Thavma Yoga’s August Student of the Month: Danielle
1.Tell us a little about yourself ?
I’m a native of Oakland, California but spent most of my life in Atlanta, Ga. I was lured to this area by the beautiful beaches and friendly people about a year ago. I live with my sister, two adult children and my son’s German Shepherd, Simba. I’ve owned a government contracting company for the last seven years.
2. Have you done other styles of Yoga other than Bikram Yoga.
No, this was my first venture into yoga. I didn’t even realize there were different styles of yoga and didn’t know Bikram was hot yoga until a day or two before my first class. As my sister said, leave it to me to try one of the hardest types my first time out.
3.What made you decide to take your First Bikram Class?
Several reasons, for one, I had been through a very stressful period prior to moving to Florida including divorce, then right into an abusive relationship, gaining 40 pounds, and to top it all off my son was diagnosed with a seriousness illness. I desperately needed to relieve the stress and lose some weight. I’d been reading about the benefits of yoga for a while and decided I’d give it a try.
4.Why did you choose Thavma Bikram Yoga?
I watched the studio being built out since it was in the same area as my nail shop and thought, how convenient; only five minutes from my house. Then I found out it the grand opening was scheduled for the week of my birthday and I always try something new the week of my birthday – this was a sign!
5.What was your first Bikram Yoga experience like?
I literally thought I was going to die and that if I could just make it through the first class I promised myself I would never come back. I was so dizzy that I mainly lied on the floor and figured I could at least get the benefits of a sauna. As I lied there, watching others do the poses with grace and ease, all kinds of thoughts raced through my head, like, I must be crazy; Why does it have to be so hot! Why did I think I could do this?
6.What makes you come back?
The smiling faces and encouragement of Marina, Thano and Ashley. Marina assured me that everything I felt was normal for my first time and that my body would adjust to the heat if I was properly hydrated. She also encouraged me to come at least 3 times a week and not make a decision until the 4th or 5th class. She was so right. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did I adjust to the heat but that I started having the best sleep I’d had in quite some time; I started to relax. All in all, I just feel better.
7.How long have you been practicing?
Since March, almost 5 months.
8.What changes have you seen since you began the practice?
My legs and arms are more toned, I’m way more flexible, my skin looks healthy, I have more energy and feel a lot less stressed. An added bonus is that I can withstand the hot days of Florida much better than my family; I’m the only one barely breaking a sweat in 90 degree weather.
9.Where have you seen that it helps you?
I have a pinched nerve and herniated disk in my neck that has been the source of constant pain for the last 10 years. One of the greatest physical changes is that one day I realized that my neck doesn’t hurt anymore. My chiropractor predicted that I would begin to lose range of motion as I got older and I was prepared to just accept it. But since coming to class, my range of motion has increased. Also, my skin looks better, I’m not as irritable and short tempered with my kids or at work, and I even lost a few pounds since doing Bikram forces you to eat right and limit your alcohol intake or you will pay!
10.What is your favorite posture?
Standing bow – it really challenges me; I still don’t have it down pat but I’m amazed that I can even kick my leg up that far. I’ve come such a long way since that first class and it makes me feel strong and healthy.
11.What is your least favorite pose?
If I had to choose one I think locust pose – I work on a computer all day and my wrists and hands really feel the pain.
12. What do you like most about Thavma Bikram Yoga?
I can feel and see my body getting firmer and stronger; the studio is beautiful and relaxing and the instructors are awesome!