Most evenings, you will find our December student ambassador front and center in a Flow class, the place he comes to unwind and recharge after a long day of work in construction sales. Josh Swayngim was born and raised in the Asheville area, and found his way to HYA nearly a year ago.
“I’ve always been health and fitness conscious,” Josh said. “After having open heart surgery in 2017, I went through a lot of lifestyle changes. After doing all different types of training and lifting I noticed my mobility had taken a hit. These mobility issues are what first drew me into yoga, but I soon realized that this is way more than just a workout regimen.
“Within the first few classes, after I was able to keep my head above water in Power Flow, I started to experience the mental health and stress management benefits that come from tuning into your breath. My job as a salesman can get stressful and comes with its fair share of pressure. Yoga has helped me overcome those stresses and get back in touch with myself.”
HYA: When did you first start practicing?
Josh: I began practicing last February, although I’ve always used the poses for stretching. I started because I was having continuous injuries from lifting weights and it was affecting my mobility. It was also exciting to start something that I had never really done before and jump into a new routine. My first class was Joe’s Power Flow class and it wrecked me. Not what I was expecting coming from an MMA/ weightlifting background and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
HYA: What is your favorite style?
Josh: Power Flow is my favorite style. I love focusing on connecting my breath and movement. It’s empowering to get through a class and the movements tend to light a fire within me. I love the music elements in a lot of the classes and how they blend together. I also feel the most at peace after a Power Flow class. I work a rather stressful schedule in terms of travel and it is a good way to end my day.
HYA: What’s your advice to a new student?
Josh: My advice to someone new to yoga would be to hydrate before class, start slow, focus on breathing, and rest if need be. There is no one keeping track and you can always rest when you need to. Try to stay present and in the moment as much as you can because your mind tends to distract you the most when things get hot, at least for me. Last bit of advice would be to show up because it’s all downhill from there.
HYA: What makes you love HYA?
Josh: I love HYA because it has a great welcoming community of people that are supportive and caring. I’ve learned a lot from the teachers, who have offered lots of advice and tips. Safety is prioritized, and because of my previous injuries, that is important to me. Everyone is just accepting and laid back and as a beginner I was given a lot of support and encouragement.