential team player, adds, "I was lucky enough to fall into a great group of people and great teacher. Maria was very patient (and still is) with me, but demanding at the same time; not letting me slide into bad habits. Also, the group of regulars was so welcoming, encouraging, and reaffirming. They would tell me how they saw me improving and each time I did something that I didn't think I could do, they would high five me or give me a pat on the back. Their encouragement was a big part of my wanting to keep coming back."

Russ gets it! He knows from his direct experience that the team spirit at YHC is "a big part of YHC's success and popularity." With his light of inspiration, Russ offers these words to the YHC community: "Reach out and do something different with your life; go beyond your self-imposed boundaries."



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