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few years, and like Purcell many have traveled a rocky road to the national yoga stage. Local yoga instructor Shane Thornton is a case in

point. Thornton, who’ll be competing at the national championship, never thought he’d live past 30. Nor did he care. He pretty much spent all his free time at a bar in Bozeman, Montana. He downed beer like water. He drank all day, every day. He got into countless bar fights, made numerous bad decisions, and never cared much about his health or wellbeing. One day he woke up from the haze, and realized

there was life beyond a stupor. Thornton made his best decision when he gave

yoga a try at the urging of a friend. It took a lot of convincing. Shane was a wrestler. He was a macho man, and yoga was nowhere near his comfort zone. “The yoga kicked my butt, both physically and

mentally. That was exactly what I needed at the time,” Thornton says. “Over the months to follow, I replaced my time at the bar with the yoga studio. Little by little, I watched myself transform into a completely new person. Now, I can do things with my body that I never even imagined in my past life.” Within just one year of practicing yoga, Thornton

knew this was the right road for him. Although still a yoga newbie, he invested in himself, and others, by becoming a Bikram Yoga instructor. Four years later, he teaches at The Union in

San Antonio. He has participated in the USA Yoga Federation Regional Championships, and hasn’t touched a drop of liquor. Thornton’s story, and so many

others illustrates that yoga is a path to self-realization, enlightenment, better health or emotional well being. It’s not about the destination, but about the journey.

Deborah Charnes is a certified yoga teacher with advanced training in Ayurveda and

yoga therapy. She owns The Namaste Counsel ( in San Antonio and can be reached at 210-381-1846.

For information about the USA Yoga National Championship, visit USA Yoga is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of developing and promoting Yoga Asana as a sport.

The 2014 USA Yoga national Championships

Bendy or not, here we come! from all across the United states, witness men, women, children, & seniors bending in ways inspired!

THe aztec Theatre

201 E Commerce St #300, San Antonio, TX 78205

march 14th-16th Friday: $10.00 Saturday: $20.00 Sunday: $20.00

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: $30.00 WWW.USAYOGA.ORG March 2014 13

2012 USA Yoga Asana Champion Jared McCann

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