In my mid 40's after years of going to the gym with a routine that consisted of hours on the elliptical and rowing machines, stationary bike and weight training, I retired to Sarasota. I decided to try Bikram yoga as an alternative fitness regime, thinking it was something I could do for the rest of my life. I had never done yoga, fearing itwould be too easy and not a sufficiently challenging workout. I was wrong. Bikram yoga is a 90 minutes workout in a room heated to about 105 degrees. There are 26 postures. You do the same postures everyday. At first, I couldn't do any of them, because my old workout had not done much for flexibility or balance. Over time I began to be more proficient and developed my mantra "practice makes progress." Nearly ten years later, it is part of my near daily routine and when I miss a day or two I really feel it. I am stronger, more energized and my flexibility and balance are greatly improved. One side benefit is that I can wear much higher heals now! My fellow yoginis are supportive and encouraging, as are the skilled instructors. I recommend it to all my friends! Felice
CHANGED MY LIFE!
I FOUND IT
Not The Holy Grail ... Not The Fountain of Youth … Not Blackbeard's Buried Treasure … Not the Pot of Gold at the End of a Rainbow ...
I found something better than all of these … a real gem when it comes to my overall health, fitness & well-being. A sparkling diamond.
Something that I have searched for my entire life. An efficient, yet complete, workout that includes stretching, strength training as well as detoxifying sweat production. Where I found it is not a surprise to those “in the know.”
No… it is not a pill or powder or shake or involve surgery of any kind.
I should mention that I have been an athlete my entire life from little league to high school soccer to competitive tennis to semi-professional softball so I am aware of, and have engaged in, many kinds of workout routines.
Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, at the age of 41, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A progressive, neurological, incurable disease that has, and will continue to, effect my ability to walk, stiffen my joints, cause my hand to tremor uncontrollably, among many other more distasteful things that I won’t mention here.
I was devastated and in shock. For quite some time I was simply going through the motions of my life like a zombie. I needed to snap out of this funk.
My wake-up call came at a seminar where the speaker said that the only way to slow and, even reverse, my symptoms was to exercise “beyond your comfort zone.”
So I hired a personal trainer who turned out to be a professional counter (not all are, just some) and received some benefit. On my off days, I moved from using a treadmill to an elliptical machine to a spin bike to a spin bike using an interval training video to CORE training using a video to a kettle bell class three times a week.
It was helpful, but something was missing. I felt stronger, but stiff and tired afterward and out-of-sorts during my off day.
Then the magic happened.
TEN YEARS INTO MY PARKINSONS, I was introduced to hot yoga.
Wow, talk about a life-changing moment. It is 90 minutes of sweating, stretching, compression, strength training, etc. It never occurred to me that “yoga” could be so strenuous and beneficial. You go at your own pace, but get better and better at it each time. There are beginners, intermediates and advanced students comfortably practicing together in each class.
What a difference it has made in my life. I can’t miss my Hot Yoga class for a day or two without starting to feel fatigued and stiff. It also helps me stay hydrated because I have to drink a lot of water before, during and after. This is a must. As an extra bonus, it also gives me 60 to 90 minutes of necessary meditation or “me” time.
As an inspirational speaker, I travel a great deal and scout out beforehand a Bikram Yoga studio wherever I will be presenting. I have taken classes in Rome, Italy; Nice, France; Las Vegas, Nevada; Atlanta, Georgia; New Smyrna Beach, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Fairfield, Connecticut; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Paris, France, just to name a few. I am 55 years old and have been doing Bikram Yoga for 3 years.
I have lost 20 pounds that I needed to lose and feel so much better. I have found that in order to “transform” yourself to a healthier you, for whatever reason, you have to commit to doing something different. Bikram is my “different.”
I can truly say that I am in the best shape of my life. Oh, and, as an added bonus, the people there are nice, too. People who practice hot yoga, especially those who go the extra mile to become certified instructors, are the most positive, down-to-earth, healthy individuals that I have been blessed to know and call friends.
I should mention that it does take a certain degree of “stick-to-ed-ness” to enjoy the numerous benefits of the hot yoga experience. At first, the classes can be testing. You have to just keep “showing up” and you will get accustomed to the heat and learn the postures. The only thing you must commit to do is to do your best and not leave the room until the class is over.
I have found that, with Parkinson’s disease, sometimes I can do better than other times, but I can always last until the end even if it means skipping some postures and laying some of the time in a resting position.
All in all, I highly recommend, Bikram Yoga. It has made a tremendous positive difference in my life.”
AFTER ONE MONTH OF BIKRAM THEY CANCELED MY BACK SURGERY!
“I am 66 years old physician that was suffering from severe back pain due to herniated disk and lumbar spine arthritis. Even I was aware of the high risk of failure of surgery, because of the severity of symptoms in 2010 decided to do the surgical correction. While I was in the process of scheduling surgery and arranging for my practice coverage, my wife suggested trying Bikram yoga. I was practicing regular yoga for many years. On the first session of Bikram practice, I found the combination of the warm temperature and scientific synchronized 26 postures were helping my back pain. After 1 month I felt so much improvement they canceled the surgery. Now after 6 years routine Bikram practicing, I enjoy carrying my grandchildren on my shoulders, with no more suffering from back pain.”
BIKRAM IS KEEPING ME OUT OF THE OPERATING ROOM.
"I found out six years ago why I had so much pain in my right shoulder. I have no cartilage, lots of bone spurs, and bone on bone in the joint. My orthopedic surgeon informed me that I needed a total shoulder replacement.
Surgery was not something I wanted to do. I had heard about people doing Bikram Yoga to put off hip and knee replacements. So, for the last six years I've been practicing Bikram Yoga.
With consistent yoga practice I have been able to manage my pain and maintain my range of motion. My surgeon encourages me to continue my Bikram practice as it is keeping me out of the operating room.
I love how good Bikram Yoga makes me feel. It is also helping me take care of the rest of my body."