Healing Your Mind & Body

Let’s start with some goofy haikus inspired by Bikram yoga:

HOT, sweaty stretching
how will I make it through this
one breath at a time

Breathing so deeply
moist warm air is a blanket
wrapping me anew

The hardest part about writing a testimonial for Bikram yoga practice at Pure Hot Yoga St. Louis is how to not write a book. I have become a yoga freak, preaching about how this yoga is the best thing in the world and how everyone should try it. People are getting sick of hearing me say, “If you practiced Bikram yoga you would feel better.”

When I first came in January of 2004, I was a mess. I had severe post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, as well as an immune system dysfunction. After being a successful person for decades, I had completely fallen apart and had become non-functional.

All the trauma — childhood and adult sexual abuse, the murder and suicide of friends and more — came crashing in on me. I was desperately trying everything I could to heal myself when I came upon a testimonial for Bikram yoga, and the person who wrote it had been through many of the same things as myself. I thought I had tried everything else, so why not this?

I need to mention I went back on medication to reduce nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, etc. But in addition to this, I started a practice of Bikram yoga as often as I could, and had periods where I was sick and had to lay off for weeks, but then would keep going back.

In my first class I was such a baby! I had a phobia about sauna-like atmospheres because I always feel like I will pass out. I cannot imagine what my teachers thought of me when I first walked into the studio, and then came running out, asking if I felt faint could I please leave the room! During that first class I felt like I was going to die and could barely get through it, I was so weak, but 7 months later, I make it through class just fine, and have come to crave this yoga. Now I cannot wait to get into the room and feel the deep heat. If I go more than a few days without it, I feel it and cannot wait to get back in.

In general I am calmer, handle stress better, breathe more deeply, and live through the nightmares better. I also lost my mother unexpectedly 2 months ago, an extremely devastating loss for me, and am working through the grief on top of everything else thanks to this amazing yoga. I know that if my mom had tried this yoga a year or two ago she would still be here. And so every time I enter the studio, I dedicate my practice to her.

There are no words really to describe the experience of Bikram yoga. I had seriously practiced other styles of yoga off and on for years, but never felt the moments of intense bliss and sense of aliveness that I now experience.

My old martial arts foot injuries are almost all healed. Periods are no longer painful as long as I practice regularly, and my mind and body are gradually healing. There is no quick fix for the types of challenges I face, and I found that looking for them is an illness in and of itself.

Also, many people claim to be able to heal a person of deep-seated trauma through working with the mind, but I discovered that the more I worked with my mind, the sicker and more traumatized I got on all levels. It is working with both body and mind in class that I feel I have finally found a practice that sustains, nourishes, and heals me, and gives me hope when I am hurting. The best part is I am healing myself instead of looking for someone else to fix me.

I love the heat, the challenge, the way the experience of my mind and body changes each time, even though the postures are the same every time. I love the relaxation, the deep breathing, deep stretching, and releasing of tension, the incredible sense of cleansing and the gradual lightness and freedom my body is starting to experience. I love to challenge myself each time — even in the agony of trying to hold a pose, I am deeply grateful. I cannot say enough about this practice.

The teachers of Pure Hot Yoga St. Louis are amazing and inspiring, the atmosphere is sacred and safe to me. I am so grateful to be sharing my practice with them.

Finally, I need to say that I love and believe in this practice so deeply that I am willing to drive twice a week to the nearest studio, which is 112 miles away. (I would go more often if I had time but I do have to work!) Some people think I am crazy but it is crazy not to do it.

Give it a try for at least a couple months and see what happens. Be open to anything and everything. Good luck and happy sweating.

— C.A.T.
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      • Bikram Yoga has allowed me to raise my HDL (good cholesterol) from 84 to 110 - (despite my diet of mostly alcohol and chocolate)
      • One way I think this yoga practice is special is how it has altered how I look at myself-for the better.
        —Meredith Kelling
      • I ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday and would not have been able to finish if it wasn't for doing Bikram Yoga the past few months!
      • I started to notice my reactions to things that would normally irritate me--inside and outside of the hot room--changing.
      • Bikram yoga is a life changing experience and I can guarantee it will take you (if you let it) to places you never knew you could go.
      • The real core, or spirit, if you will, of this yoga is the way it is taught. And there are no finer, more dedicated, more generous humans than the teachers at Bikram in St. Louis.
        —Howard B. Becker
      • After a class, everything in life just kind of slows down to a manageable halt. It reminds of that scene in the Matrix where Neo bends the spoon… It’s an amazing feeling.
      • After just four Bikram classes, my injured wrist's range of motion and grip strength increased by 50%.
        —Mary Beth
      • Oh my goodness!!!! I just took the new restore class with Charles. Can I just say my mind is blown. Not only do I feel utterly amazing, but these postures are working so many parts of my body that I struggle to move. They are exactly and precisely what I need. I’m in physical therapy [...]
      • I’m amazed at the quality of the teachers and students here and I feel grateful to be a part of this studio.
        —Emily Ho
      • I had chronic issues with asthma and high blood pressure. After 7 months of Bikram, I ran this morning with no asthma medication for the very first time.
        —Margaret Anne
      • I have lost 12 lbs in the last three weeks and gained enormous confidence. I have a new addiction and I couldn’t be happier about it!
        —Sally Kennerson
      • The studio has been such a positive, beautiful addition to my life. It has helped me be maintain my balance and health. I love that it’s both a physical and mental challenge. As a type-A personality, I appreciate the space it has provided to slow down and think. Thank you so much for creating such [...]
      • I greatly appreciate all the advice each instructor gave me during my classes at BYSTL. Thank you for teaching such wonderful yoga!
        —Emily Rollings
      • The Bikram Yoga studio teachers and students have changed my life. I cannot thank them enough.
      • I heart Bikram STL. New experiences are good, but you all are truly the best.
        —Kim Hayes
      • When I started doing Bikram yoga, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it or how much it could help me... It truly does "make your body sing"
        —Andy Kilhoffer
      • The hardest part about writing a testimonial for Bikram yoga practice at Bikram Yoga St. Louis is how to not write a book. The teachers of Bikram Yoga St. Louis are amazing and inspiring, the atmosphere is sacred and safe to me.
      • My Bikram Yoga practice has meant so much to me, and the encouragement from the instructors at BYSTL has been overwhelming.
      • After being diagnosed with a torn tendon in my wrist, I committed to Bikram 3 times a week and gained nearly 60 degrees of motion after just 3 months.
      • I realized today that my Bikram experience is so much more than yoga. It really is a community of (hot and sweaty) people that I call my friends.
        —Laurie Bono McGrath
      • The biggest reward I get from Bikram Yoga has to be the sense of calm and balance I walk out of class with… it stays with me for days after.
      • What I always tell people when they wonder about Pure Hot Bikram Yoga is: 1) it’s mind over matter – all the way2) hydrate, hydrate, hydrate before class – makes all the difference 3) even if you literally just lay on your back the whole class you’re still getting the benefit. If you don’t feel [...]
        —Beth Prusaczyk
      • This yoga makes me feel like my best self every single day, inside and out.
        —Courtney Carlie
      • To the Ladies at Pure Hot Bikram Yoga: It has been a little over one year that I started attending Bikram Yoga. IT HAS BEEN A GOD-SEND!!! IT HAS ABSOLUTELY BEEN THE BEST TREATMENT I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED FOR MY 20 PLUS YEARS OF CHRONIC BACK PAIN. My past history consisted of over 20 years [...]
        —John W. Tabash, D.D.S., M.S.
      • Bikram Yoga has helped me lose 25 lbs without changing my diet (mostly junk food), and has healed ALL of my joint and back injuries.
        —Andy Klearman
      • This style of hot yoga is the perfect complement to running. I credit it for keeping me injury free.
        —Jodi Johnson
      • My job became very stressful in a way I could not control and I truly feel that this yoga is what helped me to keep sane.
        —Mary Dischert
      • All the instructors at BYSTL have their own style and wonderful sense of humor, while always delivering the discipline my practice needs to heal my body.
        —Kelly W.