Yoga turned me into a yogi at Yogatown

I lie on my pink rectangular mat and close my eyes as I try to relax my whole body on the ground. The heated room warms my body as if I am underneath my blankets in bed.

“Relax your eyes and soften your face,” says my yoga teacher as she enters the room.

We all relax as if we’re in a trance and slowly get up from the mat to begin our yoga class.

During reading week, I decided to take on the 30-day challenge at Barrhaven’s Yogatown. What I thought would be an easy and relaxing challenge became a beneficial decision in my lifestyle.

In the beginning, it was difficult to juggle this challenge and schoolwork but somehow it became a form of de-stressing.

Tracy Billow, a teacher and owner of Yogatown, knew that yoga was a way to get her mindset out of her busy life and get to focus on herself.

“I feel like there’s this magical element of yoga,” said Billow.

She found that yoga helped her get out of depression and change a new aspect of her life.

Yoga made her feel more at ease on who she was, listening less to the negative thoughts and having the mat feel like home to her.

“It’s like stripping away all the crap and just remembering like ‘yeah, I’m perfect and awesome and great just as I am’,” said Billow.

A communication and media studies at Carleton student, Nicole Gonato, started doing yoga at the Barrhaven location when it opened up in September 2019.

“I figured that hot yoga would be the best, in terms of a lower intensity activity that will still keep me fit,” said Gonato.

The 21-year-old student heard that yoga was a way to help with her anxiety and stress due to school. Gonato struggles with joint issues and found that this would be a way to destress and work out at the same time.

“It gave me an hour to just focus on what I was doing in the studio versus what I would be doing for homework or what I would have to do at work for the next day,” said Gonato.

My challenge did give me time to relax for an hour and not think much about school within that time.

Yet, the end of November was leading up to the treacherous and stressful part of the school.


I knew that I needed to prioritize school — This spiraled down to procrastination and I was unmotivated to move.

I felt guilty for not going to a class, but I found a solution that helped me still be active without going to a studio. I took 15 minutes of my time to at least stretch out my body and those few minutes helped me to continue my practice of yoga.

“It can change your life, but it doesn’t happen overnight. I find [that] you need consistent practice,” said Billow.

“You need consistency and you need to come regularly. Yoga is meant for daily practice.”

When I signed up for this challenge it says “It takes 21 days to form a new habit…” But did it really take 21 days for me to love yoga?

I think so.

I noticed that I wanted to drink more water and eat better. I itched to stretch my body and allowed me to take some time to myself.

As my last class comes to a close. I lay there and hear the finale word close off my 30-day challenge.



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