MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Alexandra Trowbridge is an art major and operates her own yoga business called "Amarie Yoga." In addition to her regular clients, she gives free classes to Wounded Warrior Detachment Marines.
I was born and raised in the desert but around my senior year of high school I moved to Santa Cruz, Calif. My dad settled there and it is absolutely amazing. It changed everything. Growing up in the desert is very different from growing up in most places.
The wellness community in Santa Cruz had a huge impact on me. They are very nutritious and healthy there because no one wants to have an ugly beach body. I learned a lot while I was there.
I moved back to the desert to start studying art. While I was studying art, I had my own passion, nutrition. I was addicted. I would constantly look up the new tests, studies and results to see what was going on in the nutrition side of things. It is very interesting to see how they compare what we eat today to what our grandparents were eating back in their day.
I have gone back and forth from Santa Cruz to the desert. I have had a love affair with the desert because it is a pretty place, very quiet and calming. But Santa Cruz is what shaped me as a healthy person.
I didn’t start doing yoga until I was 23. The first time I did yoga I broke a couch. I obviously wasn’t very good at it. My friend wanted me to do yoga and I didn’t want to do it at all. She was a very good teacher but after learning the first couple of positions, she wanted me to do a head stand. I thought I had it for a second but then I went straight over and landed on her couch with all of my body weight and broke it.
I think my first experience with yoga pushed me to continue doing it because I am a person who tries to conquer everything they do and that day, yoga conquered me and I didn’t like it. I wanted to get better so I kept doing it. Then, I started getting the benefits from it and figuring it out.
Yoga in the desert is very good because of how calming it is.
I like to volunteer for the Wounded Warriors because the military has a big influence around here. I am also trying to build my yoga business so by getting out and volunteering, I can get my name out there.
I try to do yoga every day, but realistically I only do it about four days a week when I am away from my classes. Yoga to me isn’t just a sequence that lasts an hour. Yoga can be just sitting down and not doing something for an amount of time.
Meditation is obviously a part of it, but sometimes I will wake up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, throw a robe on and just relax and breathe. I might stretch or I might not but that is yoga in my eyes. It has many different definitions, it just depends who you are asking. It trains you to be in the moment. I try to wake up and go with the flow. I don’t like having to feel pressured to do something.
Physically, yoga is good too. If I have a muscle that is bothering me, I most likely know a stretch for it. You are treating yourself and your body by doing yoga. The only two rules I have about yoga is that you breathe and that you don’t hurt yourself. Besides those two things, yoga has no set rules.
I would say if someone practiced yoga every day, their life would completely change. I can say it from experience. I didn’t start doing it every day until I received my training which was six months. I did yoga every day for six months straight and my life was changing before my eyes.
Your negatives soon become positives. It isn’t just about the workout, there is way more to it than that.
I noticed I wanted to teach when I taught the dance for "Thrill the World." It is when people around the world simultaneously dance to Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" on Halloween. I taught it the second year I participated, and I fell in love with teaching.
I love giving people their "light bulb” moment when they finally get something. I love being a part of someone’s success. Frustration is a very negative experience and helping someone get through that is amazing.
I have had an amazing journey through yoga. It will take you to a completely different world, but you cannot come up with excuses to get out of it. You have to stick to it. It doesn’t matter when you start. The effects will hit you immediately. Your body and mind will feel so much better and it will keep you younger. Yoga is truly amazing and it has made me who I am today.
If I had to sum up yoga in one word it would be breathe. If there is one thing you must do during yoga, it is breathing. Rhythmic breathing and controlling your breath is the key to success. Taking a breath will help you calm down even in the most stressful situations. Take a breath and relax. It will help. I promise.