If you’re a regular visitor to Pure Yoga, you’ll likely recognise John Pimentel who has been frequenting Pure since November 2016. Since that date he’s clocked an amazing 907 classes with us, as well as numerous workshops, 30-day challenges and trainings, and is shortly heading off to do our Costa Rica Teacher Training.
What brought you to your mat for the first time?
I was going through some rehabilitation knee therapy, and another runner
recommended regular yoga to balance out my running. As it turns out, much of the
therapy was simplified yoga poses and stretches, but without the mindfulness
associated with Yoga. So I decided to take up yoga as therapy for my running and
Do you think your yoga practice has changed your life off of the mat?
Yes, very much so. I was a very moody, grumpy, self-centred lazy individual – the
mindfulness of a daily practice has allowed me to work through those issues. I was
constantly tired and unmotivated due to a sedentary job and lifestyle, or dealing with
recurring injuries when I was active – there simply was no consistency in my exercise.
Yoga changed my perspective and life 180 degrees for the better. It keeps me active
with its gentle and restorative movements, allowing me to exercise every day. It
complements my running and biking activities with flexibility, range of motion, and
I literally plan my day around my yoga practice – shifting meetings, lunches, chores, and
other activities around, so I can get on my mat. It is my number one priority every day.
What style of yoga are you drawn to?
I’m drawn to what I crave most – on any given day that could be a power-core/flow,
gentle-slow-flow, fast-moving-beats, Vinyasa, or YIN. I generally do all of those styles
each week. They all have their very unique purpose, and each of Pure’s fabulous
teachers will have a different approach to the class.
What does yoga mean to you?
To me, yoga is about breathing. We take it for granted that there will be a next breath.
However, the quality of that breath is where yoga comes in. The various yoga poses
open our mind and body to different possibilities that demand utmost control of our
breath to progress. As our mind and body expand and evolve with each breath, it clears
the mind and strengthens the body. We become aware of just how powerful we can be.
Ultimately, we learn and practice how to breathe for the moments in our lives that
require mental clarity, physical exertion, or just being.
When you control your breath, you control your situation and your reactions within the
environment around you.
Has being part of the Pure family changed your life?
The Pure family is a non-judgement and come as you are place. Easy words to say, but
actions speak louder. Since day one, that is how I have felt walking into the studios and
being greeted with a heart-felt smile. The yoga classes are mindful, open, and
accessible to all. That “kool-aid” is contagious. I take what I’ve experienced on the
mat, and live it on a daily-basis.
What would be a day in the life of you?
As I mentioned before – yoga is my number one priority. I practice after going to the
gym, running or biking. I practice first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. I
practice when I’m bored and when I’m busy. I split my day with Parliament Hill noon
yoga, and took a 28 hour plane ride to Gen’s India Yoga Retreat. It’s really
#yogaeverydamnday for me. My record is 43 classes in a month (last Dec) with 18
different teachers. Yes, I keep stats – after all, I am a Data Guy.
What is your favourite compliment to yoga?
To me, it’s the other way around, yoga compliments everything else I do. I now
approach life with a different perspective. Yoga has thought me to live in the present,
take a moment, and just breathe. I am now able to better contribute to my own success
be it physical exercise or mental clarity, and encourage those around me to do the
When you can just stop for a sec, and take a couple deep breaths before reacting – it’s
However, from a purely physical point of view, I do think it’s important to engage in
other activities as you mentioned. Your body needs to constantly be challenged in its
movements, as it strives on stress to grow stronger. Yoga brings it all together. My
practice has progressed far faster after adding crossfit in the winter months to
supplement the summer biking and running.
Where do you see your yoga practice evolving from here?
I will continue to practice on a daily basis, but be even more selective in the classes I
take, fine tuning the styles to my daily needs. I see myself taking the 200hrs teacher
training, and eventually starting a solo practice. Not sure if I want to teach yet, I still
feel I know nothing every time I walk out of the hot room.