Ross (who turns 43 this month) has made some big changes in his life recently - in addition to taking up Bikram yoga, he retired from his chiropractic practice to pursue a long-standing dream of becoming an actor, and has since landed roles in commercials and films.
Doing Bikram yoga was also something that Ross had considered for a long time. When a co-worker of his completed a 200-day Bikram yoga challenge, "I started noticing how much healthier she looked: clearer, calmer, more grounded. I knew she was onto something."
Soon Ross was suffering through his own Bikram yoga classes: "My first class was Hell. I won't lie. I tried to leave the room and the teacher stopped me at the door. She took me back to my mat, all mother-like, and gently instructed me to lay on my back. I was like, 'What planet am I on?!'" Ross surprised himself by not only staying in the room for his first class, but by sticking with Bikram yoga for over a year: " My ego doesn't like being hot and uncomfortable, but I've pretty much learned to ignore this self-defeating voice that has demanded that I quit on numerous occasions. As a result, I have begun to enjoy the process, as well as the amazing results."
These amazing results include improvements in stamina, breathing control, quality of sleep and skin texture. Ross has also noticed a "leaner body and a rapid increase in flexibility and core strength." We're not sure if his smoother, healthier looking skin has resulted in more acting roles for Ross, but he notices that his Bikram-tuned cardio helps him succeed in other fitness activities: "I have been doing spinning classes at the gym for several years. I find that with doing Bikram, I have greater endurance and breathing control for the most challenging of spin classes."
Ross says the quick realization of these benefits, the amazing cleansing of a good sweat and the close community of yogis and yoginis in our studio have kept him coming back. Currently, his routine is 3 classes per week, but he hopes to make that 4 classes per week in 2014. "As well, I would like to get more involved in some of the workshops and advanced classes."
Aside from setting new goals for the new year, Ross has achieved some notable milestones over the past year: "I can finally get my legs straight in several of the postures (such as standing-head-to-knee). This is in light of the fact that my hamstrings had been chronically tight for as long as I can remember. They have come a long way!"
Before he tried Bikram yoga, Ross had heard that it's "really hot and really hard." Although we wouldn't disagree with that, he'd add that "I see it as a necessity in order to improve or maintain overall health. For me, not doing yoga is not an option."