Theresa Edited 2Healing and Encouragement

A co-worker approached me in June of 2012 during the Bikram Yoga Dallas Groupon month saying she was going to buy one and encouraged me to join her. I had always belonged to a gym and worked out on and off with a personal trainer. I was also running three days a week but I was still unable to get the results that I thought I should from the workouts. Though I had lost 65 pounds with these workout methods, I still wasn’t seeing much change in my muscle tone or flexibility. In the September of 2011 I was involved in an auto accident that resulted in severe whiplash and trauma to my lower back and right hip, which quickly put a stop to all my exercise. Of course, I put on 15 pounds and was very unhappy with the sedentary lifestyle I was leading, only doing exercises for rehabilitation: nothing close to the activities that I was used to!

I decided to join my coworker and purchased a Groupon. I started at BYD in July of 2012. Of course, the first week I thought this was crazy and I wouldn’t make it through the 90 minutes at that temperature.  I did my first 10 classes in about 2 ½ weeks.  By the end of the first month I had lost a few pounds, 1 ½ inches around my arms and could see muscles!  So, of course, I signed up for the Intro Month.

I thought, “OK, I’ll give this thing two months – how can I go wrong with a $29 Groupon and a $49 intro month.” Both were less than I was paying for my monthly gym membership!

By the end of the 60 days I was hooked!  Besides the injuries sustained from my car accident, I had suffered for years with chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain from being a Dental Hygienist.  After practicing Bikram Yoga for a couple of months, I started noticing that the pain was lessening.  After sitting hunched over patients for 8 hours a day for the past 20 years, 90 minutes of bending every other direction is AMAZING!  Bikram Yoga has greatly improved my posture, flexibility, and endurance.  I ran my first 5K after my accident in November of 2012, four months after starting at BYD, and was able to run the entire thing with my best time ever!

The teachers at BYD are so helpful both as a beginning student and still after practicing 3-4 days a week for the past year.  I love that the instructions are always the same, but am constantly learning more from each teacher to improve my practice.  I like the reminders to breathe, suck in your stomach, and “LOCK YOUR KNEE”!  I also like that the teachers are available before and after each class to answer questions and help with postures that I struggle in.  Before Bikram Yoga, I could hardly touch my toes.  Now, some days, I can touch my head to the floor in “standing separate leg stretching” pose.  I am forever grateful for the teachers and the encouragement I get from everyone at your studio!

 -Theresa Pursel

Achieving Balance

JernaeI started the Bikram Yoga Dallas 30-Day Challenge on January 22, 2013. A difficult year brought me into the hot room. On December 16, 2011, I lost the man who taught me what it meant to be loved unconditionally – my father. If there ever was a “Daddy’s Little Girl,” it was me. I still struggle with the fact that he is not here to help me with those things in life I find to be too challenging to handle on my own. He was my confidant, my fishing buddy, and the one I knew would listen & instantly make everything better regardless of the situation.

After my dad’s passing, my mother came to live with me. However, she has been plagued by physical health issues as long as I can remember. Our living together put stress on both of us. My dad’s birthday was New Year’s Day, and a few days before that, my mom got sick and had to be admitted to the hospital. Not counting the stress of everyday life, my mom’s hospitalization sent me as close to the edge as I could get. I found myself stress-eating, which had a negative impact on my body.

Because I started having some health issues, I decided to start doing yoga initially for physical fitness. First I came to a free class. Then I joined and started coming every day.
After the first week, I noticed a difference in my body and my clothes were fitting better. Others started noticing too. By the end of the second week, I started being more aware of my spiritual self and trying to get that in shape as well. Yoga is teaching me how to balance my thoughts and actions. I decided to do the challenge because I was coming every day anyway, I thought I should just up the standards. I’ve completed 30 now, and plan on going on to 60, and then I want to just to keep coming and coming.

I am learning healthier ways to deal with stress & negative energy, as well as how to balance my own energies. Even though some days I don’t think I’m going to make it, I push forward and keep coming to BYD. This experience is teaching me how to change me from the inside out. It’s putting order in my life because I have to wake up at 4 and be out the door at 5:15, but here I am everyday. I’m looking at the world with new eyes.

I have renewed energy, back to the perky person I used to be.

And I’m eating mindfully. My personal goal is to work deeply into all 26 postures and focus on positive energy growth and emotional strength.

–Jernae Sweatt

Relief from Back Pain

Charlie-FisherI started practicing Bikram yoga because I was at dinner with a bunch of people and one of them happened to be David [the owner], and he encouraged me to come because my back was bad. That was in May of 2011 and I’ve been coming every since.

I have 2 lower discs that are bulging. I hurt my back playing football when I was 16. I took a hit and that was the start of it. And then I did some other stuff to it in my early 20s. So one disc is bulging enough that it would hit the nerve a lot, and the other one is bulging just a little bit. I also have 2 discs up top that are shrinking a little bit, stenosis. So I get soreness there.

I’m 49 years old. The first time my back pain was really bad was when I was 22 and a disc hit a nerve. That pain was crippling. And that would happen once a year in my 20s and half my 30s and then in the last 10 years I would have it 2 or 3 times a year. I would have that initial pain and be on my back for a week and then I would be completely sore and bent over for 6 weeks to 2 months. I was in pain a lot. That went on until I started doing yoga.

I have not had one disc hitting the nerve, fall-on-the-floor pain, since I started. I have been pain free.

I’ve been sore at times, my hips have gotten sore, but it’s a workout sore, opening things up in the body, because I’m really tight. My hamstrings are tight. I’ve run 4 marathons, I was a runner, and a swimmer. Everything I’ve done has tightened me up. I wasn’t able to play golf anymore, it was miserable. Everybody with back pain knows, it’s just miserable. And you know I did everything, ice, heat, chiropractors; prior to coming to yoga, in the previous 5 years, I did cortisone shots in my back, so I was knocked out and got cortisone shots. Sleeping on the floor. I was on Celebrex, Tylenol. I tried everything.

I go 3-4 times a week. In the whole time I’ve been doing it, only one 5-week period where I only went 4 times. I started to notice improvements right away. When I came out of the first visit I was shaky walking out, but once I got to the second visit it was immediate relief. As soon as I would walk out, I would just feel like I was standing up straight. I felt elongated. It’s just been that way since the 2nd class, just immediate relief.

Now it’s a preventative thing because I don’t have these episodes.

I tell you the other thing that’s happened is I’m allergic to everything—dogs, cats, everything—and since I started doing yoga, the drainage I’ve always had from my sinuses has completely gone away. I have a stronger immune system, improved allergy response, I haven’t gotten sick—haven’t had a sinus infection, which I always used to get.

But the back thing has been really the biggest thing, it’s been tremendous.

–Charlie Fisher

I was having severe pain from an invasive spinal surgery, which also included a fractured rib, when I first came to Bikram yoga.

emilycrenshawWalking was very painful and I had no endurance. I was extremely weak and depressed, and my pain level was beyond a 10. My daughter signed me up without telling me. I thought I’d try it since she had already paid for it. So I began the class at eight weeks after surgery.

As a great-grandmother, my exercise consisted only of walking. I fly back and forth to San Diego every seven weeks to take care of my disabled brother, so I had to get on my feet quickly. I almost cried coming up the stairs the first time because it was so hard. In my first class, I reached over and pinched my daughter and thought “You must be crazy!”

After a very short period of time, I noticed my endurance was totally different. I began walking at a normal pace without even realizing it. I no longer had to hold my rib as I walked. I kept coming because I felt I was getting my life back. My spirit started to change because there was less and less and less pain.

The teachers are fantastic and the facility is clean. Everybody here makes me feel like I can do this. It’s been an amazing experience! I know I wouldn’t be where I am today, especially going back and forth to California so often, if it were not for this class. In fact, I take classes out there now!

I still have some pain but I’m off medication completely for the first time since my surgery in 2006. My doctor said, “What are you doing?” I said “I’m doing Bikram yoga!” He was surprised and said he couldn’t believe how good I looked and how much better I was getting around.

Additionally, the yoga has helped my asthma tremendously. When my asthma is bothering me and I come to class, I can breathe again!

When I first started, I thought I would stop as soon as my daughter’s membership ended. But by that time I was convinced and encouraged and thought “I got this!”Even if I can’t do all the postures, I try the right way. I fully believe I wouldn’t have had to have surgery if I had known about Bikram before. I tell everybody about it! This has given me so much encouragement and so much inspiration. Anybody can do this, at any age. I have learned that what is taught in the class is all true and is now a daily part of my life.

I cannot express enough how much I appreciate Bikram Yoga and the staff who teach these classes..

–Emily Crenshaw

Healing from a Bad Accident

Terry-JacobsMy wife and I decided to go out on a bike ride one Sunday, the 19th of August. Nice sunny day. We thought we’d have a little stroll on a bike, taking it easy, so we went to White Rock. I’m riding the bike nice and slow and my wife’s gone past me, and at that point she shouted out ‘Come on, slow poke! Hurry up!’ So my ego took over and I did, I went so fast on the bike then I lost control. I went over the top of the bike, hit the ground with my head, lost my breath, and felt my shoulder collapse my collarbone. I found out subsequently that I had 5 broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and a punctured lung. I was taken to the hospital, assessed, scanned, kept overnight, and told to have bed rest for a while, which I did. In September, I came to Bikram yoga.

The yoga has helped me both mentally and physically. It’s pushed my body so that I feel stronger, it’s rehabilitated my shoulder, my ribs have improved, my lung capacity, my whole overall health has improved, and most of all my flexibility has improved.

When I came back in September, I basically had no range of motion. It was zero. I couldn’t lift my arm up at all, it was in a sling for a couple of months. The yoga helped me considerably in terms of range of motion, mobility, lung capacity, my overall well-being, and my focus. Two months out, now, my range of motion is great, it’s about 85% back. I actually started the Standing Bow yesterday in class for the first time since my accident.

Mentally, the yoga has helped me focus more on what I want, and in terms of fitness, Bikram yoga has slowed me down a bit. I used to push my body. Now I listen to my body more. The benefits of the flexibility have helped me as well.

Another great benefit is meeting people! You get to interact with different types of people. People who’ve come in with injuries, I see the improvements in them as well with their stiffness. Overall it’s been a great help both mentally and physically.

As a personal trainer who specializes in the martial arts, I recommend yoga as a good rehabilitation for most people who’ve had bad injuries and trauma to their body, as well as a supplement to athletes. Especially runners and people who do certain kinds of martial arts, because they torture their body, left, right, and center and a lot of them don’t stretch out properly. The yoga would help with overall flexibility and health benefits. I was a runner once, I’ve run a lot of marathons and 10Ks, and I had a lot of stiffness especially in my hamstrings, and then subsequently when you’ve got tight hamstrings you end up with a bad back. The yoga helps that as well.

I can’t say enough about it, it really has helped me and I really do believe in Bikram, and that it does help you and enhance your recovery.

–Terry Jacobs

Bikram Yoga Has Been Very Good to Me

I had gained a lot of weight and I wanted to start working out. I started walking, I lost a little weight and was feeling good but I hit a plateau. I was like “What else should I do?” I get Groupon and I live in the neighborhood and thought, “Wow, what a great opportunity.” So I signed up. It was really hard at first. The heat was really tough. After a couple of months, I was at an event that was outside all day. It was hot and everyone was dying, but I didn’t think it was that bad! It was the middle of the hot summer months and I was OK. That’s the first thing I noticed – I could tolerate the heat a lot better.

I started noticing I was losing a couple of inches. My thighs and stomach were smaller. I had more muscle tone in my arms and my clothes were loose. It encouraged me to come back. My boyfriend noticed! I sing in my church and I started singing better because I have better lung capacity. My singing teacher noticed I could control my breath a lot better and she asked me what I was doing. I told her, “Bikram yoga! We do breathing exercises.”

The other thing I noticed is I eat better and don’t drink alcohol as much. I don’t seem to want that in my body. Bikram yoga makes me feel so good I don’t want to pollute my body with anything else. I don’t have to sleep as much either. It’s a really nice combination.

Some people have a misconception that you have to be thin and fit to do yoga. You don’t.

I see men and women of all sizes, ages and shapes. I tell all my friends about it and tell them they have to come to this class. It’s amazing! I love it!

My mother told me a few weeks ago I was back to my old self. It’s been a wonderful thing for me. It’s worth every penny. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Part of it is pushing your body to something you don’t think your body you can do. It teaches you can do a lot more than you think!”

–Marcela Minahan

I am a Longtime Athlete, Personal Trainer, and Run Coach by Trade.

Running is my favorite thing to do. I was a triathlete and a runner competitively since the age of 25. I’ve had multiple knee injuries, knee surgeries, and an injured meniscus in my good knee. My doctor finally said I was done, no more running – which is hard for a running coach to handle!  I quit running and a friend of mine said, “You’ve got to try Bikram yoga!” I couldn’t run so I thought “I’ll try this.” It has made a huge difference.

Bikram got me back running. Now I can coach my runners by running with them. I couldn’t run for long time.  I have bone on bone in both knees. I’m arthritic. I have significant amount of arthritis in the ankles as well. I always thought my knees were the issue but Bikram has taught me it was my tight hips and other things that were the issue – it just manifested in the knees. Now, I’m seeing a big difference. The yoga loosens up the hips which helps the knees and the ankles. I’m getting back a range of motion that I haven’t had in 15 years!

Before, I thought the yoga was an alternative to running. Now, I think it’s a complement to running,  It helps me do what I need to to to make a living. I quit lifting weights completely, something I did for a long time. I’m getting the same muscle endurance and strength but I’m not so tight. I have much more range of motion in the shoulders. The arthritis in the shoulders is starting to break up. Yoga is its own resistance training.

I love it, Bikram Yoga Dallas is a really great community. Great people, a lot of support.

The focus and mental training that I learn in Bikram through the breathing, has transformed my running as well. I’ve learned to focus on my breathing more, focus on my body more so I can calm and center in the yoga room, which has really allowed me to calm and center when I run. I did a 5k race recently with a client. We were running our own times and I ran a really good race. I am able to take things I learn here: breathing, meditation and patience and transfer it to my running.

I am forever grateful to my friend for telling me about Bikram yoga. She is just as fanatical about it as I am. Some people think we’re weirdos, but I would rather be a weirdo than not go to yoga! I love it!

–Sarah King

Increased Energy, Focus, and Balance

I used to be a runner. I got serious about it when I quit smoking at age 33, and trained and ran races up to half-marathons. A good running week for me was 35-40 miles, but as time went by, I found it more and more difficult to maintain consistent training levels. About three years ago I more or less conceded that running was going to be relegated to the memory shelf, as my body just wasn’t its old shoe-tough self, and had begun to complain. When I came to Bikram yoga, I didn’t expect to like it. In fact, I didn’t actually believe I’d even finish my first class, so the fact that I made it through and actually enjoyed parts was wonderfully surprising! Though I felt energized after class, I anticipated I would awaken the next day with screaming muscles and aching joints, but was pleased to find I was wrong! This is the only conditioning activity I have ever experienced that didn’t zap me in the early going, but instead provided new and exciting challenges each time I entered the room. The gifts of this yoga reach far beyond the physical, and I am constantly recharged by new benefits as I continue my practice. One major plus is the fact that I simply enjoy being in class: even my “worst” classes provide a challenging, elevating, stimulating experience wherein I learn through the “pain.” I have yet to come away from a class with any serious or lasting discomfort. And I have been delighted to find steady energy throughout the day and deep sleep at night. I am generally more relaxed, and hold less residual tension in my body. When I do encounter some momentarily strenuous activity in daily life, whether physical, mental, or emotional, I find it is less likely to throw me off balance. With running, I seemed to have my head in the future; with yoga, I seldom find myself looking past the present moment. The process of executing the poses and focusing on the narration is engrossing, and my mind doesn’t seem to escape to the finish line or the cool air waiting outside. This is, of course, a lesson I take with me outside the classroom as well.

–Andrew Mullin