Had you practiced yoga before coming to Thavma Bikram Yoga?
I never tried yoga in my life, Thavma is my first experience!

What Made you decide to do the 100 Day Challenge?
The past year and a half has been the most difficult experience in my life. My husband and I moved to Bradenton to live closer to my parents who were going to make Florida their permanent residence. My dad loved Florida it was his dream of retiring here, within 5 months of us moving here, my dad died unexpectedly. My dad was the closest person to me though out my life and made me who I am. When he walked in the room, you would always have a smile on your face, he was larger than life. I dealt with his death as best as I could but 9 months later, his mother followed. This was when I lost who I was. I stopped working out and became immersed in projects to try and forget. As a result, I didn’t take care of myself, put on 15 lbs and the sleepless nights took a toll on my health. I looked like shit, and I aged quite a bit in the past year and a half. I know I had to do something or it would get worse. I was driving by Thavma one day and I swear I felt like I had to try it out. So, I signed up and got a Groupon and figured that if I didn’t like it, it wouldn’t be a great loss. After day 1 I knew I was hooked. I slept through my first night after yoga and have slept like a baby every day since. I had to go to a conference for work and decided to do a 30 day challenge as soon as I got back, that 30 days changed to 100. I figured, I’ve been in bereavement for more than that, this is what I need. It was the best decision in my life.

What did you want to accomplish from your 100 Day Challenge?? Did you achieve your goal?
I wanted to see what 100 days of yoga could do for me. I would do more but my work schedule doesn’t allow me to. I was hoping that at the end of the 100 days, that I would see major changes in my ability to handle stressful situations in addition to what I was dealing with in my personal life. I was also hoping that I would experience the healing effects of Bikram Yoga for my body, mind and soul.

What changes did you see during and after your 100 days of Bikram yoga?
I saw immediate changes in my ability to turn off my active mind at night. I was finally able to get a great night’s sleep, you know, the deep sleep that my body was lacking for the past 18 months. I was lucky if I got 4-5 hours a night. My skin is amazing all over and is the best it’s been in years. I’ve also become more flexible and toned. I am amazed at how I have become more relaxed and now understand the meaning to the mind-body connection. My Bikram practice has made me more spiritual and connected with my inner spirit. It’s been a complete healing experience for me.
What did you learn/gain from doing Bikram yoga regularly?
I have learned to take each day at a time and just RELAX. I have also found that before my practice I was focusing on everyone else’s needs except my own. I was also living to work instead of working to live. In my profession, I have helped others achieve their dreams but have neglected to reach my own. I’m changing my focus and priorities. Thavma Yoga and this experience has helped me understand that it’s ok to spend time on yourself. It is actually necessary for your health and inner peace.

What did you love most from doing the Challenge?
The effects of Yoga on my mind, body and spirit. I also am grateful for all of the friends I have met here who supported me through the challenge without knowing the reason why I was doing it in the first place.

What’s your favorite posture!?
Ahh that’s a tough one…They are all challenging. I used to dread the camel but actually don’t mind it now. It took me 87 classes to get there but now I’m the camel master!

What do you think about our Studio!
I absolutely love Thavma Yoga! The students who practice in the hot room are all on their own personal journey but the energy there is so positive, it’s a breath of fresh air! All of the instructors are always helpful and guide everyone in their practice to make it a positive experience from the novice to the pro. Ashley, thank you for your constant encouragement.
Marina, thank you so much for your friendship, motivation and guiding me through this experience. It has brought me to a whole new level. They say that through yoga, miracles happen. I believe in my heart this is true.