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Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Students/Family of the Month (February): Roberta, Neve, and Ava

[caption id="attachment_450" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Roberta with her 2 youngest daughters Roberta with her 2 youngest daughters[/caption]

It seems the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, or tree pose, for Robert, a hard-working mom with four daughters who is healing her shoulder and setting an example of living a healthy lifestyle for her girls to emulate.

Her two younger daughters are excited to start taking yoga classes, like their mom. "My youngest daughter, Ava, has been practicing the tree pose for a few weeks ever since Candice showed her. Now she wants to know how to pose as a flower!" roberta4 Although we don't exactly have a flower pose in Bikram Yoga, Roberta has certainly noticed her yoga practice and health vigorously blooming since she began practicing in September. "The pain in my shoulder has gone from a 75% pain level to a 25% pain level." This dramatic improvement may mean that Roberta will not have to undergo invasive surgery to repair a superior labral tear with maceration and fraying of the labrum. "I am obviously not wanting surgery and am also going to continue yoga, because I truly believe that is the reason why my shoulder has improved so much." Roberta had heard about Bikram yoga – how it detoxifies, slims, improves flexibility and heals - but couldn't slot it into her hectic schedule of raising four children, babysitting two children and working four nights per week. She was thrilled when the Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge studio opened close to her home and work last year and resolved to join. Roberta says she "thought I was gonna die" in her first class, but also, "knew that was not going to stop me from coming back. If you want results I know you have to work hard for it." On the other hand, she claims that Bikram is "the most non judgmental activity in an excersize room that I've ever done!"Roberta1 In addition to the miraculous reduction of pain in her shoulder, she says her yoga practice has helped her to drop inches, increase flexibility and has boosted her confidence. "At work my customers ask me what I've done that makes me look thinner; they also tell me that I look younger. My best friend thinks this is the best exercise for me, compared to everything else I've done in recent years." Roberta is definitely the sort of person who sticks with what she loves: she has worked at at Paliottis' Restaurant since she was 14 years old. "I started there busing tables, and now I waitress and manage the front of the restaurant in customer service." She has similarly dedicated herself to her regular yoga practice, attending classes five days per week. Taking this time for herself was something that she'd previously thought was impossible. She notes, "I have such a busy lifestyle… But if you organize your day right, you can always make time." She knows that making time for your health is not just important for her, but for her family, friends and everyone else: "I believe that every person deserves time in their day for exercise. It's healthy, and if you love yourself enough, you will make time without any excuses." Roberta is looking forward to Bikram yoga keeping her in great shape and flexible forever, and also hopes to see improvements to her asthma over time. By staying healthy, she'll have more time and energy for her family, friends and hobbies (including making scrapbooks for her four girls). "I also love the fact that eventually we can do it together as a family, to have more bonding time." Happy Family Day to all of our Bikram yoga families! Roberta2 Check out our newsletter and notice boards for more information on our Sunday Kids' Yoga Classes.

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Bikram Yoga Langley Students/Couple of the Month (February): Bruce & Janet

Jan BruceYou've heard of date night, but long-time lovebirds Bruce and Janet have date mornings: they get up at 4:45 a.m. to do a Bikram yoga class together a minimum of four times per week. They don't see a downside, for their bodies or their relationship, to getting up so early. "Doing an activity together is a benefit for any relationship - especially doing an activity that is completely new and different, physically and mentally challenging, yet extremely rewarding. The physical and mental transformation over time has been amazing." They certainly make being a Bikram couple sound appleaing, "what couple wouldn’t enjoy the benefits of reduced stress, greater flexibility, increased muscle strength, heightened endurance, and softer skin!" One of Bruce's co-workers first piqued his interest in Bikram yoga. He noticed that she was different from everyone at work – she was calm, easy going and in great shape! And, she did Bikram yoga faithfully every morning. Bruce admits he had a hard time imagining how doing yoga for 90 mintues in a hot room could be so fulfilling and beneficial. About the same time, Bruce and Janet found themselves looking for a new fitness regime. They wanted something that they could do together, but Bruce's lower back issues (multiple compressed discs and arthritis) limited their options. The stars aligned and Bruce and Janet decided to "give it a shot" in January 2012, when the Langley studio offered free classes for the weekend. jan bruce2They say that they "gasped, groaned, flipped and flopped our way through the 90 minute class." More importantly, however, they were thrilled to have made it all the way through. They agreed that they had never experienced anything like it; it was daunting, yet amazing. They signed up for a 14-day trial membership and have been hooked ever since. Both Bruce and Janet have noticed how much better they feel both mentally and physically, thanks to their regular yoga practice. "Every day activities like walking the dogs and working outside in the yard seem to take less effort and, we’re not moaning and groaning about our aches and pains that seem to come with middle age." Although they treasure their time (inside and outside of the yoga room as a duo), the eternally 39 year-old couple who have been married for 32 years, love how much more active they can be as grandparents: "Perhaps the most rewarding is being able to get down on the floor with ease to play with our grandson, or pick him up without worrying about injuring ourselves. Now we have a second grandson who is only 3 months old, and  we can feel confident that we will have the same energy for him! We feel younger… Did we mention we’re 39?" bruceIndividually, they have gained different things from Bikram yoga. Bruce has noticed a quieting of his mind and less pain in his back: "I sleep better and am physically tired at night, rather than mentally burned out. Yoga has also taught me to become more patient – I am a perfectionist by nature and my practice has demonstrated to me how unhealthy this can be. My flexibility is continuing to improve. I never thought a year ago I would be going into the full expression of Camel and Fixed Firm. My lower back issues continue to improve – so much so that I no longer require Tylenol 3s, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants." Jan is concerned with lowering her risk for diseases that run in her family. "Staying healthy, both physically and mentally, has always been high on my list of priorities." One reason Bruce and Janet love practicing yoga together is that that they can keep each other motivated: "It helps to have someone there to nudge you out of bed." They also love to sympathize, encourage and share each other's little victories. "We remember walking into the room for the first time and thinking, 'we’ll never be able to stand the heat and the humidity for 90 minutes let alone do the yoga!' In the beginning it was a struggle, but now we seldom notice it and, in fact, look forward to it." Janet's victory was finally bending backwards far enough to get the back of her head on the floor Fixed Firm. After only 8 months of practice she achieved what she had thought was impossible. Bruce celebrates the improved mobility of his lower back and his decreased stress and tension. "Of course, we both have a long ways to go to improve our practice, but I think that is what keeps us motivated." Their work's not done yet and they know that. Janet says, "I feel very motivated to continue my Bikram yoga practice and  challenge myself to stick with it until I have 'mastered it'. Don’t think that’s ever going to happen, so, I think I’ll be practicing for a long, long time." jan bruce 1When Janet and Bruce talk about goals and the future, they see things pretty clearly: "Our life goals are pretty simple - that we will both grow old together, that our family is always an important part of our life, that we have work that is meaningful and always have an opportunity to have fun together. It’s also important not to take yourself or life too seriously." Yoga has become an integral part of that life together, "For us, maintaining and growing our practice is a life priority, and we treat it that way. Yoga is not a nice to do but has become a “must do” for us, from both a physical and mental benefit perspective." "Practicing as a couple," they say, "really helps maintain that drive and motivation." As much as they love each other and love doing yoga together, the close knit family of teachers and students at their 6 a.m. classes is another thing that keeps them motivated, "It’s such a devoted and inspiring group. Not only do we look forward to pulling our rear ends out of bed and coming out to practice, we look forward to seeing everyone and tapping into the incredible energy everyone puts into the class." Happy Valentine's Day, Yoga Lovers!

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