Brendan McDonnell

PURE Yoga Institute Graduating Class: July 2019

Practicing Bikram Yoga Since: 2017

Teaching Experience

NEW Teacher | Austin, TX | PURE Yoga Texas

About Brendan

My yoga journey began on February 16, 2017, when my mother brought me in for a class at PURE’s North Studio location. She had attended her first class only a few weeks prior, having been brought in by an acquaintance. She didn’t want to go when the offer was extended to her – ironically it was me who persuaded her. After coming back from that class her first words to me were, “You have to try this.” I am a good child and listen to my mother (and also I don’t back down from a challenge) so I told her I would. And that’s how it happened.

I had been exercising consistently for a few years at that point and was relatively fit so I thought it would be no challenge. I even lifted weights before attending my first class, thinking the yoga wouldn’t be a real workout for me. Oh, the naivete! The gall! It challenged every fiber of my being! I was made aware that the class was 90 minutes, and after eagle pose I sincerely thought “That was 90 minutes, right? I’m almost done.”

The challenge is what kept me coming back. I was not going to let the yoga take me down. I wanted to conquer it. So I kept coming back. And I slowly learned that yoga was not about “conquering” and that perfection was not a goal, but that it is more about “acceptance” and “growth”. And after a few more classes I knew I wanted to be a teacher. And then I challenged myself to a personal 30-day challenge, which turned into a 60, which turned into a 90, 120, 240, year-long streak. And my desire to become a teacher grew stronger and stronger.

I first heard about PURE Yoga Institute during its first year, having known that April Vidal was to attend it. Then, after being hired as front desk and becoming a part of the PURE Yoga team, I was aware that a second year of it was going to be happening. After talking to those involved as well as a few different instructors about attending that year, I opted instead to wait at least one more year to gain more experience as a yoga student, among other reasons, before becoming a teacher.

At the time of the second year of PURE Yoga Institute’s training I had been practicing less than a year. During even just that limited time of practicing I had seen several positive effects of practicing Hot Yoga including a significant reduction of anxiety and depression in my life, leading to an overall healthier lifestyle and a better mental attitude. Alongside these benefits and in direct correlation to them, I learned to accept myself as I am and also accept my body – having suffered from a lifelong poor self-body image and going through a period of anorexia. The yoga helped me accept myself as a whole, and although I still do occasionally exhibit some of those harsh tendencies I had towards myself, the severity of these tendencies is nowhere near what it once was and I actually “like” myself now, when before beginning Hot Yoga I admit to sincerely hating myself.

The reason I want to be a yoga instructor is the same reason that I became an Inferno Hot Pilates instructor – I have a sincere passion for it and have gained so much benefit from it and I want to share that with as many people as I can. Hot Yoga has brought so much good to my life and I want to be able to give those same benefits to other people. I sincerely love bringing joy and happiness to other people – it is one of few things in my life that brings a feeling of fulfillment. I love giving and I love being there to help people when they need help and to listen to them when they need someone to listen. I also love sharing the things I am passionate about with other people. I have enjoyed sharing my love of yoga and exercise with new and long-time students at our studio beside them as a student, supporting them as a front desk person, and being an IHP instructor has allowed me to share my love for HIIT and body weight exercise. And now I’m so proud and excited to be a Hot Yoga instructor and to share my passion for that as well.


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