Plantar Fasciitis

I am a triathlete and for the last two years, I have suffered from plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the connective tissue that spans the arch of your foot). As a result, the arch of my left foot was a mass of painful adhesions from all the scar tissue as I continued to train through the treatment process. Just before my first Bikram yoga class, I got a massage from the person that works with the St. Louis Rams and the St. Louis Blues. When the masseuse started to work on the bottom of my left foot, the pain was so intense, I couldn’t stay quiet or still. Up until then, I was thinking that with a complete month off of training, I might have seen the last of my problems with plantar fasciitis. Apparently I was wrong.

I had heard that Bikram yoga was an excellent way to improve flexibility, so I decided to try it out. My first class was totally different from anything I had ever done. Bikram yoga was a challenge, but it was also a blast. I knew immediately I had found something both different and special. I immediately started coming three times a week, but after seeing significant gains in flexibility in less than two weeks, I bumped it up to five times a week. After three more weeks of yoga (for a total of five weeks), I went back for another massage with the same masseuse. Near the end of the massage, she asked me if my left foot wasn’t the one having the problem with plantar fasciitis. I replied that it was and asked why she had inquired. She told me she was applying the same pressure as she had the previous visit, but that I was not responding at all the same. Only then did I realize that all the pain and sensitivity on the arch of my left foot was gone.

Thinking back, I recalled occasionally feeling some fleeting pain during one of my yoga postures, but I had assumed the posture was exacerbating my plantar fasciitis, not curing it. Apparently, once again, I was wrong. But this time, I was delighted to be wrong. I decided to put it to the test and tried running, biking and swimming, but the pain was truly gone. After having to miss workouts and hold back on my training all this time, I am really excited to see what I can do now.

When I started doing Bikram yoga, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it or how much it could help me. I was initially only interested in gaining flexibility but I got far more than I expected. Now I realize Bikram yoga is a mechanism for healing both the body and the mind and I understand why I have been feeling so happy and why I look forward to every class. It’s because every day brings another little victory that takes me another step along the path to better health. Try it just once and you’ll see why Bikram Choudhury says it makes your body sing. You’ll feel so good that you’ll feel like singing too.

— Andy Kilhoffer, 3-Time Ironman
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      • 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"
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