When recalling the first Bikram yoga, Bind says, "I knew my experience was unique. I knew that I wanted to do this. I was surprised and impressed by other people's flexibility – I thought, ‘Oh, my God, they are so flexible.’”
So what did Bind think of the yoga practice? “I liked it so much!” She remembers doing her best to keep up with the class, but looking back she cringes at how many things she had wrong. However, the chance to keep trying and keep improving is one of the things that Bind likes about the practice: “Day by day, I realize my mistakes. Every teacher explains things a little differently, and every day you learn a little bit. It’s been a year and a half, and I’m still learning.” She adds, “I never thought that I could do those postures and be so flexible. Now I can do everything!”
“You are skinny; why are you doing that?” is what Bind often hears from her family members about her Bikram yoga practice. “If you are skinny, people always ask questions,” she elaborates. “But, they say I’m doing awesome.” “I didn’t actually want to lose weight. I just wanted to be more flexible and it’s helped me a lot.” The health benefits she’s experienced are amazing. “I had migraine problems, and now they are gone. I had a pain in my shoulders – it’s gone, totally!” Bind has also noticed that she has more confidence and her spine is stronger, so she can sit for long periods of time.
Bind, a 30-year old barista, stresses the benefits of the spiritual side of her Bikram practice as well. “I’m into spirituality, so I like the connection between body, mind and soul. It calms me so much. I’m more focused at work. I’m more calm and don’t react. I take it all easily, and go with the flow.”
Bind sees both the physical and mental benefits of her Bikram practice in her meditation practice. “I just did the vipassana 10 days (a disciplined meditation where talking, making eye contact and physical yoga are not allowed) – some people might want to bolt, but for me it was fine. Bikram yoga has made me disciplined.” Setting an intention and mastering your body even when you want to give up are skills that many people don’t have, but Bind noticed she had developed. “When you go to meditation, you have to sit for one hour with closed eyes, and stay in one position. I set my mind to it and made it through easily.”
This same discipline helps Bind stick to her 5 class per week Bikram schedule. How does she motivate herself to get to class, even on days when she’s tired? “It's just my daily routine. I don’t give myself an option.” She adds, “It’s all in your mind.”
Bind’s goals for her practice include wanting to become a Bikram yoga teacher. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but that’s my goal.” She clarifies that she wants to go deeper into the practice for herself, not to make money from teaching.
It is clear from talking with her that Bind understands her practice as a way to challenge herself and connect with other people – both excellent qualities in a teacher. When asked about her favourite part of her Bikram practice, Bind does not hesitate, “I like how people share energy together.”
We hope to see Bind teaching at our studio one day. For as many great things as there are to say about her, she has lots of compliments for our studio, its variety, cleanliness and service. “It’s a great studio. I’m lucky that I’m practicing at this studio.”