Tell me Shawn: how did you hear about Bikram?
So my mom is a big yogi, and she mentioned that there was some new kind of yoga that "non-yogi's" (ie- more traditional athletes like myself) were really into and maybe i could give it a try. In my younger days I would always steer clear of yoga because the thought of sitting still scared me. But then I was living in the East Village and working in Soho, and I used to walk across town to and from work, and i'd often pass the Soho studio. So one day, I was just like, what the hell I should try this. That was around 2004, and it's still a part of my life. So I guess my mom was right :)
Moms usually are. Did you go to your first class alone?
Actually no, I brought a friend. i think it was a mutual decision for us to go. Or maybe i asked a lot of people and he was the only one willing to try :)
I hope you bought him a smoothie after class! What do you remember about that class, by the way?
Um, it was REALLY HOT. I remember being anxious and miserable the entire time. I would fidget like a crazy person, always wiping away my sweat and trying to find some way to get comfortable. I was so dramatic, i think i probably thought i was going to die.
Wow. You just described the synopsis of this Mexican soap opera I recently got into. When and why did you come back?
Oh, I'm pretty sure I came back the next day or the day after. I dont like the idea of being defeated, so I had to figure out a way to make it through the class. Plus, everyone said it would get easier and so I trusted them. (and they were obviously right!)
Obvs. Though I've been in the game 7+ years and it hardly feels easy. Better, but not easier. Are you or where you working with any injuries?
I have Bikrammed through a few injuries actually. In 2007 I tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus and added bikram to the PT regimen as soon as I was allowed. I DEFINITELY feel like it has helped. And my fixed firm has been improving ever since! I LOVE that pose for my knees.
Then in 2011, I was riding my bike and was run over by a little old lady in a (thankfully small) car, and I fractured a bone in my foot. I was in a cast and on crutches for a while. I was living in Geneva at the time and doing bikram pretty regularly and frankly the idea of not being able to run or do yoga was pretty devastating. But everyone at the studio was so amazing and so supportive!! I had friends who would pick me up and drive me home, and Karine, the studio owner, would set me up in the back of the studio with a chair and some other props. My favorite part was in the warm up during awkward pose when the dialogue is all "sit down like you're sitting in a chair" and I would be able to actually sit down in my chair - just keeping my arms outstretched or whatever to work my upper body. that was pretty amazing and I laughed to myself every time. But i do like to think it helped speed up my recovery :) and seriously, I was so touched by everyone's support during that fiasco. I think it speaks very highly of the bikram community in general.
OMG. That is so sweet, moving, and funny. You're right about the community- I too have met some incredible folks in my journey. What do you particularly like/dislike about the practice?
This is a tricky one, but ultimately what I think I like most about bikram is that it has taught me to be patient with myself. Like if I suck at a pose today, its ok - I can be better tomorrow. And, I shouldn't hate myself for that. It has also taught me how to be calm in situations that might have once made me anxious! I think just the self-awareness and awareness of breath have really helped. I'm pretty sure if you can stay calm and keep your breathing regular while doing difficult postures in a heated room, you can stay calm through anything. So i'm pretty thankful for that.
Truth. What inspired you to do the 30 day challenge?
Oh, because I love a good challenge! And because I think at some point this was something I thought I could absolutely never do, and I like to prove those kinds of things wrong. Its nice to be reminded that you can do whatever you put your mind to!!
You're just preaching it, girl. What intentions did you set for your challenge?
I guess my only real intention was just to complete it. I had attempted in the past but things had always gotten in the way. So my only real intention was to complete it - and well, to enjoy it. I told myself if I started to dread or resent it then it was time to stop. Anyways, I loved it so it all worked out !!
And finally... drumroll please... what are you favorite/least favorite postures?
Oh YIKES that is a tricky one. Can I pick three?
I love the first backbend because WOW what an awesome wake-up call. I love standing head-to-knee because I think thats where I made the most progress during my 30dc. And I really appreciate savasana because I think its indicative of how far I've come over all. As for least favorite, I think if you'd asked me before my 30dc I could have come up with a few - but I pretty much made peace with all of them so i'll decline to comment if thats ok :)
Gorgeous & brilliant. Thanks lovely. Blaze on and keep rockin. See you in the hotroom!