When did you start practicing yoga and what brought you to BYX?
I started practicing yoga in March 2013. I was an avid runner and started to experience hip pain to the point where I could no longer run. I was eventually diagnosed that May with a femoral neck fracture that required surgery. In the two years that followed I also had two knee surgeries. Never in a million years had I thought I would practice yoga. I didn't know anyone who practiced and I knew nothing about it. I thought I needed to pound the pavement to get a good workout and stress relief. Since I was in pain and so limited in my physical activity, I googled yoga studios near me. BYX came up and the class description was beginner yoga, so I thought why not give it a try? I didn't research beyond that and had no idea what I was walking into. That first class was a shocker and difficult and I did not like it...or the second or the third class...but I was drawn back to it. Something about it just felt right and I love a challenge.
Why do you keep coming?
I love the way it makes me feel physically and mentally both inside and outside the hot room, and I love the BYX community.
What benefits have you seen from your practice?
One benefit of Bikram yoga for me is self-acceptance. I did not like looking at myself in the mirror for probably the first two years and I tried to cover up as much of my body as I could. I would look at myself in the mirror and focus on my flaws. It took a few years but now I look at myself in the mirror and I'm okay with my imperfections because I am able to embrace and celebrate all the things my body can do. I've never felt as physically strong as I do now. It's a pretty amazing feeling! Additionally, Bikram yoga has helped me with the chronic pain in my knees.
What has surprised you about practicing?
How much can be accomplished both physically and mentally on something as small as a yoga mat. Also, Bikram yoga (thanks to the teachers) has taught me to listen to my body, which is something I really had never done before. This has helped me significantly in managing my pain issues.
How has yoga improved/changed your life?
Self-acceptance and acceptance (not being judgmental) of others as well. I have always been a "fixer" and somewhat of a perfectionist which is/was exhausting and unrealistic. I now embrace the combination of strengths and flaws that make me uniquely me (and others uniquely them) while still striving for improvement but with more realistic expectations.
Which is your favorite posture and why?
Triangle, Fixed Firm and Toe Stand, but if I had to pick one, I would say Triangle. I find the set up for Triangle takes every ounce of energy at that point in the class and I often contemplate sitting down. Then I remind myself how amazing it feels to get into and be in Triangle and how it much it re-energizes me.
What have you learned from the intermediate class?
That Triangle is even more awesome than I thought it could be because there is no set up:) I love the different challenges that the intermediate class offers and the pace of the class. It's just really fun.
Do you have any new goals that you did not have before practicing?
Trying to be more mindful and to live in the moment, which is definitely a work in progress.