One of her co-workers at Price Mart, Denine is also a Bikram yoga teacher. Svetlana goes on to clarify, "she was always talking about it. I was looking for something, but I was worried because it's hot. I get heat stroke and faint easily."
After reassurances from Cody, another co-worker, that "it's not that hot; it's safe," Svetlana was ready to give it a try. Cody checked the scheudule and announced, "It's Mary. She's a good teacher – let's go."
Svetalan enlisted a third co-worker (Tanya) to join them at her first class. Svetlana recalls, "I decided to sign up for the whole month, and Tanya said 'you’re so brave.' But I've never regretted it."
One thing that worried Svetlana about Bikram yoga, was smelly persperation. She was happy to notice that "I don’t have body odor. It’s clean sweat." What's more, Svetlana says her skin looks nicer. According to her husband, that's not the only part that's nicer: "My husband says I’m much nicer – less moody – as long as I’m going regularly…"
Svetlana makes a habit of attending the 9:15 or 5:30 classes; she does two days of yoga, then takes one day off. "Everything now revolves around yoga: when I eat, what time I get up... My dinner has to be done at 3:00; I don’t want to go with full stomach." She adds, "nobody likes me in that class!"
When asked how she manages to make time for her regular yoga practice, Svetlana says, "You just decide & arrange your schedule." Her co-workers know not to upset her schedule: "If I say I’m going to yoga – you don’t keep me 5 minutes extra," Svetlana cautions.
If you had told Svetlana her life would revolve around getting sweaty in a Bikram yoga class a year ago,"I would think that you’re crazy," she laughs.
Now she can't imagine her life without it: "Whatever I did before, now I do much easier: running up and down the stairs, walking." Not only does she have lots more energy and feels calmer, but she's feeling less pain: "Before, my neck hurt like hell, but now it doesn’t hurt, and I’m calmer while driving.' She adds, "My back hurts a little bit less."
The peace of the Bikram yoga practice is important to Svetlana. When asked what she likes the most about practicing Bikram yoga, she doesn't mince words: "It’s quiet: no one’s allowed to talk, and there's no music."
Svetlana intends to continue her regular Bikram practice (with the full support of her husband, doubtless), to ensure that she remains healthy and flexible as she gets older. Bikram yoga truly is Svetlana's health insurance.