Matt Helps Heal Himself and Others Through Hot Yoga

News | Oct 25, 2015

Matt hot yoga and addictionMatt Leyton was against trying hot yoga.

After years of channeling his athleticism into soccer and jogging, he said, “I just thought yoga was too easy.”

But thanks to his wife—and a free pass that got her to practice for the first time in another town with a friend—Matt now practices four to five times a week at Sterling Hot Yoga Lexington.

“I’m pretty much addicted to it,” he said.

Matt knows firsthand about addiction. “I was basically dying,” he said. “But I got clean, and I felt better.”

That’s been 28 years ago, and hot yoga has been part of his recovery process for one-and-a-half of those years.

“I’d been working out for 20 years,” he said. “But I’d never done yoga. I just thought yoga was too easy.”

After practicing with a friend while visiting in another town, his wife signed them up at the Lexington studio when they returned home.

That first class for Matt was anything but easy.

“It just killed me,” he said. “It was hard as hell, I didn’t like it and it hurt.”

But that was just the beginning. He practiced once a week, aware of the back pain he suffered from multiple car accidents. Within two or three months, the pain diminished.

Now a regular practitioner, he said, “I couldn’t tell you the last time I took ibuprofen.”

The benefits that Matt has received go well beyond pain management. He said he’s lost 15 pounds and gotten stronger. And that’s just the physical transformation.

“I’ve got more self-confidence, I’m more relaxed, I feel better and I’m happier,” he said. “It’s the wonder exercise—it fixes everything.”

Had it not been for his wife, he might have given up on hot yoga.

“She kept pushing me,” he said. “She knew it was good for me.”

Now that he’s been positively transformed by hot yoga, Matt is on a mission to share it with others. He regularly shares free class passes and encourages others to visit the studio.

“Matt is such a great ambassador for yoga,” said Jodi, owner of Sterling Hot Yoga Lexington. “He does a great job of bringing in people.”

Matt’s own road to recovery, plus his work with the Hope Center, which provides services for homeless and at-risk people in Lexington, makes him an inspirational example to others.

“His work is a life-changing and life-altering catalyst for change,” Jodi said. “He is also introducing change—healing and recovery—through yoga,” Jodi said.

A Stanford University study confirms that yoga is an effective complement to treating addiction.

Roy King, Ph.D. and M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, has studied the biological impact of yoga on drug abuse.

He found that dopamine is elevated when drugs enter the body and that craving for dopamine is what drives addicts to continue to use.

Practicing yoga and meditation, however, diminishes the dopamine cravings, which can help to curb drug addiction, according to the study.

Matt praised not only the hot yoga offered by Sterling Hot Yoga Lexington, but the atmosphere as well. “All of the teachers are so great, friendly, personable and willing to help,” he said. One of the teachers from the studio, Brandy, even teaches yoga once a month to the homeless at the Hope Center.

“It is our pleasure to hold space for healing for Matt through his journey in yoga,” Jodi said. “His practice is constantly evolving.”

Whether you’re looking to build strength, gain flexibility, reduce stress or you’re just not sure, hot yoga holds the promise of transformation for everyone.

Take advantage of our $30 for 30 days of unlimited yoga introductory special and begin your journey at Sterling Hot Yoga Lexington today!

“I’ve got more self-confidence, I’m more relaxed, I feel better and I’m happier,” he said. “It’s the wonder exercise—it fixes everything.”

“I’ve got more self-confidence, I’m more relaxed, I feel better and I’m happier,” he said. “It’s the wonder exercise—it fixes everything.”