1.Tell us a little about yourself?

 I’m a 19 year old girl raised (but not born) in Alaska. I moved to Florida  from Alaska in August of 2013 to pursue my dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer by studying at the Sarasota Ballet’s Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of Dance. However, I had a late start to ballet, beginning taking classes at age 14 but luckily my teachers at my home studio, Anchorage Ballet, were able to push me to help me catch up.

As far as my non dance related life, I have always been an active girl who’s dabbled in baton, track, volleyball, sailing, cheerleading, wrestling, acting and music. I love to try everything and anything new. I am a fan of GOOD coffee (not Starbucks) and great food, especially good food that can keep me going through my busy life. I’m also quite accident prone, I’ve had to have a needle I stepped on surgically removed and I have a scar on my forehead from getting hit in the head by a boom on a sailboat. However I have yet to slip in a pool of sweat after yoga!

 2. Have you done other styles of Yoga other than Bikram Yoga?

I’ve tried just about every other style there is out there, from heated to ice-cold in the Alaska open yoga. Being a dancer, many of the schools and programs that I have attended almost always have some kind of warm-up yoga class. Not to mention I looked for awhile for a good style of yoga that would compliment my dancing. I really have tried everything, minus paddle board yoga, I have never done that.

  3.What made you decide to take your first Bikram Class?

 I had heard about the benefits of Bikram and it seemed to be the latest health trend so I thought that I would give it a go and see how it turned out. There was an article I read in a dance magazine about a dancer who practiced Bikram yoga and she found it very beneficial.

 4.Why did you choose Thavma Bikram Yoga? 

 After consorting the all-knowing Google, I discovered Thavma online and thought I would give it a try. The studios were clean and I loved the floors and the design of the studio. The teachers were friendly and pushed me in class but not to a point that I couldn’t strive for.

5.What was your first Bikram Yoga experience like? 

 My first ever Bikram class was in my hometown of Anchorage. I didn’t even last through the whole class! I felt so faint I actually left the class early, I didn’t even stay in Savasana! It took me several months to come back and after that I would only go a few times a month.

 6.What makes you come back? 

 I love the amazing euphoric feeling I get after a class. My body feels so energized and powerful! The one day I took three classes in a day I came home feeling so full of energy that I didn’t fall asleep until 1am that night. I also love all the people at the studio, I have met so many interesting people and I look forward to seeing them and hearing about what’s going on in their lives.Not to mention, the teachers are some of the best I’ve ever had! They are so thorough with their teaching and can really push the whole class to do their best.

7.How long have you been practicing? 

I’ve been practicing Bikrma yoga on and off for about 3 years.

8.What changes have you seen since you began the practice?/9.Where have you seen that it helps you?

I combined the next two questions because they just fit so well together in my novel of an answer.When I first started coming to Thavma I was dealing with a severe ballet injury. I have very flexible joints which sets me up for injury and in this case it was tendonitis in my ankle. I spent several months dealing with the injury or having it effect another part of my body and giving me some other pain to deal with. Besides dealing with the physical pain of my injury I was suffering from severe depression. My father passed away from esophageal cancer less than two months after I moved to Florida in 2013. I was very close to him but it didn’t really effect me until this summer, because it didn’t seem real to me that he was really gone. I felt like I would just go back to Alaska and he’d be there like nothing had happened. Grieving for my father and and dealing with my first year away from home as well as having such a severe injury really took a toll on me. I was miserable, I cried all the time over everything, I didn’t want to get out of bed or leave my apartment and I certainly wasn’t taking care of myself. I even began doubting if I wanted to continue dancing. At the beginning of November I started coming to Bikram classes everyday, most days taking two classes. Within the first few days I noticed a change in EVERYTHING. My ankle didn’t hurt nearly as much, I had more range of motion but on top of all of that I was SO happy. It really felt, yes this is going to sound extremely cheesy, like a fog had lifted. By the third week of going everyday I felt like I had a completely new body, my injury wasn’t a problem anymore and even a few small aches and pains I’d carried with me over the years were gone. I have even been able to do things that I didn’t think my body would have been able to do due to my late start at dance. Practicing Bikram regular completely transformed me in both mind and body. Now I am working on building back all the muscle I lost when I wasn’t dancing but this time around I feel stronger than I’ve ever have felt before in my life. Bikram gave me the mindset I need to pursue the career I want but it’s also helping me with the body I need to have to be a ballet dancer. My love for dance and the world is stronger than ever and I will most certainly continue my Bikram practice for the rest of my life!

10.What is your favorite posture? 

My favorite posture really depends on the day, I enjoy a posture more when I’ve discovered a new way to go deeper into it. But I always look forward to the Eagle, Standing Bow Pulling or Toe Stand Poses.

11.What is your least favorite pose? 

I wish I could be like Rob (Thavma’s Mr. November) and love all the poses, but there are definitely some that make me sweat. The beginning breathing and warmup poses are hard because the euphoric feeling hasn’t kicked in yet and I start second guessing why I even walked into such a hot room in the first place! Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose is also not one of my faves, my hyper extension in my standing leg can be hard to manage and painful at times if I don’t do it right.

12. What do you like most about Thavma Bikram Yoga? 

I love that Thavma is family, everyone genuinely cares for each other which is something that can be rare in a yoga setting. All the teachers are so friendly and helpful and don’t hesitate to help get you out of a tight bind, or into one for that matter! I also enjoy meeting other practitioners that I might not have met if it hadn’t been for Thavma. No one at Thavma has an ego and everyone gets along so well. I’m constantly inspired by the people I take class with and love seeing as everyone improves. I can’t thank Marina, Thano, Ashley, Mark and Curt enough for all their help. Without them I may have quit dance and spent many years of my life being miserable. I owe so much to them and appreciate all the help they’ve given me!