Thavma Yoga’s November Student of the month : Denise Miller
1.Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Eastern Connecticut and moved to Bradenton, Florida in July with my husband, Rod, to escape the cold winter weather. I have two daughters, Ashley and Arielle, a step daughter, Nicole, a grandson, Jaiden, and a step granddaughter, Brianna. I am a Registered Nurse certified in the Operating Room and have worked in an operating room for 29years. I presently work at Blake Medical Center. I love “face timing” my family in CT, yoga, kayaking, biking, reading and the beach.
2. Have you done other styles of Yoga other than Bikram Yoga?
I love Bikram Yoga the most but I have practiced Baptiste Yoga (hot vinyasa flow including arm balances), P90X yoga DVD at home and Kripaulu yoga.
3. What made you decide to take your first Bikram Class?
Before I was introduced to Bikram Yoga, I ran 6 miles per day and did weight training. In March of 2005 I was in an automobile accident that resulted in major reconstruction of my right knee (Autologous chondrocyte transplantation and tibial tubercle osteotomy). The graft needed a full year to heal and harden. Post Operatively I was non weight bearing for 12 weeks, in a brace day and night. I had to be on a CPM machine 6 hours per day- this machine bent and straightened my leg slowly without the use of my muscles. I lost all muscle and function of my right leg – I had to pick my leg up with my arms. I rebuilt it using a stationary bike and physical therapy as ordered . As my leg got stronger I needed something to replace running-the single most thing I used to de-stress. A friend told me about this “hot yoga” that she thought would be perfect for me. It was 50min from my house but I decided to give it a try. I needed something desperately.
4. Why did you choose Thavma Bikram Yoga Studio?
I chose Thavma Yoga Studio for several reasons but the first thing that comes to mind is the warm welcome I received when I entered for this first time. I flew down from CT to interview at Blake Medical Center but my first stop from the airport was to Thavma to see if it was going to be the place for me. My first impression was the cleanliness of the reception area, showers/bath rooms and of course the beautiful yoga room with mirrors not only in the front but the side walls as well. Marina taught my first class and I instantly knew this was going to be my new yoga studio. Her knowledge, calm confidence and positive energy radiated throughout the room and for the first time I didn’t “crunch” my lower back in camel. She changed the dialogue just enough to help me realize that. Mark taught my second class which was a perfect complement to my first. His positive energy encouraged me to work hard and it solidified that Thavma would be my regular practice studio.
5. What was your first Bikram yoga experience like?
My first Bikram yoga experience was enlightening. It was much harder than I expected, the heat made me sweat more than anything I had ever done in my life, but in some sadistic way I was in love with it. After that first class, I went downstairs and announced that “I had found my new addiction”. I didn’t know the people there yet and in retrospect they may have misunderstood my statement but I was so happy to finally find something that made me work harder and feel better than running ever did for me. I was totally de-stressed and felt amazing.
6. What makes you come back?
I keep going back because of the way Bikram Yoga makes me feel. I crave the positive energy and inspiration from all the instructors. Everyone has something special to offer and I’m always ready to receive that gift of yoga. Another reason that keeps me going back is “a healthy spine = a healthy life”. My father had crippling arthritis in his spine and he couldn’t stand upright. I know if I continue to practice Bikram Yoga, work hard in the spinal series, I will prevent this from happening to me.
7. How long have you been practicing?
I have been practicing for 9 years.
8. What changes have you seen since you began the practice?
Bikram Yoga has given me strength, flexibility, focus and patience. Prior to yoga I was a very impatient person and I didn’t like that about me. The more I practiced the more I noticed that I was becoming a more patient individual and I started accepting things that I couldn’t change. I loved what yoga was doing for my body and my mind. Physically, when I started, my right knee was so stiff that I couldn’t sit anywhere near the floor in fixed firm. It took me 8 months of regular practice to accomplish the first part- another lesson in patience.
I also fractured 2 cervical vertebrae in gymnastics years ago which led me to “crack” my neck to relieve the pressure. I did this several times a day.Once I started practicing Bikram Yoga, I noticed I didn’t need to do this any longer.
9. Where have you seen that it helps you?
Bikram Yoga has helped me in all aspects of my life from my family, to my job, to dealing with circumstances outside of my control. It has allowed me to realize what is important to me as an individual for my health and welfare.
10. What is your Favorite pose?
Standing Bow is my favorite pose because it takes so much focus, balance, strength, and flexibility.
11. What is your least favorite pose?
Full Locust is my least favorite because it is the one pose that I’ve seen very little improvement over the years. It is very hard, takes a tremendous amount of strength and I seem to be stuck.
12. What do you like most about Thavma Bikram Yoga?
What I like most about Thavma Bikram Yoga is the positive energy and inspiration I receive each and every class. I work hard to be the best version of myself that I can be and Thavma enables me to do this by giving me the tools, guidance, and inspiration that I need to be successful in my practice.