Student Spotlight: David Gard, kOMpose for kOMen.

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Join us and Pink Tie Guy, David Gard, to raise money for Komen Central Indiana! All proceeds from this special donation class will go to the Susan G. Komen Central Indiana Pink Tie Guy campaign. Yoga in Holliday ParkSaturday, August 12, 4:00 PM.

2017 Pink Tie Guy – David Gard

What was your reason for starting yoga? One of the personal goals I set at the beginning of 2017 was to complete a half-Ironman triathlon in the summer. During the winter months, I decided to start practicing yoga as a means to complement my training regime – especially on cold days that made swimming, biking, or running difficult and unappealing. Adding yoga to my regular routine helped notably to increase strength, flexibility, and agility. Anyone who mistakenly perceives yoga not to be an athletic workout simply hasn’t tried yoga yet.

When did you start practicing yoga at kOMpose? My first exposure to yoga was through attending a few Bikram hot yoga classes. While the classes were fine and served their purpose, I soon found myself wanting to explore greater variation in my practice with deeper emphasis placed on the “yoga” itself and less on the “hot” aspect of it. After trying a couple of other studios, I started practicing at kOMpose in March. I immediately felt kOMpose provided the most comfortable fit and experiential learning environment for me. The studio space is pleasant and inviting, the location is convenient and appealing, classes are just the right size, and the staff are all friendly and knowledgeable. Each instructor is first-rate and offers classes reflecting their own unique individual teaching perspectives and practice styles.

How have you benefitted from your practice of yoga? From the standpoint of my triathlon, practicing yoga definitely made a measurable difference in terms of my results. My finishing time was incrementally better than what I’d anticipated and my post-race recovery period was much shorter. Surprisingly, I really didn’t have any resulting muscle soreness or tightness afterwards. I think those benefits are directly attributable to yoga. Beyond providing athletic advantages, yoga has resonated with me in other ways I didn’t expect. I’ve come to appreciate the holistic aspects of yoga and the total impact it generates physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yoga both challenges and rejuvenates me at the same time. There’s no greater feeling of accomplishment than learning to hold a difficult new pose. However, learning to be able to clear my head and to be present in the moment (not thinking about the past or the future) while on the mat has undoubtedly yielded the greatest personal benefits of all.

Do you have any “meditations from the mat” moments that you would like to share? I realized I was becoming “hooked” on yoga when I began to look forward to my next yoga class or practice much more eagerly than I did to my next swim, bike, or run workout. However, I’ll readily admit I had a degree of trepidation initially about starting yoga practice at kOMpose: I was worried that I’d be the only guy in the class and that I’d look awkward being new to yoga and inexperienced by comparison. Looking back now, I realize how silly and unfounded those perceptions actually were; the studio and the universal yoga community are all very welcoming and inclusive. Today, I feel comfortable calling myself both a yogi and a member of kOMpose’s “Purple Posse.” I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet and know other yogis through my practice.

Why did you become a Komen pink tie guy? My mother is a 20-year breast cancer survivor. During her 24 years serving as an Indiana State Senator, she made invaluable contributions advancing women’s health issues. Inspired by her legacy of service and lasting impact, I also wanted to make a meaningful difference in waging the essential fight against this dreaded disease that has affected so many mothers, daughters, wives, and the families that love them. I want my two young nieces to only know of breast cancer from reading about how it was cured.

Why did you choose to use yoga to help raise money for fighting cancer? To me, there are some clear parallels. Essentially, yoga focuses on channeling the power of one’s inner strength and energy – things that those fighting breast cancer and their families must do every day. Yoga also promotes and stimulates healthy outcomes – something that those fighting breast cancer and their families are similarly working hard to achieve. Additionally, kOMpose has been a longstanding active participant in the fight against breast cancer – it made obvious sense to join forces in the pursuit of similar goals. I’m extremely grateful for kOMpose’s partnership and support.

Anything else you want to share? Perhaps the most enduring result of my triathlon experience is that it opened the door to me for yoga. Even though my triathlon is now complete, I have continued my practice. In fact, I can envision yoga being a lifelong practice for me going forward. In short, I’ve become a true believer in the power of yoga. Although I feel as though I have an aptitude for yoga and have made great strides in a brief span, I also realize that I’ve only just scratched the surface and still have infinitely more to learn – which is both exciting and humbling.