Inspiration. Perspiration. Transformation.

I recently wrote a blog post called “Why I Hate Yoga,” and being that I am an avid yogi, it’s not surprising that this particular post got quite a lot of attention – some positive and some not-so-positive. I guess it’s good to get the conversation started.

Truthfully, I believe that there is no bad yoga. It’s all good. It’s just that I like some formats and some styles better than others. I think it’s wonderful that there are so many varieties of yoga, so hopefully whatever inspires you move your body and connect with your spirit, is available to you in some form or another. When you find yoga that speaks to your soul, you know it! That’s why yogis are so devoted to their practice. It’s more than fitness. It’s a mind-body connection, an intention that taps into the most authentic you, and a motivation to live your best life – on and off your mat.

Inspiration. Perspiration. Transformation. That’s what I want from yoga. That’s what I give to yoga. As a practitioner and an instructor, this is my yoga.

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Inspiration – it starts with an inspiration, maybe a small inspiration that says, “I’m going to practice yoga today.” That little inspiration comes alive the moment I step on my mat. The teacher says a few words to get me out of my head, away from the stress and to-do lists of my day, and into the present moment – focused, open, and ready. Throughout class, I am inspired to do my very best and give it my all. Yes, child’s pose is there for me, but I don’t need it.

Perspiration – inspiration turns to perspiration as I begin to move my body. The heat in the room, combined with my breath, warms me up and facilitates my movements. I do not want an easy class, and I don’t need any easy outs. I am here to push my limits and see what I can accomplish. I am strong, flexible, balanced, and focused. I am working hard, sweating, and loving every minute of it.

Transformation – I want the magic that happens on my mat to carry me through my day, my week, my life. I want to live an extraordinary life. I am on a mission! I truly believe that what you can accomplish on your mat, you can achieve in your life. I say “go for it!” One of the many things I love about yoga is that when you exhaust your body, you open your mind. There is no better time to do something extraordinary. Do something meaningful, and do it with purpose, with intention, and with an open heart.

One of my favorite yoga instructors in Boston was Michael. He delivered the hardest classes I have ever taken, and although he always offered modifications to make the postures more accessible, I never ever wanted to modify. I wanted to up-level! He made me want that. He made me want to be the best version of myself! I live in California now; but I wish I could still take his class! I try to teach the way Michael teaches. I try to always give my best self to my classes. I teach inspiration, perspiration, and transformation.

I want my yogis to know they are strong, that they can push beyond their limits, to know that what they can accomplish on their yoga mats, they can achieve in their lives. Go for it, because it’s worth it!

xo, Jo

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Joanna Meiseles is the founder of Turbo 26 Studio, a new concept in yoga coming to the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California this fall. Turbo 26 offers fast-flow heated yoga classes in 26-minute stackable intervals. Designed to deliver inspiring fitness-focused classes, Turbo 26 is demystifying yoga and making the benefits accessible to anyone willing to challenge their body and open their mind.

Prior to Turbo 26, Joanna created Snip-its, a franchised chain of hair salons for children. After building Snip-its to more than 60 locations in the US, Joanna put her skill and franchise expertise to work as a strategy consultant at iFranchise Group, the world's premier franchise consulting firm. A lifelong avid yogi, Joanna is now putting her energy into Turbo 26, a concept that she hopes to grow into a successful franchise across Northern California and then across the country.