What’s the difference between raja boot camp and hard core hot yoga?

There has been the question floating around both of amazing 2 studios. What is the difference between raja boot camp and hard core yoga? So when billy asked me to write up a little something about both I jumped at the chance.

Hard core is taught by Victoria and Raja boot camp is taught by our lovely Sarah G. Both of these wonderful ladies have the heart and the passion to kick us into shape! You start off both classes with the pranayama breathing which is how we start any class at raja because it’s the breath of life.

Hardcore has started off with a forward fold then dogward facing dog into a plank. 6 planks later when you feel that you want to give up Victoria let’s you know you can do this and gives you a sort of break into a upward facing dog (don’t worry the planks will be back later). This of course is only the first 10 minutes of the class and you wonder if you have made some sort of mistake taking the class named “hard core” when you realize your back into plank again 4 more times. All jokes aside alot of the things I love about hard core is the fact that victoria takes more time to talk you into postures. And will help you with an extra inch which can help you get into something you have never gotten into before. A little fact for all of you the class “hard core” got its name from Victoria’s choice of playlist which is varies from tool to marilyn manson.

I had taken Sarah G. classes many times before but not since it became Raja boot camp. So my mission at 6am was to get my butt kicked. Raja boot camp starts off with the sun salutations to really warm your body up. Followed by what we call in the yoga world as almost a vinyasa flow (which is when you keep going from one posture to another without a break). Even though you have sweat dripping in your nose by this point Sarah’s soft encouraging voice gets you through it. Her chair series and balancing series were an amazing burn that even with as many classes I have taken she had me stretch deeper than I have ever before. The way she works a serious burn and spirituality into one class made me feel like my mind, body and soul got a total reset. Raja boot camp playlist was also like walking into the greatest dance club ever. I know that if my body wasn’t busy getting a deep burn I could have been dancing through it.

I love both of these classes because they both making you work harder than you ever thought you could. With amazing teachers that can encourage and support you makes all the difference in your yoga journey. A few last things is that a strap or a block is your friend in either class to help you build your flexibly. Also hard core sometimes is a little more interactive that all the other classes at raja hot yoga. And I would like to mention raja boot camp has a very amazing guided mediation during savasana. I would encourage all of you to try both classes if you haven’t had a chance yet.


My story

People always ask me about my story or what shaped me into the person I am right now. So I figured I could share with you guys as well because I’m sure you guys are curious.

If I start from the beginning, I could say that I have always been a pretty responsible child. I had to be some of the things I witnessed growing up shaped my thoughts on relationships should work. My father was very abusive to my mom. He was unsupportive of anything she did. The kind of guy to take the battery out of your car when your going to school or throw your keys in the backyard when it was night. And of course hit her, scream at her and brake her down.

I’m 5 years older than my brother so there was alot I tried to shield him from. The beatings I took for leaving a dish in the sink or for my brother because he was far to young to understand that everything in our lives at that point was subject to beatings.

In addition to that I was raped in middle school by a boy who was supposed to be my friend.  I had a bit of a mental breakdown which resulted in me not being in school for the rest of Middle school. I was worked on intensely to get through what had happened to me. But the thing that stuck by me the most was the fact that my mom stuck by me and my father told me he thought the whole thing was a lie I thought up for attention.

My parents got separated and divorced shortly after. Living with my mom and my brother away from him was beyond liberating.  I had a freedom that I wasn’t use to and of course I abused it by doing things that were out of character.  Drinking, partying, sex, and  smoking were a few of my pretty reckless things.

I met my ex husband at 17 and everything changed for me. He seemed like the right guy, the kind guy to the point where my mom would joke about him being whipped.

I got pregnant fall after we graduated high school. I was in love with Aries before I met him. I remember playing a perfect circle to my belly and he would just kick and kick. Being so ill during his pregnancy made me grow up in a way I never thought I could. I was in the hospital 8 times that year due to my kidneys having a blockage. It kept me with over 103 fevers. I worried if I would lose Aries during all of this since all my doctors wanted to just focus on my health and not both of us. 

I got married at 19 and had Aries 2 months after. He was beautiful and a happy boy. During this time my ex started to verbally and physically abuse me. It lasted our whole marriage. Aries got diagnosed with autism and my ex never dealt with it. I raised Aries and Arielle by myself. My ex joined the army and we moved to TN.

It was hard to deal with the controlling me, the abuse and try to raise my kids. He knew I had nothing and no one but him. He cheated many times and as a result to everything I ate and I ate.

This went on for almost 8 years until he threatened to kill me in my sleep. I took charge and told him i couldn’t do this anymore. The hardest moment of my life was to look in my children’s faces and realize that if I stayed with him they most likely wouldn’t remember me if he had killed me. So I had to break the cycle for them. So last April 1st we got separated he got out of the army and moved back to NJ.

Last july after a pretty stressful visit to NJ for the kids a friend told me I needed to check out raja hot yoga and take a billy class.  I did the next morning at a 915. Went to the studio, paid and took a class from billy. I was still overweight, and very unflexible I listened to him preach from his heart while we did the raja series. He talked about needing to let go and start fresh. And that your life is just beginning and not over as if he knew me. I came back the next day at the same time and got my first unlimited month.

During my 8 months of going to raja I have become flexible,  opened my heart, gained more patience, became more spiritual,  lost 57lbs and 6 inches, and above all else I learned to live and love my life. I can say that yoga saved my life. But specifically raja hot yoga gave me my life back. I made a family there and friends. They have gotten me through the toughest part of my life  and got me to love myself. Words can’t even describe everything I have gone through with them but what I know I always use to say that in one hour I get my therapy, my church, my workout and as many hugs you could take.

No matter all that i have gone through I have become a stronger person from it all. And I can’t wait to inspire others to get through the hardest parts of their lives as well. 

Till we meet again


Officially in Apprenticeship

I got a wonderful chance to test out a new teacher and her practice before she begins teaching. It was amazing challenging.  She also had such a loving and nurturing soul. I can’t wait to take her with others to see if they feel it too.
Last night I went to the apprenticeship meeting. And it was all a yogi could ask for. Good people doing it, good teachers running it, self paced,  flexible payments, help on our specialty and of course throwing us into teaching so we can shake the fear out of us and make us better yogi’s.

Of course after Billy’s wonderful and heart felt speech and explanation of our training the only thought I could think of to ask was can I make my first payment tonight. Of course was the answer and I ordered all my books and I’m ready to learn. My heart is open and my spirit is hungry for more to feed my practice.

Well I must be off I have hot 26 (with my eyes closed) and hard core yoga. 


I will leave you with a picture Arielle drew for me last night its yoga teacher mommy teaching the happy kids of raja kids yoga.

Till we meet again…

3rd snow day but it was hot at raja

Well raja was open last night and I dug my car out like a hot yoga junkie. I just needed to feel the heat in the hot room. Hot 26 class was amazing. I again did it with my eyes closed and I was alot better than I was the first time I did it. But I felt so focused on my breath and  my body. I think that it’s going to be my thing to do hot 26 with my eyes closed to bring my practice to a new level.

Mean while I did my usual doubles yesterday and managed to talk Kat into doing it with me. So in hard core yoga I finally got to do my headstand in the hot room. Amazing how it shocks me each time I get into it. I’m a good kind of sore though.

So tonight is the apprenticeship meeting and I’m so excited counting down the hours and minutes until I get to be there. It’s finally all happening as it should and me as a whole couldn’t be more ready for it.

Alright off to work I go 🙂

Till we meet again…