5080 Bonita Road, Suite A, Bonita CA 91902
* * * Testimonials * * *

Dear Sonia,

It’s an unusual gift and I’ve gone back and forth about giving it to you because it might seem weird. Like I might seem crazy or something. But being vulnerable always has that side of maybe looking ridiculous. So here it is.

This year has been one of the most important of my life. Because I have finally stayed consistent with my practice. I am finally, after so many years, out of that tug of war of get strong and lose the strength. I am strong, and I am strong because of all of the countless years and days you showed up to make this space available to me.

When I was a little girl, I just wanted to be a ballerina. I wanted to dance and wear costumes and have a neat bun in my hair. I wanted to be strong in a way that you would only see the graceful part of the strength. I didn’t have that kind of childhood. I never became a ballerina, and I never learned the graceful part of having strength, only the survival.

Even though it can be really hard and feel really awful, I know that I am healing myself in depths of layers I haven’t yet, despite a decade plus of work in therapy, addiction recovery, yoga. It is because that scared little kid inside of me has a safe place to come and deal with the process of trying to find an experience of peace and acceptance in my body and image in the mirror. Thank you for that safe place to come.

Every time you say in the dialogue on the second part of awkward “Like the ballerina you always wanted to be.” I wonder if you always wanted to be a ballerina too. And that maybe we both have that little girl within us that had to just be really strong. So strong we didn’t get to stop and dance and feel beautiful or like the center of anything. I just wanted you to know this holiday that in those tiny moments in those poses, where I can balance and breathe at the same time - I feel like I am everything little me imagined I would never be able to be. I feel like I won.

So I wanted to give you something that is as beautiful, and strong, and as delicate as that feeling of triumph. Something little kid you and little kid me might have had in a different way in a different life.

Thank you for my classes. Thank you for this year. Thank you for really treating me like I am strong and capable. Like a ballerina I always wanted to be. Merry Christmas

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Online yoga with Bonita hot yoga during this pandemic. Back in March, I set up my yoga mat, a small mirror and heat lamp in my bedroom. I was trying to take class 3 times a week as I had before. It was good but not the same as being with all my fellow yogis. I was missing my friends and the yoga felt different. My extroverted self longed for human contact. A few weeks later, I had moved from my bedroom to the family room where my tv served as a bigger mirror and Dave joined me. We did the yoga together a few times a week and pushed each other not to fall out of postures and tried not to talk about donuts and beer or what was for dinner. Monkey minds the two of us But after awhile the family room became my studio, my yoga mat is here in the corner and I have come to quiet my mind and do the yoga mindfully. Trust me - it’s hard when you have so many other things to worry about. The heat lamp is gone. I don’t need the heat to feel the stretch. The relaxation I feel after is just what I need. It took me 2 1/2 months to come to the realization that I can let go for those 90 minutes and just do yoga. It has helped tremendously in keeping me sane. Thank you Sonia for keeping the yoga going online.

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Hi Sonia, Just wanted to let u know that the live stream has helped me more then words can express! infact, I justed celebrated 21 yrs of sobriety last Thursday. I'm so appreciative of having my yoga to keep me focused during this crazy time in our lives. thanks to you and everyone that has made this possible. Have a great day!

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On my last spring break vacation I had an ATV accident. I was thrown several meters through the air and landed head-first, without a helmet. I was unconscious for hours and rushed into the closest hospital, which was an hour-and-a-half away. The studies showed some brain hemorrhages and contusions. The doctor prescribed me some medication, and ordered full rest, so I had to stop yoga for a month - that was the hardest part of my recovery.

I think a lot on how bad my accident was and how fast and good my recovery has been - that I know I'm blessed for being able to resume my normal life so soon. One of the things I learned from this is the real power of yoga, it gave me physical and mental strength that allowed me recover so fast, because I believe this strength made it possible to my body to recover fast and be back to my normal life just as it was before the accident. Now that I'm able to practice yoga again, it feels like starting over again - I'm confident that this will help me overcome any challenge that life throws at me, because yoga makes us strong in different ways and prepares our body and mind for all the difficult times in life.

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I recently went to physical therapy and basically learned that I could probably just attend more yoga classes and accomplish the same thing that I expect to get from therapy, which by the way I am very impressed with. I now fully understand the need to hold poses for at least thirty seconds, and the need to do it often. Hopefully my schedule will soon allow me to attend more often. Yoga just might be all the therapy I need to maintain.

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I had been busy painting and moving furniture around and carrying boxes -- doing WAY TOO MUCH WORK -- and not going to my yoga class. What happened? My back, my knee, and my hands were in pain. So, I get my butt back into class and stop feeling sorry for myself. Watching all those people do the Olympic Challenge -- doing doubles and triples to meet their goals and with happy smiling faces, too! My back has been rejuvenated! So thankful for Bonita Hot Yoga, the wonderful teachers, and my friends who inspired me with their "olympic challenge" dedication! -- Susan

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Since I started practicing yoga, I feel less stressed out and I love how my skin feels -- Liz

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I came in to your studio back in July while dealing with generalized anxiety which was disrupting my life. I had been experiencing this on and off since January and I had just gone to the doctor and got a prescription to relieve anxiety onsets temporarily (which I never ended up having to take thanks to yoga). I was nervous while driving to the point where I had to have someone in a car with me to feel completely comfortable, I would feel anxiety out in public, experienced really bad pressure headaches during the day, tightness in my chest, random pains throughout my body,and was constantly fearing death. I felt overwhelmed constantly and was even told by the Doctor that I was displaying symptoms of depression. I felt lost and wanted to get my life back without having to take medication.

After my first class, I felt the most energy throughout my body than I had felt in a while. I couldn't sleep but I felt so rejuvenated that I knew I had made the right decision to start doing hot yoga. I decided to do the 30 day challenge immediately and although during the first 30 days I still struggled with anxiety, I felt I was getting my life back so I decided to do yoga for 60 days. It was within these next 30 days that I started to no longer feel the nervousness while driving, started going out again, and enjoyed doing things without pain and worry, but with a feelings of happiness. I then decided I could do it for another 30 days.

Looking back from Jan-July, I am not the same person that I was then. I am alive and well and my mind and body are stronger than ever. It is amazing what yoga has done for me inside and out. I am happy to say that I experience little to no anxiety on a regular basis and I am able to remain calm in stressful situations. I am happy to say that I was able to regain my health naturally.

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What a wonderful way to reshape, reenergize, and reconnect with your body! Although I came to Yoga "late" at 52 years old, I am finding that it is what I call "the great elixir." After nearly one year, I am feeling, looking and thinking GREAT! Some of the many benefits I have noticed?

* I have lost the roll around my middle!
* I can touch my hands to the floor!
* I can squat down so easily while at the store looking for those hard to find products!
* My skin is clear!
* My back feels like a rock!
* My mind is clearer!
* I breathe better!
* I feel powerful!

Thank you to Bonita Hot Yoga, Sonia, and the other wonderful instructors for a transformational year!

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I made hot yoga a part of my life a few years ago. After suffering with neck, shoulder and back pain for several years and receiving poor and inconsistent help from traditional western medicine, I sought out a different remedy for my physical ailments. Hot yoga has not been a quick fix for my mind or body but I have received tremendous lasting benefit and relief from my pain with a consistent practice. My life is started each day without pain and my mind is more open to new ideas and ways to improve it. My neck, shoulder and back pain are nonexistent and my mental attitude and approach are more positive and patient. Life for me has become much more of a peaceful process of enjoyment and satisfaction, with many newly found ways to better deal with the issues that come up and enjoy its many rewards.
Anyone searching for a freer flow of thought and improved pain free range of motion needs to seriously consider a yoga program.

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Hi Sonia,

Wanted to share some good news with you. I have been on high blood pressure medicine for several years. Had my physical last week. My blood pressure is now very good and I no longer need to take the medicine. I also lost over 13 lbs. I have changed nothing in my life other than coming to Bonita Hot Yoga since last summer. I do no other exercise, my diet is pretty much the same, and my stress issues still exist. A lot of hard work but the benefits are great. Thanks, see you soon

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Hi Sonia,

I'm in fantastic shape because of the yoga, I'm in Spain on my 500 mile walk/camino DE Santiago Compostela. This trip is going well because my body is conditioned due to yoga..thanks so very much for all your help and support. My camino will be completed in 4 weeks, see you at the end of Jun:) bien yoga...

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About two years ago I returned to hot yoga after a years-long hiatus when I began training for a half-marathon. I'd had migraine headaches since I was a child, but once I started running they occurred more frequently. They were totally debilitating and happened almost once a week. I went back to yoga in the hopes that it would stop the migraines and balance out the negative effects of running.

I started practicing twice a week, and immediately the migraines stopped. I also lost weight, and because of the breathing exercises practiced in class, my lung capacity expanded considerably and enabled me to run longer without exhaustion.

After the half-marathon, I stopped running and increased my practice to a minimum of three times per week. The benefits increased: I was less anxious throughout the day. Although I never had a problem with alcohol, I suddenly lost any desire to consume it. I also stopped wanting to eat poultry and red meat, and I started craving some healthier food. The migraines have decreased in frequency from once or twice a month to twice a year. I appreciate the general level of fitness I now have. Because of yoga, I've gone from being the girl who loathed any physical activity to the one who is always up for a hike.

The biggest benefits of all have been mental. I am calmer in my daily life than I ever have been, even on the days I don't practice yoga. It's also pretty cool to see myself on the days when I can hold Standing Bow or balance in Toe Stand!

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Hi Sonia,

I definitely owe you a Kudos,

5 months ago I went to the doctor on a routine physical checkup which included various blood tests and lab work.

One if the tests is called a Creatinine, Serum test. Basically this test measures the level of waste product creatinine in your blood and urine. These tests tell how well your kidneys are working. A high creatinine level may mean your kidneys are not working properly. The amount of creatinine in the blood depends partly on the amount of muscle tissue you have; men generally have higher creatinine levels than women. A creatinine clearance test measures how well creatinine is removed from your blood by your kidneys. A creatinine clearance test gives better information than a blood creatinine test on how well your kidneys are working.

Apparently my test didn't go so well. The doctor called me into his office and explained to me that my kidneys were failing. He showed me the test results which were: Creatinine 1.5 (normal range is 0.7-1.3) and my Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) was 51-NB. This was pretty much Greek to me at the time. The doctor explained that your GFR tells how much kidney function you have. It may be estimated from your blood level of creatinine. If your GFR falls below 30 you will need to see a kidney disease specialist (called a nephrologist), a GFR below 15 indicates that you need to start treatment (dialysis or transplant). At the level of 51, I had 3rd stage Chronic Kidney Disease, or moderate chronic renal insufficiency (range 30-59%). Of course I was absolutely shocked because I felt fine and worked out. Some of the symptoms at this stage are tiredness or fatigue, back pain, appetite, urine (amount. color, frequency) and digestion (slowed). I was experiencing some of those symptons, especially back pain.

The doctor said that NOW is the time to start working on this because, according to him and other readings I had done, kidneys cannot improve, but they can be stabilized. He had me take more tests and an ultrasound which revealed that I had a Renal Cyst to boot. He told me that most cysts are benign and to do any further testing on the cyst to insure it is not cancerous would basically be so invasive it would damage the kidney so bad, that it will stop functioning. He said we will monitor it for 6 months to see if there may be any cause for alarm.

The doctor reviewed some lifestyle changes that needed to be done, effective immediately:

1. Diet, less protien see dietitian.
2. Consume more liquids
3. Seek alternative excercise....(possibly YOGA)

Once I came to terms with my new diagnosis, I decided I need to look into YOGA. I had heard about hot yoga and conducted some research and read many testimonials discussing the healing effects people have had. So, I thought I would give it a shot and in I walked into your studio. The first time almost killed me.....wow, intense; however, man did I feel good afterward. So I went back, again and again. I liked the results I was getting, better sleep, less pain (knees and back), weight loss etc so I decided to join longer term.

Well, on November 23rd I had more lab work done. When the results came back I was completely floored. According to the tests, my Creatinine level was in the NORMAL range at 1.2, and my GFR increased 33% to 68-NB! The GFR results lifted me out of stage 3 and into stage 2, mild kidney disease. I really did not anticipate having a test result like this, incredible. The doctor states that improvement results can be from the way the kidneys are filtering that day, but when there is permanent damage, the kidneys cannot improve.....hmmm well mine did?? This proved to me how yoga helps to flush your kidneys and improve internal organ function.

During the last 4 months my wife has had me on a heavy regiment of herbs and flushing shakes which are good for the internal organs, but there is no way I would have had this much improvement if I did not start doing yoga. I am a true believer in the healing effects of hot yoga, and am truly hooked, I am glad I walked into your studio that day and will continue to do so. My goal is to keep flushing my kidneys and see if I can get more improvement (I will test again in 4 months). As a bonus my back has never felt better and I lost 20 lbs (not bad).

Anyway, I wanted to write you a note and really let you know how yoga has improved my mind and BODY and to say thanks for encouraging me to continue.

Thanks again Sonia and I will see you in the hot room.