My Bikram Yoga practice began about 2-years ago. My goal was to return to exercise but in a low-impact capacity while carefully addressing a chronic, painful arthritic neck condition. With Bikram Yoga practice I’ve experienced significant inflammation and pain reduction, and I’ve replaced a locked-up upper body with one having an expansive range of motion. Bikram Yoga practice has become my pain management therapy. Due to my Bikram practice, I’ve discontinued costly cervical facet steroid injections, oral pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, anti-acid medications and traditional physical therapy. I recommend Bikram Yoga practice to everyone, and I certainly recommend Bikram Yoga practice to those wishing to reduce arthritic pain and its symptoms.
I began practicing Bikram yoga in September 2009 when I started graduate school. I thought it would be a great way to balance the stress of school. I fell in love with the practice right away. The first 5 months I practiced five to seven days a week, including completing a 30 day challenge. I could not believe how strongly I felt the benefits of the practice: I was no longer tired during the day, I no longer got frustrated, I was much less stressed out, my legs were stronger, my posture was straighter, I was drinking more water and eating healthier foods. Plus I loved the people I met at the studio—there is just something about sweating through 90 minutes of 26 postures that brings people together.
In January 2010, 5 months after I began practicing Bikram yoga, I was in a snowboarding accident and shattered my L1 and L2 vertebrae. After the first set of x-rays, CT scans, and MRI’s, I was told that my spinal cord was right in the middle of all of the bone fragments and that I would be lucky to ever walk again. However, after a few hours of further scans, the doctors said that the muscles along my spine were so strong that they kept all of the vertebrae aligned, despite the fact that my L1 and L2 were crushed and shattered. I contribute the strong muscles to my Bikram yoga practice. Continue reading
My prognosis was to be in a wheelchair for 2 months and in a large metal back brace extending from just below my collar bone down to my pelvis for 6 months. After one month in a wheelchair I was given the ok to walk—in half the time they originally prescribed. It was amazing because most people with the injuries that I suffered would not be able to walk again at all. I listened to Bikram’s beginning class CD most days at home, and I began going back to the hot room after four months. Even though I could not perform most of the postures to the full expression, I worked on the fundamentals: breathing, contracting my muscles, locking my knee, the mental focus in the room. Six months after my accident I was practicing the full series in the hot room without a brace. Now one year after the accident I am able to do all of the postures to full expression.
During this time I was also struggling through a series of autoimmune diseases that were triggered by the trauma to my spine. This meant severe food allergies to foods I used to be able to consume without a problem, thyroid disease, and gallbladder disease. I was sick all the time, had depression and mood swings caused by hormonal imbalances, could hardly eat anything, and was exhausted. But I continued going to yoga. There were times that Bikram class was the only thing that got me through the day. Bikram yoga has allowed me to maintain love and respect for my body, even though it is literally attacking itself. Bikram yoga has helped calm everything down in my body and led me to a place of healing.
I have experienced extreme healing through Bikram yoga that I was not able to find with any other therapies. I did physical therapy for 3 months, but the relief and strengthening I got from PT was only a fraction of what I felt after each Bikram yoga class. I received acupuncture treatments on a weekly basis for about 3 months and regular massages, which felt like they helped at the time, but the relief was very much on the surface and after only a couple of hours the pain would return. I find that if I practice Bikram yoga every day the pain does not have a chance to return, and each day I go in to the hot room stronger.
It has now been 13 months since my accident and I feel strong and healthy. It has been a slow process, but my Bikram yoga practice has sped up my recovery greatly and made the pain bearable. In many ways, my accident has helped my yoga practice. I am now so in touch with my body and have such sensitivity to each movement I make that I am able to appreciate so much more the reasons for sucking in the stomach, locking the knee, contracting certain muscles in order to relax and release pressure from other muscles. I think it would have taken much longer for me to really understand these things had I been going through the practice with no pain or injury. It has been amazing for me to experience the changes in my practice starting from literally standing up straight in the hot room for 90 minutes breathing to being able to perform all 26 postures to the full expression. Each week I could really see my body and my practice progressing. It has been truly fascinating to witness the power of the yoga.
I had the opportunity to practice at Bikram Yoga Savannah while visiting some very dear friends and fellow yogis. Bikram Yoga Savannah is an absolutely wonderful studio; everything from the gorgeous welcoming lobby to the spacious and clean locker room, to the beautiful hot room. The heat and humidity were spot on and the teachers were awesome. I really felt at home at BYS even though it is not my home studio. I can’t wait to go back!
I stepped into Bikram Yoga Savannah in September 2010 to try something new to stay fit. I had no idea it would have such a positive and transformative influence on my life. I have always been into exercising but never found anything that stuck with me besides running outdoors- and even that is off and on again. After eight months of consistent practice I can honestly say this is something I want to practice forever.
After my first class I knew that there was something special about this yoga. I bought a ten class card each month for four months and then in January decided to join for a year membership. Having made that purchase I figured I might as well sign up for the 60 Day Challenge the studio was starting in January. For 60 days I made yoga a priority. Through that commitment I began to feel stronger and more alive both physically and mentally. I found that a steady practice has cultivated a level of awareness, energy, patience and presence both inside and outside of class that I have not previously experienced before. It’s been one of the best gifts I have ever given myself. Continue reading
I realized if I pay attention there are so many little lessons in the yoga room that apply to life outside the yoga room. Some of the more obvious ones – “Make this the hardest thing you do every day and everything else seems easy” or “Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy” couldn’t be more accurate. I always chuckle to myself in class when a light bulb goes off and a more subtle message resonates within me. They are there if you are open to receive them.
Although the classes are NEVER easy, I find the room and environment at the studio to be very encouraging and comforting. I actually look forward to coming to class. I like the idea that I am expected to turn my mind off for 90 minutes while the instructor walks us through each posture step by step- it’s like a check out from the daily grind. Even though I know the class will be the same 26 postures, I have learned that every class is different and the best way to approach each class is to enter with no expectations. I’ve learned to trust the process. It works, in so many ways.
I went in for my yearly check-up with my doctor last week and he was amazed at the weight loss (30 pounds), vastly improved cholesterol levels, and the normal blood pressure readings that I had at my visit. I feel so much better at age 43 than I did at 42 for my last yearly check-up. I attribute most of that to practicing Bikram Yoga 3 times a week over the past 9 months.
I feel so much better, having increased my energy, flexibility and strength by “sweating it out” at Bikram Yoga Savannah. At first I was nervous about giving it a try because I had never in my life even attempted a yoga pose. But you and your staff create such a “beginner friendly” environment, I was soon hooked, realizing the benefits both physically and mentally after the first class. I look forward to my Bikram Yoga practices every week.
Jessica Leigh Lebos
Yeah, it’s hot. It can be miserable. I’m not always happy to go. But the benefits I’ve received from a regular Bikram practice have far outweighed these small complaints: Diminished pain of a decade-old hip injury. An improved complexion. Peace of mind. Abs like a 20 year old.
Each class is a demanding workout, a meditation, a therapy session and a spa treatment—it doesn’t get more efficient than that!
My experience with Bikram yoga started when two friends with constant back pain told me how the practice was helping to relieve their back pain. I have had high blood pressure for thirty years and take three different indications for it. I started Bikram yoga October 2010 and attend class three or four times a week.
The last time I went in for a checkup was the first time my pressure was actually down in many years. I am still on medications, but will continue with Bikram yoga–hopefully for the rest of my life. My hope is that in the future I can start reducing the strength and number of medications. Bikram yoga is a gift and blessing I give to myself.
I had been doing Bikram for about 5 months when the 60 day challenge started. After having back and hip problems for years, I could see the improvements in my body. My aches and pains were going away. In addition, I was cutting back on medicine that I had been on for years following the untimely death of my brother and mother. My goal was to of course complete the challenge but to also use the de-toxing/cleansing process that are such a benefit from Bikram to get off the medicine for good. I completed the challenge and got off the medicine and my back/hip pain were gone. I felt that I needed a break after 60 days so I took a few weeks off. Boy did I feel it, my back and hip pain came back just like before. I have come to realize that I need this in my life forever.
I did the challenge with my friend for motivation but the owner/teachers really helped me stick to it. One day, I was scrambling to get to the class at 4:30. I had just picked up my dog at the groomer and did not have time to run her home. I thought that I would leave her in the car with the windows open but the doors locked. As I was laying in the room getting ready for class, my alarm in my car kept going off. I knew it was not going to work leaving her in there. As I went out to check on her, Lesley, the owner of the studio suggested that I bring her in and she would watch her for me. She put her in her office and she fell asleep. That day she won my heart.
They say Bikram Yoga is good for the mind, body and soul. They are so right. I have been practicing Bikram since July 2010, I developed a renewed focus and vigor, lost 35 pounds, gained stamina and made new friendships.
Just when you think you have it mastered, a whole new set of challenges appear, keeping my practice “in the moment”. I leave class refreshed and energized – over the years I have ran marathons, competed in triathlons, and spent countless hours on my bike. None of those pursuits give me the workout that Bikram does.
Bikram Yoga has been an amazing experience, especially since I have had no YOGA background. I wanted to try it for helping with flexibility and core strength and was pretty anxious about the whole 90 minutes in 105+ temperature. But the classes have developed into an amzing camraderie of people who support and encourage when energy is slacking.
The 60 day challenge provided a true test of stamina and willpower and I found the calming effects of the class beneficial. I truly miss it when I haven’t had a class in a couple of days. It has certainly helped heal a bum knee and I really think about my posture and proper breathing, especially when things get stressful. The sweating and detoxifying process has also been a great benefit. It’s definately been a great new type of physical activity.
In April I did the 10 class pack and it was my first time trying Bikram. I wanted to do yoga before I had to go through hip surgery on June 7th so that hopefully it would help get through it easier. I can not tell you how much it has helped me get through these first few weeks of recovery! I had a pretty big surgery called Periacetabular osteotomy to fix my hip dysplasia so I was in the hospital for about a week. The nurses told me that I was the quickest recovering hip patient (out of surgery) they had ever seen and I thank Bikram yoga for that! Going into surgery in shape has helped me so much. Simple things like getting in and out of bed would not have been capable if I hadn’t had the flexibility that I gained from yoga.
I just wanted to thank you and all of your wonderful instructors who pushed me to keep coming back and working hard. I received your 4th of July email and I thought I’d share all of this with you guys!