Andy Fang knows that if he can do it, so can you That’s why he’s considered to be one of Dallas’ most inspiring yoga instructors
If he called up Guinness, Andy Fang might capture the world record for “Biggest gay dude who can do the splits.” But he’s come a long way: In 1998, he couldn’t touch his toes.
Back then, Yang had just graduated from high school and started working for a travel agency. Overweight since fourth grade, he was worried about having to sing at an upcoming family reunion in California.
“My relatives don’t mince words,” Yang explains. “I’m sure before they would even say hello, they would have looked at me and said, “‘Oh my God, you’re so fat.’”
Determined to avoid that episode, both Yang and his cousin agreed to get in shape. Together they joined a gym, and Yang eventually shed 70 pounds.
“I’ve certainly gained it all back by now,” he smiles.
At a 24 Hour Fitness in Carrollton, he was mesmerized by the yoga classes that he watched through a glass window. When he finally stepped inside one, the connection was immediate and visceral.
“My favorite part was the “‘savasana’ the relaxation period or the “‘breath-corpse’ pose. Where don’t think about anything. When you let go of all your worries for five minutes,” he remembers.
The self-confessed worrywart was hooked, attending classes twice a week. Soon he was striking “crocodile” pose and working his triceps. And his strength and flexibility dramatically increased. Twice a week then became three times a week.
“I had discovered a secret that made my life so much better. And I wanted to share it with others,” Yang says.
In 2002, he started teaching outside of his full-time job as a human resource officer for Travelocity. Yang is a certified PiYo (yoga and Pilates) instructor and is registered with the Aerobic Fitness Association of America.
And many Metroplex yoga freaks already know that his 24 Hour Fitness classes are pretty rad.
“I make my classes tough. And I’m very strict about proper form,” he says. “But I know that I can be very inspiring, almost in a spiritual way.”
“I’m 6’2″, and I won’t tell you how much I weigh. My doctor says I’m morbidly obese. And that’s something I’m working on,” Yang continues. “First, I love being the center of attention. And when I’m in class doing the splits and explaining to people that I couldn’t touch my toes, they understand. And I know it helps motivate them in a powerful way.”
ANDY’S YOGA SCHEDULE
Mondays: 8:15 p.m.-9:15 p.m. 24 Hour Fitness, Royal Lane.
Tuesdays: 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Solana Club in Southlake.
Wednesdays: 6:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m. 24 Hour Fitness, downtown Dallas.
And 8:15 p.m.-9:15 at 24 Hour Fitness, Royal Lane.
Thursdays: 6 p.m.-7 p.m. 24 Hour Fitness, Bedford.
Saturdays: 8 a.m.-9 a.m. 24 Hour Fitness, Royal Lane.
And 11 a.m.-noon. 24 Hour Fitness, Coit Road.
Sundays: 10 a.m.-11 a.m. 24 Hour Fitness, Lewisville.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 15, 2007.