Several years ago, I fell and shattered my kneecap – a severe situation for sure. I was well into my ’60’s at that time and had never had a broken bone or any serious injury, so this has been a challenge. After a year of not walking and just beginning to walk with assistance, I embraced Bikram Yoga for a deeper rehab. It has been amazing and has made a difference for me to walk and be active without crutches or a cane. In addition to this very obvious benefit – the bonus has been multifaceted: a sense of improved balance (critical to anyone my age who has experience a fall injury), better sleep, improved circulation, and recently much improved bone density measures. Of course, everyone is different, but I am certainly grateful for this yoga and know that it has given me greater strength and flexibility.
In my fiftieth year and in my second career, after years of experimentation, soul searching and self-education, I have reached the conclusion that my daily thoughts, routines and actions are the most important catalyst for positive change in my life moving forward. The next fifty years can only get better in every way imaginable.
As a middle school math teacher operating in a high tech, high stakes, high pressure environment of local and state accountability and standardized testing, it had become apparent that in order for my future objectives of health, happiness, and balance to be realized, I would need a positive countermeasure to negate the effects of the demanding high stakes work I am engaged in with students in the math classroom every day.
I came to Bikram Yoga Fort Worth through a massage therapist who recommended hot yoga as a means for dealing with stress and anxiety, and as a means to good physical, mental, and spiritual health. After the most recent school year, and a variety of stress related maladies which left me in sorry shape most of the time, I made a decision to make the first positive change in my lifestyle. My first visit to the studio was positive and welcoming and I immediately signed on for the 30 day challenge.
Day one was a truly daunting series of personal struggles, both physical and mental. Each initial day afterward has consisted of a series of struggles, and incremental improvements. Through the process I have improved my diet, learned to hydrate, and shed many pounds. Consecutive day ten was quite memorable, as the heat was somehow less daunting, and my body and mind had begun to acclimate to the process. I left the studio that day feeling lighter and more clear mentally than I had in years. Mind over matter. The practice of yoga is allowing me to completely empty my mind. Each day begins anew with deliberate focus and renewed energy. My teaching and curriculum writing practice has been positively transformed as well. Many of the stressors of the past are simply non issues today. Letting go. An instructor regularly reminds us that it’s not about what you just did, it’s about what you are going to do next. Transformation.
As of this writing I have practiced in the studio for 43 consecutive days. Stretching, compressing, and breathing has become more effortless, and less painful. Re-centering mind and body. Daily yoga class has become a priority. The yoga community at Bikram Yoga Fort Worth is one of high support, positive inspiration, and transformation. Here’s to another fifty years of health and happiness!
Bikram Yoga has equipped me with the mental and physical stamina necessary to press through many obstacles in life. Yes, it’s absolutely challenging, but it’s important to focus on the amazing benefits.
This intense, 90 minute moving meditation is all about ME and has physically helped me to tone and sculpt my body. Why the heat? I have learned to embrace the heat. It helps my muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons warm up so that my body becomes flexible enough to flow, twist, and bend with the dialogue of the moving meditation. Through sweating profusely in this style of yoga, I am able to release amazing amount of toxins from my body. This makes a tremendous difference in my health AND MY SKIN. It has been a natural avenue to assist me with blood circulation issues versus relying on medication to do so.
Mentally, this style of yoga has taught me how to breathe correctly in awkward postures and remain calm, which increases my confidence inside the hot room as well as in real life situations. I use Bikram Yoga as my weapon to overcome. We all go through difficult struggles in life. While I am focused in the mirror and breathing calmly, I look myself in the eyes and I fight to overcome the struggles in my life. I can instantly feel the stresses of life’s situation lifted after I have centered my mind and body for 90 minutes.
Words can never fully express how great I feel after I have focused my mind and body for 90 minutes-even though it was very challenging. Is anything worth having without the challenge?
I returned to Bikram Yoga after a 6 year hiatus. My motivation for returning? Three days in bed on prescription pain medication for severe lower and middle back pain. My body felt all bunched up. The 4th morning I told my husband I was going back to Bikram because I knew it would begin to heal my back. I struggled through the first 5 classes. By class 12 or so, I was no longer having my severe back pain. I felt looser! About 2 weeks later I noticed a 10lb weight loss (I admit I was eating a healthier diet). A few weeks later I went for my annual physical. My blood pressure tested normal (it NEVER was)! My EKG was perfect. My doctor said “whatever you are doing, don’t stop!” I stayed with the yoga. After about 8 weeks, I realized one morning that I was no longer suffering from my nightly restless leg syndrome attack! Seventeen pounds lighter…what can I say? I quote Tammy…”it’s hard, it’s hot, it WORKS!”
Like so many of us, I used to be a very active and athletic person, but somewhere down the road I let life and age get the better of me. I am a very lucky person health-wise, but over the years have beaten up and abused this body of mine. I have a totally worn out knee with an injury that dates back to 1979, a total ankle reconstruction in 2012 and numerous other issues with various joint and body parts from years of sports and labor.
In October of 2013, at age 56, I set out on a journey to change my lifestyle. Through diet and exercise I have lost 65 lbs and met my ultimate goal weight. For the last several months, Bikram Yoga has been a huge part of my life and will continue to be a vital part as I look to the future. The first time that you go to hot yoga is intimidating. People will tell you to relax, do your best, and no one else cares how you look. All of those are absolutely true. Everyone has been in that first class at some time and we all have our challenges, especially me!
Your size, shape, and fitness level have nothing to do with the success that you achieve in Bikram Yoga. The battle that you face each day is with yourself, all alone, in a room full of friends. To me, it is 1/3 Zen focus and meditation, 1/3 kick-butt cardio workout, and 1/3 shear survival to keep going and conquer the heat. To me, all three of those elements are equally important. Most importantly, the time that I spend doing this is for ME! It is my time to get healthy, fit, relieve stress, and to push myself and test my limits. After a stressful day, I cannot wait to grab my mat and head of to the next class.
There are so many activities and workouts that I cannot do with the limits that my knee and ankle place on me. Six months ago I was seriously considering a knee replacement, but now I think that I can put it off indefinitely. Hot yoga has helped me to regain strength and flexibility that I considered long gone. Coupled with the weight loss, the knee has not felt this good in years. It is still unstable, but the daily pain has diminished significantly. Hot Yoga allows me push my limits safely, and while each work out is the same, no two workout are ever the same.
I considered other yoga alternatives that were closer to my home. After checking them out I realized that the best studio in the Ft. Worth area is Bikram Yoga Fort Worth. The staff and owners are amazing, the facilities are first class and the members are just great people. No other studio can compare.