Hi, I'm Matt! I'll be covering a lot of classes this month at BYSJ while Kay is on maternity leave. Here is a bit about me and how I came to be a Bikram yoga instructor:
I started Bikram Yoga back in spring of 2011 - I was the Chief Architect for one of HP’s Cloud product lines and found that my productivity, happiness and health were being impacted by my work stress. I knew I needed to find something powerful that would work on my mind as well as my body and deliver tangible results. I attended one class - was completely exhausted - but happy and at peace - and I knew this was exactly what I needed in my life!
I graduated from Bikram's Spring 2014 Teacher Training program in LA. My life has always had an element of teaching/mentoring in it - something that is humbling and rewarding, and having the opportunity to do this in the context of peoples health, wellbeing and - let's face it - life - is a huge privilege. In February 2015 I left HP to devote my time to being a full-time Bikram Yoga teacher.
I look forward to seeing you all in the hot room soon!
I had been working construction over 25 years when in 2009 I fell off a 2-story building. I shattered my coccyx and herniated 3 discs in my spine. I was looking for pain relief of both cystic nerves being cut off, and I wanted something other than pills. That's how I found Bikram yoga. Eventually I did have 3 back surgeries to fix my spine. I used the yoga as my physical therapy throughout the process. The first benefit I experienced was to finally sleep all night without my back pains waking me. In fact, the surgeon watching my progress now sends his patients to Bikram yoga as a result of what he saw in me! Pretty cool.
The surgeon said I could not even think of working for at least 12 to 18 months after surgery. But 10 months after my last surgery I was in the hot room almost every day, just doing the best I could. By this time I knew very well what this yoga could do, and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. I attended Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in California and graduated in Fall 2011. Since then I have been a resident of the Pacific Northwest in the summers and a traveling teacher in winters ever since.
I firmly believe in the healing power of our yoga. It's not a quick fix, but with consistent practice it works. And I don't mean only healing physically- but mentally and emotionally, as well. I know firsthand the results for the body are more important in the practice than how deep into a posture one can get. I mean, my first backbend was literally being able to stand up straight!
When teaching, I like to focus on the moving meditation of our practice, proper form, stillness in and in between postures and the breath. Because that's what really matters. Where we start is not important. What is important is just to start and let the yoga prove itself to you as it has for so many others.
Don't miss Bill's class this summer at Bikram Yoga St. Johns! Check out his teaching schedule here.
HHY Founder, Yoga Business Coach, yoga-doer and life-lover, Kay Afif!