We are feeling the love this month at Inspire Yoga! And we love these TWO Inspiring Yogis! Sarah Dunham (our official first member of Inspire Yoga Grapevine) and Bruce Dunham, her father in law (and Founding Member of Inspire Yoga Colleyville) share more than just a last name. Sarah introduced Bruce to Inspire and we couldn’t love his can-do attitude and sense of humor more! They now share an appreciation for the practice that has given them a new way to connect. Read their story and learn why they are our Inspiring Yogis of the Month!
Over the past 12 years, yoga has been there for me in various seasons. While my practice has not always been consistent, I have never been able to stay away for too long. I was first introduced to yoga as cross-training while playing sports to increase my strength and flexibility during the off season. As I spent more time on my mat, I fell in love with the restorative benefits of the practice.
“When I step onto my mat, the distractions of the world melt away.”
Yoga not only offers me an escape but an opportunity to ground myself so I feel ready to face the challenges when I step off my mat and back into the world. This has mattered more than ever this past year (you may be thinking the global pandemic, but that’s not all) as I welcomed my first baby, Theodore, into the world. Learning to be a mom has been no easy feat, so I am thankful for the space yoga offers me to relax and prioritize my personal growth.
I first joined IY Grapevine when they were just opening, only a few months after moving to the DFW area from Denver. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to start to make this new place feel like home. Inspire Yoga offers a welcoming community unlike any other studio I have encountered.
Being a part of this studio has provided me with a safe space to learn and grow in my yoga practice – I feel confident and comfortable in doing what is best for my body and pushing myself to try new things. The instructors have encouraged me, challenged me, and supported me in elevating my practice to new levels I would not have dreamed of achieving on my own.
I think it’s ironic that I am sharing my “yoga experience” as it has been such a huge paradigm shift for me. For the last 40+ years, I have considered myself an athlete; and, for years, I considered yoga to be more of a spiritual/philosophical journey done by hipsters or men sitting cross legged on mountaintops.
I have participated in numerous sports, both individual and team. Whether man vs man in competitive swimming and ball sports; man vs nature in hiking, biking and climbing; man vs himself in running marathons or man vs beer in mini-league softball, I was never the best. But, by never giving up, never giving in, I could always compete.
It wasn’t until my early 50’s that my body sent clear messages that I could no longer power through it. I got injured more often and recovery was long, and not always complete. My balance was slightly off… nothing major, but I knew that my body was changing, that I was aging. And after years of sitting at a desk, my historical inflexibility got worse.
I now have 3 grandsons and being an active part of their lives is important to me. Even with the knowledge that yoga could well address my injury recovery, my balance and my flexibility, and realizing that it was accessible for everyone, I did not pursue it.
When my daughter-in-law asked me to join her, that pushed me over the edge. Sarah had been doing yoga for years and has had a very positive experience with Inspire Yoga since joining the Grapevine location a few years ago. When the Colleyville location was opening, she invited me to come and try yoga on the grass. So I did.
“I found that my weaknesses weren’t that weak (and frankly, nobody cares), and that the yoga experience wasn’t that weird.”
So, I decided to keep an open mind. Sarah asked me to join her a couple more times and, much to my delight and surprise, I enjoyed it.
In the few short months since I started – going on 4 months now – I noticed a difference. I’ve developed some new lingo, new strength and a better understanding of my body. I am still trying to learn all the names of poses, trying to figure out the flllooww, trying to not fall, trying to not complain that’s it’s too hot. But mostly I’m trying to learn that I am not competing, especially not with myself, and that not everything requires that I just power through it. I guess it’s a relief to know that we refer to it as a “practice.”
Four Communities to Inspire You
You can find Bruce and Sarah practicing at our Grapevine and Colleyville studios Inspiring those around them. Or share time with family and friends at our other studios in Denton and Highland Village/Flower Mound. Who knows? Your time on the mat might just spill over into your family in ways you wouldn’t have imagined.