I've been practicing Bikram yoga since I was a 20-something in nursing school. After about 3 months of taking class 3-4 times a week, my whole life started to change. I'm not sure there is much outside dancing and breathing that I have 'stuck with' for the past 20 years!
There are so many benefits I have received from Bikram yoga. Balanced mood, resolve to face life’s disappointments, better sleep, more energy in my body, less pain, more coordination. If I’m practicing 3-4 times a week: my cellulite will (mostly) go away, my cravings for sugar, caffeine and alcohol (mostly) go away. I’m suddenly ravenous for huge bowls of salad, sautéed spinach and hummus. People start telling me my skin looks incredible, and to be totally honest, sometimes after class I feel like I’m glowing from the inside out, bones to skin. My body is happy and my mind follows. Oh, and sex! Can't forget that good ole' sex drive that most definitely comes into play with good hormonal balancing… TMI? J
I have a pretty 'serious' neck injury - it's a tear in my spinal cord called a syrinx and I get migraines/headaches because of it. When I practice consistently my overall body pain is lessened, my headaches are much less often and I feel I am 'more stable' overall. I drink so much water when I practice consistently, and I know good hydration is a huge factor in my wellness.
The people who love me most have started practicing yoga too, because they see how significant the impact has been in my life. Those who are closest to me always ask (from my partner to my mother to my best friend) if things seem amiss, 'have you been getting to yoga?'
Everyone in my life knows how important my practice is to me and they encourage it because I'm nicer, I laugh more and I'm not bitchy when I take care of myself. Taking care of myself for 90 minutes several times a week allows me to be the engaged, present partner and mother that I want to be.
I am naturally flexible in my body, so Bikram offers me a lot of chances to build my strength. Being determined to do it is where the growth happens, that for me is where I know I can face anything (dishes in the sink I'm coming for you!) Being 'determined' to hold my self accountable to giving my best (whatever that is, and sometimes that's having a 'gentle' class so I don't worsen a sore back or pop my spinal cord open!) My determination to honor my body and the messages it is giving me - that keeps me in the room.
One of the things I love the most about Bikram is that is constantly surprises me. Who would imagine that a class where you do exactly the same thing every time could offer a lifetime of surprises?! Since my body is different every day and each teacher or class provides new opportunities for understanding, it never gets boring.
I’m so happy you have a studio that is so warm and welcoming I want to bring everyone in my life there! Thank you for having child care and making it a place for my whole family! I'm so grateful to my husband who now practices too, and that has really turned Bikram yoga into something we do/are as a family.
HHY Founder, Yoga Business Coach, yoga-doer and life-lover, Kay Afif!