By Kelly Burns, For The Miami Student
It wasn't love at first sight, or first session.
Samantha Weed, or Sam, as her friends call her, didn't have an immediate connection with yoga. It wasn't a real workout, she thought.
Then, one day, she decided to try a hot vinyasa class with her father. Hot vinyasa seemed like more of a challenge to her. The extremely high temperatures they practiced in made it feel more like exercise than regular yoga.
Something in that class clicked. At the end she was tired, sweaty and refreshed.
"When you walk out of the class, you feel, physically like a new person," Sam says, "Like how a snake sheds its skin."
But, for Sam, it became more than just a workout. It was a way to release her emotions without having to burden other people with her problems.
After her relationship with a long-term boyfriend ended, Sam threw herself into hot vinyasa.
"I would be sweating so much that I could cry and no one would notice," she says.
The room, the music, the heat,gave her a place to let everything go, even if she was the only one who knew.
During the sessions, the instructors always spoke to Sam and the other participants about bettering themselves and the world around them. Sam took this to heart, using yoga to help her through tough times, all the while trying to become the better person she heard about in class.
When she came to Miami, she knew not to get her hopes up. Her hometown had top-notch yoga studios and she reconciled herself with just missing her vinyasa classes.
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"When I go home for Thanksgiving, for the first time, I might not go home first," she says. "I might go straight to yoga class."
Even so, she couldn't give up something that had become so important to her and had helped her through so much.
She practices yoga all the time.
In her room, when she takes vinyasa classes at Root Yoga Studio Uptown, the hallways of her dorm - wherever and whenever she gets the chance.