Devron and Rebekah have been happily married for 15 years and have been happily doing Bikram yoga together since the summer of last year. In addition to yoga, they are busy running their Port Kells-based business and spending time with their children. Yoga is a becoming a family affair: their oldest child, five year-old Nyomi, has also started doing kids yoga classes at Bikram Yoga Langley.
Rebekah always imagined that yoga would become a part of her life – it was just a matter of time. I bought my first mat in 2005,” laughs Rebekah, “and let it sit in our closet for 8 years.” After her first Bikram Yoga Class, she told Devron, “You’ve got to try this, it’s right up your alley.”
Devron knew that yoga was the best thing for his body, but worried that he would be in a room, with a bunch of flexible women who found it all so effortless. “Bikram is not like that,” Devron goes on to explain how he means this as a compliment to the Bikram practice, “even the most athletic person will struggle, because the struggle is against themselves.”
Devron’s first struggle was similar to many other people, he struggled with breathing calmly, although his description is much more vivid than most: “If you’ve ever seen the original Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the end when he falls into the Mars atmosphere and almost dies hyperventilating and gasping for air.”
Rebekah loved the atmosphere of our studio, but also felt like she’d landed on another planet during her first class: “I remember walking into the studio – I was so nervous and self-conscious. My first class was instructed by Denine. Both the other students and Denine were so welcoming and encouraging. I really was so grateful for their kindness because I was so scared!" She continues, "The heat was another story! It was like I landed on Mars. My body was rocked by the heat and the postures – it was a bit of a blur. I remember looking around in sheer awe of the class. I was both exhausted and exhilarated at the end. I walked out knowing I was embarking on something that was going to change my life.”
Some of these changes include improved health, less back pain and more flexibility. "I have much better flexibility and my back doesn't hurt as much," explains Rebekah, "I see the chiropractor much less frequently." Devron notes, "I feel calmer and less stressed. I am way more flexible and my stiff neck has gone away." He has also noticed, "I get a better quality of sleep." Better health has beauty benefits, too. "My skin looks much healthier – it has a glow now," says Rebekah.
As for changes in her yoga practice, Rebekah says, "I have never been flexible. The first time I put my head to my knee in Head to Knee pose, I remember saying to myself, "Wow! I can do this now." Devron didn't think he'd ever be able to do Half-Locust, or even attempt it. Well, that has changed! His new goal is to get to the full expression of Eagle Posture in the nextcouple of years.
Both of them know that frequency and regularity are essential to feeling the benefits of their yoga practice. Rebekah does 3 - 4 classes per week, while Devron does 4 classes per week - mostly at 6 a.m. Devron says, "I do it in the mornings before work. It's great – you get a good workout, shower and then go to work knowing you've got your exercise in for the day. Any exercise after that is a bonus!" With two small children and their own business to run, time is at a premium for this couple, "I'm not gonna lie," starts Rebekah, "It is a time commitment for sure. But it's like anything – people do what they want to do. If it's something you really want to do, you just make time for it."
Devron makes the time because he loves "making small gains in flexibility. I like the fact that every class is a challenge because most days you can always push yourself further. The other days you just have to push yourself to where you were. It always puts your ego in check." In regards to his 6 a.m. routine, he says, "It's a great way to start the morning. Although it is 90 minutes of hard work - you know it's worth it."
"I love that Bikram yoga is not just exercise of the body, but of the mind and that connectedness: working on challenging each posture, knowing my limitations, challenging my ego, staying mindful and breathing…" Rebekah goes on to describe other aspects of her Bikram yoga practice that make her like it so much: "I've enjoyed getting to know many of the instructors and fellow practitioners over the past seven months as well!" She concludes with what is possibly the best part of her day, "Nothing is better than how great you feel after you've finished class."
Rebekah takes inspiration from the people around her in class, "There is one more senior practitioner who I love taking class with – she is so calm and balanced in her practice. It's inspiring and humbling to take class with her. My hope is that one day I'll be like her!" Devron's goals, on the other hand, are specific and (mostly) measurable: "I want to increase my overall flexibility, core strength and feel younger."
Devron and Rebekah hope to convince others to join them in feeling great through Bikram yoga: "Everyone says the same things we used to say, 'Oh, yeah, I've always wanted to do that' or 'I need to go back; I haven't been in a while.' They are all really supportive and proud of our commitment; hopefully, we'll be able to bring a few of them in for a class!"