Jessica Tucker
Age: 25
Home: Fairborn
Time at Kai: 2 Years

I've Learned to Accept Myself 

What did you think about yoga before you tried it?

“I thought yoga was for women like those you see on yoga magazines and they were… sticks… super bendy... not me. I think I just thought it was too hard or that I was too heavy. I was stiff from lifting weights and doing other exercise so I didn’t think it was for me.”

What state (mind or health) were you in when you found yoga? 

“I was on a path to become healthier. I was weight lifting and doing other exercise, but I wasn’t well-rounded. When you weight-lift, you can become strong, yet immobile or inflexible. Yoga also brought flexibility to my body and a lot of peace of mind.”

How did it help you or what have you overcome through yoga?

“When I started weight lifting, it was funny how natural it came to me. Yoga is different because it didn’t come natural, but I eventually was able to do things I never thought I would be able to do; like I can do a headstand now — I’m 200 pounds and I can do a headstand!

Yoga teaches you patience too. I think yoga made me well-rounded physically, but also mentally and emotionally because I learned to be more patient and accepting of myself.”

What surprised you about how yoga helped? 

“I never considered myself a patient person... at all. I always felt like I needed to do all the things all the time. Yoga ended up allowing me to let that go. I'm in a much healthier frame of mind.”

How does yoga continue to change your life for the better?

“In so many ways. The yoga studio is probably the one place in my life I like to be (other than home). It really brings me a sense of peace. School, work, and life happens and it's mostly stressful — both Kai Yoga Studio and practicing yoga is very calming.”

What brought you to the Kai Studio versus others?

“I used to drive past here. There were a couple other studios I’d drive past too, but I looked at the space and it just… seemed like where I wanted to be. When I came in, I met Sonja. She was so nice. Some teachers kind of force your practice while Sonja just says, ‘Do what you can.’ You know, push yourself, but don’t hurt yourself. So after that, I knew this was the place.“

Is there anything you enjoy most about the Kai Studio that keeps you returning?

“I’ve gone a couple other places, but they just aren’t the same. I think people can be easily deterred sometimes when the place isn’t right or doesn’t feel right. But I think the difference between here and other studios is that it feels like family, you know? And that’s a lot for me, to feel included, it’s an accomplishment.”