Thavma Yoga’s February student of the month: Michele Doodnaught
1. Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a half Colombian, half Iranian, FlorTexYorker (that’s Florida, Texas, New York for those as confused as me!) newlywed and self-proclaimed computer geek. I spent almost half my life as a soccer player and my entire life as an avid fan of the sport. While soccer is my first love, my husband, Andrew taught me to love college football and we enjoy cheering on the Florida State Seminoles and the South Florida Bulls (it’s been a tough few years for us Bulls fans). Other than sports and technology, I have a love of traveling, shopping (sorry Andrew), reading, latin music and of course, yoga!
2. Have you done other styles of Yoga other than Bikram Yoga?
This is my first true experience with yoga. I had tried some classes I found on TV and online but I don’t count that.
3. What made you decide to take your first Bikram Class?
Last January while playing soccer, I ruptured my ACL. A few weeks later I had reconstruction surgery to repair it and make sure I could walk down the aisle and dance at my wedding! Thanks to my doctor and my awesome physical therapists I was able to do just that. But I knew I would not have my PTs forever and I needed to continue my rehab myself. My sister had been taking yoga in Orlando so with her encouragement I thought it would be a good way for me to strengthen back up.
4. Why did you choose Thavma Bikram Yoga Studio?
After I made the decision to sign up for yoga, I saw a Groupon for Thavma and decided that I had nothing to lose by trying it. So I convinced my partner in crime (my mother) to also get one and so the story began.
5. What was your first Bikram yoga experience like?
It was challenging. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first. I remember that during my first class there was a clock facing the class right next to Curt, which was the worst thing ever for me because I would look at it every few minutes. It was one of the longest 90 minutes ever!
6. What makes you come back?
The way each class makes me feel. My knee feels better, I hold less stress in my neck and am able to relax better. I also love the feeling of knowing that there is still so much for me to learn and improve. The wonderful friends I have made also motivate me to come back, it’s like a second family.
7. How long have you been practicing?
February will mark my fifth month of practice. Hey, five is my lucky number!
8. What changes have you seen since you began the practice?
I can touch my toes now! I don’t think I could ever do that before. In addition to the health and physical benefits I feel like a much happier version of myself. I’m an introvert and in a lot of ways I feel like yoga has been able to help me come out of my shell and become a better version of me.
9. Where have you seen that it helps you?
Stupid things used to easily bother me, now I find it much easier to let things roll of my back and find the humor in these things. When I feel like I’m going to get mad or anxious, I try to remember and breathe. Then when I get to yoga, I’m able to let everything go and just relax. I no longer internalize these feelings like I used to.
10. What is your Favorite pose?
The spinal twist, because it means that I made it through another class! Seriously though, it’s hard for me to pick one single favorite pose. I like bow pose because it just looks beautiful to me, I haven’t perfected it yet but I still keep trying. The toe stand and the fixed firm poses have shown me how much progress I have made with my knee in the past several months and how much I still have to go. It’s these types of poses that motivate me to get better.
11. What is your Least favorite pose?
As much as I love them because they push me to keep trying, the balancing poses are the ones that frustrate me the most. Sometimes I feel like I got it, then the next day I fall in two seconds! I’m usually glad when we are done with those.
12. What do you like most about Thavma Bikram Yoga?
The friends and family that I have found there. Marina and Ashley have found ways to push and encourage me to get better while also making sure that I don’t push myself too hard or reinjure myself. I feel so lucky to have found them, they are not only the best instructors but some of the most wonderful friends that I have ☺.