In the one year that I have been practicing Bikram Yoga I have noticed several changes and improvements. The first and most noticeable is that I have lost about 25 pounds and have been getting many compliments from colleagues, friends and family. I am also a lot calmer. I teach band at a middle school that has been known for its behavior issues, so the yoga has helped keep me "cool" and patient in the classroom (and outside of it). I enjoy coming everyday and miss it when I am unable to make a day.
I have been practicing Bikram yoga for several weeks now. What started out as curiosity and intrigue has evolved into happiness and restoration of self-confidence.
In January, 2010 I fell into a major depression. My symptoms which included melancholy and hopelessness persisted for over ten months. During this period of time, I have been tried on multiple (8-10) medications - by my physician - in an attempt to stabilize and improve my mood. I experienced several unpleasant side-effects including: weight gain (20-25 lbs.), sedation, fatigue and a 'flat affect'.
Most recently, I joined a gym and began to take a yoga class. I found yoga to be interesting and stimulating. After taking a few classes, my instructor failed to show up for a scheduled session. I was quite angry upset. On that very day, however, I passed a Bikram Yoga Studio. After investigating the premises, I decided to sign up for classes.
Miraculously, I began to experience rapid changes; after completing my first class I experienced a sense well being and accomplishment. In addition, I regained my self confidence. With each successive class, these benefits accrued.
I began to smile again and knew that I had discovered the path to mental wellness and inner-peace. Since beginning my yoga practice I have finally begun the arduous process of tapering off depression medications. I feel better and I'm also losing weight... What a relief!
I thank the instructors for the positive direction and great motivation they have shared with me. I am certainly grateful to Bikram himself.
I now cannot imagine life without Bikram yoga.
I'll start from the first day. I walked into class terrified of 90 minutes in the heat and fear of not being able to get through it. The heat was not my friend and I honestly didn't know how I was going to stay in the room for 90 minutes, let alone do yoga.
What I discovered the first day...
It's now been over 2 months and these are some of the amazing things I have noticed from my practice...
Thank you Bikram Yoga for showing up in my life!
Well, you now have another Bikram Believer!
I completed 9 classes in a row and honestly had a horrible time. I sweated literally a half gallon every class and could never catch my breath. I was thankful when my schedule prevented me from attending the 10 in-a-row class.
I took my tenth class last Thursday with Stacey. The small break made all the difference in the world. I wasn't so out of breathe and I only sweated 1.5 quarts (or so). I was actually smiling in class!
On Saturday, I visited Las Vegas to meet an old friend. Long story short, my morning walk turned into a long hike to see Hoover Dam. Realizing that I needed to get to the airport to pick up my friend, I had to run all the way back. I have not run in three weeks.
For the first time in years, running was effortless. I ran much faster than normal, ran further than normal, didn't breathe hard, ran up at least a dozen flights of stairs, and (surprisingly) didn't really sweat that much. Wow! What a difference!
My quads complained a bit, but I am not used to running 7.5 minute miles over gravel in baggy cargo shorts. Wow! A minute and a half faster than normal.
Anyway...thanks! I'll be signing up for a monthly pass when I arrive for tomorrow's late class. My schedule is totally slammed until mid- November, but perhaps 100 classes in 100 days can be attained starting after 10 November. The results after just ten classes in absolutely amazing.
Hello! Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Celeste. I became interested in Bikram Yoga by my step daughter Natasha. She expressed the benefits to me and I decided to further my research. The selling point to be honest with you was the heated room. I felt for my situation this would totally benefit me. In the last year in a half I have had two fusions; one in the neck and one in the lower back. With my doctor's approval I was able to learn a better way to strengthen my spine and muscles.
I am the type of person who is determined to stay healthy and fit. I have to remind myself that I take one pose at a time and listen carefully to my body. This yoga is totally different from what I am used to doing. However, it is thus far the best! My husband says finally you found an exercise that brings realization to you as a whole. Funny! Well I admit, I am much calmer and not buzzing around the room like a rocket!
Not only am I relaxed, I am more flexible. Allow me to explain. When I first started I was unable to get on the floor and bring myself back up. I could not roll from side to side and bring myself up. I could not stand on one foot and hold my body with my leg muscle locked. Although I am still at the beginning stage and holding for 5 seconds, I am improving. I have to get my muscles and spine strong before I move forward into the depth of each individual exercise. I know this, and need to be patient. The key here for me, is to get stronger and recognize that I have come a long way since my two surgeries.
The kicker of all kickers: the best for last. Not only am I in surgery recovery, I am Deaf! I am in a class that is nonstop verbal instruction. Now if you feel that Bikram Yoga is a challenge, for the hearing, can you imagine for the DEAF? Heehee, love it! Having someone on either side of me that is willing and able to keep up with the instructor is much easier for me to follow, however, being that this is not always the case, a Deaf person needs to make accommodations, to keep up with the class. Does that interfere with the focusing and holding poses, yep it sure does! So how does a Deaf person obtain theses poses and be on time? Very carefully!
Well folks, I sure hope this encourages more people to venture out into Bikram Yoga. No matter what your situation, always talk with your doctor before engaging in any physical activity.
Celeste is back with a story! I am still hanging in there with Bikram Yoga! With all the challenges Bikram Yoga has given me, I have yet to quit! Oh by the way I do not plan on quiting! You guys are so lucky!
I am pleased to announce that today (8-30-10) makes my 100th class in Bikram Yoga! Yep! I have made it! And still smiling, and less tears! Now that is an accomplishment!
During the last 100 classes I have been able to move much easier! My flexibility and stability has improved greatly, although its not perfect, and I am not ready for championship. However, I am my own champion! That is what matters, right?
I do have some poses that I like, and I do challenge myself on these poses. With the understanding to stay within my limits. Smile! Come on now Smile! You will know when I go beyond the limits of fusions! OUCH! Yes, these fusion do place a stopping point to ones movements.
My goal is to continue to increase and strengthen my leg muscles, spine, arms and abs. However, right now I have maxed out my ability! Which means, I am at the point where the movement I can obtain is the limit. But hang there baby, Celeste is going to smoke you all in my attendance! Heheeee You thought I was going to say Bikram Yoga pose huh? Nope not there yet!
I am still in lumbar surgery recovery and yet I feel excellent as long as I stay within my limits. So that said see you tomorrow with ringing bells!
From the Deaf side of room!
My Mother was my inspiration for starting Bikram Yoga but my motivation for continuing is all about ME.
I am in love with Bikram Yoga! Your studio is such a welcoming place and for once in my life I don't feel self-conscious when I am "working out", I feel welcomed and part of a group of great people all working on doing something fantastic ourselves.
My inspiration for starting Bikram Yoga came when my Mother underwent a double amputation to her legs due to Diabetes, Peripheral artery Disease and overall poor health. She asked me to take better care of myself, my health, my mind and my emotional well being. I decided on Bikram Yoga Avondale after looking at your website, it seemed to be a good fit for all my needs. I haven't worked out in over 13 years and I was more than a little nervous to start. However, after one 90-minute class I was hooked! Not because I was some Yoga prodigy, not even close! It was because of the way I felt during and especially after class. During class my heart was pounding and my whole body was soaked...but I loved it! My body felt alive for the first time in over a decade. My Mother was my inspiration for starting Bikram Yoga but my motivation for continuing is all about ME. It's because of the way I feel knowing every time I step into the studio I am accomplishing something that is going to benefit me from here on out. Every pose is a new start to make that moment count, to make my life that much better. I started feeling the benfits of Bikram Yoga after only a few classes and I embrace the prospect of a lifetime of lasting benefits with continued practice.
Thank you all for your awesome guidance
This weekend I will be climbing with my two adult sons. Until now, I have been unable to share their passion for climbing, knowing what a wrong twist or jump would do to a chronically painful back. Sharing an activity with my sons, which they enjoy, is the best gift from the yoga session.
Without listing the many maladies time visits on us, I can say that I feel better than at any point during the past 20 years; Along with having lost pounds, waist sizes, and aches along the way! The personal benefits are reward enough, the time enjoyed with others is so much more!
The energy each instructor put into every session helped me keep going. At the start of my first session I was afraid I was going to die, halfway through I was afraid I would not! In three short months I have experienced so much progress. At first, I was not able to do any sit ups and after class needed to hold onto the roof of the car to get into the driver's seat. I have enjoyed other styles of yoga, but none of them offered the intensity to show so much progress so soon.
I am sure my first experience with climbing will underscore the need to keep at it. I look forward to continuing when I return. I appreciate the welcoming, positive, and encouraging environment. I know the effort I have expended is a small part of what you and each instructor has put into making Bikram Yoga Avondale an outstanding studio.
January 11, 2010: Day 1 Began the 60 Day Challenge
Day 35: Able to do Camel Pose. I must say I was pretty full of myself for the rest of the day!
Day 60: Finished the 60 Day Challenge. Woo Hoo!
March: My arms have stopped feeling like they'll drop off during Half Moon and Balancing Stick but my neck still hurts in Balancing Stick.
April: Stopped needing a 3 hour nap after class, not to mention needing to eat everything in sight when I got home. Beginning to keep my knees a bit closer during Fixed Firm Pose. Stopped OBSESSING about the temperature.
May: Able to put my hands in prayer position for Eagle Pose. I still need to get my thumbs towards my face but it's an improvement. Getting my head closer to my knees in Rabbit Pose. Beginning to stand up without putting my hands down first in the last part of Awkward Pose. Grabbing my knee instead of the towel during final twist and putting my arm around my back instead of on the floor.
June: Holding my bent leg for almost the whole minute in Standing Head to Knee. During second part of Locust Pose, both knees are beginning to leave the floor.
July: Arms staying with my head during the sit-ups. Well, maybe not the first sit-up of the day, but more often than not I can keep them close. Head is touching knees in Rabbit Pose. I'm still more of a broken umbrella in Balancing Stick, but my neck no longer hurts. Realizing that drinking water after Party Time isn't necessary and that I do better if I skip it.
August: Starting to kick leg out during Standing Head to Knee. Head is touching my knees during Rabbit and I'm starting to keep my hands together during Standing Separate Head to Knee. Knowing that if I'm well-hydrated, I don't need any water during class. I'm not feeling the heat at all in the room.
Added benefits: My blood pressure is back to normal. My right wrist and ankle that were injured and had residual pain no longer hurt and full flexibility has returned. At about the 5 month mark I decided that I had to start eating better and have lost 18 pounds. Eliminating sugar, white flour, or processed foods has made all the difference.
Next year on my 60th birthday, I WILL do Toe Stand if not before.
Thanks Shelby, John, and the rest of your great staff for helping me achieve the flexibility and strength I thought was lost forever. Coming to yoga is a lifestyle now and with the encouragement I receive, anything is possible. So stay tuned!