I started practicing Bikram Yoga in 2003 at the 1st studio on the Elmwood strip from curiosity and an interest in body centered practices (I studied Taoist tai chi since 1995). I found the combination of practices to be an excellent cross training, and even more exciting was that the Bikram yoga was having an impact on my scoliosis (curvature of the spine). I again returned to regular Bikram practice when I returned to school for massage therapy at the Finger Lakes school of massage in Ithaca in 2010.
Bikram has been invaluable in preparing and strengthening my body and mind for my career as an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist). Bikram has assisted me in getting in touch with parts of myself and helped integrate emotional and physical challenges I’ve had for years. A huge aspect of this has been the healing and opening up of my ribcage and my ability to breath well and efficiently – which brings to my current favorite posture: Standing Bow.
Standing Bow. For years it felt weird, awkward, hard, challenging on my breathing and exhausting. I knew I was feeling this because it was a posture that worked on a lot of areas in my body that were imbalanced, specifically the psoas and the ribcage. It’s been gratifying to be able to see and feel the balance and ease of the posture more often now after working diligently on this one for 2 years. The biggest help for me in improving this posture has been making sure I can breath as fully and continually during the posture as possible.
A difficult class is telling me I’m working through challenges and limitations for me – it’s a sign of progress. It might be my life, the posture, or how I’m relating to these things, but a hard class is telling about where I am in this moment, not who or what I am! A hard class challenges me to be receptive and listen to what my experience is telling me and to come back and listen some more.
Bikram has improved so many aspects of my experience: I am more grounded, and more at ease with my emotional states, stronger and more flexible, issues of self-esteem or depression come rarely any more and take much shorter time to clear. In addition, the insight and knowledge of the body my career and Bikram has given me has helped each of these things in my life: Yoga helps massage — massage helps yoga. It has been and continues to be a fascinating journey. Thanks to all the teacher past and present here in and in Buffalo, your help and consistency in offering Bikram here is so appreciated!