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Meet Our October Student Ambassador: Janelle Fernandez

By September 30, 2022No Comments

Meet Janelle Fernandez, one of our rock star students who brings amazing energy to every class. You will find her in all kinds of HYA’s classes, from Hot 26 to Inferno to Flow.

HYA: When did you first start practicing?

JF: This October is the four-year anniversary of me starting hot yoga at HYA! I initially started practicing yoga to help with injuries, but ended up staying because I loved the challenge. I love the mindfulness aspect of yoga, and how healing it can be, not just for the physical body but for the mind and spirit.

HYA: What is your favorite yoga style/class?

JF: My favorite style of yoga is any yoga class I’m currently in. But, if I had to choose, it would be either Hot 26 or Hot 26 Plus. Sometimes I need a structured class to really connect myself to the moving meditation. I have struggled with mental health and eating disorders in the past, and my 26 practice gave me a safe space to confront myself in the mirror and accept my body as it is. This acceptance of my physical body over time became self-appreciation, self love, and gratitude for my life, my presence, and my happiness. Even on my bad days, putting down my mat feels like coming home. That said, if I’m feeling more playful and still want a good workout, 26 Plus is the best of both worlds. You get the structure of 26, but you can keep it playful if you want.

HYA: What advice would you give to a new student?

JF: My advice to a new student would be: Don’t be so hard on yourself. What your body can and cannot do will change over time, all you can do is show up. It’s tempting to give in to the idea that your body isn’t “good enough,” but yoga is not about the end result, it’s about the process. It’s about showing up. It’s about growth. Don’t take yourself too seriously and drink plenty of water.

HYA: What makes you love HYA?

JF: It’s so hard to point to one thing! I would have to say the community: the staff, the instructors, and the atmosphere they cultivate. When I first started my yoga journey, the HYA staff were the only other people I interacted with. Their smiles, words of affirmation and encouragement, and eventually their friendship has made HYA my home away from home. This community is truly like no other.