Flower Petals Blooming

 

Meet members of our yoga community and learn about their practice.

Elaine Brophy - BYMV Ambassador

 

Elaine Brophy began attending Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley at age 72. That was in 2009, and she now attends class almost every day. In 2012, Elaine completed 1,000 classes in 996 days! Elaine is truly the studio ambassador. Elaine previously suffered from High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes. At the urging of her son and daughter, she came to take a class because her daughter, who had been nagging her to try class, promised if she tried 3 classes she would never mention yoga to her again. Since beginning her practice she has lost over 35 lb. and is no longer taking medication, as her blood pressure, cholesterol levels and A1C have all returned to normal range. "Just commit to trying 3 classes when you start, give yourself a few classes to decide if this yoga is for you." When interviewed by the Eagle Tribune Elaine said "most people my age get up in the morning and take medication, I get up in the morning and take yoga." 

Ashish Shah

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

I started Bikram Yoga in August 2009 and have practiced only at BYMV (well except once in Ann Arbor)

  

What brought you to BYMV?

I had been practicing yoga and pranayama breathing at home and work but was finding the routine not fulfilling enough. I was looking for a little more structure. Most importantly though I was looking for a way to create a deeper mind body connection and remember telling Poonam (my best half) the same. She went to a couple of classes at BYMV and dragged me in convinced I will LOVE it - and I did. It was also something Poonam and I could do together as an activity. 

Why do you keep coming?

Creating a deeper mind body connection - every practice has been revealing and healing in someway. Not being highly flexible creates an internal challenge for me to work smarter and harder, but most importantly to create the awareness which has been helping me outside of the yoga room. I have also seen the benefits of healing from injury through my yoga practice. 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

 I have seen multiple benefits from yoga but will focus on 2 specific ones. Firstly recovery from injury - most recently recovering from a fractured shoulder going into physio and getting full motion back. I could feel the step wise improvement after each yoga class - it was amazing to see and feel the difference real time so to speak. Second benefit has been outside of the room where I use my breathing to centre myself in a situation and take control - simple things like difficult meetings, parenting, or being outdoors. Being able to centre oneself has been a skill that is helping me to cover many challenges and activities with improved quality and speed.

What has surprised you about practicing?

My biggest surprise has been the infinite space to learn - what I mean is I keep discovering areas to improve, learn, fix at every practice - this more about yoga in general. Specifically with regards to Bikram - i have been surprised that I can take a nap in the middle of the class and feel great! 

What other activities do you enjoy?

being outdoors exposing myself to the elements - these take different forms from hiking & camping (in any weather), skiing - it gives a sense of vulnerability and keeps me humble. 

How has yoga improved your life?

It has helped me to get better at working on what I can control and to let go of other things - relax where I can.

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

This is a tough question because each of the 26 postures have something unique in them for me. Since you are asking to pick one, I would chose Savasna - it has all the components needed for life - stillness, relaxation, focus on the breath - balancing all of these is difficult.  

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

Continue to enhance my learning of the great yoga tradition and becoming a deeper practitioner - might lead to maybe signing up for teacher training. 

Yolanda Jimenez

 

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

I started practicing Bikram Yoga 4 years ago.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

In 2010 I was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, a rare connective-tissue disease that causes inflammation of the muscles, skin and joints.  I needed to find a gentler form of exercise that could keep my muscles strong, joints flexible and help alleviate pain caused by the disease.  My friend had mentioned Bikram yoga and all of its wonderful benefits and I decided to give it a try.

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

Better muscle tone, flexibility and less pain!

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

My love for Bikram Yoga, how much my body needs it and how great I feel afterwards!

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

Traveling, walking and dancing.

 

How has yoga improved your life?

Aside from the health benefits, it has helped me with my type "A" personality! At first, it was hard for me to understand, how one day I could have a great practice and the next day turns out to be a complete struggle. I found myself frustrated in class trying too hard to execute each pose to its full expression.  Once I realized, Bikram Yoga is not all about perfecting the poses, but a lifetime healing practice, I have become more relaxed and patient person in an out of the hot room.

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

My favorite pose is head to knee!!  Seeing what my body is capable of doing in that pose is very motivating and empowering!  I still cannot touch my forehead to my knee, but maybe, someday in the future I will be able to.

 

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

My goal is to continue practicing this yoga well into my 80's or 90's and what a privilege it is to work towards that goal by practicing next to my biggest inspiration/motivation Elaine Brophy.

Michael Kann

 

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

I started April 25, 2014.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

Autumn (my wife) had mentioned yoga in general a few months earlier as we realized we were allowing our bodies to atrophy. A friend from LA was visiting and had been talking about Bikram. He wanted to find a place to drop in, so I came with him. It was hot, it smelled bad, and my body cried: I can't believe I came back, but two days later I brought Autumn, and the following week Rosemary (my daughter) jumped in.

 

What makes you keep coming?

My current statement is, "I love how I feel and how my body is mine again." However, at the beginning, I have no idea how I kept coming. I could not do more than five minutes at a time before laying down, then struggle back up. Millimeter by millimeter I got better, ounce by ounce I got more in shape, and my core, s...l...o...w...l...y..., got stronger. It was several months before I could make a whole class without laying down, like well into the fall of 2014. I remember it being January 2015 before I felt like I had any stamina at all. From a psychological standpoint, it was a struggle to not judge myself. Having always been competitive, it was very difficult to admit that I needed to give myself time. It really helps to hear, "deal with the body you have today." Such a true statement that allows me to struggle through and soldier on. The sincere lack of judgement from the teachers also helps ease the mental distress of not being able to do something. 

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

The easy answer is, "I can put my socks on again." As simple as that sounds, it is truly where I was at physically. It had become a chore just to put my socks on. Words cannot explain the joy there is in being able to not even notice when you are putting your socks on.

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

How important it is to me to go and how good I feel afterwards. I try to go three to four times per week. If I can't, it is something I miss (crave)

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

I love to hike in the wilderness; I love to read mindless sci-fi fantasy; and I love to cook (and eat).

 

How has yoga improved your life?

Not only has it improved my life, but it has made it a joy to be active again. I can move again. I can get out of a hammock without having to roll onto the ground first. And did I tell you how easy it is to put my socks on now?

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

I can never remember the poses, but I love the one right after triangle where you touch your head to your knee. Now that I don't have to move my fat stomach out of the way (too much ham in the ham sandwich), I can actually touch my forehead to my knee.

 

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

I don't really have a goal with yoga. I want to be able to go to class, sweat it out, and enjoy what I am doing. Yoga has given me range of motion and core strength to become active with life again.

Chris Felix

 

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

Fall 2014

 

What brought you to BYMV?

A friend told me about Bikram Yoga and I wanted to try it.  BYMV was the closest studio.

 

What makes you keep coming?

The feelings of satisfaction and relaxation I have after class.

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

Weight loss, increased flexibility & strength, better overall mood, less anxiety

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

My appetite for healthy, nutritious foods.  I can tell during class if I didn't eat property the previous day, and that motivates me even more to eat extra healthy the next day.

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

Skydiving, Snowboarding, Running, Guitar

 

How has yoga improved your life?

It has made my mental state of mind so much calmer.  If I ever find myself overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious, a class of Bikram has always been able to calm me down.

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

My favorite posture is constantly changing. Currently I've been really enjoying Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose.  I find it really difficult to pull off with perfect form, but I've been enjoying the struggle and noticing small improvements.

 

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

Maintaining a 6 days per week yoga practice.  When I first started, that would have seemed nearly impossible.  But now it seems like a great idea.

 

Neil Evans

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

From what I remember I started in July, 2008. I took a 7:00P class with Teri. I vaguely remember struggling with the heat and moving through various states of discomfort bombarded by instructions from person behaving as a cross between a drill sergeant and auctioneer. I learned very quickly that my balance was shot and was aware of general muscle atrophy. I was definitely surprised by the intensity of the whole thing but even in that first class understood that some magical transition had just taken place. I think I took class on 9 out of my 10 intro special days as it was back then. I was definitely hooked from the get go.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

In 2005 I was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure. Doctors told me to give up, go on dialysis and wait for a kidney transplant. Not being someone that gives up easily I managed to get myself back to state in 2006 where I was well enough to come off dialysis. Although this was an accomplishment, I wasn't in a great place mentally and physically. Moving forward a couple of years, I decided to go to local Chiropractor, Dr Michael Calhoun for "an adjustment". Michael was very open and honest with me indicating he couldn't do an awful lot for me considering my condition but indicated that there was this new Yoga place down on High Street that might be good for me. I thought I may as well give it a try.

 

Why do you keep coming?

There is a consensus "out there" in Bikram Yoga world that says that it's not about how you feel during class but how well you feel after class. I'm not sure if I experience this the way that most people seem to do, with my health condition it can be quite tiring. However, over the long term there are definitely small incremental improvements that can be experienced in many aspects of self: mood, flexibility, balance, strength, focus etc. I believe it's really this aspect of the practice that keeps me coming. In my professional life we talk about the principle of "Continuous Improvement", and this can only be attained from a place of "Standard Work". If Bikram Yoga doesn't epitomize Standard Work, Continuous Improvement, I don't know what does.

 

I've taken class at a few other studios but I have never experienced the sense of community that is the heart of the BYMV. This is also a big part of why I take class and take class at 43 High Street.

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

The benefits have been many but a couple of things stand out. My medical condition is known for creating a number of standard symptoms, one of those is depression, something I suffered from quite badly when I started to practice. To my pleasant surprise this was something that disappeared almost instantaneously probably a three or four weeks after I started practice. Of course I also feel improvements in focus, balance, flexibility and strength. One of the notable changes was very noticeable improvement in the strength of my hands and fingers. I have experienced very little in terms of weight loss though due to the practice or real improvement in kidney function, although I'm convinced that Bikram Yoga has helped to stabilize the condition. I'm coming up on 10 years of coming off dialysis without a transplant.

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

Definitely the disappearance of depression was huge. This was something unexpected but also not something that I had deliberately worked at. Having studied Qigong and Taiji in the past, I have learned that you cannot force your practice to focus on a certain goal, let say weight loss, you let the system do its work and it will reward you with what you need at that moment, not what you want. That would be ego based and ego has no place in practice. So there are the big things and the small things, the Continuous Improvement, the small changes. We've all heard the line that the posture you dislike the most today is the one you need the most and will probably end up loving in the end. I remember when I started that I had real difficulty with Rabbit Pose, I dreaded the moment in class when the instruction started for the posture. But slowly and surely things changed over time. Still not my favorite but I think I can now perform a decent posture without discomfort.

 

What has also surprised me has been the transition in listening to the dialog. At one point it was the drill sergeant / auctioneer rant and the next minute the dialog became as important to the practice as the postures themselves, a way to meditate and focus. I also appreciate the heat now, on one occasion there was something awry with the heating system at BYMV, the room only got up to 80 F. The flexibility was gone and it felt like I'd done nothing at the end of class.

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

Not much time for other stuff other than work and Yoga. I do enjoy cooking to some extent.

 

How has yoga improved your life?

Apart from some of the points mentioned above I've also experienced improved posture, sense of well being and being centered. I've also noticed that my ego awareness has improved becoming less judgmental and competitive both inside and outside of class. It's always gratifying to see fellow students change for the better and improve their lives. As individuals it seems to go unnoticed but there is an opportunity to see that in others and appreciate that. Teri has started on her "Teach from Love" journey. As students we have the opportunity at every class to "Practice from Love". How do we do that? Just breathe, everything else is optional. That includes comparing yourself with fellow students, shaking your head in the wrong direction and complaining at yourself. Practice pure acceptance of yourself and everyone around you that you are ultimately connected to. That love generated in the room helps us all practice Standard Work, Continuous Improvement Healing.

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

I don't really have a favorite posture. The one that fascinates me the most is "Balancing Stick", I'm not that good at it but can feel in those moments when everything comes together that it can make every individual molecule in the body vibrate. Very cool.

 

Awkward pose is probably my Achilles Heel because I have problems with my Achilles Heel. I still keep working at it though. Recently I've had the realization that I've become too comfortable with some postures and I'm not really exploring their full potential. For me, the dialog and using the instructions from the dialog as accurately as possible while breathing and not thinking about other stuff, opens up more opportunities in each posture. Staying mindful in those moments is not easy.

Nate Jenkins

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

I practiced for a short while, 6 months or so, back in late 2007 early 2008. I came back to it in December 2012. I've been going regularly since then.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

It was right around the corner from where I lived. I had back surgery in 2011 and though I had returned to my normal, somewhat extreme, running I was really struggling with a couple of chronic issues from that and I knew I wanted to give Bikram a shot at fixing it.

 

Why do you keep coming?

It works. Plain and simple. When I keep coming I stay healthy and I can continue to run and run a lot.  When I don't come to yoga my body gets banged up and broken.

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

My hamstrings and low back are worlds better. I was in pretty constant discomfort from both of them.  I'm not at all anymore. My heat endurance is hugely improved. It can be a good place to think and process the day.

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

I'm a pretty low stress, low key person but even then I have been surprised how much the breathing has helped me in being more relaxed and calm. I'm a middle school teacher and I was at a fairly tough school and a lot of my students had issues they were working though. Beyond the difficulties that all middle school aged kids are working through so my patience could be challenged and me loosing my cool wouldn't help anyone. I wouldn't say it helped me not lose it. I already didn't lose it but it helped me not feel stressed both in stressful situations and in the aftermath of them.

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

I love to run. I was a professional marathoner before I taught. I still try to run around a 100 miles a week. I love to hike and enjoy gardening. I love to read though I often fall asleep while doing it thanks to work and my other hobbies. 

 

How has yoga improved your life?

I'm able to run as much and live as crazy active a life as I ever have and not feel any different than I did when I was 25. If anything I feel better in most ways. I also feel stronger and like I have a much greater connection too and control of my body. 

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

I honestly don't have a favorite. I just love when I have a breakthrough and feel something let go or I find myself able to do something I've never been able to do before. 

 

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

I started and wanted it to be a temporary fix. Reset my body and move on. Now I want to do yoga till the day I die. I want it to be a part of my life.  I feel it provides quality of life. It sounds new age or whatever but I honestly feel a feeling inside that I can only describe as life growing each time I come.  I still prefer to run but I view the yoga as being as much a part of my life now as I do the running.

 

Feel free to add in any other information about your practice and how it effects your life.

When I started, I couldn't sit on my heels. I knew that was awful for a 30-something guy. So, I really paid attention to the instructors and was patient, but I was worried about that. Now I sit on them at home most of the time, no heat, no warm up, it is comfortable. I find that amazing and wonderful.

Jere Trask

 

My Name is Jere Trask and I would like to tell you what yoga's done to make my life easier. When I was 19 I started to experience discomfort in my right ankle. In 1967 I woke up with severe back pain and went to the hospital. After several visits to the emergency room I was eventually diagnosed with a blood clot from a rare blood disorder, Factor V Blood deficiency. I was put on blood thinners and over the next eight years I was hospitalized 3 more times.

 

This illness caused me to to have poor circulation and ulcers on my ankle. Over the next 35 years I wore heavy support stockings to manage the problem. These stockings were very uncomfortable under the work boots I wore for my construction job. It would take weeks for the ulcers to heal. Often I was in so much pain I would drive straight to the doctor after work. The doctors had little advice but to stay off my feet, elevate my legs, and expect the condition to get worse over time. 

 

This is where the story changes. In 2010 my daughter convinced me to try Bikram Yoga. My first class was with Teri and after a cordial introduction she informed me I needed to "keep my mouth shut and breath through my nose." My first thought was 'I don't need another women telling me to keep my mouth shut, I've already got one at home."

 

I made it through my first class and in my mind I had doubts I would ever return. While sitting on the benches after class I commented it could be my first and last class. A women on the bench sat next to me and proceeded to talk to me like a little boy. She held my hand and asked me to promise her that I would do at least 20 classes before I quit. I let her know it was a lot to ask but I would do it. If you hadn't figured it out that women was Elaine. That was 6 years ago and I'm still going strong.

 

The best part of the story is, since I started practicing I have NOT had a leg or ankle ulcer! I have thrown away my support stockings. I have no leg swelling, my circulation is good. I have undergone two knee replacements and a hip replacement with good results.

 

If you are thinking about trying Bikram Yoga for any reason, reach out and hold my hand, promise me you will take 20 classes before you quit!

Kristen Webster

 

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

I began practicing at BYMV a little over 18 months ago.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

I was really struggling with the lingering effects of Lyme Disease. My joints and muscles felt like they were all in a revolt against me, and I was starting to worry that if I felt this "crunchy" and achy at 50, what the hell was I going to feel like at 80. I knew I needed to do something to help combat it, and yoga seemed like the gentlest, most accessible option.  It also helped a lot that BYMV's reigning queen, Elaine Brophy was a good friend. She had been after me about coming to class with her for a few years and it felt like it was time to finally listen.

 

Why do you keep coming?

The simplest answer? It works. It's not always easy, and it's not the complete solution, but it has definitely been a HUGE piece of the puzzle.  I just feel better. I can't exactly explain it or put my finger on it, but I feel better overall. I still have days when I am achy and the best I can do is lie on the floor and whine, but if I do it - if I get to class in the morning - it just makes my day, or my week go so much easier.  Plus, the company is great.  Getting to start my day off with a healthy dose of love and laughter... is simply the best!

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

I still struggle a bit with my body being stiff and achy, but I definitely have more flexibility in my back. I think the biggest benefit I have seen is in my mental capacity. It's been in my ability to maintain a positive outlook and to "keep on swimming" as Dory would say, no matter what.

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

Honestly, that I continue to stick with it. (giggling)  Listen, those first few weeks are brutal. The smell, the heat, the PAIN!! Don't even get me started. But I did it, and continue to do it. I'm not going to lie, I still haven't developed a total love fest with hot yoga. It's still pretty easy for me to find a convenient excuse to avoid coming to class in the mornings. But there is a sense of accomplishment when I'm finished - and am primed and ready to start the day.  And that is a good feeling.

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

I really love being creative. It doesn't really matter the capacity. I just love using my mind to problem solve or design things. Pretty much anything you can apply a creative process to, I am there and excited about. I am driven by this crazy, insatiable curiosity to explore the depths of untapped possibilities and human potential. It tickles me. I adore helping my clients uncover their truths, crush their limiting beliefs and feel safe and confident to be their own unique, delicious selves. I love using tools like journaling, coloring books and Laughter Yoga™ to help them relax into themselves, and begin to feel safe and confident in who they are.  Coloring and journaling are beautiful creative process and laughter is the breath of life. When these aspects are combined, they have the ability to open us to a deeper truth and connection with others. I have this crazy undercurrent or directive that guides me daily. It's a my own personal mission statement and it goes like this, "I expand in love, laughter, creativity, freedom, magic, joy and possibility daily as I inspire and empowers others to tap into their own truth as well." Following that directive makes life interesting and fun - and rarely allows for the same day to happen twice!

 

How has yoga improved your life?

This might not be the best explanation for how yoga has improved my life, but use this acronym to describe it:

 

Youthful

Optimistic

Grateful

Active/activity

 

I think that activity is the key to staying youthful, and the reflective properties inherent in yoga (especially at your studio) help to generate optimism. And when you are being optimistic, it's just natural to feel grateful. So, there you have it!  Good yoga = good life!  


 

What's your favorite posture and why?

I really like the squatty tree stand.  I forget what it's actually called, but it is the one that follows the regular tree stand, before savasana (which I would have said was my favorite, but didn't want to sound like I was in elementary school and had just replied "recess" when asked what my favorite subject was.)  Anyway, I haven't even come close to mastering it, but I think that is what I like about it. It provides a good challenge for me each day. I love that it pokes at my belief systems and I feel like it tests my ability to be fully present more than any of the other poses.

 

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

For yoga or life? My biggest goal for yoga (for right now) is to get into squatty tree stand on the right - or left, not sure how you would define it.  In the first half of process I don't have as much flexibility in my hip, so I haven't been able to get down into a squat yet. And then to be able to hold the balancing part of it and get back up. I still fall over. For life, it's simple: Do all things with more love, not less.

Jen Magazzu

 

When did you start practicing Bikram yoga? 

A little over 4 years ago


What brought you to BYMV? 

I moved to this area 2 1/2 years ago and my stepmother had mentioned this studio so I came with her the first time and then on my own since.


What keeps you coming to class? 

So many reasons really. The physical and mental benefits. I love the overall feeling I get from each class and knowing I'm taking that time to take care of myself. The friendly, non-intimidating environment of both the teachers and the students. The teachers are all awesome! I am never disappointed.


What benefits have you seen from your practice? 

Physically, better muscle tone, flexibility and more energy. Mentally, less stress and less "foggy".  I love that the teachers tell you benefits of each posture and even if they aren't things you can see with your eyes or feel physically at that time you know you're still getting these amazing benefits.


What has surprised you about practicing? 

Seeing and feeling what my body is capable of doing...and then doing more!


What other activities do you enjoy? 

I play on softball and floor hockey leagues. I also enjoy hiking and just walking in general, I would walk all day if I could.


How has yoga improved your life? 

I feel better about myself in general. I worry less. I sleep better. As a single mom who works full time it hasn't always been easy to find the time or come as often as I'd like. Knowing the benefits I receive from doing Bikram yoga helps me be a better parent by taking care of myself, handling stress well and having more energy to do more with my daughter.


You have been practicing in a chair recently, can you tell us what happened? 

I broke my fibula (ankle) in 3 places back in June playing softball.  I was in a cast and crutches for 3 weeks and a walking boot/cast for 3 more weeks.  I had e-mailed Teri about my injury and she said she'd be happy to guide me through practicing with a chair.  Almost 5 weeks after my injury I showed up for a Yoga Night School class with a pretty atrophic left leg and after class she showed me how I could do the standing series using a chair and the floor series using a towel and other alterations. Between the heat and getting things flowing I know I have been healing faster. Teri really knows her stuff and because of that I was able to get back to yoga quicker, to heal quicker and I am so very thankful for her and this practice.  I also feel that having this yoga in my life before my injury has undoubtedly contributed to getting me through that tough time both physically and mentally.

Sharon Libront

 

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

Thanks to my husband, who bought me a gift certificate, I tried my first class years ago.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

I was tired of the same routine I was going to the gym and knew that I liked the more typical yoga classes I've done in the past. The challenge of doing an intense yoga, like Bikram intrigued me.

 

What keeps you coming?

I keep coming for the following reasons:

1)  It helps me deal with everyday life stress in a big way!

2)  I always feel energized after a class, no matter how sluggish I was feeling before class.

3)  I really got hooked when I started to see my body transform. I found it hard to lose the excess weight and tighten up muscles by going to the gym.

4)  As soon as I walk in the door, I'm greeted warmly by the teacher and my fellow yogi's. I always feel welcomed and valued!

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

My stress level is much lower in life, which translates to a happier me at home and at school. 

* I know that while practicing yoga, I'm supposed to be in the present and only think about what I'm doing in the hot room. However, I have to say that I get my most creative ideas or a clearer vision on which directions I should take in life, during my practice. Sorry Teri!

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

That the repetition of the poses has not become boring. I still hear directions "for the first time" many years later.

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

Swimming, skiing, biking

 

How has yoga improved your life?

I feel that I can handle the demands on my life in a more positive way and with more energy. I feel good about myself and this translates to my relationships with others.

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

Camel pose. It seemed to take me forever to have the courage to lean my head back and lean backwards to grab hold of my heels with my hands. Teri kept encouraging me to keep going and I had trust in her so I kept going and reached my heels. I find this pose to be energizing!

 

What's a goal you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

To bring yoga to children in classrooms. I now do Yoga 4 Classrooms poses with my students and have gone on to train teachers so that they can implement this wonderful program. I am also now certified to teach children's yoga after school as well. I would never have done this if I hadn't started practicing Bikram. 

Dorothea

 

Dorothea is a student and Bikram Yoga Teacher.
 

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga? 

I started practicing Bikram Yoga in the Fall of 2013.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

I had recently moved to the area and I was curious about the studio. I had recently started practicing and visiting studios to see how each felt. I started practicing to try a new method of anxiety and stress management, and there is something unique about this studio a certain feeling of familiarity similar to visiting an old friend.

Why did you keep coming?

Honestly, it's simple, it works. I went in a skeptic, sure that I wasn't going to stick to it. I took my first class on the recommendation of a friend. I will be honest, after my very first class, if you had asked me if I would still have a practice and even go on to teach, I would have curtly responded with a variety of negative responses and told you I was never coming back. However that night, I slept better than I had in 10 years. I decided to finish my intro special and see what happens. I am so glad I did, those first few classes change everything.

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

The benefits have been more than I was even aware I needed, I began this practice as an alternative method to manage anxiety and insomnia. I had been taking medications for more than a decade. I had begun to feel that the medication was causing more harm than good, I wanted to be in more control of it. I had decided a few months before finding this practice that I was going try something new, the yoga came at just the right time. It not only helped me with my anxiety, and better night's sleep but it alleviated headaches, and aches from standing all day also I made it through the winter without one cold! 

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

More than anything, the feeling. I love being in the room, I would have never imagined that I would be here now. It's a difficult thing to find the appropriate words. Something similar to, if you allow this yoga to help you, it really does. It's so simple, just listen to the words and listen to your body, then somehow magically you start hearing and understanding so much about yourself during the 90 minutes and that just radiates through so many other areas. It improves so much if you allow it, it's a great reminder of something I think often gets lost in life, that we are capable and deserving of health and wellness.

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

I have always enjoyed pointe, although an injury in my late teens prevented further practice. I also enjoy swimming and hiking, and general outdoor exploration. 

 

How has yoga improved your life?

It gave me back so much I wasn't aware I had lost, or could improve. It changes your whole perspective, like changing color on a television. Everything is a just more vivid, and who doesn't like a more colorful picture? Especially when the picture is life.

What's your favorite posture and why?

Full Locust Pose. At this point in class I'm sweaty, really introspective and it's time to "fly". The feeling of slowly "taking of" going up to the highest possible point, exhaling to "come up one more time", calmly using every muscle to fight against gravity and slowly lowering down into savasana. The moment of letting go in that savasana, when you turn you head to the right and put your ear against the towel, everything slows down for me. I feel myself really slip into the sound of my heart rate as it is amplified against the mat, I feel it settle as I sink into the floor as I inhale and exhale for the twenty seconds before I attempt to go up higher with more control in the second set, only to settle again into the moment of clarity of being. I like being able to relish moments like that, and I get to every time I practice.

 

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

To discover what else I might be capable of. I never saw that truly until I started watching myself do things I didn't ever think I could or would, in a big mirror, in a hot humid room, surrounded by other people trying to do the same thing.

 

What made you want to be a teacher?

Honestly, the idea was given to me. I had not considered it, and then other students started asking me. I started going to other studios and other people that had only just practiced with me once or twice were asking me if I was a teacher. Then teachers began talking about trainings during classes. After little over a year of practice and these occurrences, I made a choice to go to Teacher Training. I was inspired by the belief people seemed to have in me and my decision, that I felt an affirming positivity and everything seemed to manifest and fall into place. I wanted to give that inspiration back, it is one of the many reasons I realized I should teach this yoga.
 

So far what is your favorite thing about teaching?

The feeling of having a brand new "practice", being in the same room growing over the same dialogue, just in a different way. I am inspired by the students in the room, and I feel at this time I just can't wait to see how much we receive by continuing to give.

Katie Young

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

May 2015

What brought you to BYMV?

I was recommended for sessions by a member at the Marine Corps League.

Why do you keep coming?

I enjoy the relaxation in my muscles and joints after each practice. Not only does it feel good physically, but it helps reduce stress, which is important in my recovery.

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

The practice keeps me in motion, and is super beneficial now that I have been back on the track. I don't stretch before I run, so healing the body after days of strenuous workouts has made differences in my athletic abilities.

What has surprised you about practicing?

I never realized how much flexibility I have gained within my short time practicing yoga. I also had no idea how much tension can be released from the body in both body and mind.

What other activities do you enjoy?

To name a few: running, drawing, writing, strength exercising, swimming.

How has yoga improved your life?

It has improved my muscle endurance, which is what helps me improve my daily exercising. Yoga also gives me an opportunity to socialize.

What's your favorite posture and why?

Cobra pose because I spend a lot of time with my back bending forward. Even if it's once in a while, it feels good to have the spine bend backward for a change.

Katie Fates

 

When did you start practicing Bikram Yoga?

4 years ago.

 

What brought you to BYMV?

My husband Matt introduced me to yoga. We started practicing together as our date nights!

 

Why do you keep coming?

Yoga is my medicine. It calms my mind, heals my body, and nurtures my spirit. I love it so much that I miss it terribly when I can not practice!

 

What benefits have you seen from your practice?

I have certainly been less sore overall in my body, which most practitioners report, but I am truly amazed at the calm it brings to the rest of my life. It's very true what Teri tells us "Suffer in here for 90 minutes and you will not suffer outside."

 

What has surprised you about practicing?

Again, the biggest surprise has been the real sense of whole body healing-inside and out. I always say that I can always get "back to MY normal" after a yoga class. I can go in with thoughts swirling and my body misbehaving, and by the end, my head is calm and my body feels great!

 

What other activities do you enjoy?

I love pretty much anything athletic! Weight lifting, running, walking, tennis, skiing, swimming, hiking with my family, windsurfing.

 

How has yoga improved your life?

I truly believe that yoga will extend my life!! It has introduced me to different ways of thinking about myself and I have also met a wonderful new community that I otherwise would never have known.

 

What's your favorite posture and why?

My favorite posture is awkward pose. It is a great balance (literally) of strength, balance, and poise, moving in each direction. 

 

What's a goal of yours you have now that you did not have before you started practicing?

My goal is to have even more spine strength and flexibility.

I have introduced a few friends to Bikram, and really because I want them to have their own experiences in the hot room, discover more about themselves and enjoy the experience together. It's such an amazing gift to give yourself and to give your friends and family! My dream is to one day practice with my husband and all 4 of our kids in the same class. I am sure this one will come true!

ADDRESS

East Mill North Andover

43 High Street, Suite 310

North Andover, MA 01845

 

CONTACT​ US

teri@bikramyogamv.com

Tel: 978-689-YOGA

 

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Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley is an Independently Owned and Operated Yoga Studio teaching Bikram Method Yoga.

We are a supportive yoga community serving the Merrimack Valley region and beyond. BYMV focuses on the practice of yoga to support overall wellness and good health of our students. We pride ourselves on being a safe, welcoming, and open space for everyone, serving a diverse community of practitioners. Thank you for supporting a local small business.

© 2014 Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley