From Spring 2015, being my last semester in high school, to Spring 2016, being my second semester  in college, I can see that I’ve changed greatly, and made many self- improvements and  self-actualizations. Although it hasn’t been very long, this previous year has been a journey for me to try new things, live for the future, and look passed the past. Being a senior in high school was certainly a stressful, yet fond, memory that I can always look back on. Filling out college applications and studying for the SAT and ACT to cramming in those last few finals before graduation was definitely a crazy journey. Throughout my senior year, I was probably known to be the most stressed, and also, the most emotional. There were so many things on my mind constantly because life was passing by too quickly, and I could not handle all the responsibilities, as well
as all the weight on my shoulders. I was in charge of running two important organizations, one being vice president of our high school choir program and the other being president of the Polynesian club at our school. Every week beginning January 2015, I had at least one meeting each day, meaning five meetings on weekdays, one dance rehearsal on the weekend, and several choir rehearsals throughout the week (all on top of my academics). Every single day, I felt so tired waking up, and I dreaded going to school because every “break” that I supposedly had, was never really a break; it was me constantly running across campus to talk to my director or my advisor. I kept going day by day, but I always felt like something was stillmissing out of my chaotic schedule. Unfortunately, I never knew what it was until about March or April of last year. Around that time, I started going to the gym, lifting, running, but most importantly: I began taking yoga classes both in the gym and at a studio.

As I began to practice yoga more often, I started to see results physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. To this day, I, personally, along with many people who have known me long enough, see a difference in my attitude that I have towards life and its struggles. Doing yoga has allowed me to be more aware of my surroundings, as well as understand myself and how I can better deal with problems. The jump from high school to college did not scare me or stress me out as many people anticipated because I learned how to manage change and accept it for the way it is. Yoga has given me the opportunity to be at peace with all parts of my life (school, work, personal, and spiritual) by calming my nerves and just spending time with myself, alone and away from outside forces. To this day, I practice yoga every free moment given to me, and I enjoy spreading the energy and the knowledge of its benefits to others, allowing them to grow and see their full potential.
Yoga has played a significant role in transforming me into who I am today, which totally sounds cheesy and cliché, but it is honestly very true when I look at myself in the mirror. Before I started participating in yoga practices and flows, my workouts would be very crazy, where I would need to blast music to get in “the zone” in order to beat my previous PR (personal record). Once I introduced yoga into my workout schedule, I felt more at peace and in sync with myself and my breath, giving me the strength and stamina to power through all my workouts.I attended my first yoga class over a year ago at 24 Hour Fitness because my friend, Angie, invited me to join her one night. Little did I know, I died that night – I had weak arms, weak legs, weak core, weak EVERYTHING. I woke up the next morning feeling extremely sore, unable to move different parts of my body comfortably, but it was THE BEST feeling in the world; knowing I tried something new and powered through it. I came back week, after week,month after month, and eventually, yoga was my new obsession. These yoga classes at 24 taught me, “One breath. One movement.” This allowed me to stay focused on my breath throughout each hour of class, clearing out my lungs and my mind. For over a year now, I have been consistent with taking these classes at 24, but I wanted to expand my practice and introduce my mind and my body to new things. My godmother, a fellow yogi, introduced me to her yoga practices in her life. She invited me to join her when she attended the LA Yoga Expo earlier this year, and she also introduced me to a new, very hot (literally) style of yoga: Bikram Yoga. Attending the LA Yoga Expo opened new doors for me, for I was able to experience different styles of yoga, and feel different energies throughout each class. However, what really opened my eyes was Bikram Yoga – a hot yoga class in 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 percent humidity! Being able to stay focused on my breath through one and a half hours of yoga poses gave
me the opportunity to share my positive energy in a room filled with people who had the same goal as me: inner peace.I look back on my life, and before this day, I see a lost, energy-deprived girl, trying to find her way and her purpose in life, but now, I’m not lost. I’m not stressed. I’m not sad or mad or angry or annoyed. I’m calm and happy, and I know my purpose in life. I have the strength to continue on and push myself to become a better version of “me.” Many say college is where people begin to see their true self and what they want in life, and I believe that to be true, but I also believe that practicing yoga, lifting weights, and focusing on myself and my body, really pushed me to find my inner self and purpose just a little bit faster. Focusing on ME and only ME has given me the opportunity to strengthen myself, physically and mentally, proving that I can only get better and not worse.