Sabertooth Crossfit Spot light on a member: Leslie Stangler

Hi, All! I have been training at Crossfit for past few weeks after offering to teach Yoga and do Crossfit in exchange for regular Yoga classes. I have taught a few classes here so far and I really love the dedication of the cross fitters, and the energy of the environment at Sabertooth. 

   Crossfit has changed my life for the better. It has given me motivation to participate in group fitness activities other than Yoga, and to try new things.

Crossfit is nice because it uses muscle confusion, not like doing the same workouts on the weight machines, free weights are the way to go!

I think my favorite Crossfit exercise so far has been learning proper technique when lifting heavy bars overhead. I’m happy to have learned the kettlebell swing. My least favorite activity was pull-ups for how sore I got afterwards, but I know that it’s the most beneficial especially for strengthening the rotator cuffs, which will help my Yoga practice tremendously. I’ve overcome some joint issues in the past so I’m cautious with Crossfit, but I know that strengthening the muscles is the best way to prevent further injury.

I like Crossfit and really get motivated seeing others workout and that inspires me to build more muscle for increased strength and focus; of course I want a chiseled body too! So my current goal is to make it to Crossfit and Yoga class regularly for fresh insight or inspiration. I think getting there is the toughest part but once you’re though the doors, that’s when the magic happens. I’m so grateful for getting myself there and I always feel so invigorated after the workout. Just show up is a great motivating motto, or just do it, or say yes to life.

  When I’m not working out I’m in nature, sipping on tea somewhere, practicing meditation, taking a sauna, at the farmers market, or enjoying a book while laying on the hammock in the sun. I’m deepening my spirituality by sitting in group meditations and going to Unity for church on Sundays.

Right now, I make a living by going to college classes, and teaching Yoga. Thanks to the military benefits I received from serving in Afghanistan and Japan while working as a Seabee Builder and stationed near Ventura, Ca. My education has been paid for because hard work pays off!  I studied Yoga in India for a few months, in Rishikesh, home of the gorgeous Himalayan foothills, birthplace of Yoga, and the where the Ganges River shimmers.  This is where my spirituality went much deeper, and I took on a whole other approach in my Yoga practice and teaching.

Something interesting about me is I’ve done headstands about anywhere, on frozen lake, on a plane, on top of a rock, you name it. I have yet to try a headstand on a paddle board.

   No matter what activity I am doing I give it my all, as if it’s a gift to the universe. What goes around comes around, I do believe in karma, and we are able to burn off past karmic debts.

 I have learned to embrace the restorative qualities of Yoga. Not for the fitness aspect, but for how calm my mind becomes when I’m focusing on my breath and to practice non judgmental present moment awareness. I love how relaxed I can remain even in the midst of chaos. I have continued my Yoga practice for going on 10 years.  I always figured, if I’m going to  be good at anything in life, I’m going to be good at mastering this body of mine, and staying dedicated to one practice, that being Yoga.

I feel I’m in a happy place in life right now and can attribute that to finding balance in all things in life. Eating healthy, living environmentally conscious,  taking time for rest, practicing mindfulness/Buddhism, and selfless service to help the greater good for all.

I aspire to help more people get fit and gain flexibility; so this is what my current goal is. My classes are very diverse, I teach some Power Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Restorative Yoga. I love Yoga and Crossfit for it’s an awesome way to better my life and meet like-minded people who also have passion and dedication to living a healthier life. It all starts by getting the body moving and Crossfit definitely helps me, but please do come to Yoga, no matter where you are on your Yoga journey. See you soon!


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