“The way to reverse downward spiral is to agree that the human body is the temple of the living Spirit”
- Bikram Choudhury
When I was asked to share story behind my personal commitment to Bikram Yoga 360 my first reaction was - absolutely not! “No” to sharing my life, my pain, and my struggles along the way; “no” to sharing my sweat, “no” to sharing my wins either – “just let me be!”
Then I had time to think. Along the way I was not alone. There has been support and encouragement. Compassion. Guidance. Honest feedback. Challenge to tap the potential. So, my journey towards healing isn’t only mine, but it is shared with the entire team from Langley studio.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. For you to understand what I am talking about I need to tell you a short story:
"It was early fall, year before Olympics in Vancouver. She has been working non-stop getting business ready, not only for the once in a lifetime event, but also for the new leadership in the company she worked for. She overestimated her stamina and strength – and she had a work related accident that left her with shoulder, arm and spine marked for the rest of her life. Oh, she was thankful - she had a brilliant surgeon who probably saved her arm and put everything back together. After months of therapy, she went back to work. A year and half after the first surgery, she had the second surgery, hoping that the constant pain in her arm and shoulder gets better. It didn’t. That was when she first tried Bikram Yoga 360.
The fact is, she didn’t care enough about herself to take time and keep up with the classes. She didn’t care enough about herself to honor promises she made Pressures at work and life in general swallowed up her resolutions and a downward spiral began. In order to get through the day, and sometimes night, painkillers became a good friend. She didn’t pay enough attention to her body and spirit to realize she desperately needed to stop this downward spiral, to do a U-turn in order to start the healing process.
Then events took place late last year at work: restructuring in the company. She got the gift of time; she decided to do something about her well-being. So, she took a trip to Europe and tried European Spas with all the prescribed treatments. Yes, she did get temporary relief after electric injections, massages, ultrasounds and all the mineral water she drank and soaked herself in. But, in May this year she ended in doctor’s office in tears asking him to help her get rid of the pain. X-rays showed arthritis in the shoulder and middle spine, with more bone test required. She got a strong pain prescription and dose of reality: “this is pretty much it; not much we can do outside to control the pain when needed.”
After digesting doctor’s message she pulled out Bikram Choudhury’s Yoga book and didn’t stop reading until she finished the book. On June 1st she finally made the U-turn and turned her health around by joining her first yoga class.” "
“It is never too late, it is never too bad and you are never too old or too sick to start from scratch again”
- Bikram Choudhury
You probably have lots of questions. Yes, I would have them too. So go ahead and ask.
How are you doing today – after 4 months?
ZV: I can move my arm beyond what I hoped I would be able to do. Yes, I will always feel pain – but today it is manageable and most of the time without painkillers.
How was your first class and classes that followed?
ZV: I didn’t leave during the first class … that was an accomplishment. Classes that followed were hard work filled with pain. Sometimes the pain was so bad, I remember during Savasana I had tears running down my cheeks and the only though I had was: ‘thank goodness I am sweating so nobody can see them.’
How often do you practice?
ZV: Every day – unless I am out of town or have commitments not allowing time for practice.
What brought you to Bikram Yoga in the first place?
ZV: After I was told physiotherapy will no longer improve the mobility. I talked with my doctor, who actually condoned a yoga workout.
How does your family feel about your new found focus in your life?
ZV: My daughter is 100% supportive, being yoga practitioner herself. She is smart, strong, independent 30 year-old woman that gives her mother every reason not to only love her unconditionally, but to be very proud of her as well. (Having a 30 year-old child should tell you how old I am! Ha-ha!)
What have you learned that you consider most important since June 1st?
ZV: The most important truth I have learned is this: we all make time for what is important to us. Going forward I will always have time for myself, for my well-being.”
What are your goals for the future?
ZV: My goal is to keep challenging myself – and keep getting challenged – so my body will keep repairing what still can be repaired, so it will keep getting stronger and more and more in tune with the spirit within.
What would you like to say as the closing?
ZV: I’d like to leave you with the quote below:
“You don’t have to change the world; just change yourself, and you will surely inspire the world to follow.”
- Bikram Choudhury
September 24th, 2014