My name is Paul, and I’m a producer and marketing manager at Body By Yoga. I’ve been working with Dean to produce our Body By Yoga DVD series. I like to think of myself as Dean’s friend, partner, and most importantly…his guinea pig.
I met Dean a few years ago, and as a result of our project, I’ve been doing yoga about 3 times per week ever since.
In attempting to create the best instructional yoga DVD series ever made, we knew that we would have to test, tweak, and perfect our workouts to truly fulfill our vision. Armed with Dean’s experience and professionalism with my almost annoying perfectionism, we created beta group after beta group to fine-tune our program.
Before taking our workouts to beta groups though, we first tested them on the resident guinea pig. Me.
I was a good tester. I was always the skinny kid but I started to put on weight in my twenties, and before I knew it, I was shopping larger and larger clothing sizes.
Work was tough. I was getting older. I had more responsibilities with less time. And I was in a difficult relationship.
Now I was sporting a “beer belly,” which my friends affectionately referred to as the “Dad Bod,” and though I was out of shape, I really wanted to get fit.
I had been doing yoga on and off with Dean to fine-tune our program for about a year, but I didn’t take it seriously until he rolled out his first challenge for Guyoga (also known as Yoga Boost).
At first, doing yoga was mostly about the work.
We were in post-production for Yoga Body Max, which is our more challenging yoga program. I had to keep up with our editor’s progress anyway, so I decided to take the plunge and join hundreds of other folks as we committed to doing yoga 5 days per week.
Soon after though, yoga became a habit. Then a necessity. And now, it’s something I feel really guilty about it if I miss a day.
Here is how it helped me personally:
Yoga has helped me establish a morning ritual.
I’ve never been a morning person. Day after day, I would set myself up for failure by swearing to myself that I would go on a long jog in the morning. But each morning, the thought of embarking on a long, torturous run when my body hadn’t even woken up yet, was enough for me to hit the snooze button, and break my own promise. Not only was it an unhealthy cyclical routine, but it hurt my confidence for the rest of the day…
How did Yoga change that? I read Dean’s blog post about morning rituals, and decided to follow it to a tee. I wake up. Make a coffee. I drink a whole glass of water while collecting my thoughts outside. And then I do yoga.
The thought of doing yoga didn’t seem as grueling to me. Exercises like chair pose and downward dog actually seemed to wake me up and get me warmed up for more challenging poses, and most importantly, it left me energized for the rest of the day!
Yoga helped my self-confidence.
I feel differently on the days when I compete a yoga session in the morning. My chest is stronger. My posture is better. My abs feel tighter. In the beginning, I would feel so good after just one session that I would even step on the scale afterward.
What kept me going was how differently I felt on the days when I skipped a workout. My stomach would bulge out more than usual. My shirts felt more constraining. I felt guilty.
Now you’d think that would be enough to motivate me to workout everyday, but I was sporting a “dad-bod,” for a reason! For me, it took the message boards on Guyoga to truly hold me accountable. I would get notifications every time someone posted on the Facebook Wall, and I saw countless posts from folks who were equally as tired, stressed, or even sick, who still completed their Guyoga workout of the day. There was no way I could miss a day when so many other people were doing it, so I found myself (sometimes begrudgingly) completing a yoga session in the evenings if I did miss one in the mornings.
Yoga was my gateway to getting back into shape.
One of the reasons that yoga was so attractive to me is because I’ve been sporting a low-back injury from a motorcycle accident a few years back.
I had always lifted weights to stay in shape. But these days, lifting weights would either aggravate my pain low-back pain, or would leave me so sore afterwards, as to prevent me from doing any other workouts for days.
Yoga helped me in two ways.
1 – Completing yoga workouts with Dean 5 days per week for two months helped protect my low back, which allowed me to start slowly lifting weights again by stretching out tight leg and hip muscles. It also strengthened my core since I was able to work my abs without doing sit-ups and other traditional exercises that would strain my low back.
2 – I started using the Yoga Body workouts in between days at the gym, when I would be out sore for a few days. I found that I could get an incredibly effective workout from yoga at home, and on top of that, I also started feeling energized enough after yoga to even go on a run.
I clocked in at 247 on the scale when I first started doing the Guyoga Challenge (and probably even more when I first started as Dean’s guinea pig). After just two and a half months of doing Yoga Body 5 days per week, I dropped down to 221 – though I am currently at 226!
Here’s what I found from doing Yoga Body almost every day.
The Yoga Body workouts were very hard. It was almost embarrassing to struggle so hard while recalling how Dean didn’t even break a sweat while shooting them on set! In fact, I could barely finish them.
That’s when Dean and I decided to create 3 different variations for the workouts in Yoga Body.
We didn’t want them to be discouraging, and we wanted them to be accessible to people like me, who might not be humble enough to call themselves a beginner, but who could benefit from a logical progression, starting with a Level 1, and then moving on to Level 2, and then Level 3.
And that’s what we did.
Yoga Body now has 3 different levels so that no matter where you are in your own fitness journey, you too can experience all of the benefits that yoga has to offer.
Everyone from weight lifters, to runners, to those recovering from an injury, and even us overweight beginners, can get life changing value from this program.
What’s your story?
I wasn’t too thrilled when Dean asked me to share my weightloss story on his blog, but I am glad I did (since now I have to stick to it!).
My clothes fit better. I’m seeing real progress in all of my poses I do. And I’ve even started dating again.
What’s your story? Send us an email or leave it in the comments! I cannot wait to read them.