Heal Your Body and Soul
The Pure Hot Bikram Yoga studio in St. Louis is so amazing. The practice, the teachers, and the students have changed my life. I cannot thank you all enough.
Before Bikram Yoga, I was self-destructive. I had been bulimic for 10 years. I had tried so hard to stop so many different times, but it was almost like I didn’t know how to do anything else. I am a very together person, and you would never guess that I was struggling with this demon. It was the way I dealt with the pressures and stresses in my life. Through Bikram Yoga, I’ve learned other ways to deal with life and have found acceptance of myself the way I am. I’m not perfect and never will be but that’s finally ok. I also gained a newfound respect for myself and a sense of worth.
I started Bikram Yoga twice. The first time was at the request of one of my friends who had been trying to get me to come for over a year. I finally relented and came. Like most, I’m not really sure what happened my first class, and I surprised myself by coming back. I had heard the amazing weight loss Bikram Yoga could produce and that was pretty much my motivation. I came about twice a week and certainly saw changes in my body. Over Christmas, I was unable to practice because I was too far away from a studio, so I decided to read Bikram’s book and to learn something about this yoga that I was practicing.
My health then took an abrupt turn, and I ended up in ICU. To put it mildly, I did not take very good care of my body up to that point in my life. Although I followed all my doctor’s orders, I was unable to get healthy again. I literally couldn’t walk and talk on the phone at the same time. Fortunately, I made my way back to the yoga studio. Having read Bikram’s book, I was determined to practice yoga everyday for 2 months. I would highly recommend this to anyone-whether you are a beginner or a veteran. It changed my practice, my body, and my mental well-being. I am proof that Bikram Yoga can heal your body and your soul. I was both physically and mentally sick when I started out with the goal of practicing everyday for 2 months.
Having to look at myself in the mirror everyday for 90 minutes was a constant struggle for me. Prior to Bikram Yoga, I don’t think I ever looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. But when you have to look at yourself for 90 minutes everyday, you start down the road toward acceptance and eventually toward loving yourself. It is not an easy journey. The good news is that no one can tell if you are crying-the sweat takes care of that! And the better news is that if you stick with it, it will change your life and your image of yourself. I don’t usually stand in the front. I’m not ready to see myself that closely. It is a process for me. Yoga has taught me to understand the process and to enjoy where I am at the moment. It is about accepting who you are and what your body can do on any given day.
There are so many benefits to Bikram Yoga – both physical and mental. Like I said, my main motivation at first was simply weight loss. But I have received so much more. I am finally comfortable with who I am and what I look like. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I would change if I could, and looking in the mirror is really hard on some days. But it is finally ok. By the way, I did achieve the weight loss I was seeking. I wear a single digit size (ladies, you know what I’m talking about) for the first time since high school and have maintained my size for about a year. Bikram Yoga changed my body and changed my eating patterns. I finally learned to listen to what my body was craving and what it needed. I’m not “normal” but I’m better and getting better all the time.
Although the physical changes are great, the main benefit of Bikram Yoga is truly the mental benefits. My concentration and focus have increased incredibly. It used to be extremely difficult for me to sit still and concentrate on one thing. I am now able to do so and have reaped the rewards of that skill greatly. I have also learned to let things go and the power of my breath. Feelings are real and they happen, but that doesn’t mean I have to let them dictate my reactions. I am in control of my responses. That is such an empowering feeling, especially for someone who has spent so much time feeling out of control.
I cannot say enough about the incredible teachers in St. Louis. Walking into the studio is always a highlight in my day. I know that I will be greeted with a smile and that they are happy to see me. And I know that they are rooting for me. They may not know exactly what is going on in my life or what I’m working through, but they are on my side and want me to succeed. That is so amazing. Don’t get me wrong, they challenge us and kick our butts everyday but their motivation is that they want us to be strong and better people.
Some of the things that the teachers have said in class have truly stuck with me, and have become my mantras. Get to know the teachers. They are amazing people!
Erin one class said to look in the mirror to see the truth and that it is only once you see the truth that you can change it. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to see the truth, but once I accepted the truth, she was right, the truth changed. Her boundless energy never ceases to amaze.
Carol walks into the room and says “hello my little chickadees” with a smile. But we all know that she is going to kick our butts! You are not fooling anyone. Carol has a way of making us understand what the words actually mean. Sometimes you hear the words so many times that you forget to listen. I really appreciate the effort she makes to ensure that we are doing the postures correctly. Carol’s corrections have made a huge impact in my postures and practice. Even after two years of practice, I learn something new in every single class. (Which is probably why it is never boring to do the same 26 postures!)
JJ is so full of energy and excited about what we’re doing. She’s a great addition to the teaching staff. There is a warmth about JJ that just exudes from her. I feel like I’ve gotten a big hug from her from just walking in the studio.
Thank you to all the teachers and to all the students. You have truly changed my life.