Stefanie Roark
Baptiste & Yin Instructor

I first started yoga as an ‘at home’ practice in 2013 solely to get in shape because I simply couldn’t touch my toes. I thought, “Come on… you’re 23. This is ridiculous!” Before yoga I never did any sports, I mean NEVER. Growing up in Europe, we walk a lot. We climb stairs and ride bikes everywhere. I was still in shape, but in no way was I athletic. I was a straight-A student; the only class I nearly failed every year was PE. 

 

On a whim I decided to try yoga at home because it looked easy enough on Pinterest and Instagram. In a short amount of time I made progress and began to develop my own personal yoga practice. That made me feel really good.  My balance and flexibility improved almost immediately!

 

I walked into my first professionally led yoga class in May 2016, at Yarrow Hot Yoga. A friend of mine had invited me to come to a yoga class with him. I was thrilled and so thankful for invitation because at that time I felt really lost in Spokane, having moved to the United States from Germany in 2014. I hadn’t found a community of friends yet.  Everything was so different here. Learning to meet new friends as an adult proved to be more difficult than said. Let’s just say I watched a lot of Netflix with the dog and the cat at home.

 

I walked into Yarrow that special day in May, and all of these energetic, supportive, silly yogis were there. They made me feel welcome from the start. I instantly felt like part of a community again. I started practicing regularly, and gained confidence in myself. My physical health improved tenfold and I made new friends. In the fall I finished my first Yarrow Yoga challenge and found myself feeling better than ever both physically and emotionally. Since then yoga has become an integral part of my life. I began flirting with the idea of doing the teacher training because I wanted to pass on this incredible tool that helped me through a very transitional time in my life. Yarrow and this incredibly supportive community showed me that I can do great things if I just believe in myself. I graduated from Yarrow Yoga Teacher Training in July 2017 and I am finally doing what I love most, teach yoga!