Phillip Ward, once an avid weightlifter and CrossFitter, was looking for something to soothe his low back pain when he found Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile.
“I was into weightlifting for about 10 years and began to practice CrossFit for a little over a year before I came to Sterling,” he said. “I started having discomfort in my lower back and thought that integrating yoga into my strength training routine would be a good way to relieve some of the physical pain.”
After just a few yoga sessions, Phillip said the pain went away. As he incorporated Iron Hour and Inferno Hot Pilates—some of Sterling’s popular strength-training classes—into his practice, he realized he found something special.
“I felt that I had found a routine that benefited the entire body—from head to toe, inside and out,” he said. “It wasn’t long before I cancelled my CrossFit membership and focused my time and energy in the hot room.”
Phillip has been a consistent practitioner at Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile for two years, and he took that dedication to the next level last year when he became a Hot Pilates teacher. Exercises in his classes are challenging, no doubt influenced by his strong fitness background.
Even as a student, Phillip has gained more from his practice than physical strength. “I feel stronger, physically and mentally,” he said. “I have more energy during the day (when I need it) and I sleep like a baby. My attitude is more positive, and I am a much more pleasant person to be around (especially in the mornings).”
The emphasis on the present moment in yoga or the concentration and focus in other classes have made an impact on Phillip’s mindset off the mat.
“Small things no longer bother me,” he said. “I approach larger obstacles in life with a clearer head and make much better decisions.”
A consistent practice, Phillip said, has led to him feeling “stronger, more confident and happier” in his everyday life, and he described those feelings as being “contagious.”
As a student and teacher, Phillip has diligently worked as an ambassador for Sterling, encouraging friends and family alike to attend classes and experience the positive benefits they hold.
After all, that’s how he got his start at Sterling in the first place. Thanks to one of his best friends who was a teacher at the studio, Phillip tried a class and has been practicing regularly ever since.
“When a class ends I am already looking forward to the next one. I find that I can hold a posture a little longer, I can balance a bit better, and I can breathe deeper into a pose with less effort in each class,” he said. “It just kind of clicks. I love it. It’s like a drug for me.”
Understanding that not everyone may take to the yoga practice like he did, Phillip did have some words of advice for new students. “Don’t give up after the first class,” he said. “To truly experience yoga, you may need stick with it for a while. You might find that it’s not your cup of tea, and that’s fine, but you’ll never know the benefits if you give up after one or two classes.”
Even if one class doesn’t resonate, Sterling has a variety of options, ranging from heated to unheated. Some classes are ideal for building strength; others are recommended for improving flexibility.
“Try to attend each one at least once to see if there is one class that suits you the best,” he said. “I find that each one offers a different experience, but they all fit together like pieces of a puzzle.”
To get started at Sterling, first-time students can take advantage of our $30-for-30-day introductory special. Sign up here to begin your yoga journey with us!