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721 Yoga Teaches a Holistic Approach to Health

By Pamela Sosnowski

As a Garland-based yoga instructor, Amber Villanueva has heard it all when it comes to excuses as to why people can't or won't try yoga.

"I tell them they need it the most," she said. "We see these crazy advanced poses on the Internet but the poses are never the goal; yoga is a journey and you learn a lot about yourself and your limits. Having to be patient and love yourself where you're at. Every body is different, each side of our body is different, and every day is different."

Villanueva teaches yoga out of her home, calling her business 721 Yoga (the numbers reference her daughter's birthday and its slang translation to "love you".) She offers a variety of group and private classes and services that span Vinyasa flow yoga, restorative yoga, meditation coaching, and more. She can bring a session to a private home, local park, or office, and also has studio space in both downtown Garland and North Dallas. A mobile yoga and massage option is ideal for girls' nights out (or in) and combines a yoga class with massage therapy for the ultimate one-two punch to any stressful day.

Villanueva was raised by what she calls a Bohemian hippie mom who inspired her to seek alternative, natural treatments for health problems. A botched operation while in her 20s left her in unbearable pain, followed by a string of doctors prescribing pain medicine. One of these doctors recommended that she take up yoga. Villanueva shares her story with nervous new yoga students, recalling how intimidating it was to take that first step.

"Everyone has to start somewhere," she stated. "I was so nervous walking in to take my first Vinyasa yoga class! I had walked in thinking it was just 'stretching' but I quickly started asking myself what the heck I had got myself in to. I was sore for days! But I kept going back and my life started to change in ways I never imagined. My body craved it!"

Within time she shed 100 pounds that she had gained earlier in her teens while eating a diet that consisted or processed and fast food. Her nagging back pain went away while her muscles got toned. She also reduced her stress, anxiety, and depression and discovered that she could now willingly relax her muscles while being hooked up to electrodes during a physical therapy appointment where previously she had clenched them all of the time.

In addition to her private classes, Villanueva also leads a few public yoga events and works with the city of Garland to bring "yoga in the park" sessions to the community. Her social media pages and website have the most up-to-date schedule of her classes, and she invites all interested participants to come experience the physical and emotional healing that yoga has to offer.

"We are in this age of technology which makes it almost impossible to unplug," she stated. "Yoga gives you that space; that time to relax. We can have depression living in the past, anxiety if we're living in the future. Yoga brings us back to focusing the mind on the present moment."

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