Meet Thavma Yoga’s April Student of the Month: Terry Carlson
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My husband and I moved to our Florida home in November 2017 and have enjoyed our first winter in the amazing sunshine and warmth!! We have 4 adult children and 3 grandchildren, both near and far (Florida, Minnesota, Norway and Sweden).
In June 2017, I retired from a 34 year career with the MInnesota Department of Corrections (state prison system) where I had been throughout the years a correctional officer, warden and senior leader of this state agency.
I enjoy time with family, traveling, outdoors activities, reading and, of course – yoga!
2. Have you done other styles of Yoga other than Bikram Yoga?
Yes! When I started practicing yoga in 2009, I’d use Groupons and “free trial classes” as an affordable way to try many different studios and styles of yoga to find what style of yoga I liked best – Vinyasa, fusion/Pilates-blend, power, restorative/Yin, Bikram, Kundalini, etc.
3. What made you decide to take your first Bikram Class?
I was experimenting with different yoga styles and was intrigued by the intensity of heat, humidity and class length and decided I wanted to try it.
4. What made you choose Thavma Yoga as a Studio?
1. Stellar instructors – Each instructor had their unique gifts and styles. ThaVma instructors are amazing – excellent teaching styles, motivating, friendly, welcoming, supportive, and truly beautiful inside and out!
2. Great energy and atmosphere here – You can tell that people care about each other and this space of practice! It’s an aesthetically pleasing studio – cheerful, clean and well maintained.
3. Location – It is such a gift to have this beautiful yoga studio only 10 minutes from my home.
5. What was your first Bikram yoga experience like?
In 2009, when I told the instructor it was my first Bikram class, he said “Let go of your expectations and judgment for how you will do in this class today and instead set your goal to be calm, breathe and stay in the room. This is a practice; each day is different; with practice comes change.” I did focus on those goals and, even so, felt a bit overwhelmed by the intensity and length of the class. I was proud of myself for completing my first class (and staying in the room)! I couldn’t believe how much sweat poured from my body during the class and how challenging certain postures were in the intense environment.
After that first class I went to Bikram class every day for the next two weeks and was absolutely hooked!
6. What makes you come back?
For me, yoga is a stress reliever and physical workout but also a meditative practice. It’s a time to let go of daily distractions and focus on breath, movement, balance. Yoga makes me a better person!
7. How long have you been practicing?
Since 2009 I have been practicing yoga on a regular basis. Since then I have been practicing 5 or more days per week, with a few breaks here and there. In 2014, I completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training for Hot/Bikram-style yoga. That was an incredible experience to deepen my practice and study the history and philosophy of yoga.
8. What changes have you seen since you began the practice?
Psychological and physical benefits; improved endurance and being able to stay focused in the intense environment; improved flexibility and core strength; detoxification – sweat pouring out, especially during compression postures;
9. Where have you seen that it helps you?
This is a “whole person” practice for me – body, mind and spirit. This practice has helped me in all aspects of my being.
10. What is your favorite pose?
Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana/Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
First of all I just like hearing the instructor say this posture in Sanskrit – what a mouthful!! But in all seriousness, the timing of this posture is perfect for me – a resting posture with head below heart and a great leg stretch after the heart raising postures of standing bow-pulling pose and balancing stick.
11. What is your least favorite pose?
Ustrasana/Camel pose is my biggest challenge because time and time again, my head convinces me that I cannot do this posture. I allow myself to go into “flight” mode and sit it out. However, the beautiful thing about yoga is that it is a practice and I can continually work on non-judgment….I am here in this room, I am strong, I am capable, I am enough, AND I am surrounded by strong, capable yogis – we are doing our best, we are here!
12. What do you like most about Thavma Yoga?
Marina and all the instructors at ThaVma. As I said earlier – you are all beautiful people inside and out. Thank you for creating such a positive and supportive environment within this studio.
13. Tell us anything else interesting that you feel you have gained or learned since starting Thavma Yoga.
What comes to my mind is the on-going confirmation of yoga as a practice…..
1. whatever the posture – there is always some adjustment to make to deepen into the posture, or make it more accessible;
2. whatever day – find gratitude in small and large changes, be present, be humble, be patient, be curious
Namaste – Terry