30 Days With the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse

yoga studios
What does a funky buddha, a bohemian vibe, and Eastown Grand Rapids have in common? The makings of my new favorite fitness regime. I recently discovered a $30 Groupon to try a month of unlimited classes at the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse. I live a few miles from their Eastown location, so I figured, why not!? Despite my love for fitness, Yoga had taken a backseat to my HIIT and strength training workouts. Thus, I decided to try something new and emerge myself in the full Yoga experience.

Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

I pre-registered for my first class, Power-Flow w/Music, with the Funky Buddha app. The app lays out the weekly schedule and is easy to navigate. I arrived about 10 minutes early and relished in the Bohemian-Esque studio complete with an artistic chalkboard wall, strung lights, and lively color. It was happy hour on Friday, so members were especially chatty and friendly. For an added touch, they burned a little incense and played upbeat, acoustic music–just what I needed after a long week.

Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

At the start of class, the instructor introduced herself and her assistant. She exuded a calm, helpful demeanor. We first settled into Balasana, Child’s Pose, and focused on our breathing. It occurred to me that I rarely breathe consciously and my mind immediately entered a quiet, calm awareness. Despite my lack of experience, I felt comfortable and invigorated. Within a minute of class, they cranked the heat and I braced myself for a sweaty mess. Thankfully, I came prepared with 2 towels: 1 to place over my mat and a bath towel to wipe off added sweat. As the heat intensified, I let my feelings of self-consciousness, along with beads of sweat, melt right off of my body as I focused on my practice.

Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

We spent the 1st part of the class in standing poses, then gravitated to poses either lying or sitting on our mat. The instructor gave clear, step-by-step directions throughout the entire duration. Finally, we ended with  Savasana, where you lie on your back, close your eyes, and breathe long and deep. I forced myself into a relaxed, meditative state and found my inner zen.  After an inspiring “namaste,” I walked away feeling energized and fulfilled. It was not easy, but it was one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. At this point, I decided to make Yoga a regular practice in my health and fitness journey.
Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

During my trial with Funky Buddha, I took 19 classes and was never disappointed. Two months later, I’m officially a member and striving to improve my practice. When I want to switch things up, I find a scenic setting outside or attend a community class. Since sticking with Yoga, I’ve increased my flexibility, strength, and coordination. Beyond the physical rewards, Yoga has also taught me to:

Embrace things both in and outside my comfort zone
Stay in the moment and be present
 Simply breathe and relax
Find new ways of approaching life

Funky Buddha is a gem in the Grand Rapids area. If you haven’t tried it yet, go for it! They have 3 locations in Grand Rapids, Holland, and Forest Hills. Sign up for new customer specials, check out one of their events, or take a class for beginners. Happy bending!

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