April 2017
Smiling Happy Faces of BYX
Jessica Smith 
 
When did you start practicing yoga?
I started practicing yoga in 1997 after I had my daughter Gabrielle. Nineteen years ago in New Hampshire, we did sun salutes with babies on our mats. It was all new to me, but it soon led to my yoga obsession.
 
What brought you to BYX?
About four years ago, I had knee surgery that was only partially successful, and I couldn't continue to practice the same style of yoga that I was practicing before my surgery. I had noticed the Bikram studio that opened around the corner from my house, and I decided to give it a try. I was a little afraid, as I had been told it was "yelling yoga." At first, I thought I wasn't going to make it through those 90 minutes, but I soon fell in love with the heat and the class.
 
Why do you keep coming?
Originally, I kept coming back because I felt such amazing healing in my knees and back, and my overall stress was reduced. Going to class made me happy for the rest of the day. Now, I come back for so many more reasons.
 
What benefits have you seen from your practice?
The benefits I have seen from practicing this yoga are above and beyond what I ever could have previously thought. Bikram yoga got me through the passing of my mom. It calmed my mind and allowed me to clear my head. During those days of grief, I didn't realize it was preparing me for unexpected news the following year. One year after my mother's passing, I discovered I had breast cancer. It took quite some time for this to sink in and to not let on to my children what was happening until my husband and I were prepared to tell them. With the diagnosis heavy on my mind, I wasn't sure if I could hold it together long enough to get through a Bikram class, so I started by just coming in quietly and quickly, getting to my mat, and focusing solely on the class and clearing my head. I often said a small prayer to my mom at the beginning of class and was always aware of lights flickering. I took some enjoyment in thinking for a short moment in each class that she was there with me. This sense of peace stayed with me through the day with my family. The regular practice helped prepare me for the impending surgery and nine weeks of recovery. As the surgery loomed, I promised myself I would focus only on the positive things and let go of those things I could not fix or change. It wasn't always easy, but each time I came to class, I felt stronger and more able to deal with my diagnosis. I remember, post surgery, my body was not right. My rib cage felt off, I had problems in my arms and armpits from lymphnode removal. I couldn't raise my arms even up to my shoulders. I had constant chest pain, muscle spasms, and scar pain. All I could think was if only I could be on my mat, this would all improve. After a few months, my doctors cleared me to come back to yoga. When I did, it was beyond challenging. Every day back, I was nervous and yet I felt no judgment. But nothing moved like I wanted it to, nothing did what I told it to. I pushed and pushed to get it right, until I finally realized that I needed to listen to my body and start all over, from the beginning. Once I did this, I started to have small victories each class that probably only I noticed, and yet it would make my day!
 
What has surprised you about practicing?
It's now been a year and a half since my last surgery and every class is a new beginning for me as medication still changes my body monthly and challenges my mind daily. But I'm healthy and happy and have an amazing family behind me each day, along with a beautiful yoga family filled with some of the nicest people I have ever met. They are always full of great energy for me to draw on whenever I have a day full of struggles.
 
What other activities do you enjoy?
I also like to mix in other workouts, like weights, boxing and spinning, with my yoga practice.
 
What's your favorite posture and why?
I do not have a favorite pose because one day I might like one and the next day, it is more of a challenge.
 
Do you have any new goals that you did not have before practicing yoga?
My goals now are to be nicer to myself when I can't achieve what I think I should be able to. I also try to be grateful every day for life and everything that comes with it, even the challenges. I am ever so happy to have found Bikram yoga and this wonderful community.

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There are many definitions of community, but  my favorite is, "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals". 

There are also many benefits that come with being part of a community including a sense of belonging, mutual support, connections, inspiration, knowledge, and resources.

At BYX, we are more than a yoga studio...  we are a yoga community. A group of people trying to better ourselves and supporting each other, learning from each other, and inspiring each other along the way.

Smiling Happy Faces of BYX

We've decided to highlight members of our community so you can better get to know them, and perhaps be inspired by their stories.

 

Meet Jess Smith, Bikram yogi since 2013. Jess has turned to yoga throughout her adult life and it has helped her face many challenges. Enjoy our interview with Jess in the column on the left. 
Intermediate Class with James
Saturday April 22nd  12:00pm



This intermediate class is a comprehensive second class for students who have been practicing Bikram's Beginner Yoga class regularly for two or more years. It will include some postures from Bikram's advanced series, including lunges, back bends, hip openers, and arm balancing postures.
 
It is recommended that you take Bikram's beginner yoga class that day to prepare your body for more challenging postures.
 
A solid foundation is needed to build on, and that starts with the 26 postures in the Beginner Yoga class. This second class is meant to build on the beginner series and not replace it.

$8.00 drop in fee, cash only.
Mini Clinic
Sunday April 23rd 5:00pm
(following the 3:30pm class)

Have a question about a posture, or wonder if you are doing it right? This is your opportunity to ask questions about technique, or show me your postures and get some individual feedback. 

We will start at the beginning of the Bikram series and talk about Pranayama Breathing and Half Moon Pose. As always, you are welcome to ask any questions you have about any of the postures.

This clinic is great for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. There is always something to be learned about these amazing healing postures.

The clinic is free to anyone with a monthly membership auto debit or annual membership.
$20 for all others.

The clinic will be led by Kristin.
BYX Monthly Membership
$130/month

Our monthly membership is the easiest way to stay on track with your health & wellness goals. It gives you access to unlimited yoga for a low price of $130 per month. 

 If you come 3 times per week, that's only $10 per class!

Along with the amazing physical & mental benefits of a regular yoga practice, members can attend our monthly mini clinics for FREE.

Sign up for our monthly membership at the desk or online. No time commitment, only 30 day cancellation notice required.
Community Recognition

It's always nice to be recognized by people and organizations in the greater Exton community. Our  friends  at the Automotive Training Center in Exton ranked Bikram Yoga Exton as one of the top places to get "a healthier body, clearer mind, and less stressed" in 2017.



Thank you so much to the Automotive Training Center in Exton! We are so happy you love BYX!

 

Thank you for being part of this continually growing, thriving yoga community. It wouldn't be the same without each of you. 
 
Kristin Sapp
Bikram Yoga Exton


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