Bikram Yoga Langley Student of the Month (October): Francis

In the four months he's been attending our Langley studio, Francis and his beautiful dahlias have become a familiar sight. This 68 year-old husband and father of three has made some incredible progress in his health, and he's not shy about sharing the benefits he's experienced from doing Bikram Yoga.

Sports were a way of life for Francis, whose business was real estate development, until he suffered a severe back injury in May of 2011. At that time, he was confined to bed, being only able to lay on his stomach in a concave position with head and feet elevated.

Bikram Yoga was first mentioned to him when he sought treatment for his neck while on vacation in Hawaii in February of this year. When he returned to Langley, his local RMT strongly cautioned him against Bikram Yoga, suggesting that it would be too much for him, but endorsed yoga as rehabilitation.

Swallowing what he now realizes was false macho pride, Francis began to practice yoga to relieve his pain and immediately took to it. Again and again, Bikram Yoga would come up in conversation, and again and again he was warned off of it.

As a hockey player Francis prefers to meet challenges head-on rather than back off, so decided to see for himself what Bikram Yoga was all about - he's never looked back. Francis says, "I was immediately addicted and have not gone back to regular yoga since (4 Months now)." To all of his macho hockey and golf buddies that scoff at his yoga, Francis dares them to try a class and heal themselves. So far, three of his friends are also doing yoga at his prompting.

The healing that Francis has undergone is incredible. "When I began, there was virtually no pose I could manage save the breathing exercises, which in themselves were a challenge," Francis recalls. With perseverance, he has improved his range of motion and balance: "I am  elated that I can do nearly all of the poses." He also loves getting his aerobic workout in yoga class rather than through swimming, which he complains is boring.

"The biggest excitement is that a severe stenosis emanating from my spinal column injury is easing a little so that there are occasions that my right foot is not numb and tingling."

From bedridden to hitting the links, is quite a journey. Especially for someone who as little as three months ago dreaded that he would never be able to golf again. Francis states with no small anticipation, "I am very much looking forward to rejoining my buds at our annual fall golf get-together."

Life certainly is coming up a bed of dahlias for Francis, who has also lost 15 pounds, mostly from the waist, without changing his eating habits.

"I hope I am not too optimistic, but I am quietly confident that with another number of months of continued Bikram Practice, my back injury and stenosis will have dissipated to the point where it is an insignificant factor in my life."


Would you like to be featured as a Student of the Month, or do you have a suggestion of someone we should feature? Let us know at: 


Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Student of the Month (October 2012): Dave

When he was told that he was going to be featured as our Student of the Month, Dave's reaction was, "What!!? Me!!? Student of the Month? I mean, it's an honour just to be nominated, but.. You like me; you really LIKE me!!"

If you don't already know him, that gives you a taste of what a great sense of humour Dave has, even when he's "playing 'Simon Says' in Hell". (That's what he calls Bikram Yoga classes.)

Considering that Dave is also a Major in the Army Reserves and manages the City of Vancouver's Tactical Training Centre, I'm sure our instructors are not the toughest task-masters he's ever seen. Dave begs to differ. He recounts the horror of his first class thus: "after about an hour, when I was sure I could not take one more minute in that place, the instructor (I think it was Mary) said, "Okay, we're almost halfway done!"

Although Dave still puts a Bikram class on par with the heat of The Sun, he loves what it's done for him: "It's a little known fact, but Bikram Yoga actually helps one prepare for the Army Battle Fitness Test." (Thanks to Drill Sargent Mary.)

Dave's 'hot' and flexible figure has also been garnering comments. In the first six months of practicing, he lost 30 pounds. Even better, he brags that he can now put his socks on without sitting down first. He's also been able to cut back on his blood pressure medication, sleeps better, has more energy, is more flexible, has less joint pain and says "life just seems easier to handle."

For someone who never imagined he would've been doing something like this before his wife signed him up for Bikram classes, Dave sounds like a committed yogi: "I like the effects on my health and fitness the most, but I also like that every time I go into the studio I am facing a challenge and succeeding. The first day I actually did a recognizable Floor Bow was, well, it was a good day."

Dave's future goals for his life, yoga practice and health include more all of these - more life, more yoga and more health.


Hear what he had to say back in April:   


Dave W testimonial



An Open Letter to Bikram Yoga Practitioners and Frenzied Back-to-Schoolers,

Dear Fellow Bikram Yoga Practitioners and Frenzied Back-to-Schoolers, There’s meditation. There’s music. And then there’s yoga. Bikram’s Hot Yoga. -- what Bikram himself refers to as ‘the torture chamber’ – but perhaps I would like to add ‘a more than gracious one.’ Tell me…do we suffer from a madness only 40 degrees Celsius can cure? If the very thought of licking a bead of sweat off your knee cap while engaged in the standing head to knee pose sends a gripping chill straight up your thighs, I’m afraid you’ve got the madness too. I know I do. And like the others, I love doing Bikram’s Yoga and absolutely can’t get enough because… “…in a world that is becoming ever more demanding and uncertain, my yoga practice strengthens my resistance against stress and trains my mind to stay focused on what matters…” “…because yoga – in and of itself – has no deadlines and requires no note-taking. It requests nothing, expects nothing, and wants nothing more than my dedication in the moment, my determination to stay in the room, and my patience to witness my own mind drama and set it aside for ninety minutes…” I know. I may have this madness pretty bad. But I’m not the only one. When we’re not tearing into a brand new shipment of Shakti activewear and wrapping our bodies around the heap in pure ecstasy, we’re doing Bikram’s Hot Yoga. When we’re not laundering yoga towels, hanging mats and sun-drying teensy outfits, we’re doing Bikram’s Hot Yoga. When we’re not waking up in the morning laying in Savasana with a textbook on our chest… …chilling water bottles…hoarding coconut water…drooling over a necessary boost of evening caffeine… ...we’re doing Bikram’s Hot Yoga. Your commitment to attending on a regular basis throughout the school year will bring you the natural energy and mind control you need on a daily basis, one that supports your focus, determination, and motivation to reach your highest potential. If you love it – love the idea of a calmer and more peaceful YOU, along with greater mental clarity and ability to handle pressure more effectively…then I’m sure you’ll want to take advantage of Candice’s generous back-to-school offer before September 15, 2012. ONLY $649 for unlimited classes until April 30, 2013 for all students with a valid ID!   ($699 for non-students) Where else can we train the mind to push past emotional obstacles, stretch and manipulate each and every muscle in our entire body AND purge toxins in 40% humidity – all at the same timefor 35 cents a day and 90 minutes out of our schedule? Namaste, Lauren Plaviak P.S.  Remember, there is a cure for this madness! Take advantage of the back-to-school special before September 15 and rid yourself of this insanity. Nourish your body, mind and soul this Fall and Winter semester for pennies a day! 


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