Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Student of the Month (April): Tom

20140404_175816Tom, AKA Tommy T with RE/MAX Results Realty, has enjoyed sports all his life. He lists a plethora of activities, snow skiing, water skiing, wake boarding, running, rollerblading, tennis, racquet ball, boating, windsurfing, hiking, mountain climbing, working out a gym, that he had to give up about 7 years ago due to his knees. His doctor told him that at 50 he was too young for a knee replacement, he should wait until he's in his 70s, and forbid almost all forms of exercise, including the elliptical trainer, limiting Tom to walking on soft grass or swimming.

Not surprisingly, this sedate life-style wasn't to the eternally 29 years-old Tom's liking: "I had to do something! Another realtor suggested I try Bikram Yoga."

Bikram yoga turned out to be what he was looking for: "Wow, amazing work out! Best cardio and overall workout, even though I couldn't do half of the positions."

Those initial challenges with the postures didn't slow Tom down or keep him away. "I would never have imaged doing Bikram Yoga before I started 7 years ago, but I keep on. It's an amazzzzzing work out," he practically purrs with satisfaction over finding this amazing workout that also calms his mind and heals his body. "The focus and stress relief has helped me grow my real estate business and serve my clients better," he notes. "I really enjoy the exhilaration and energy I have after a great workout. Some days, I've come because I'm so stressed trying to get the deal done for my clients. After I've had a great workout I'm fresh, recharged, thinking clearly, my focus improved." Even with his busy schedule, he knows that yoga will help him through the day: "I usually workout when I have opening in my day. As a Realtor I'm on call all the time, and out so many evenings too!"20140404_180255

Yoga has even helped Tom gain the strength and range of motion in his joints to return to some of the other sports he loves: "On March 22nd, 2014, I even skied Silver Star again. I skied like never before - my balance and strength was amazing! I never though I'd ski again, but I did!" His healing affected his golf game, too: "I used to have trouble walking from the golf cart to the golf green, but last year I played every week from July until Thanksgiving!"

The healing of his knees, which his doctor told him were worn out from abuse and arthritis, has been astounding. With a regular Bikram practice of three times per week, he was able to put off his immanent knee surgeries for a few years and bounced back from his recovery quickly. "I was able to put off Knee replacement for 4 years because of Bikram Yoga!"

20140404_180025"I finally had to have my right Knee replaced with Titanium knee 3 years ago. I couldn't walk upstairs or hills my pain was unbearable." He tells the story of his surgery: "I did Yoga on a Friday, went in on Monday Dec 13th, 2011 for serious surgery - knee replacement! I was told Wednesday morning, I could go home. Thanks to Bikram yoga, I had amazing recovery." Building muscle prior to surgery is important to the recovery period and getting regular movement back. Tom was off work for a month and was able to return to Bikram yoga 4 months after his surgery. "It was so tough to do - especially when most recipients of knee replacement cannot kneel or pivot afterwards. It's been very slow, but my flexibility is slowly coming back since my knee replacement. Oh yah, the Doctor told me my left knee is as bad as my right was when I had it replaced, and I need to get it replaced to, but not yet thanks to Bikram Yoga!"

Tom says that he's committed to keeping up a regular Bikram yoga practice as long as his body can handle, but suspects it will handle anything for a long,long time because it's the best treatment for the arthritis throughout his body. "Most of my friends and Family are still surprised I do Bikram, as they say they can't stand the heat, And, I'm one of those people who never seems to get cold. Funny, mind over heat I guess!" His mental determination and the friendly community of "very nice, positive people, with great attitudes to life" at the Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge studio are what keep him coming back to class.

Tom adds his supportive voice to those at his studio, "Yoga is a Lifestyle choice, and if you want to "Live the Life" you need to commit to the time. Commit to your health; do Bikram Yoga; your body and brain will thank you!"



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