Testimonials

Female, Business Owner

Many years ago while I was going through a divorce that was mean-spirited and endless, I found Bikram Yoga studio in Hampden.  Along with  crying almost every day for two years, I went to Bikram Yoga regularly where I could sweat out the angst, bitterness and loneliness.   

Reflecting back on WHY the yoga had such a lasting and healing effect for me, there was a part of my day that was dependable, I could count on the routine of the teachers and the dialogue.   I loved the motions that were consistent.  The rules of silence in the room made me be still and quiet.  During this time, it felt like this was the only part of my life that I could trust.  I could count on the teachers to do what they promised.  I could immerse myself in the class and forget the outside world for 90 minutes.

As I sweated I let go of some bitterness and victim energy.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to have used yoga for healing in my life.

Female, Client Service Manager, 35

1. What is your exercise (physical fitness?) background?

My physical fitness background is ebb and flow.  I never considered myself ‘athletic.’  I didn’t grow up in a family that played sports.  No one in my family consistently incorporated exercise into their daily routine.  Throughout my 20’s and early 30’s, I joined gyms, took classes, tried the fads, and worked with personal trainers for a few months at a time, but would quickly fall off the wagon.  I never felt comfortable in a gym.  Nothing really stuck for me.

2. How long have you been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden (BYH)?

I have been consistently practicing at BYH for just over a year!

3.  What was your first class at BYH like?

My first class at BYH was an early bird class and my first thought was “too early and holy HOT.”  Having never practiced yoga before, I was overwhelmed by the heat and the dialogue and the postures all combined together.  I had to sit down. But I ended that class loving how personal the experience was.  I had to focus on myself; I didn’t have time (or energy) to wonder if someone was watching me…which was often how I felt in clubs and gyms.

4. This is a tough practice! What keeps you motivated?

I am motivated by the fact that this is a forever practice.  It seems daunting, the term forever, but it is the truth.  I know that a year from now I will be in a totally different place than I am today, and that is super motivating and exciting for me!  And I am motivated by the team at BYH.  They are truly caring, knowledgeable, and supportive instructors.  Their positive energy is palpable and it is evident how much they care about their students.

5. What mental, physical, or emotional changes have you experienced while practicing at BYH?

In one year the changes are beyond what I expected.  Mentally this yoga has empowered me to make major lifestyle adjustments I was afraid to make.  Emotionally I try and look at things through new perspectives before acting or speaking.  Physically the changes have been very exciting.  I do not hesitate to admit that my body is in the best shape it has ever been in because of coming to class.  But additional physical changes, other than how I look, have taken place and cannot be discounted.  I have more stamina; I tried running recently and was able to go farther without stopping than ever before.  I was shocked and encouraged to keep going.  I am more flexible.  I can touch my toes.  I am happier person.  I like this new me!

6. Have you experienced any changes in your personal body image? What was it like before you started practicing at BYH?

Yes.  One of the initial reasons I embarked on my bikram yoga journey was because I was in a funk and depression over my size.  I had already overhauled my eating habits, but I hit a plateau and was still the heaviest and largest I had ever been in my life.  I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw – disgusted, in fact.

Fast forward 12 months later, I have dropped four sizes in my clothes.  I have muscle tone---my arms have muscles! I have hamstrings that are toned…this was only ever a dream – now it is a reality.  It is exciting!  I know that as I continue my journey in the hot room the results will continue, maybe not as visible as they have been initially, but progress on a deeper level.  It is inspiring.

7. In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice?

For me, the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice has been picking up on the nuances of the practice and dialogue.  It’s a never-ending, wonderful endeavor as we do the same postures in the same order every class with the scripted dialogue, but not every day do we have the same instructor.  Each instructor may say something differently, elaborate on a specific posture, explain the physiology behind another posture, or share an anecdote that they think is just filling time during savasana, but I listen and focus and try to absorb their words and knowledge so that I can use it in my practice.  Sort of like building blocks.  The more I go, the more I hear, the more I incorporate.

8. Has your yoga practice affected or influenced your life outside the hot room?

Most definitely.  I am proud of how hard I have worked and the results I have achieved.  I walk a little taller.  I have inspired my family and friends.  I have inspired myself to keep going.  It really is limitless.

9. What do you find most challenging about the yoga practice?

For me, the most challenging thing about this practice is the focus it requires.  I need to mentally prepare before class.  I tell myself “let all stimulation of life fade away now; you can’t stand up on your toes maximum like a ballerina while silently composing the grocery list for the week.”  This has not been easy for me to do.  It is breaking a bad habit.  But just like my body, my mind has experienced changes since I began bikram yoga, and I am more able to focus on normal breathing, the room, and the dialogue for 90 minutes.  It is a continual challenge, as little annoyances or distractions try to sneak in, I continue to push them aside and work on my focus every time I walk through the door.

10. Do you have any helpful advice or words of encouragement for new students?

Don’t get discouraged.  This is time for you.  Every day is better than the one before, even if it doesn’t feel that way at first.  Little victories today make you yearn to discover what the next class has in store!

11. What is your favorite posture? Why?

My favorite posture is toe stand!  This is because I never fathomed I would be able to get to the point where I could bring my hands to prayer position and balance with my spine straight.  I couldn’t even bend over and touch my hands to the ground.  But one day I decided to just try.  I failed, but from there on out, I continued to try, and over time I touched the ground, bent my knee, straightened my spine, and held the posture! Some days I wobble, some days I am firm, but I give it my all.  If you can, you must!!

Male, Independent Contractor, 45

1. What is your exercise (physical fitness?) background?

Limited. My past was not heavy in any particular physical fitness. I participated in team sports in grade school and middle school, but did not pursue any sports or fitness regimens after that point. In my 30s I attempted to attend a gym but was not regular. I was not interested nor was I having fun, so I was also not going.

2. How long have you been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden (BYH)?

I have been practicing at BYH for about 15 months.

3.  What was your first class at BYH like?

I attended one class a few years ago, but was not hooked. I came back in 2013, and my first class at that time was an eye opener. It was incredibly difficult but the instructor was motivating as was the overall experience this time around. I liked it, and I wanted to come back.

4. This is a tough practice! What keeps you motivated?

Three things. Mainly, the changes in my physical body and in my mind. Secondly, guilt. If I miss a practice I feel like I am letting myself down. Lastly, a desire to make one small improvement in my practice.

5. What mental, physical, or emotional changes have you experienced while practicing at BYH?

Physically, I have seen a few changes. The biggest change in my body  is the loss of over 50 pounds. The weight loss coupled with changes in my musculature have changed my overall appearance. I am much happier in my overall appearance now than I have been in years, and I hope for more changes in the future. Additionally, I have noticed improvements in past injuries/physical issues. The biggest issue I had previously was 2 bulging discs in my lower back. I know they are not cured, but the intense work I have done on my back has virtually eliminated the pains I had become accustomed to. I had and still have knee issues, but since I started my practice I have far less pain in my knees daily and when climbing stairs. The knees are not perfect by far, and I still have issues, but I am confident the improvements will continue. I can run up stairs again... if I had to!
Mentally and emotionally, I notice smaller changes. I believe my concentration level has improved, tho I feel there is still room to grow there. Also, I think that I have improved my temper, I feel often calmer and better equipped to deal with stressful issues.

6. Have you experienced any changes in your personal body image? What was it like before you started practicing at BYH?

Again, I have lost a lot of weight (tho I would be happy loosing a bit more). I am happier with my appearance and my health. I am thrilled to wear clothes with a lot more confidence in how I appear. It is wonderful not having everything I wear clinging tightly to my body.  I used to worry about how I looked and wondered what others might have been thinking when they saw me. Now, I hardly worry.

7. In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice?

I think one of the biggest benefits I have experienced is increased stamina in my daily life. I have always burned the candle at both ends and now, I feel like I can do even more. With a toddler in the house, it is much appreciated. This coupled with the decreased pain in my back and knees makes me feel like a different person.

8. Has your yoga practice affected or influenced your life outside the hot room?

9. What do you find most challenging about the yoga practice?

I find it physically most challenging to maintain balance. I seem to have difficulty with some poses that require balance and stillness. Mentally, I find it most challenging to remain within my limitations (or to not push myself far beyond what I can do comfortably). I see others that are more advanced than I am and I desperately want to be as good as they are, sometimes that gets in my head, and I loose my focus. This also results in falling out of poses.

10. Do you have any helpful advice or words of encouragement for new students?

I like to tell others, especially those that are new, to keep at it. “It never gets easy, but it does get easier”. No matter how good you get at it, there is always room to grow.

I also got a great piece of advice from one instructor a while back, that I still remember today. When in Savasana (Dead Body Pose) release the jaw muscles, do not clench your teeth or press the tongue to the roof of the mouth. This creates tension in the body. I always slide my lower lip between my teeth to relax the jaw and complete the release of tension. Clearing the mind in Savasana is very difficult, but I am working on it by trying to count my breaths so that I am not thinking about anything else.

11. What is your favorite posture? Why?

I have several I like, but if I were to choose one, it would be Triangle Pose, Trikanasana. I love it because it is difficult but not impossible. I work very hard to improve the pose each time I do it. I love the stretch I feel in my midsection, and the twisting of the spine. I feel that this is one of the many poses that is helping with my back pain.

 

Female, Teacher, 46

1.What is your exercise (physical fitness?) background?

I have always been an off again, on again exerciser.  I like to play sports and hike, but over time I was dealing with the typical sports related injuries…I would be gung ho about an activity, push myself , and then have to stop because I’d injure myself.

2.How long have you been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden (BYH)?

I’ve been at BYH for two years now.  I actually did come for a while the first year it was open, but I was in a different place mentally.  My ego was getting in the way of my practice, because I wasn’t able to stick with something that I wasn’t good at!  Now I am in a very different mindset.  My flexibility, endurance, and balance are works in progress, and I am much more at peace with accepting that and accepting myself as I am.

3. What was your first class at BYH like?

My first class was difficult because I didn’t know what was going on, and I wasn’t used to the heat.  I struggled mentally and I really had a hard time doing all the poses.  I basically felt like an idiot, although the teacher was very encouraging ! It took a while before I could do both sets of everything in the standing series!  I’m not sure that I would have come back if I hadn’t noticed how good I felt (several hours later!).  I also read Bikram’s latest book, and the story behind the poses really helped me to understand the benefits to doing yoga in the way that he suggests.

4. This is a tough practice! What keeps you motivated?

The way I feel motivates me.  I have more energy, and I feel good knowing that I am doing something to deal with the aging process.  I sat on a couch worrying about getting old and decrepit for long enough – and that was exactly what was happening!  Now I am more flexible, and yoga is also helping me to increase my endurance.  I have more energy after a class, and that motivates me to go.  My yoga teachers have also helped me to stick with it by encouraging me, being patient with me, and giving me very helpful tips!

5. What mental, physical, or emotional changes have you experienced while practicing at BYH?

Doing yoga has helped me to release negative feelings that I had been caring around for years.  Some poses really seem to help with that release.  In the first year I noticed that I had a lot of negative thoughts about myself and my body.  Just seeing myself in the mirror during a pose, and comparing my lack of flexibility and my weight to others in the class could drain my energy in an instant.  I felt everything from despair to anger to sadness—but those feelings lessened over time, and I used the experience to let them go and accept myself.  Camel pose used to be really uncomfortable emotionally and I sometimes felt like crying right after doing it, but each time the sad feelings that I experienced in that pose decreased, and now I love Camel.  I feel good immediately after doing it.

6. Have you experienced any changes in your personal body image? What was it like before you started practicing at BYH?

Yes, I’m much more at peace with my body.  I have been able to let go of the idea of what I should look like and I can appreciate what I do look like.

7. In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice?

It feels good to experience the changes and improvements that a regular practice brings.  It makes such a difference to do classes in close succession and regularly because it isn’t such a struggle to get through class, and you can start to really focus on individual poses as your stamina increases.  I also love getting to know the teachers and other students better.  People at the studio are very kind and supportive and I feel very comfortable at BYH.

8. Has your yoga practice affected or influenced your life outside the hot room?

Yes, it is wonderful to be more flexible.  I am more aware of how to move without aggravating my lower back, and I am more patient with my body in everyday life.  I was starting to have some hot flashes earlier this spring, and I hadn’t been coming to class regularly--but as soon as I started coming more often again, they just stopped!

9. What do you find most challenging about the yoga practice?

There are some poses that are particularly difficult, and I am impatient with myself at times, but it has been a good challenge to slow down and not force things too much.  I am finding it really liberating mentally to practice this.  I’m like most people, in that I’ve tended to do things that I am good at.  Now I am finding that it is also really fun to do something that I’m not very good at!  I’m two years into the practice, and I’m still pretty limited in terms of how deeply I can go into most of the poses.  That experience has taught me that humility is a characteristic that is really wonderful and liberating.  It helps me at work and in all of my relationships.  Yoga has really helped me delve deeply into humility!  It is a great state of mind to be in, and it is undervalued in our culture.  Real humility is not about feeling “less than.”  It is about being secure with who you are, and where you are at, so that you feel no need to compare yourself with what you think you should be.

10. Do you have any helpful advice or words of encouragement for new students?

Pay attention to how good this yoga can help you feel outside of class, regardless of how you may feel during class at first.  That realization will help you endure the initial difficulties and adjustment to the heat.  I was a person who really didn’t like to be hot.  I resisted it in my “former” life, and the hot room was a difficult mental hurtle at first.  It took a little while, but now I love it, and I can tolerate hot temperatures out in the world much better!  Also realize that the mental resistances that come up during class when a pose is difficult, or when you don’t like the way you look, will decrease over time.  You can just let them go.  They aren’t part of you, they are just ideas that come and go.  Decide to love yourself just as you are.

11. What is your favorite posture? Why?

I think my current favorite is Triangle because I am finally “getting” how it works, and it has probably been the pose that has changed the most for me.  It took quite a bit of time before I could last through the second set, and now I can!  I also love Camel because of the way I feel immediately afterwards.  I’m still not able to go all the way back and grab my heels, but I am looking forward to being able to do that one day…maybe in another few years or so…maybe never.

Female, Student, 20

1.What is your exercise (physical fitness?) background?

I am on my university’s squash team and I used to play field hockey in high school.

2. How long have you been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden (BYH)?

I first came to BYH in August of 2013.

3. What was your first class at BYH like?

I was first introduced to bikram while at school in Connecticut and wanted to continue my practice during my vacations so I figured I’d try an intro week at BYH. My first class at this particular studio was a bit challenging because I had not practiced in quite a while, but the instructors were beyond encouraging and aided me in my transition back.

4. This is a tough practice! What keeps you motivated?

I was involved in a car accident about four years ago that caused my back to spasm extensively. Post this accident, I went to physical therapy for nine months, which helped me strengthen my back and core muscles, allowing me to return to physical activities. After being out of physical therapy for a while, I noticed my back had begun to hurt again, so one of my friends suggested I try bikram to help strengthen my back this time. Obviously the beginning was a bit of a struggle, but I have honestly not been able to find anything else that has helped my back pain as much as bikram has. Just noticing the changes my body has made over my time here is unbelievable. I am now able to go much farther into postures I could not have imagined attempting even prior to my accident. The whole-body strength bikram helped me begin to form had amazing therapeutic benefits, and this in and of itself keeps me coming back class after class.

5. What mental, physical, or emotional changes have you experienced while practicing at BYH?

As I mentioned above, I began practicing bikram with extensive back pain. The back, core, and leg strength these classes have helped me build has immensely aided in alleviating my back pain while also making me a stronger, healthier person in the process.

6. Have you experienced any changes in your personal body image? What was it like before you started practicing at BYH?

I have definitely noticed changes in my body image. I was always an averaged sized girl with an athletic build, but after practicing bikram my body has become more toned.

7. In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice?

I have gone through periods where I have come to yoga 3 times a week consistently, and I have also gone through months without stepping foot inside a studio, so I can definitely attest to the benefits of keeping a regular practice by the way my body feels in both these scenarios. When I am practicing regularly, I am so much stronger and just feel good in general. It also doesn’t hurt to see the improvements you make from class to class either.

8. Has your yoga practice affected or influenced your life outside the hot room?

Yes, the more I attend class, the more comfortable I become with the concepts behind the postures and my ability to do them, but it has also helped me excel in my college athletic life too. Bikram has given me strength and stability that has greatly paid off in my squash game as well. Yoga has also helped me in day-to-day life as it consistently helps me maintain my back pain.

9. What do you find most challenging about the yoga practice?

For me the hardest part about yoga was in the beginning. At first I was not able to go far into any posture really, but over time my body began to adjust and my postures did as well. The hard part about this for me was believing that my body was actually changing. By that I mean that I would originally try to only go as far as I had the class before believing that that must be all I could do, but once I overcame that hurdle I was amazed with the progress I was actually making. This is not something that completely went away, of course, but now I am able to push myself harder knowing that if I was able to make improvements to be where I am now, with more practice I will be able to excel even more.

10. Do you have any helpful advice or words of encouragement for new students?

Keep coming! The first class is hard, 90 minutes of extreme heat and postures your body has most likely never tried before is tough, but if you push though it gets easier and your body does really change. It has done great things for me and I know it can be just as beneficial for you.

11. What is your favorite posture? Why?

My favorite posture is probably camel. In general, I love the idea of using gravity and your own body weight to strengthen your muscles and this is a great example of that. Camel in particular was a bit of a journey for me. In my first class ever I remember sitting up on my knees with my hands on my hips and having the teacher tell the class to begin to lean back. As I did so, my body barely moved at all. Now, not only can I lean back more than a few inches, but I am also able to reach my heels with ease. Although I have made transformations in many of my postures, this one was truly my biggest feat and now every class I go to I look forward to it because it reminds me of how far I’ve come.

Female, Pet Sitter, 46

1. What is your exercise (physical fitness?) background? I have a very physical job, so I wasn’t completely out of shape. I didn’t do a lot of formal exercise, though. I had been doing Bikram Yoga elsewhere for about 9 months before I came to Bikram Yoga Hampden.

2. How long have you been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden (BYH)? Since January 1, 2010 (already).

3.  What was your first class at BYH like?  I had done Bikram before, but it had been about 6 weeks. The first class was excellent! The instructor was very supportive and patient with all of us – New Year’s Day is an extra hard class.

4. This is a tough practice! What keeps you motivated? I don’t always stay motivated, of course. What keeps me coming back is that I always feel better after class.

5. What mental, physical, or emotional changes have you experienced while practicing at BYH? I am a lot kinder and more patient with myself and with others. Physically, I am much healthier and have far fewer flareups of my recurrent medical problems. I always receive lots of positive feedback from my physician when I go for my annual checkups. I have been able to reduce my asthma medication to about ¼ of my pre-yoga dose and have not had an asthma attack in over 4 years.

6. Have you experienced any changes in your personal body image? What was it like before you started practicing at BYH? As a woman born in California in the 60’s, my personal body image is a constant struggle. Now, I find it easier to focus on how I feel and what I can do rather than what I look like in the mirror.

7. In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice?

8. Has your yoga practice affected or influenced your life outside the hot room? Absolutely! I have more patience and compassion for people and that makes everything easier.

9. What do you find most challenging about the yoga practice? Getting to class. Once I make it in the door, I have overcome my biggest challenge.

10. Do you have any helpful advice or words of encouragement for new students? 1) I think it’s helpful to set up where you can see yourself and other people at first. The first year, I always set up in the back between the two doors. 2) This yoga never gets easier, but it gets a LOT more fun. 3) Be patient with yourself. 4) Ask questions of the instructors after class. 5) Invest in Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class book and read it cover to cover. It’s funny and gives a lot of insights into the postures. 6) Get to know your fellow students; it makes it easier to come back. 7) Enjoy all that Hampden has to offer after class– great restaurants, shopping and people watching. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself if that’s what it takes to come back.

11. What is your favorite posture? Why? Fixed Firm pose. Because I have hypermobile joints, this pose is like a little mini-vacation for me before we go into Camel and Rabbit.

Female, Administrator, 56

1. What is your exercise (physical fitness?) background?

I started doing yoga at 50 years old having no prior exercise other than walking the dog.

2. How long have you been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden (BYH)?  About 3 to 4 years

3.  What was your first class at BYH like?  I had practiced Bikram Yoga before I came to Hampden so was already “sold” on the yoga, but the one thing that I remember is just how nice and relaxed and positive everyone was.  I also felt really comfortable with the mix of yogis, young and older, at all the different stages of learning this yoga.

4. This is a tough practice! What keeps you motivated? The way I feel afterwards, 30 minutes after yoga, the next day, the next week.  If I take a break, it’s not long before my body is nudging me to go back .

5. What mental, physical, or emotional changes have you experienced while practicing at BYH?   I feel I’ve grown in all these ways, that I’m better able to manage life stresses and enjoy my life fuller without the little aches and pains that I had gathered along the way prior to starting yoga.

6. Have you experienced any changes in your personal body image? What was it like before you started practicing at BYH?   Yes!  And, this was actually the biggest surprise to me, I have more muscle, I’m more toned and I love my body.  I’ve had non-yoga friends say to me that they can’t believe “all” I do is yoga (i.e, don’t go to the gym)

7. In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice?  I think it’s actually easier to do this yoga if you have a consistent practice of 4-5 times a week.

8. Has your yoga practice affected or influenced your life outside the hot room?  Definitely!  I think in general it helps and encourages me to stay open and balanced towards pretty much everything.

9. What do you find most challenging about the yoga practice?  Breathing correctly and being in the moment …. and listening.

 

10. Do you have any helpful advice or words of encouragement for new students?   Keep practicing, it’s so good for you, no matter where you start from.

11. What is your favorite posture? Why?  I don’t really have a favorite, but whatever one I’m struggling with at that time, when I finally improve it is my favorite in that moment.  Feeling the stretch of the postures is such a good feeling too.

Female, Graphic Designer, 41

1. What is your exercise (physical fitness?) background? 

I started out doing Cross Country in High School and continued to be a jogger until I was 30. My knee pain eventually became too unbearable and I had to stop jogging. I tried yoga at various locations and even had a gym membership for a couple of years. However, once I found Bikram, I never looked back. I really enjoy the full body work out in combination with the mental break from my mind.

2. How long have you been practicing at Bikram Yoga Hampden (BYH)?

On and off for approx. 8 years

3.  What was your first class at BYH like? 

I didn’t know Bikram meant hot yoga, so when I walked into the class I was a little taken aback, but by the end of class I knew I had found something that very much suited my life.

4. This is a tough practice! What keeps you motivated? 

I feel like Bikram allows me to do more than get a common workout. Bikram is a meditative process. It’s the one time of the day I am too focused on my breath and pose to worry about work, family etc.

5. What mental, physical, or emotional changes have you experienced while practicing at BYH? 

The most obvious things I’ve noticed are the physical changes in my body. I have a herniated disc in my lower back that used to become easily enflamed before I became a consistent Bikram practitioner. Bikram has strengthened all of my core muscles which takes the pressure of my disc and now I rarely have flare ups. I also have little to no cartilage in my knees from running / osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, Bikram can’t put the cartilage back in my knees but it does stretch and strengthen all of the muscles around my knee to help support my knee. Lastly, as a graphic designer, I sit at a computer all day and click click click. One of the drawbacks to this is the pain and stiffness in my mouse hand and stiffness in my back and body from lack of movement throughout the day. Bikram warms up all of my stiff joints and stretches them. I can actually feel a difference at work on the mornings I do Bikram. I swear I have better posture and my right hand doesn’t tire so quickly.

6. Have you experienced any changes in your personal body image? What was it like before you started practicing at BYH?

At first I didn’t feel comfortable looking at myself in the big studio mirrors and I used to do a lot of comparing myself to other people in the class. Over time I have learned to focus on my breath and my poses and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing or looks like.

7. In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit to keeping a regular yoga practice?

Obviously the biggest benefit for me is the strength and flexibility I have gained in my back and for my knees. However, I think it’s important to point out the spiritual/mental growth it has given me. I’m not a religious person but I am fond of rituals. Bikram helps me feel connected to something bigger than myself. The meditative moments and focus on my breath puts me in the “now” which allows me to feel more connected to myself and something other than myself.

8. Has your yoga practice affected or influenced your life outside the hot room?

Yes, I can walk with much more ease, I’m less stiff and I have less back pain.

9. What do you find most challenging about the yoga practice? 

Once I add up the drive to and from yoga, the class itself and the much needed shower after class, I’m investing over 2.5 hours into a daily practice. Finding the motivation to sacrifice that much time (especially in the morning when I could be sleeping) is often my biggest challenge. I remind myself that I’m not just “working out” I’m also fitting in meditation and stretching. I also remind myself I never regret coming once I’ve dragged myself there.

10. Do you have any helpful advice or words of encouragement for new students? 

You’ll never regret coming, you’ll only regret not coming.

11. What is your favorite posture? Why?

Standing Bow-Pulling Pose is my favorite. After my knee surgeries, I felt like this pose was the best tool I had to regaining the flexibility in my knees because it was gentle enough to regain movement without straining or hurting myself.  I also just love the way it looks and feels. It’s the one pose I actually look forward to.