Tonight, I practiced in a sports bra only for the first time. (I wore Shaktis, too, don’t worry.) This is a pretty big deal for a woman who, for as long as she can remember, says “I hate my stomach” on a regular basis. During two and a half years of practice, I’ve always covered up my stomach and envied all yogis who have the confidence to bare it. I’m Irish and my midsection has never seen the sun, so I’m pretty sure it glows in the dark. Cookies are one of my favorite foods, so I’m a little squishy. I have stretch marks on my sides. I could go on, but after tonight, that seems pointless.
After tonight, I wonder why I cared so much in the first place.
In class, I stood in the second row and watched my stomach support me in half moon. I felt it support my lower back. That body part that I claimed to hate kept me centered during forward bends. I stared straight at my crumpled stomach in every compression posture and watched the sweat drip away, bead by bead. I saw my lack of confidence drop, defeated, to the towel and knew it would be absorbed by the air and dispersed. I watched what my stomach helps me accomplish three times a week. It doesn’t deserve the crap I’ve given it for my entire adult life.
This is one of the many struggles I’ve confronted and continue to confront in the hot room. If I can tackle these problems while exhausted, sweaty, and barely clothed, I can certainly handle them anywhere else. I have learned so much about myself, about my body and my soul, while on my mat, listening to the dialogue. I had no expectations when I took my first class, and now I can’t imagine my life without this practice and this studio. It keeps me present every day.
Each teacher at BYC has given me something precious—you are a generous bunch. Lizzie, you teach me about energy and kindness; Sara teaches me about peace; Kirk reminds me not to take myself too seriously. Madelyn teaches me how to breathe; Severine teaches me patience. Cecily shows me how to clear my mind. Amy, who once brought me to tears in camel (which, by the way, is my favorite posture), teaches me about vulnerability and trust. Last month, Mary Jarvis helped me prove to my strength of body and mind to myself; I am my most harsh critic, and I was delighted.
Sometimes, I even think, “Erin, you are badass.” (It’s true.)
This practice has helped me grow and repair—when I first stepped onto my mat, I was miserable in graduate school, untethered and 500 miles away from my family. I had no idea who I was, what I was doing or where I was going. Now, I am content. I am more kind, I am more patient. I am part of a wonderful community. I am brave. Every day I seek out another piece of myself and am proud to share this practice with fellow yogis.
The teachers and students of BYC are like a locked out knee, a tucked-in stomach, hands to begin a backbend. They are always there for support. For that, I cannot thank you enough. But I will try. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I’ll start at the birth of my back injury. I wrecked my first car when I was 17. It was just me and a small tree. I had some minor whip lash and a sore lower back. The back healed alright but when I started taking jobs that involved physical labor I had problems. I would stress my lower back to the point that it would seize up leaving me incapacitated for at least two days at a time. This went on for about ten years. I would throw my back out, miss two or three days or work, and limp around for about two weeks recovering. During this time I worked with a very good massuse and a chiropractor. Both provided temporary relief and encouraged me to work out regularly. I needed to build my core muscles.
The year I started taking Bikram classes I had started throwing my back out more frequently. In addition, my back muscles were contracting around the weak area in my lower back warping my posture. I had low grade back pain everyday. My neck was also in poor shape. I could not look up and back. It was too painful.
I really disliked my first few Bikram classes. A lot. I disliked them a lot. Ninety minetes of suffering. However, each class gave me a degree of relief. I took a class about once a week for months. My wife was a Bikram teacher and encouraged me to take more classes to help my back. I had a big mental block to this. It was just so unpleasant.
I don’t know what changed, but something possesed me to do a thirty day challenge. I think it was seeing others students with an amazing practice and my own crippling pain when I continued to throw my back out. I signed up and started the challenge.
I was working as a house painter that summer and working outside on roofs most days. Or maybe I just remember it that way because it makes me sound tougher. I made it to day 22, missed a day, then did two more. The results were amazing. During that time I slept more soundly then I ever did in my life and woke up totally refreshed. Phantom aches and pains dissappeared. I felt like even my organs were healthier. I was happy on a regular basis. My back felt amazing. I developed a wash board stomach. I could bend backward. Look back and up. My neck and lower back were, in my opinion, totally healed. On the down side, my doctor asked me if I was anorexic because my weight and body fat got so low.
Soon after the thirty day challenged ended my life changed so that I couldn’t attend classes regularly. I had no back pain at all for six straight months. This is after 10 years of daily pain. I eventually went back to class to maintain my back. I can now do the postures at home as maintenece but I need the heat to really work my body and build the muscle. I sure that if I didn’t have Bikram I would have continued as I had been. I was a future disc operation, I’m sure. I give my deep thanks to my wife and teachers who lead the classes and encouraged me. If I ever meet Bikram I might have to do something old school, like touch his feet. His asana series and hot room have saved my life.
I didn’t find Bikram Yoga on my own. My friends, who had fallen in love over the course of the previous summer, kept prodding me to come and try. I was extremely hesitant; not only does spending 90 minutes in over 100 degree humid heat sound completely unappealing, but I shattered my elbow and tore my triceps just over 2 years before and hadn’t been able to find any exercise class that I could fully participate in. The thought of trying and failing at yet another would just add to the slowly cementing thought that I would never be as active as I once was.
However, one impulsive afternoon, I headed to class with a borrowed yoga mat and old beach towel thinking I might as well try. I started to get worried and anxious when my arm and elbow were hurting during Locust – but it was supposed to?? To quote the reassuring dialogue from our teacher that night “sometimes the things that hurt the most are the ones that needed that pose to heal.” I pressed on. That first class was tough, but exhilarating; I was totally going to go back again the next day. Soon I was hitting the hot room regularly. My arm and elbow started to ache less during practice and in general.
Even though my friends and teachers have fuelled me with the drive and knowledge to get to and through practice, in the studio you are on your own. You motivate yourself to push a little harder, hold the posture a little stronger, and lay in final savasana a little longer. I’m addicted to the satisfying feeling of completing each class and noticing my own improvements class to class.
Thanks to everyone at Bikram Yoga Cville!
In the fall of 2002, when I was training to run the Dublin Marathon (my first marathon), my daughter told me about this intense yoga she had just experienced. She located a studio near my home in Florida and said she wanted me to try it with her when she visited during Christmas vacation. I had never done yoga before but decided I wanted to be prepared and went to my first class about two weeks after completing the marathon. After class, I told the instructor that the 90-minute workout was harder than any of my marathon training runs. And I was hooked on Bikram Yoga!
Fast forward to the summer of 2004, and there I was again training for another marathon. Unfortunately, I could not train and do yoga, so for four months I stopped practicing. I went into the NYC marathon with a knee injury, completed my second and probably last marathon, and luckily had Bikram Yoga to practice, as running was out of the question for a while.
My husband and I moved to Charlottesville in the fall of 2005, and one of the selling features was a Bikram Yoga studio. Plus, my daughter knew Michaela, who ran a studio in DC before coming to Charlottesville. I have practiced Bikram Yoga in six states and Canada, and the C’ville studio is by far the best!
Running along the hills in C’ville has been very challenging for me (Florida is very flat), but the one constant in my life is Bikram Yoga. It appears that every time I run, I’m throwing something out of whack, either my hip or my knee. Bikram Yoga puts me back into alignment. After running for over 25 years, I’m finding it hard to hang up my running shoes, but I’m beginning to think it’s time. Bikram Yoga, on the other hand, is something I hope to practice for the rest of my life.
I have wanted to write a testimonial, thank you note to all the teachers and practicioners at Bikram yoga for about three some years now. I am finally doing just that. Thank you. I was so very very broken when I walked in that first day, sort of pitiful to think back at what I was harboring inside myself physically and mentally. I shook a lot as all the sorts of toxins were releasing themselves. I was also crying on the mat and actually feeling so much anger on the way home as my memory was clearing, it was a bit of a train wreck, i tried not to show my over whelming gratitude for this resurrection of sorts, I just didn’t want to bore anyone with the details. but i am grateful for the life I have now and I cant say I would have it without y’all. My journey continues as does the unfurling of my past regrets only to be replaced with thoughts of a greater future. sports injuries aren’t all Bikram yoga heals though I have my share. It’s the healing of the soul that i enjoy the most,and its for that I am most grateful. I love you guys all of you no matter what my face may look like during some of those retched postures. You all are amazing.
My name is Charles, and I started practicing yoga at Bikram Yoga Charlottesville in late November of 2005. I’m writing this testimonial approximately six months later because I want to everyone to know how it has changed my life for the better.
Back in my school days, I was in fairly good shape, primarily due to lots of biking and a series of restaurant jobs that kept me on my feet and moving. After I graduated though, several years of working sedentary desk jobs tied to a computer all day, along with poor eating and exercise habits, had led to a gradual physical decline. Those long nights of playing music and drinking beer certainly weren’t helping either.
Eventually, I found myself 40 pounds over what I would consider to be my “ideal” weight of 175. Plus, I just generally felt unhealthy and unhappy. My blood pressure was high, and I had to start taking medicine to control it. The doctor gave me stern looks and lectures every time I saw him.
I tried gym memberships, but I was never able to stick with them. I would find myself obsessed with the weight issue, and depressed when I didn’t see noticeable results. One of the problems, I think, was the lack of support and encouragement. I was never able to get into a routine, and the trainers I worked with never really impressed me. Plus, I was just in pain all the time. Eventually, I would fade away and stop attending, well before the memberships ran out. I cringe when I think of all the monthly fees that were basically just poured down the drain.
In August of 2005, I began a new job on the downtown mall here in Charlottesville. Then a few months later, I happened across a brief article about Bikram Yoga in a local weekly newspaper. Interestingly enough, the reviewer in the article ended up deciding that it really wasn’t for her, but for some reason, it intrigued me. According to the article, the studio was right around the corner from where I worked, so it would be convenient at least. A brief look on the Bikram central website was crammed with glowing language about how it could change your life.
What did I have to lose, I decided. I could go try a class, and if I didn’t like it, I could just quit. No big deal. So, one Friday evening I left work and headed over. I don’t know what it was about the place, but I immediately felt at ease. So much so, that I found myself signing up for an introductory month package rather than for the single class as I had planned. It was such a bargain, how could I not? Anyhow, it was just a month. Unlike those year-long gym contracts, I could always quit if I didn’t like it, right?
The first class was a little overwhelming, I’ll admit. Towards the end, I began to feel a little clausterphobic. But, somehow I made it through. I realized that I could do this. As I left, the instructor Stacey mentioned something called the “30 Day Challenge” – going to 30 classes in 30 days. Yeah right, I thought… not for me. I’m thinking maybe 2-3 days a week, tops. I didn’t think my schedule would allow more, even if I wanted to.
But then, at dinner, I noticed something. I felt good. Tired, but good. In fact, I felt better than I had in years. I had forgotten that it was actually possible to feel that good. Endorphins? Maybe, but whatever it was, I liked it.
So, Saturday rolled around, and there I was, back at the studio for another class. Again, it was tough, but I made it through, and again, I felt great afterwards. Sunday came, I was back. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, same thing. All of a sudden, I found myself changing my schedule to make sure that I could get to yoga. I craved it.
I think went almost a week before I was willing to take the leap and put my name up on that 30 Day Challenge Board. I kept thinking that I was going to drop off, but every day, there I was again. I think it was Michaela who finally called me out on it and made me put my name up there. 30 days came and went, and then 60.
What is it that kept me coming back? Well, as I mentioned, I’m feeling better than I have in years, physically, mentally and emotionally. The classes are tough – very tough. But at the same time, they are non-judgmental. You aren’t competing with anyone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you just lay down and relax, and nobody thinks the worse of you. Just do your best each day. Recognize your limitations, and try to challenge your boundaries a little bit each class.
The workout is amazing. You get cardio, strength, endurance, and flexibility, all in one routine. The heated room helps you sweat out all the nasty toxins that build up in your body. The instructor walks you patiently through each move, so you always know what to do. And, unlike those weight workouts at the gym, there’s very little muscle soreness and pain.
Everyone is amazingly supportive, instructors and students alike. The four instructors, Micheala, Lizzie, Stacey & Cecily, are all wonderful. While the basic routine is the same each class, each instructor brings their own interesting variation to the theme, like four different, but equally engaging interpretations of a beautiful song.
All of the students just seem so happy that it’s a pleasure to be around them. It may sound a little silly until you’ve experienced it, but the overall feeling of the studio is just so positive. And every class is a little different. For instance, a crowded class feels very different from one that is lightly attended.
Some days, I’ll admit that it’s hard to get motivated to get myself down there, but then I recall something a fellow student, Kristen, pointed out to me. She asked, “has there has ever been a time walking out of class when you thought, gosh, I really wish I hadn’t done that today?” The answer, of course, is no – not once have I regretted going to yoga class. No matter how hard it is to get down there on a particular day, I am always glad that I did.
So where, might you ask, does this leave me six months later? Well, I wasn’t able to keep up the every day schedule, but I’m still going to classes about 3-4 times a week. On the days I don’t make it in, I find that I really miss it. I’m feeling better than I have in years – happier, more alive, more vibrant, more in tune with myself. I’ve lost about 15 pounds net, and I’ve converted who knows how much “bad” weight ( blubber) into “good” weight (muscle). Interestingly, I really haven’t obsessed over the weight issue, because I‘ve been feeling and seeing the tangible results on my body. My pants are all looser, and my belts are all several notches tighter. I’m probably going to have to buy some new clothes soon. My blood pressure has dropped significantly. I’m eating much better, simply because my body demands more healthy food. I’m more flexible than I have been since those high-school wrestling days. I’m getting into poses that seemed impossible just six months ago. Sure, I still have a long way to go to get into some of them, but it’s the journey that’s important, not the destination.
So, here’s my challenge to you – the person reading this testimonial, and trying to decide if Bikram Yoga is right for you. Just go. Sign up for the introductory month. And, if you can, try the 30 day challenge. What have you got to lose? And don’t forget to say hello – I’ll be right there with you.
I first came to Bikram Yoga Charlottesville on Memorial Day 2011. It was a big class, and I set up my mat in the back corner of the room. After the standing series, I lay on my mat in Savasana and took my hair down. “That wasn’t too bad,” I thought as I lay there trying to catch my breath. I was startled by the instructors voice asking us to move into another posture, and even more startled that we had much more time in the hot room than I had bargained for!
After my first class, I texted my friends that I had never sweated so much in my life. What I didn’t text them, but what they would soon learn, was that I had fallen head over heels in love with this time consuming, all encompassing, every pore dripping, every muscle working yoga. I went to about 20 classes in my first 30 days. I couldn’t believe how hard it was, and how much progress I was making in those first 30 days. That summer I was caught up in the physical practice. As the seasons changed and the holidays approached, the stress of my fractured family and my own emotional garbage began to take its toll. My boyfriend and I broke up, and I could feel the wheels falling off the wagon. I came to my mat to escape, and to breathe, to exhale every toxic emotion that threatened me. I visualized my anger and sadness leaving me. I looked myself in the eyes for 90 long minutes and willed myself to believe that this strong person in this hot room could, and in fact, would survive. I trusted my teachers. They walked on my feet, they smiled, and they pushed. They encouraged me to struggle and to practice dealing with stress, with expectations, and with fear.
There is always time for balance and for hard work. There is always room to improve your physical and mental health. Bikram yoga is one of the best investments I have ever made in myself.
My senior year of college my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It made me realize that taking care of my health had to start now. When I went to the doctor I somehow had lost track with how much weight I had gained over the past couple years and was medically obese. I had a friend who started Bikram Yoga and I decided to try it out for a change of pace. In a time where I was unsure about my future, I was able to find peace in the hot room and became addicted. Since I started Bikram I have lost 24 lb and am slowly using what I learn in class to help me in my daily life. I thank Bikram Yoga and the teachers at the Charlottesville studio because without them I don’t know where I would be.
I just had to write and tell yall about the wonderful changes I am experiencing as a result of your kind tutelage and guidance over the past several month. As a result of my new-found experiences with Bikram Yoga, and the wonderful care of your teaching staff, it is literally changing my consciousness and general attitudes towards my life, family, and business career.
For some perspective, I lead the life of an extremely busy, executive sales professional in the investment/pension fund management industry. Essentially what this translates to is a very hectic, manic pace where I am on the road or on a plane every week. Over periods of time, chronic, unhealthy conditions are bound to emanate from such a rapid pace, let alone, in an industry where the almighty dollar is king, and everyone who participates in its wake, are practical slaves to its pursuits. Hence, this creates both emotional, let alone, physical sicknesses of varying stripes and varieties. I have certainly not been immune to these maladies to say the least, with stress (and accompanying sickness that emanate from stress) being the culprit of the majority of the problems I have encountered over the years.
Over the past 2 months, I decided to take the bull by the horns, and aggressively deal with my issues head first. I can say with full confidence and humble resolution that the experiences I am gaining from Bikram Yoga to be a authentic ‘release’, as my body and mind are literally being ‘squeezed’, and in doing so, a cathartic release is taken place that is ‘squeezing’ out all those toxins, bad behaviors, and negative, emotional thinking that I had held onto for far too long. My thinking is changing, let alone, my sensitivities towards others (especially those who are less fortunate than myself), and my overall respect for humanity. Physically, it is truly a humbling, thought-provoking, body evolution that I’ve never encountered in my history. My body is changing, my mind is changing, and my thoughts are changing…and its all good. I feel completely blessed and fortunate to have found this special place, enclave, escape from the mania that accompanies my normal routines.
Finally, a special thanks to Sara and Kirk. Yall are special people, excellent coaches, and evolved spirits. I am forever grateful!
The experience of Bikram Yoga –inside and outside the hot room- is so personal and unique for every person, that I was a bit hesitant about sharing my own experience. One of the first lessons I got from Bikram Choudhury himself was to live with no expectations in order to appreciate every thing that life brings to you. Therefore, I would not like to create in your own mind set expectations about what this yoga should mean to you. Rather, I hope these words show that the power of this yoga is endless, as it works as a window to realize that our own power as human being is truly endless.
The journey requires faith, compassion with yourself, patience, determination and even more faith. It’s not an easy journey – otherwise Bikram would not call his class a ‘Torture Chamber’! However, the outcomes are a healthier and happier life; a mind that turns into your best friend rather than your worst enemy, and most importantly, a bigger heart. Once you walk out of that room, with a ‘smiling happy face’ and your feet barely touching the floor, all the sweat and the struggle are worthwhile. The Torture Chamber works. It really works in anyone that trusts the process and takes the time to enjoy the journey as a marathon and not a 10 second sprint. The change happens inside-out. You start with your breath, your spine and your mind, and before you realize it, you have a new body and a new life.
Bikram Yoga is definitely working for me… with every class, with every breath.
The reason why I am writing this testimony is because exactly a year ago I walked into the Cville studio looking for a good workout and relaxation; my life was a bit of a mess physically and emotionally. During my first month the yoga glow got into me quickly, although the idea of doing a 30-day challenge seemed crazy to me…
I did my first 30-day-challenge during my second month, and kept a daily practice all throughout the next 5 months as I was finishing Undergrad Architecture at UVA. For a while, teacher training seemed ridiculous: who would be willing to pay for the struggle of 2 classes a day for 9 weeks!!
In May 2007 I graduated from UVA Arch School. In August, just a week before the deadline, I decided to go to training. Teaching just seemed to me as the next step to explore my passion for yoga. I wanted to learn more, to grow more, and to have the ability to share this experience to others. I could talk about training for hours, but I can summarize it as the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
After training I moved to Sydney Austrailia, where I have been practicing and teaching for the last 2 months. Soon, I will go back home (Lima, Peru) to help my good friend and teacher, Francisco Moralez Bermudes, to open the first Bikram Yoga Peru…
Bikram says, ‘Just do the yoga and the gods will chase you’. I know very little about gods, but amazing things have definitely happened in my life since I started doing Bikram Yoga, just a year ago. The real changes are not the 30-day challenges, training or my teaching experience… it is what has started happening inside of me. Bikram Yoga takes you to places you would have never imagined, because we human beings have no idea of how powerful and strong we are. As I said, Bikram Yoga is a window to our real self, and not that self that we create to protect ourselves from society’s judgments, expectations, pressure and fear of failure.
For me, Bikram Yoga is all about tough love that Bikram brought from the East to help the West. You work hard to warm up the body, cool down the mind and heal the spine and internal organs of the body. Every day we walk in that room, we accept the challenge one more time because deep inside, we love ourselves in this same way.
As we all look into ourselves in the mirror, the asanas (postures) awaken pure love and healing power within our bodies. When we tap into this energy hiding within our own breath, we do not only become happier and healthier, but we make others happier and healthier. I guarantee that your yoga glow makes a change within your family, friends, workmates, and fellow yogis. Bikram Yoga offers you a way to change the world, one heart at a time.
Bikram Yoga made me understand that to help the world, I had to start with myself. I will never forget Bikram’s saying during training: ‘So many frogs are born in a dwell, live in a dwell and die in a dwell thinking that they were living in the ocean’. This practice of Hatha Yoga is a window to that ocean… As it gives me clarity and awareness, it helps me give clarity and awareness to those around me.
Throughout this year I have met true friends, teachers and mentors that have truly inspired me. Most importantly, I’ve made peace with best friend: myself. And the most exciting part of the story is that this is just the beginning of a life-long journey that started at Bikram Yoga Charlottesville, my yogi home.
Thank you Michaela, Lizzy, Meredith, and Julia… they say that a long journey starts with a single step. You guys helped me take that step. You are changing the world, one heart at a time.
After ignoring for over a year my parents’ and roommate’s recommendations that I try Bikram Yoga, I finally gave it a go. Certain they were crazy, and even more certain that I would pass out and exit on a stretcher, I approached my first class with trepidation bordering on terror. And for good reason—the room is very hot and the 26 postures physically demanding. But to my surprise, I survived; I didn’t even faint. More surprising, I felt amazing afterwards. Sure, I was tired and drained, but never before had I been more relaxed or felt more of a release. An addiction, the healthiest addiction of my life, had been formed.
Since that fateful day over six months ago, I’ve been practicing five times a week. I like to vary my practice times—going to the 6:45 AM class one day and the 6:30 PM the next. Doing so keeps my energy level consistently high through every day and through the week. And never have I had this much energy. Bikram yoga has invigorated me, improved my flexibility, toned my entire body and relieved the panic and anxiety that have plagued me for years. Since beginning my practice, I’ve experienced no panic attacks and very few anxiety attacks. Thinking my roommate and parents had lost their sanity, I ended up regaining mine. I learned that if I can stay on my feet and active in a room heated to 110 degrees, and at times filled with 50+ people, I can do anything.
I won’t pretend that class has become easy or that I’m always excited to go. I still get sore and on occasion I feel like tearing the thermostat off of the wall and throwing the doors open. But as I’ve heard countless people remark at the studio—and it’s a sentiment I can only echo—never once have I regretted going. In fact, the days you feel most tired and least motivated are frequently the days you get the most benefits from your practice.
Having practiced at many studios in many states, I can say without hesitation that Bikram Yoga Cville is the best. The studio is clean, spacious and well-ventilated, and the instructors supportive, inspiring, generous and distinctive. I owe them more than I could ever say. When we grow stressed and anxious, we’re often told “not to sweat it.” But Bikram Yoga has taught me the exact opposite: sweat it out until you’re towel is soaked, your face is glowing and your body limber. If you’re nervous about giving Bikram a try, or returning after a lengthy hiatus, just remember, so was I…
I began Bikram Yoga Thanksgiving 2005 with an intro week, that became December intro month, that became 180 classes in 180 days. A personal challenge starting January 2006. Why had I arrived at 109 5th St. SE? I had a ten day break from work. I have high blood pressure or what I call “The Pressure”. I was taking two medications despite following the healthy lifestyle recommendations. This would entail daily walking, a regular yoga practice, a vegetarian diet, and no salt. The blood pressure was managed, but the thought of increasing the medications seemed a trend I might want to alter. Additionally my feet hurt all the time and I had incredible muscle tension. What has happened? I completed the 180 challenge at the end of June. Currently my blood pressure is maintained on one third the medication. I have obtained dramatic changes: increased flexibility of joints, muscle strength, improved lung capacity, revitalized skin, pain free feet, strong hands, and pure energy. At the start I had difficulty with every posture, felt in total agony, my heart pounded, and I profusely dripped sweat. All that has transformed to a practice that absorbs every part of my body and Mind. For 90 minutes I attend to letting go, focused on breathing. During class I smile often. I hope it will help me relax into the pose instead of fighting my way into it. I have a mantra, “try it today!love it today!” Yes it deepens my practice but also inspires me to keep going and enjoy class, Being in the moment fully. I have come to cherish the studio. There is a camaraderie among students. Everyone is respectful and encouraging. The teachers carefully guide you through each class with concise instructions and gentle caring. I tell everyone about what I call “crazy hot yoga”. I feel fantastic, people notice a change, I hope for progress, I love Bikram Yoga because:
The positive feeling linger and the negative emotions float away on some Michaela cloud. As Lizzie says, “set your intention, stay strong.”
Thankfully* Full of gratitude* With total appreciation*
While there are MANY good things I could say about the benefits I have gained from doing Bikram yoga, I want to celebrate the fact that last winter was the first winter of my life that I have not had bronchitis or other respiratory infections. This is coming from someone who has, since birth, regularly battled with winter respiratory illness, weak lungs and susceptibility to all sorts of colds, coughs, sinus troubles, even pneumonia. I really believe my regular yoga practice helped strengthen my lungs and my immune system. I had just one minor sinus infection last winter which I was able to treat without antibiotics. I recommend the practice to anyone who resonates with these kinds of health issues.
Dedicate time to practicing four to five times a week and you will see a real difference. Finally, I think the cost for yoga is small in comparison with what you gain in strength and vitality. Not to mention the added bonus that you aren’t sick as much and your productivity and enjoyment of life actually increase. I could go on and on with this but you get the picture. So…Just Do It!
Bikram Yoga has been instrumental for me not only in helping me recover from a serious illness, but even more so in my day to day life and general wellness. Being diagnosed with Thyroid cancer at 27 years old was one of the most challenging things I have ever faced. After surgery, my neck movement was seriously compromised. I remember my first class after the surgery – I had to sit down for almost every posture. I had a big red scar and had restricted range of motion during any of the neck bending poses. After only a few more classes, everything started to change. Because of the heat and skin renewal that happens from the exfoliation, my scar healed so well and so fast. I took on the 30 day challenge this past January and have never felt better for a longer stretch of time in my life! Aside from the very tangible physical benefits I have reaped at Bikram, they don’t even compare to the mental benefits. To know that you can heal yourself, one day at a time, bit by bit, and that you will heal, is a knowledge that has given me an entirely new perspective on life. It taught me that with dedication, consistency and discipline, anything is possible. It has also taught me about patience, and while you may want to be in the full expression of a posture – it is okay if you aren’t, but you can get there. This concept translates into every aspect of my life in ways that have changed my entire view on the whole journey. I cannot imagine going back to the time in my life before Bikram, I hope that day never comes! “Never too old, never too sick, never too late to do yoga and start from scratch once again.”