Yoga Background

by tinareale on December 16, 2013

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Good morning! Did you have a good weekend? Ours was very low-key as three quarters of the household was feeling pretty junky. Peter and the kids have been sick all weekend. I can feel my body fighting it off, too. I don’t feel too sick, but I don’t feel 100% either. I just hope we’re all better by this weekend!

Anyway. Last week I shared about my decision to pursue a 200 hour yoga teacher training certification. I originally planned to include a little background as to why I was interested in this at all. Until I realized that made the post way too long and decided to hold onto that section I wrote for a later date. That works out in my favor since I’m not feeling 100% up to creating a Move It Monday workout. So the yoga background will be what you get this morning. Works for me. Oh, by the way. This blog won’t become a yoga focused blog but I do hope you enjoy some of the things I share along the way on this journey. Starting with my yoga background and why it has led me to decide to do teacher training. And…go.


I started doing yoga almost 4 years ago. After my fitness competition in early November 2009, I had to scale back a lot on my workout intensity, gain some weight, and get my body back into a regular cycle in order to try to get pregnant. My gym had a yoga class that I had previously always avoided, since I naively thought it wasn’t a “real” workout, but during this time I decided to give it a try. Yoga ended up being a perfect fit for that time of my life – a lower intensity way to exercise that also helped relieve some of the physical, mental, and emotional stress my body was under. I regularly attended 1-2 times per week and kept going once I got pregnant with Braedon about six or seven months later.


Once Braedon was born I fell in love with running. Running became my form of exercise that helped me appreciate my body for what it could do while also providing a sort of mental and emotional outlet in the process. I would often pray while running and enjoyed that physical and mental/spiritual connection in my workout. I trained for a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon, and then a full marathon. I kept going to yoga as a form of cross training and stretching during this time, but it wasn’t with the same regularity as before and would generally be once a week.

Fast forward a couple of years and a couple of stubborn running injuries, I started trying a combination of less running and more cross training – including more yoga. I began attending classes 2-3 times per week at my new gym that had a separate yoga studio included in the membership.


I began falling more and more in love with yoga. Over time, as I stopped training for races, I found myself naturally choosing running less and other workouts – strength training circuits, workout DVDs, incline walking, barre workouts, etc. – more. And yoga. Yoga was becoming my go-to workout. Namely because it was the only other workout that, like running, always left me appreciating my body for what it could do and giving me the mental, emotional, and spiritual outlet alongside the workout. Sure, I always loved any workout that I did…but, for some reason, running and yoga were the only two that connected me to my body in a different, more whole way.

I had been attending yoga at various studios since the beginning of this year, but never found one specific studio to call home. Then this summer, when I saw a Groupon deal come through for a studio down closer to Atlanta with rave reviews, I gave Red Hot Yoga a try. It became my yoga studio home and solidified my already 3-4 times per week practice into a 4-5 times per week practice where I couldn’t get enough.

Now that's HOT!!!We steam up the windows just a little, huh? [image courtesy of Red Hot Yoga]

I was learning something new every class – both physically and in the life applicable messages the teachers chose to present each class. Every instructor seemed to have such a giving heart and deep passion for sharing the love of yoga with others and the benefits of it, especially the studio owner, Bethany. In a short time, I gained the utmost respect for her and her instructors and what she presented in her studio – a safe, non-judgmental space that you couldn’t help leaving with a great love of self and others.

I have a thirst for knowledge for anything fitness related, so when I heard that Bethany offered yoga teacher training it intrigued me. But I didn’t think it was something I could do and I doubted if I was even ready for it. Then, I learned that the studio was offering the three trial teacher training weekends for those wanting to see what it was all about or for those just interested in treating it as a few yoga workshops with her. I figured it would be fun and I would get the chance to learn a few new things, so I signed up. The first one was what I attended this past weekend and the experience only solidified my desire to go deeper and learn more.

As I said before, it feels like a natural step for me and I know I would regret it if I didn’t go through with it. Do I plan to teach following? I would love to and will see where God takes me. {Side Note: Yes, my relationship with Christ is a part of my yoga. Some may not agree with that, but I think so many of yoga’s teachings are applicable even in my personal faith. I just filter them through the God of love and mercy I know personally. It works for me. And I expect many others won’t hold my same beliefs during training and that’s okay to me too. I’ll approach yoga how I believe I’m called to approach anything in life as a Christian – no judgment and just love, what yoga is about anyway. #sidenote} So, that’s the background.

I will take the six months of the program day by day, hopefully learning more than ever about myself, my beliefs, and my practice along the way. Then, one day, I would love to share what yoga has brought to me with others as well by teaching it. It’s just what I do – share the love of fitness and the positive it can bring to the whole self and the whole life. It has always been my goal as a trainer and with Best Body Bootcamp and will be a goal I continue to strive to achieve in years to come in this new way. As always, thanks for the love and support you give. Namaste.


1 Anna December 16, 2013 at 7:16 am

I love that you did not let a running injury deter you from still perusing a life of fitness. You found something that worked for you and your body. Thank you for not giving up because you inspire do many to continue to find “their fit.”

2 Caroline December 16, 2013 at 7:20 am

Awesome, congrats on taking the leap! I loved reading your yoga story.. I’ve had a pretty similar journey to yoga myself.

3 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Caroline! And I secretly wish I could get have you take some gorgeous yoga photos for my site someday. You’re an awesome photographer!

4 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) December 16, 2013 at 7:24 am

Oh I love this! It makes me want to get back into yoga. I keep meaning to start prenatal (I’m 19 weeks and miss it), but usually the not-hot classes leave me bored. I’m trying out a new studio soon so we’ll see if that helps!
Love hearing about your yoga journey!

5 MizBeAWalker December 16, 2013 at 7:28 am

LOVE this whole thing and–most importantly and why you will ROCK IT–is your thirst for knowledge coupled with your LACK OF BEING JUDGMENTAL.


6 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Thanks, Carla. That means a lot from someone I admire and respect so much. :)

7 Linz @ Itz Linz December 16, 2013 at 7:51 am

it took me awhile to “love” yoga, but now i most definitely do! i’d love to get certified someday!

8 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I think you would do GREAT at it should you ever go through it someday.

9 Brittany December 16, 2013 at 8:14 am

Congrats on deciding to do the 200hrs program. I just completed an intensive and it was amazing. I went into it thinking that teaching would be great, but it would also be just amazing to deepen my own practice. I came out thinking “I can’t wait to share this with everyone” it was such a positive experience! I hope you have a great time.

10 lindsay December 16, 2013 at 8:50 am

my love for yoga happened very similar. It brought me back to WHOLENESS. I needed to gain health back and scaled down intensity for my gut to heal. Little did i know how much i would GROW from it

11 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I’m constantly amazed at how much I have grown from it…plus I feel stronger and healthier than ever too. Well, at least when I don’t have the flu. Ha!

12 Tara | Treble in the Kitchen December 16, 2013 at 9:54 am

I am so excited for you to take this step!!! :) Good luck!!

13 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 16, 2013 at 10:53 am

I love taking hot yoga classes and wish I could afford to join a studio so I could go regularly! I try doing it at home but I just don’t have the patience, I’m not a fan of at-home workouts in the first place (for some reason the gym is so much more motivating!) so doing yoga at home is close to impossible for me to mentally get through. Hopefully I’ll have it in the budget soon to join somewhere!

14 Julie December 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Neat hearing about your yoga journey! I just recently started taking a vinyasa flow yoga class at my gym, and love it! It’s so nice to do something that doesn’t leave me hurting like running or other high intensity workouts did. I also like that mindfulness that is associated with it, and believe that it is teaching me to slow down!

15 Ang @ Nutty for Life December 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I don’t have a strong urge to get certified in any other fitness realm except for yoga. I am very new to the practice but I immediately felt drawn to it. I don’t know if certification will happen in the future, but for now I am going to continue to practice. I love that you mentioned the spirituality of yoga. Like you said, people may judge for that but I think ultimately you need to approach yoga in the way that works for you (as with most aspects of life) – if that means brining your Christianity into it, then that’s wonderful, in my opinion.

16 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Thanks! I do think the teachings can be applied in so many ways. And I wouldn’t be surprised if one day you found yourself doing the teacher training too if you’re already thinking about it. :)

17 Parita @ myinnershakti December 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

So excited to see where this takes you, Tina! You are such a huge source of inspiration. :)

18 Danica @ It's Progression December 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

This was so inspiring to read! You’re going to be a fabulous yoga instructor.

19 Kierston @candyfit December 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I love your story…and where it led you to…on this present day. You will be a fabulous teacher. xo

20 Heathers Looking Glass December 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

good luck girlie!

21 Marla-Deen Brooks December 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I discovered Red Hot Yoga about 18 months ago and fell in love with everyone there! It’s now my favorite yoga and I incorporate some yoga in my classes but nothing can beat Red Hot. I had shoulder surgery recently and was just cleared from my doctor so can’t wait to get back! I’d love to run into you there!

22 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Isn’t it such an amazing place?! We definitely need to try a class together sometime. I’m there often enough these days it seems. Haha! :)

23 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama December 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Over the years yoga has become a larger part of my life. The past 6 months, I’ve struggled to find time on my mat. My home yoga studio closed down and I haven’t found another that is a fit. My goal for the next year or two is to do the 200 hour YTT. It’s a big time commitment but it’s something that I feel the need to do. I’m following your journey!

24 purelytwins December 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm

this makes us want to really get back into yoga!!! we do miss it!

25 Maria December 17, 2013 at 12:13 am

So happy for you! I’d love to see a Tina Reale Yoga workout for BBB one of these days ;)

I practiced for about a year and then my studio shut down. I really do miss it and it made me feel…especially how yoga helped me love my body. Perhaps getting back into it is a good goal for 2014!

26 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I definitely have a yoga BBB workout in mind for someday! I won’t be certified until July but know I would love to add that component in some way to BBB. :)

27 Steve Grant December 17, 2013 at 7:07 am

exercise and yoga is really great for health everyone should workout in right way.

28 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast December 17, 2013 at 10:55 am

I’m so excited for you! And I can definitely relate to your “thirst of knowledge” comment… I love learning more and adding new skills. So cool that you’re taking this opportunity!

29 Jolene December 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I have loved watching your fitness journey evolve over the years and love that yoga is where you’ve landed of late. It seems to be the perfect complement to what you’re already doing and to BBB as well, and especially after your running injuries, it seems like this will also help strengthen imbalances etc too! You will be an awesome yoga instructor, you have such passion and stand behind the principles and that goes a long way in terms of standing apart from good vs great instructors! So excited for you!

30 tinareale December 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm

It’s still so crazy to me where its all lead. Although it has varied between heavier lifting to more circuits, I have loved strength training for a decade. Still love Cathe DVDs and the like for that long too. But so interesting how running and yoga became more the passions and the way it all has varied over the past couple of years. I am hoping yoga is to last for a long time to come! :)

31 Zoe December 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Very interesting! I am looking forward to hearing how you enjoy the training and what it does for you!

I totally, 100% agree with you about the spirituality component. Everyone I know that feels a strong connection with yoga filters the messages/ content through their own ideas and values system. I completely agree that each person’s values are comprised of all things and that yoga can be just one of those things. It is your personal relationship with your own spirituality (God, Allah, etc) that defines if yoga is involved too.

32 Dominique @ Eat, Pray, Lift December 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Thank you so much for sharing, Tina! I really appreciate your story because, like you, I always resisted doing yoga because it seemed like a “cop-out” form of exercise. Workouts don’t count if they’re not punishing, right?? :P After I got a trial pass at a local studio and took some power yoga classes, I had a much greater appreciation for it because of the spiritual and psychological benefit of the classes. Like you, I found that yoga was a wonderful way to feel more restored and more connected with Christ (even though not everyone has that experience). I don’t practice regularly because I can’t afford a full studio membership and I am still working on figuring out how yoga fits into my personal exercise scheme, but I look forward to incorporating it more with free podcasts etc…and I DEFINITELY look forward to hearing more about your teaching journey! Good for you for following God’s leading here!! :)

33 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf December 18, 2013 at 12:35 am

I love reading more about your yoga story. Mine was similar in that I started practicing as a way to cross train but then it started making its way deeper and deeper into my life, particularly after injury and it’s made me feel whole. And I really appreciate how you are approaching the spiritual aspect of it and I think that it’s a testament to what yoga is about.

34 Becky@TheSavedRunner December 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I loved hearing about your background with yoga! I definitely see how it can be a part of your relationship with Christ. I can’t wait to hear about everything you learn through this training. I am also always interested in furthering my education, especially about fitness related things.

35 Heather @ Better With Veggies December 20, 2013 at 8:19 am

I’ve always agreed with seeing yoga through the lens of Christianity. It’s a way of taking something that may not have started in our faith, but applying it there and taking it over a bit. If memory serves, that’s similar to why Christmas is when it is – I believe it was an existing pagan celebration? Anyway – excited to follow your journey! :)

36 Ashley @ Power, Love, and Self-Discipline December 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

Tina, thank you so much for sharing this. I have considered yoga teacher training myself, but have been concerned about the strong emphasis on yoga philosophy/spirituality in light of my Christian faith. I do hope you will share your experiences in that regard.

37 Tim C G February 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm

As a Christian I use yoga to exercise now and then. However, it is important to make sure you don’t practice under any teachers who teach any of the new age philosophies or religion (or should I say cult). We should only be renewing our minds through the word and not through deceptive new age mysticism. In ignorance it may sound good and spiritual, but remember that Jesus is the only true way to eternal life. “I am the resurrection and life, whoever believes in Me will live even if he dies.”

38 tinareale February 17, 2014 at 7:06 am

I respect that opinion, but also feel there is great ignorance in shunning the practice of yoga as a Christian or learning from teachers such as mine. There is great depth and beauty that adds to my own faith and relationship with God and Christ in my practice. Yoga us meant to bring a deeper awareness and appreciation of your own faith and is not a new religion to adhere to. In my studies I have witnessed just how exquisitely they overlap with Christ’s teachings. Things like complete love and service to all or recognizing the power and wholeness that comes in relationship with God. As well as things like nonjudgment. I apply all teachings through the filter of my relationship with Christ and share that relationship and live for Him openly so others can hear that message of love over judgment. It saddens me when the lack of understanding of yogas teachings causes judgment that only pushed away those who do desire that type of relationship with God and could maybe see Christ as the example. If shared in love instead of being told to stay away. I firmly believe in Christ’s truth and do not waver in my faith, but will choose to act in love even alongside yogus who do not know him. Because maybe they will then have the chance to see the truth of Christ instead of always having to feel judged for what they currently believe. That’s how I choose to approach it.

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