1. Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m 43, I’ve lived in FL for about 2 years.  I’m originally from Indiana.  I work in education and I’ve been a teacher, coach, and principal.  I’ve always tried to stay fit but it always seems to get a bit tougher as I get a little older!

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

My only yoga experience previous to this has been part of the P90X program.  I’d always been a fan of P90X and got great results, and I really liked the challenge of it’s yoga….it was so different than anything I’d ever done before.

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

Well let me tell you….if you would have told me 6 months ago that I would be hooked on hot yoga I would have told you that you were insane!  But a friend of mine suggested it last December….and I thought I would give it a shot as part of my P90X routine.  I was up for trying a new challenge.

4. Why did you choose Thavma Bikram Yoga Studio?

My friend suggested it, and I had heard of it through some other people as well.  So I hopped on Groupon, found the deal, and dove in.

5. What was your first Bikram yoga experience like?

OH MY GOD!  I’m a little afraid to be honest here….but it was killer!  The instructor gave me a few tips, but the most important one was for me to lay down if I need to!  And I totally needed to…. This was a completely different, and better yoga experience than anything I had done previously.

6. What makes you come back?

Totally hooked. Love this place.  Love the people and community that I have encountered here at Thavma.  The benefits are too plentiful to mention…I was (and have been) going through a difficult time in my life and Thavma Bikram has been incredible.  Spiritually, emotionally, physically, I am so much stronger than I was in December.

7. How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been doing Bikram for about 6 months now.

8. What changes have you seen since you began the practice?

Oh, so many changes.  What’s shocking to me is how much stronger my core is, how much stronger my back is, and how much my strength, endurance, and cardio have improved.

When I started doing Bikram, I had just gotten back into doing P90X after not doing much for a year.  Well I totally messed up my back doing one of those kicking/punching routines.  I couldn’t stand up straight or walk without pain.  I’ve always a back issue, even as an athlete.  While still in pain, I went to yoga and explained to Marina what I was going through, and that I’m not sure I should be there.  She said no, this is EXACTLY where I should be, and that this is going to help stretch and strengthen my back.  She was and is so absolutely right.

Because of the back pain, I stopped P90X and began exclusively doing Bikram, 3 or 4 times a week.  I lost about 10 pounds after a month or so and continually see my poses and strength improve.

Two interesting things:

Golfing used to just kill my back.  I loved to play, but the twisting in the move caused pain for days.  What I’ve found after Bikram, is my swing is so much better and consistent and there is absolutely no pain!  I couldn’t believe it!

I went back to P90X recently, and I couldn’t believe my numbers.  Anyone who does P90X knows you chart everything…the number of reps, the amount of weight you use…everything.  I was shocked at what I was able to do after not touching P90X for 5 months.  My numbers really surprised me.  As I said, my strength and stamina had really improved in Bikram, and I could see the proof when I went back to P90X.  My Week 1 numbers were what I would typically expect in Week 10

9. Where have you seen that it helps you?

As I’ve said, my core, my strength, my BREATHING, my overall fitness.  But also, psychologically, emotionally…I’ve really improved in every way.

10. What is your Favorite pose?

Shavasana!!!!  No, kidding… This is a tough question.  I love triangle, bc it’s hard for me.  I also like when we sit in a chair while standing high on our toes…again, very difficult pose for me that I’ve recently seen great improvement in.

11. What is your Least favorite pose?

I have a bad knee…I had ACL replacement a few years ago so I don’t have the range of motion in that knee like my other.  It limits my movement a little bit, and I really see it when we are seated doing head to knee pose.  It’s hard for me to get comfortable when I bend that knee to extend my other leg.  But I just do my best.

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

Honestly, the people.  Marina, her staff, the other “yogis” I love the community I’ve entered at Thavma.

I love how Marina pushes us to do our best…how she knows just the right thing to say to help you get over that next edge.  She was always telling me to “Raise those kneecaps!!!” …And now I can!

The teachers, the people…that’s the best thing about Thavma.

Overall, I cannot say enough positive things about Thavma and the incredible impact it’s had on me.  Never in a million years would I have thought I would go to “hot yoga” but now I’m in.  I’m hooked.  I’ve been practicing for 6 months and I’m not going to stop.  I still do some P90X but I love my yoga and get in as much as I can.  I’m not a superstar, but there are some phenomenal practitioners at Thavma that simply blow my mind.  I just concentrate on doing what I can do…how Lakyn says we are our own best teacher.  I do the best I can in each pose and have loved seeing the results over time.

I’m always proud of the other newbies who come in to Thavma, and I try to let them know that I understand what it’s like.  I still have to lay down sometimes as I push myself through the class…but that happens less and less now.  But I’m proud of myself for what I can do, and of all the other yogi’s too.