For the last five months, I have been practicing Bikram yoga. At first, it wasn’t easy but I was determined to discover the path to inner peace and natural healing. I have a job that requires physical and mental strength, so I needed to do something to help me keep a balance between my job and my personal life.
When I first started practicing Bikram yoga, my goal was to keep a commitment and not give up, but as I discovered day by day the benefits of Bikram I became more enthusiastic about making Bikram part of my life. I am so happy to see how my energy has improved to a point, even after a 12 hour day at work, I still look forward to those ninety minutes of hard work in class and the reward that comes after class. I can see my body changing without dieting. I am becoming more patient and more relaxed, and I can also concentrate and not lose focus as easily as before, but the most important benefit from Bikram yoga is realizing that I can put ninety minutes of my day aside to embark on a journey of health and inner peace for no one else but me.
Laura Crasco, Artist
I was in a car accident which resulted in painful neck and back injuries and after mentioning this to my friend, he introduced me to Bikram Yoga. He used to tell me how great Bikram Yoga was, but it was hard to stay in the hot room for ninety minutes. I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for about six months now, and til this day, I remember my first class and how hot it was. I used to think that I would never be able to get into a single posture. I struggle every single time I go to class; however, I love the satisfaction of knowing that at the end of class I spent ninety minutes meditating and focusing on myself.
Bikram Yoga has made me a different person. I am more focused, more positive, more calm, easy going and I am amazed with that change. Like I mentioned earlier, I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for about 6 months, and it has become a part of my life. I know that I want to continue practicing for as long as I can. My neck and back injuries have improved drastically because of Bikram Yoga.
Meeting Bikram Choudhury personally has complemented my practice even more. He was very friendly to me, and I found him to be a likeable human being. For the few minutes I met with Bikram, I got the impression that he is very humble and down to earth despite the fact that he is the world renowned “Hollywood Guru”.
I am sharing my Bikram Yoga experience with my friends and family so they can try Bikram Yoga too.
Note: Laura is our in-house photographer and took all the photos for our 2011 calendar.
Justine Mancuso, Pre-School Teacher
I would have thought you were crazy had you predicted this is where I would be, one year from the beginning of my yoga practice. On January 9, 2010, I walked in the door of Bikram Yoga College of India in El Cajon. From that first step, I have come a long way. After attending for 6 of the first 7 days of the intro week, I was beyond hooked. The work was hard, but the benefits outweighed and continue to outweigh any sacrifice. Bikram yoga has helped me work through old injuries, calmed fears and take on challenges I never thought I would face, including regional asana yoga competition on November 14. Committing to competition was the most important step I took to take me deeper into my practice. As a participant, I was able to stretch myself, literally and figuratively, to become a better representative for this amazing yoga. I was nervous, of course, but the energy, inspiration and motivation I came away with continue to drive me to improve with each and every class, and I can’t wait to take on that challenge again!
Aside from the feeling of personal accomplishment, I was overwhelmed by the support I received from Anthony, my fellow yogis, family and friends.
As a result of these two steps…the step in the door and the step toward representing our studio in competition, I am healthier, happier and more balanced. There is always room to improve, and I hope you will join me in a transformative 2011. Namaste to all.
900 Classes Later By Carl Tillander
ARE YOU CRAZY?
These were the words that come to me as I entered the Bikram Yoga class for the first time 6 1/2 years ago when i took my first class. I walked in innocent and not knowing what to expect. I was going to 24 hour fitness at the time and met a lady waiting to take a Yoga class and she told me about the Bikram Yoga; so, i thought I’d give it a try. I went online and found a place in El Cajon. I did not read anything about Bikram. My first class was to say the least very challenging. I got past the first three postures and after that it was all downhill. I was only able to do one set of each pose. I laid down quite a bit and left the room on numerous occasions. The instructor was the instructor from hell. She was tough and didn’t really care that it was my first class. I left class feeling tired, exhasuted and disheartened. I thought this was insane and would not do it again; however, I knew in my heart that I had to go back. I waited a week before I returned and the second class was not much better than the first class. To make maters worse, I had the same instructor. After class, I decided that this is what I had to do to better my health. I took three classes in a row, took a day off and took four more in a row. I was on my way.
During the next 6 1/2 years, I started taking 3 to 5 classes a week. I did a 30 day challenge once and took two classes in one day. When I started, I weighed 260 lbs. After a year, I was down to about 230 and have maintained between 230 and 234.
I feel better now than when I was in my 20s. I am so glad I found Bikram yoga and know I will be doing it for a long long time. I am almost 69 years old and feel better than ever.
Yes, when I walk into class now I still hear “ARE YOU CRAZY?” but the voice is not so loud.