“My first class was horrible and so hard, thank goodness. If it didn't kill me, I would have never come back,” exclaims, Ana, a mental health nurse who has been practicing Bikram yoga for 12 years.
Repeated injuries and pain in her muscles and her back first brought Ana to Bikram yoga, but it was the challenge that kept her coming back. In her own words, “I’m stubborn like that, or a bit of a masochist - I like pain.”
It wasn’t long before this healer was experiencing the healing benefits of the Bikram yoga series: “there were more benefits than I initially anticipated, but most important is that I am able to do other activities, like running, cycling and lifting, without pain.” While Ana notes that her Bikram practice has helped her overcome and prevent further injuries, the opportunity to de-stress is also incredibly valuable. She notices the impact of what’s going on in her life in the yoga room “a hard week will impact me more than any physical injury.” Whether its stress, indulging in things that are fun but maybe not so good for you or a physical injury, Ana knows that Bikram yoga addresses all of these and helps her maintain healthy habits. “I'm horrible at stretching;” Ana admits “the only time I do is when I’m in the hot room.”
In addition to her minimum 3 times per week yoga practice, Ana keeps busy outside of work with cycling, gym, yoga, dogs, drawing, baking and cooking. “Whatever whim strikes me, really,” she smiles. She also dotes on her two puppies and one year-old niece.
“I practice most in the colder months,” Ana says, but is quick to point out, “but I do try a minimum of three classes a week year round. I make time, because I can’t take care of people at work, my dogs, my friends or family if I’m not healthy.”
Giving her best is important to Ana: in her work life, her social life and her yoga practice. This is what she continues to work on through her practice and what her practice helps her to achieve.