I’m a huge advocate of just getting people to try yoga. A lot of people think of yoga as a religion, where people are going to preach to them or ask them to chant in Sanskrit. So they kind of throw the baby out with the bathwater and don’t try it.
It’s such an amazing practice. Every pose not only works your muscles but also your internal organs and your nervous system. So it’s that mind-body-soul connection. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and it’s the only thing I’ve found that touches me on every level.
I was in law school when I first tried yoga. I used it to recover from a really bad accident; a car had hit me during a bike race. Then in my last semester, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. If I hadn’t had my yoga practice, I don’t know that I would have kept it together as well as I did. The doctors were saying, ‘You’ll be dead within a year.’ I didn’t panic. I just said, ‘That’s not going to happen to me.’ I continued to practice every morning and meditate, which came from yoga as well.
Yoga is about relaxing into challenges. Say you’re holding a warrior pose: It’s a strong pose, your body is shaking, and you’ve gotta just … breathe and stay still. And you use that out in the world. So when you’re driving and someone cuts you off, instead of going into a rage, you just … breathe and stay still. I use it every day.
owner of YAS Yoga and Spinning in Los Angeles and Nike’s first sponsored yoga athlete