Meet our students, all ages, body shapes and fitness levels
I joined Bikram yoga so I could sit still for 30 minutes! It was a stressful time in my life and I had started a regular meditation practice to deal with that. Trouble was if I sat still for more than 30 minutes my back and knees would hurt. I read that yoga postures strengthen your sitting muscles and was keen to have a regular yoga practice as well.
I came to Bikram without any knowledge of what to expect. In fact, I didn’t even know that it was hot yoga until I got into the room! The first class was so hard – particularly camel pose which made me feel sick. But afterwards, I felt the best I had in YEARS – relaxed, clear-headed and just really well.
There’s so much to like about this practice. You learn and change on every level of experience. Not only am I fitter, stronger and more flexible, I also know how to regulate my response to stress, to stay calm under pressure, to tune into my breath, to keep going when things are difficult. And I’ve seen how my ego trips me up, what it means to go into class with a sense of openness to other beings and what it means to go into class feeling competitive or defensive and what a difference those attitudes make. In yoga, I learn that we are all one being with a variety of manifestations and that what I’m doing impacts on others which in turn impacts on me.
If anyone is thinking about trying Bikram for the first time I urge them to avoid judging their performance, or anything about the practice, knowing that these judgments will change over time. Instead, focus on how you feel after class – and the next day when you wake up!
Practicing since 2007
I started coming to Bikram classes at the insistence of my family in 2007 at the tender age of 57. Previously I had kept fit by cross-country running and swimming and, having a background in agricultural science, was highly skeptical of the value of yoga. I wondered what had hit me after the first few standing exercises of the first class but I enjoyed the ‘high’ of completing it. I was soon convinced of its value as a fitness and wellbeing aid.
One of the things that has stood out for me is how I can always do classes even when I have had injuries and aches and pains caused by other activities. I am now convinced that, given my age, I would not be nearly as healthy or flexible without these yoga classes; even though I often struggle to fit in a weekly class. If it is possible, I will be doing yoga classes until I cannot move anymore.
I have always liked the peace and tranquillity of the studio. My greatest fear is the likelihood of falling asleep before the start of class due to how relaxed I feel when entering the room!! The warm, the silence, a few stretches and I am ‘gone’.
It is a great studio; plenty of class options throughout the day. Were it not for so many options and classes I would not be able to make it.
One of the great things of the Bikram classes are the different teachers, all, without exception, great. They are all different, and, although the basic dialog is similar, one finds that one focuses on the different parts of a posture with a variety of teachers.
Practicing since 2017
I started with Friday Tight Ass classes, just to try with a friend. During the session I wanted to give up and go out of the room before mid-way of the class, but then I scanned the room and I saw different kinds of people.. the young, the old, men and women. Then I realised… I could do it. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon.
The studio made me see that even though we (I) think little of myself I can do it. It made me see the beauty in every body and how we can push ourselves to be better, not just at yoga but also at making each one feel better. Keep up the good work Yoga for the People.