Warrior of the Week: Megan Gruber

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My husband and I moved to Bellingham in 2009 to have and raise our magical child – I’m finding this is the most humbling and gratifying work I’ve ever done!  I’ve been practicing Buddhist meditation with my Guru, Lama Gelek, since the late ‘90s and I’m also a nurse practitioner privileged to serve our awesome community!  

How long have you been practicing at Flux Power Yoga? How did you know this was your place?

I’ve been practicing at Flux since May 2018.  I first came because a friend said I should check it out.  I stay for the meditation and community.  The instructors weave a weekly slogan with humility, humor, self-love, and kindness into the practice so succinctly that each day of practice becomes a beautiful tapestry.  It is a community in which one can be vulnerable, can peel off the layers, and be just who they are.

How has your practice evolved and /or what benefits have you gotten in your practice and in your life?

I’m not sure that I am best posed to say how or whether my practice has evolved but I can say that a commitment to daily methodical practice has opened up an opportunity to be present and to not do, to ride the wave of discomforts in life and not react, to understand there is no one to blame for adversity.

 Favorite pose and why?

Favorite pose?  Chair.  It’s actually what came to mind as my least favorite when asked this question AND it’s the one I learn the most about myself in.  My Guru says, “In order to grow we must move towards our fears and away from our attachments.”  I smile at myself in chair because every time I get into this pose, I want to flop on the floor and give up AND I choose to stay. 

Any advice for new yogis?

Return.  Come back again, and again, and again…come just as you are, let go of expectation, and just be here for this moment.  I can’t wait to practice with you in class!



 

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Warrior of the Week: Javon Smith

How long have you been practicing at Flux Power Yoga? How did you know this was your place?

After some starts and stops with my yoga practice over the last 15 years, I was invited by a member to attend a class at Flux and felt immediately welcome and safe. I signed up for an unlimited monthly membership the very next day and have been attending regularly since November 2017.

How has your practice evolved and /or what benefits have you gotten in your practice and in your life?

Injuries and surgeries had limited my ability to participate in cycling and other sports which brought me joy, and yoga was recommended a good way to actively rehabilitate my tailbone and hip. In the beginning there were many poses that I just couldn’t do, but the instructors regularly remind us to look after our bodies and modify whenever needed. Two years later I am practicing a 2-3 times per week and feeling stronger all the time. Yoga at Flux has become a stabilizing part of my life; my health has evolved from a healing stage to now maintaining wellness.

 Favorite pose and why?

It’s been a long road to simply be comfortable sitting on my tailbone again, so I’m most pleased to be getting stronger in boat pose. It’s a big deal for me! Warrior positions never make me fail to feel strong and focused. Even poses that look simple offer ways to keep pushing yourself.   

Any advice for new yogis?

As a new yogi, it really helps to remember that this is a practice — not a perfect. Do what you can. Show up and know that you will get stronger over time.



 

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Warrior of the Week: Crystal Simmons

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. I moved to Bellingham about 15 years ago to attend Western, fell in love with Bellingham and my super awesome husband of 10 years.  We have 4 amazing daughters! I am a stay at home mom by day, and an after hours emergency response social worker by night. I love snow, all of the coffee, campfires, and camping with my loves. 

How long have you been practicing at Flux Power Yoga? How did you know this was your place?

I’ve been at Flux just over a year now. I needed a place just for me, a place where I could fit in some self care solo time, and Flux quickly became my place! The weekly themes, the beautiful space where I can practice letting go, and the encouraging group got me quick! 

How has your practice evolved and /or what benefits have you gotten in your practice and in your life?

When I learned I needed to focus on my own body, and stopped comparing my abilities to everyone else, I gained! My mental health is better than it’s been since I started working for CPS, and I owe that to Flux! Applying the weekly themes into everyday life and good yoga breaths in stressful parenting, work, and life in general situations, has been very helpful with my overall sense of calm. This will be a lifelong journey for me.

 Favorite pose and why?

I love head stands! It’s a pose with so much room for growth, and one I never thought I’d ever get! Its also a pose that my 5 year old and I love to practice together. And…Savasana! Because it signifies that I came, dug a little deeper, and accomplished. Also, it’s the most difficult for me. I’m still working on shutting off to-do lists, schedules and focusing on staying present until after those closing OM’s! 

Any advice for new yogis?

Any advice for new yogis? This is your time.  Try to stay present on your mat.  Focus on you, the rest can wait while you take the opportunity to care for yourself.  If you focus on you, you will see gains both physically and mentally. AND have a little fun with it, don’t be afraid to fall out of place.



 

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Warrior of the Week: Leesa Parker

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Leesa! I’ve been in Bellingham for almost 20 years. I keep extremely busy with my two beautiful children (ages 2 and 4), supportive husband and 6 year old dog! I have a full time job outside of home and enjoy nearly every outdoor activity the PNW has to offer!

How long have you been practicing at Flux Power Yoga? How did you know this was your place?

I just had my one year anniversary at Flux! I knew this was my place when I found myself rearranging my schedule to make it to class almost daily. My friend Jen Fairey had started teaching the FLUX 45 at noon and it was just too perfect of a time slot not to come. The Bingo Challenge in August/September made me realize that it was possible for me to come in 5 days a week, when I made myself a priority. I found myself thinking, “I could do yoga before that…”, or ” I could go to yoga after this.” I love the heat, the weekly themes, and bold honesty and support of all of the staff and instructors here at Flux.

How has your practice evolved and /or what benefits have you gotten in your practice and in your life?

When I started, I made it in about once or twice a week, or skipped weeks because of one excuse after another. I always felt better when I came to class, so I started coming more. The more often I came, I noticed benefits both mentally and physically. I started to slim down, loose cravings and treat myself better. My emotional intelligence increased and I felt less moody and overwhelmed. Every week I notice improvements in each pose. I felt stronger at the start of this snowboard season than I have in the last 5 years!

 Favorite pose and why?

Every pose has their own strengths and challenges, but the wheel pose has been my strong suite lately. It reminds me of what is possible and what I can get out of the other poses if I practice and stop thinking about it too much. When I started, I could barely lift my head off of the ground and I dreaded it. I would fidget into position and stall, but now I’ve come to think of it as a strong ending to the sequence and lift myself up on the inhale before I can think too much about it. I give it my all, and then move on! 

Any advice for new yogis?

Listen to your body more than your brain. Your brain will tell you that you’re too tired, or too busy, but I’ve had some of my best practices on days I felt like not coming in. Give yourself grace and allow yourself to heal. Don’t overdo it to the point of injury, but push yourself and prove to yourself what you are capable of. 



 

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Warrior of the Week: Julie Batten

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a 66 year old retired educator of 40 years. I continue to speak up and show up for children and public education as well as issues around social justice. I spent most of my life feeling ashamed of my body. I was either too thin or too curvy. I would hide myself under loose clothing and body minimizing underwear (these garments need to disappear). I always have had my own unique style, and I know how to strut it, but I wasn’t true to who I am.

How long have you been practicing at Flux Power Yoga? How did you know this was your place?

Melissa entered my life in 2013 as a friend and mentor. I joined Flux in 2018. I knew it was my place because of the teachers, the studio/heat, the other people who ignite the Flux community with their kindness, generosity, humor and love.

How has your practice evolved and /or what benefits have you gotten in your practice and in your life?

 I didn’t start seriously practicing yoga (or any other healthy routine) until I was 64. The changes that I have noticed in my body, mind and my life have been profound. I have never felt stronger or more powerful. I celebrate the skin I’m in. I realize that my body is beautiful, a miracle…”I should have worshipped her sooner.” I walk taller, I don’t shrink away or hide my curves. I’ve never felt more vulnerable and courageous at the same time.

 Favorite pose and why?

 Asking me my favorite pose reminds me of when my students would ask what my favorite color was. I would always answer…all the colors! How could I live in a world without greens or blues or browns. As my friend Ben Mann says, “There are some poses that aren’t ready for me yet.” That’s how I feel. I do know that through practice the poses always feel different to me, whether I push through, or when I surrender, my power grows.

Any advice for new yogis?

My advice, SHOW UP. Paying attention to ourselves and others is the greatest act of love there is. Give yourself grace. I spent a lot of time in Child’s Pose and that’s where I return when needed. Taking part in the 40 day challenge also helped me to become more consistent in my practice. Know that you are a wonder.



 

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