When Did You Start Practicing Yoga?: My first class was in February 2008. I started practicing Bikram Yoga regularly in December 2011.
Who Told You About Bikram Yoga?: My sister had been talking about this new yoga she was practicing and coerced me to join her.
Why did you start going to Bikram Yoga?
In 2007, at only 40 years old, I was more overweight than I had ever been and my health was seriously deteriorating. I had thought I was active, exercising and weight lifting at the time. It was to my surprise after a routine physical exam that I had high blood pressure (140/90) and high cholesterol (247). Further I have a family history of heart disease and cancer. My physician discussed medications I may need if I did not take this seriously. Further, I was also experiencing serious back pain and loss of flexibility. My spine was hunched over. I could not touch my toes without bending my knees. My back hurt if I tried to bend down, and especially hurt after doing regular household chores such as raking leaves or mowing the lawn. It even hurt during sleep.
I owe my life changing experience with Bikram Yoga to my wife. We discussed necessary diet changes. Then knowing the benefits of Bikram yoga she continued with some gentle nudging for me to try a Bikram yoga class. Yoga for a guy, “no way” I thought.
With her encouragement and some heart felt thought I knew I had to take responsibility for my situation. Not just for myself, but for my wife and two children. I wanted to be healthy and be there for my family.
I started taking Bikram yoga classes in November of 2007. I remember my first class was a humbling experience to say the least. What I found immediately was that this 90 minute Bikram Yoga class was extremely challenging, and I considered this the hardest workout I had ever done. I have continued practicing three times per week since this time. For other guys out there who have misconceptions about yoga as I did – you just have to check this Bikram yoga out! All yoga is good, but this form is a great full body workout that will push your limits and greatly improve your core strength and flexibility!
Further, it is also a 90 minute break from everything else. Putting this time aside for myself actually allows me to give more of myself to others in my life now. You can do more when you feel great. I feel great.
Currently I am in very good physical and mental condition. I have gained strength and regained amazing flexibility. My core is stronger. My physical appearance and muscular definition have improved. BP is normal (122/75 ish)and cholesterol is down to 169 with no meds, regardless of family history. I am maintaining around 40 pounds of weight loss without starving or neglecting myself. I can keep up with my children. I am much more flexible and rarely experience back pain. My spine is much straighter and I notice improvements and more movement in this area all of the time.
What is your favorite posture?
Standing head to knee. Formerly not being able to touch my toes and now I can do this! Wow! Thanks to a very good decision to start taking Bikram yoga! I am no pro at this yoga, but I am happy to be where I am. After some time and a real commitment – the results are obvious!! It is nice to be going in the right direction and I feel so much better than when I started!