Yogis! Buckle down, keep a fire extinguisher handy... this story is so hot, exquisite & fun you might need some in-case-of-emergency tools around...
This month, we got the fabulous Sheila Bayne who practices at the studio in Downtown LA.
MH: Hi gorgeous! I am so excited to hear about your 30 day challenge. Let's start with my favorite question: how did you hear about Bikram Yoga?
SB: The first time I heard of Bikram Yoga was back in 1980 from a friend who was taking classes from Bikram. Fast forward to 2001: I was going through a divorce, and had been suffering from chronic, daily neck pain for well over a year... nothing helped it. Finally, a physical therapist suggested yoga. Bikram had just opened his West L.A. HQ a few blocks from my house, so I planned to check it out. However, being a procrastinator, I opted for buying his ‘Yoga for Beginners’ book. Very shortly thereafter, on a summer’s day, I had returned from swimming lessons at the Y with my three young sons, and parked across the street from my house. Inexplicably, one of my boys suddenly jumped out of our van and dashed across the street… directly in the path of a huge old Bentley, which screeched to a halt! My son stood there, with his hands on the hood, looking flabbergasted, but, otherwise, perfectly fine. I jumped out of the van in a dazed panic. The Indian guy driving the Bentley jumped out too, proclaiming, “I saved his life! I saved his life!” We sat there for a while, the Indian lifesaver guy, my kids, and myself… who collapsed into tears of relief. Later, checking out the yoga book, I realized that I had had an intensely close encounter with Bikram himself, and that I was getting a big kick-in-the-ass from the universe to actually GO to Bikram yoga. I did so immediately, went steadily for at least several months, and the neck pain disappeared, NEVER TO RETURN! When I think about this metaphorically, I can think of it in terms of heedlessly dashing out to the edge of the precipice— i.e., living on the edge, not taking care of myself-- but Bikram comes along to “save my life.” Cool, huh?
Are you kidding me?! That is the coolest thing I've heard! I can see them making a movie out of just that bit already :) So, how was it when you FINALLY went to your first class?
I absolutely, completely, more than other normal people, DETEST heat and perspiration, especially when it is not associated with something that is actually fun… but I recognize that good things usually come out of hard work, so I respected the tough-love approach and remained. I remember panicking in camel pose, so that was interesting!
I'm so glad you bring this up. Many people don't handle heat well either, and therefore don't even attempt a class. Others even say that it's bad for you. Just the other day I had a first time student who told me he'd been wanting to come for months but didn't because his yoga teacher told him it was dangerous. For the record: it's not dangerous. This student is now a regular and like the rest of us, is receiving benefit upon benefit. So tell me, what kept you coming back?
I was on a mission. Besides, I needed some relief from my neck pain, and this was the only option, since nothing else had worked.
Yes, living pain-free is probably the best motivator. What is it that you like and dislike about the practice?
Dislikes: The heat. The sweat. It stinks, though I am beginning to like that in a perverse way. Having to be consistent. The laundry. The planning in advance so I can leave the house at 5:30 a.m. to catch the six a.m. class. The lack of sleep. It’s a sacrifice. Likes: Looking good! Feeling good! Having great skin! Getting rid of those annoying aches and pains that have seemed to crop up increasingly in my fifties. I have the sense that I am doing the best I can for my health, and that is very satisfying. I also enjoy going to class at daybreak!
Yeah, if you were to put those on a scale, I can totally see the goods TOTALLY outweighing the BADS. (Ps- i admit too that I like that smell of sweat and tea tree oil... walking in to my studio always smells nice to me) What about postures... which ones are your favs... and not so favs?
WHYOHWHYDOIHATEFIXEDFIRMSOMUCH??? Sorry. But I do. And standing head-to-knee is basically a hatefest too. I guess the knees are a problem. Love half tortoise. Love full locust. Dig camel. Don’t know why, they just feel good.
Ha. Remember to be easy and gentle with your knees. Bikram says all the time: "You can mess with the gods but DON'T mess with your knees." Be patient and consistent & you'll see the results. And finally... tell me why you're doing the 30 day challenge?
In for a penny, in for a pound. I may as well jump in completely, in the hopes of creating a healthy addiction to feeling great. Then, the addiction can take the place of discipline, and I won’t have to try as hard to attain consistency.
You know what? I read somewhere recently that a behavior doesn't become a habit until at least 3 months of daily practice. And finally, tell me what your intentions are for this challenge.
My weight (about 20 lbs to lose) is now as stubborn as the neck pain was 10 years ago. If that was permanently resolved by Bikram yoga when nothing else would work, perhaps it will create change in my weight as well. I hope so. And if not, well, I get to feel good and know I am protecting my body from the aging process as much as I can.
Just you wait. Keep up the practice and you can bid adieu to those extra pounds. I'm cheering you on... and hope that you manifest all the intentions and desires through and with the help of your 30 day challenge. Please keep me updated! Cheers :)
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