My first Bikram class was October 2010 in St. Louis. A practitioner of other types of yoga for years, I’d avoided the Bikram studio because of a certain ex-boyfriend I was trying to stay away from. Then I met my now husband, Scott, who claimed that Bikram Yoga had changed his life. Of course I had to try it! My first class was great; I took to the heat immediately and began practicing at least three times per week. That was four and a half years ago and now I can’t stay away from the hot room for more than a day until I crave it again.
Yoga has affected my life in so many positive ways and in ways I can’t yet name. I know the regular practice is giving me gifts that will extend into all my future years. In the beginning, my practice was focused on fitness. The Type A in me wanted to “win” every class. A year into it my mind finally relaxed and the meditative benefits took hold, and so at that point the yoga community became a priority. Now I come to the studio to visit with my yoga family. My husband and I practice together and the studios have become second homes where we feel loved and supported. Yoga is leading me to a more prosperous life.
The energy keeps me coming back. Each class has its own personality and that’s reflected in my practice, the same way my body responds to all environmental factors. I like that it’s a different class every time I walk through the door. I’m guaranteed a mental and physical stretch every time. And being from the south, I crave the heat and humidity so I find comfort in the hot room.
My advice to new yogis is to keep coming back. Over time you’ll relax into the postures, understand the meditative quality of moving through the heat and learn to apply the lesson of listening to your body outside the yoga room.