Despite all the scary (and untrue!) things he’d heard about Bikram yoga – horriby stifling heat, smelly, unhygienic, impossible to do over the long haul – Dave dared himself to do his first Bikram yoga class.Chronic back pain and his doctor’s advice set him on the path to a regular yoga practice – although he struggled in the beginning, he has seen so many positive changes since starting the yoga. Dave recounts his early expriences: “Terrified… Couldn’t breathe. I thought I was going to die. The next day, my second class was even worse!” Dave skipped day three, but came to class on day four and hasn’t looked back since. “ I learned to really, honest-to-God, breathe; to breathe where I can calm and ground myself. My back and knees are greatly improved (when I am not falling down stairs), and I have an overall feeling of wellness that I have never experienced before.” He adds, “Ask anyone, the skin feels the best.” Yes, this hard-working Dad has even thrown out all of his beauty creams since starting Bikram yoga – he simply doesn’t need them anymore! Joking aside, Dave has noticed the effects of Bikram yoga in everything he does. His job managing a shipping company that looks after the large freighters that load or discharge in Canadian waters for their owners who are overseas can be stressful. Dave uses his yogi mastery of breathing to help keep him calm at work, but notes that “after an especially hard or stressful day, 90 minutes in the room is just what the doctor ordered. It doesn’t matter how I feel going in, 99 times out of a hundred I feel much better on the way out.” Although Dave’s family and co-workers tease him about his dedication to Bikram yoga, and he admits that he encourages everyone he can to try his Bikram yoga – which has also helped him recover from a car accident and knee surgery. Dave admits that he’d rather be sitting on the couch and also admits to being a foodie – loving both cooking and eating. Dave find that yoga curbs his appetite and helps to keep him in the excellent shape he enjoyed before he moved from an acreage with animals to a house in the suburbs with a comparatively low-maintance yard. Although Dave never imagined he would make it beyond those first few classes, he's been doing Bikram yoga for over two years. Now, he looks at new students and wants to reassure them that it will get better: "I watch them try to breathe and wipe their sweat. I want to go up to them and tell them 'DON’T wipe,' and how to breath. It took me sooo long to get my breath right, and I really regret that I didn’t listen and believe when listening to the teachers in class. It makes such an impact on the class experience.” Now that he’s feeling great in class, Dave’s goal is to do Standing Head to Knee: “Having just having had my knee surgery, after 2 years of practicing, I am just now feeling like this may be a goal I will achieve. I am finally, on good days, able to get my leg lifted and straight for a few seconds (some times more seconds than others). While some may laugh, for me, even a single second is like winning a marathon! It takes so much for me to pull it all together. I have no idea what the poor teachers think each class I try this pose but, I am soooo trying! The head to knee will be tough, but I am convinced it is possible - even for me! The posture I dreaded the most is now the posture I look most forward to!!!” Dave’s family is there to support him in this yoga goals and his overall practice. “I have a wife who supports my practice, and my kids are 17 and 20, so they don’t need me around so much.” He also asserts how important the teachers and staff at our studio are for keeping him coming to class and trying his best, "The cheery faces on a crappy day really does make a difference." Of course, mental discipline plays a role in Dave making it to yoga and working on his standing head to knee, as well, “I just make the time,” he says simply.