Student Spotlight: Bethany VanderSluis

Student Spotlight: Bethany VanderSluis

Yoga Heights is made up of students who are fascinating people.  We are excited to introduce you to them one by one via the blog!   Meet Bethany.  She has taken more than 400 classes at Yoga Heights since her first visit in September 2015.  Bethany also graduated from the Yoga Heights Yoga Teacher Training last May and she is our newest addition to our teaching team!     Yoga Heights: Why do you practice yoga? Bethany:To challenge myself mentally and physically. The challenge always depends on the day, is it the challenge of calming down my mind or tuning into my body or to try something new and not be afraid to fall on my face.   YH: Tell us about your first experience at Yoga Heights. B: My first class was fusion flow with Amy and it kicked my butt!   YH: What classes do you go to at YH and why? B: I mostly go to 4:30 classes. The teachers are great and the class are right after I get out of work. I also love Rocket and take it on Sunday nights to push my myself in my practice.   YH: What do you do when you’re not on the mat? B: Working as a social worker in DCPS, gardening, cooking, and hanging out with my friends and family.   YH: Where did you grow up? B: Grand Rapids, MI   YH: What neighborhood do you live in now? B: I have live in Petworth for three years.   Make sure to say hi to Bethany if you see her in the studio.  She’s usually...
Meet Beth Roessner, a.k.a. The Rungry Health Coach.

Meet Beth Roessner, a.k.a. The Rungry Health Coach.

Meet Beth Roessner, a.k.a. The Rungry Health Coach.  Beth is the guiding force behind our Yoga Heights Run Group, and a pretty inspirational lady.  She is deeply passionate about nurturing all aspects of health. But she’s also super cool about balance – as in sometimes the right food for the soul is a burger, sweet potato fries and dairy-free ice cream.  She will be contributing to the YH Blog with health and exercise tips and tricks based on her expertise as a health and running coach!  Here’s a little interview to help you get to know her:   YH: Beth, can you tell us a bit about your own wellness routine or habits?   B: Fueling is incredibly important to me, and I strive to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and high-quality proteins. (I’m primarily vegetarian–no cheese, some fish.) Most meals and snacks are cooked at home, and it took a lot of practice to get me there. I’m a firm believer in everyday movement, and try to incorporate some form of movement everyday–a lifting session at the gym, yoga, a morning run, an evening walk. I also try to practice a lot of compassion toward myself. After years of having a tumultuous relationship with my body, I’ve stripped myself of the “all or nothing” mentality. I now give myself grace when I eat a bit too much ice cream, skip a workout or have an extra beer. I go for progress over perfection. Those three things are my most important habits.     YH: What brought you, a serious runner and health coach, into...
5 Reasons Every Woman Should Train in Self Defense

5 Reasons Every Woman Should Train in Self Defense

I wish I could say I was always a self confident, black boot wearing, boxing glove carrying, badass woman, but the truth is, that is far from the truth. I was extremely shy growing up.  I was always afraid and did not feel safe in the world. I remember in my early twenties having reoccurring nightmares about men breaking into my house at night and doing awful things to me. I would wake up terrified, my breath shallow, not able to go back to sleep. I even called the police once, because I swore someone was downstairs in our three story DC group home. There was no one there. In addition, I was a bleeding heart, who constantly put everyone else’s needs before my own in the name of compassion. It would be correct in saying, I suffered from the “need to be needed.”  If someone asked me what I wanted to do, my response would often be, “I don’t care, whatever you want.”  I unconsciously did not think my opinion was important enough to validate making decisions.  The “little girl” in me was tender, highly sensitive, and wept for the world.  These are beautiful qualities that I hope to always nurture. My vulnerability and gentleness created a bridge connecting to other peoples pain, but I was swallowed by my own suffering of how to set boundaries and traverse, a very real, harsh, not always nice world. Fast forward to today.  I am still often afraid, but I have a strong desire to move towards my fear, especially when it’s visceral.  I know this is good medicine and will...