A close friend, and colleague of mine, Adrian Warren, was kind enough to lend his opinions on the importance of health. An EXTREMELY avid yoga-goer and teacher, he is so involved in the Nashville yoga community, and is able to shed a great light on that category of fitness, as well as share a compelling story on how holistic wellness changed his life, and will change yours.
Q: What do you do, and where can we find you?
A: Folks can find me at my Facebook page on social media. Right now I’ve been doing the 6am classes at Hot Yoga Plus on Elliston Place. Sumits on Monday and Thursday evenings. I teach for Small World Yoga on Sunday afternoons at 1pm at Harvest Martial Arts in Franklin.
Q: In general, why is wellness important to you?
A: Wellness is important to me for what mainly started as weight loss. Around 2010 I looked into a smoking cessation program and I found out I was type 2 diabetic when they ran some blood tests. My mom passed away due to being diabetic and not taking care of herself when it cames to diabetes. That time around I walked off the weight down to 180lbs, down from 256lbs. I followed the diabetic exchange diet food wise. I got off the meds and am no longer diabetic. You can eat your way into it and right back out of it. Its all about food choices and portion control.
I held the weight off for several years but got bored with the walking so I ended up putting it back on up to around 230lbs. I had just gone through my 2nd divorce. Some of my ex-wife’s parting words to me were please take care of yourself.
So after moping around for a while I got off my ass. I did a month of nothing but cardio. After getting bored with that I consulted with Ben Cheng (of Pepper Boxing) and he helped me come up with a weights routine. So I did weights + cardio for a while. I didn’t love it, but I did it because I needed to.
Ben came to me one day and said “Bro, your posture is fucked, you need to try some yoga classes” Now that may seem brutal, but it was honest and true. I’m an IT guy by trade so I spend my time hunched over a computer and smartphone most of the day. I had a Gold’s Gym membership at the time so it didn’t cost any extra to try the classes. I do not like fitness classes, at all. I tried Insanity and some classes like that and they just weren’t really for me. After a little more prodding from Ben I decided to try yoga for a week.
So I tried heated vinyasa 3 days a week and one hot 26 express class. I knew nothing about yoga other you show up with a mat and move your body into some odd shapes.
My first class they mentioned if you need some water, stop and grab some water. If you need a break, take a break, even just lay down if that suits you. I was thinking this is the best fitness class ever!
So I tried yoga, all heated for around a month, I changed jobs and could no longer hit the Gold’s Gym classes.
Kaci Wall and Rebecca Sparks, two of the instructors, mentioned Fahrenheit had a groupon to get 6 weeks for $69. They had some community classes on the weekend that were free and open to the public so I tried those and then picked up the Groupon.
I wondered how many classes I could take in 6 weeks because I like to get my money’s worth.
Q: Where is your favorite yoga spot, and why?
A: My home studio (currently closed) is Fahrenheit Yoga. That is where my heart is when it comes to yoga. Fahrenheit had different yoga. They not only had vinyasa and hot 26 but they had yin and Barkan. I had no idea what those were, but I knew I had to try them. I started trying to hit two classes a day most days. I think it was Kaci’s time slot that changed so she was no longer teaching the morning class I went to, and feeling kind of a loyalty to her like a personal trainer, it just felt off. She actually encouraged me to go take other instructor’s classes. So I started going to workshops and trying different yoga studios in the area. Once you get really into yoga, you’ll find you talk about it a lot. So you loop friends into going with you to yoga. Lindsay Dial, one of the yoga instructors I’d found I really sync’d up with, encouraged me to consider teacher training at Fahrenheit. Nora Shabayek, who owned Fahrenheit, mentioned I should look into it as well. So in less than a year’s time from the time starting my first yoga class I’d earned my 200hr yoga teacher certification.