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Yoga 360 Student of the Month (January): Amina N.

Chronic back pain was a key motivator for Amina to try Bikram yoga. “My lower back pain was a great hindrance in my day-to-day tasks, and I thought that it would never go away,” she says. One of her friends suggested that she try the Yoga 360 studio and, although she does many kids of exercise at home, knew immediately that Bikram yoga was right for her. “I enjoyed it a lot,” Amina says of her first class. The heat and the length of the class didn’t faze her. In fact, she came prepared to have a great experience, “I heard about the hot Yoga: that it is good for mind, body and soul.” Read More

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Student of the Month (January) for Bikram Yoga Langley: Pam B.

Pam describes her first class, over four years ago, as “pure Hell,” and it only gets worse (and funnier) from there. “I managed about 10 minutes before I began to panic! I spent the rest of the class thinking that I was having a heart attack, or that my head was about to explode or that I was going to faint from the heat. At one point I was lying down and heard an ambulance going by. I was hoping that someone realized that I was in terrible shape and called the ambulance for me.” Having made it through the full 90 minutes, Pam felt everything – including amazing! “After leaving the class and feeling the rush of cold air on my skin, I realized that I had made it. I could barely walk down the stairs to my car,as my legs were shaking so badly. I went to pick my son up from preschool and his teacher had a look of horror on her face when she saw me: I was bright red in the face, covered in sweat and looking like I was going to throw up. I told her I had been at Bikram Yoga, to which she said, ‘I bet you won’t be doing that again’. I replied, ‘I can’t wait to go back!’” Read More

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Maple Ridge Student of the Month (January): Steve V.

If you’d have told Steve three years ago that he’d soon be doing yoga 4 times per week, his response would have been, “Nah, not likely!” Steve is one of the many men at our studio who was introduced to Bikram yoga by his wife, although she wasn’t pushy about it. “Esther, my wife, recommended that maybe I try it.” Steve never has a bad thing to say about Bikram yoga, even considering his first class, “I was sweating bullets but didn’t run out of the room.” He adds, “It made me realize how stiff and out of shape I was.” July 4, 2012 was Steve’s first class. “It was an eye opener,” he says, “It was way more difficult that I thought it was going to be.” Read More

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Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Student of the Month (December): Vicki K.

One of the aspects of Bikram yoga that Vicki loves is the inclusive and positive community: "Part of what makes me feel comfortable is that we’re all there from different backgrounds, ages, shapes and sizes, yet all challenging ourselves through the same pattern of movements.” Around a year ago, Vicki became "addicted" to achieving small goals and improving incrementally with each class. Read about Vicki's recent big breakthrough (hint: she thought she would never see her foot above her heat in Standing Bow pose) and other accomplishments and benefits of her 4-5 class per week practice here. Read More

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Yoga 360 Surrey Student of the Month (December): Kam G.

A life-long athelete who also suffered his share of sports injuries, Kam will be celebrating his one-year anniversary as a Bikram yoga this month. However, going from the football pitch to the yoga studio wasn't an easy transition for Kam: “I was a typical guy when it came to yoga,” Kam laughs, “I wasn’t going to stand there with lots of ladies.” Yoga was both much more difficult and much more rewarding than he had anticipated. He loves that he is always being challenged by his yoga practice, even as he sees progress. Learn more about how Bikram yoga humbled this macho jock and helped him to heal his injuries and return to the sports he loves, as well as change some attitudes about yogis here. Read More

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Bikram Yoga Langley Student of the Month (December): Ana P.

Ana's sentiments exactly echo the opposite of how most people think of their first Bikram yoga class: "My first class was horrible and so hard, thank goodness. If it didn't kill me, I would have never come back.” That was 12 years ago. Being able to pursue her other activities without pain, as well as the ongoing challenge of each Bikram yoga class help keep Ana motivated to pursue her 3 class per week (minimum) schedule. Ana, a psychiatric nurse, notes that the time she spends doing yoga pays off in every aspect of her life. "I make time, because I can’t take care of people at work, my dogs, my friends or family if I’m not healthy.” Read More

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Yoga 360 Surrey Students of the Month: Shawn Papatoff & Lisa Porter

Shawn, Lisa along with their daughter make Bikram yoga a family practice. They love talking about their yoga successes in the car on the way to or from class and have noticed that they are all happier, calmer and stronger as a family, whether they attend class separately or together. Lisa is a high-school teacher who started attending Bikram yoga to deal with the stress of the teacher's strike, now that school is back in, she's still experiencing the calming benefits of her yoga practice: "Just today one of my students commented to me that I seem "more relaxed" this year as compared with last year. Though he wasn't commenting directly on my yoga practice, I felt like his remark reflected on the important impact it has on my whole self, which is that I feel calmer, more "present", and less stressed. Yoga gives me a regular break and opportunity to spend working on myself and focusing on my own strengths and areas for improvements." The family reflects on some improvements they've seen: "Shawn notices that he is more flexible than he used to be, and I am impressed that he can do a toe stand and hold both hands up in prayer position for the whole time! For me," Lisa notes, "full locust pose is always a challenge, and I'm encouraged to see that I am finally starting to get my legs higher than they used to be. Our daughter is an equestrian rider, and she and her coach have noticed improvements to her riding as she has increased her flexibility and core strength." If you want to hear more about how Bikram yoga has impacted Shawn and Lisa's lives, how they've changed their views on yoga and even what is up with the "Japanese ham sandwich", read the full story on our blog. Read More

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Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Student of the Month (November): Mai Tran

After working non-stop for 19 years, Mai decided to a break from the daily grind to focus on herself; however, she found herself at a loose end before she found Bikram yoga: "One of my top strengths is focus. I had been focusing on and dedicated to work all my life, so when I stopped working, I lost my focus. Taking bikram yoga gives me something to focus on, and also keep fit." This new focus has been life-changing: "For the first time in my life, I feel comfortable and confident with my body," she says. Check out the Mai's full story to hear about how Bikram yoga has helped her transform herself inside and out. Read More

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Bikram Yoga Langley Students of the Month (November): Giovanni & Araceli Dinicola

A doctor's ultimatum brought Araceli to Bikram Yoga Langley: "I went for a check-up and had an ultra sound to check on my liver function. The doctor's advice was either take medication or do exercise. So, I chose Bikram yoga." Among the many incredible accomplishments Araceli has had in Bikram yoga, getting Gianni into the room and loving Bikram yoga may be one of the greatest: "Araceli is wonderful – she pushes me. If she goes in the morning, and it becomes four in the afternoon, she says, 'C’mon Gianni, you gotta go.'" This couple has lost weight, reduced stressed and grown younger through yoga practice. Read on to discover more of their inspiring story. Read More

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

 “The way to reverse downward spiral is to agree that the human body is the temple of the living Spirit”

     - Bikram Choudhury

When I was asked to share story behind my personal commitment to Bikram Yoga 360 my first reaction was - absolutely not! “No” to sharing my life, my pain, and my struggles along the way; “no” to sharing my sweat, “no” to sharing my wins either – “just let me be!”

Then I had time to think. Along the way I was not alone. There has been support and encouragement. Compassion. Guidance. Honest feedback. Challenge to tap the potential. So, my journey towards healing isn’t only mine, but it is shared with the entire team from Langley studio.

But, I am getting ahead of myself. For you to understand what I am talking about I need to tell you a short story:

"It was early fall, year before Olympics in Vancouver. She has been working non-stop getting business ready, not only for the once in a lifetime event, but also for the new leadership in the company she worked for. She overestimated her stamina and strength – and she had a work related accident that left her with shoulder, arm and spine marked for the rest of her life. Oh, she was thankful - she had a brilliant surgeon who probably saved her arm and put everything back together. After months of therapy, she went back to work. A year and half after the first surgery, she had the second surgery, hoping that the constant pain in her arm and shoulder gets better. It didn’t. That was when she first tried Bikram Yoga 360.

The fact is, she didn’t care enough about herself to take time and keep up with the classes. She didn’t care enough about herself to honor promises she made Pressures at work and life in general swallowed up her resolutions and a downward spiral began. In order to get through the day, and sometimes night, painkillers became a good friend. She didn’t pay enough attention to her body and spirit to realize she desperately needed to stop this downward spiral, to do a U-turn in order to start the healing process.    

Then events took place late last year at work: restructuring in the company. She got the gift of time; she decided to do something about her well-being. So, she took a trip to Europe and tried European Spas with all the prescribed treatments. Yes, she did get temporary relief after electric injections, massages, ultrasounds and all the mineral water she drank and soaked herself in. But, in May this year she ended in doctor’s office in tears asking him to help her get rid of the pain. X-rays showed arthritis in the shoulder and middle spine, with more bone test required. She got a strong pain prescription and dose of reality: “this is pretty much it; not much we can do outside to control the pain when needed.”                                                    

After digesting doctor’s message she pulled out Bikram Choudhury’s Yoga book and didn’t stop reading until she finished the book. On June 1st she finally made the U-turn and turned her health around by joining her first yoga class.” "

“It is never too late, it is never too bad and you are never too old or too sick to start from scratch again”

     - Bikram Choudhury

You probably have lots of questions. Yes, I would have them too.  So go ahead and ask.

Questions/Answers:

How are you doing today – after 4 months?

ZV: I can move my arm beyond what I hoped I would be able to do. Yes, I will always feel pain – but today it is manageable and most of the time without painkillers.

How was your first class and classes that followed?

ZV: I didn’t leave during the first class … that was an accomplishment. Classes that followed were hard work filled with pain. Sometimes the pain was so bad, I remember during Savasana I had tears running down my cheeks and the only though I had was: ‘thank goodness I am sweating so nobody can see them.’

How often do you practice?

ZV: Every day – unless I am out of town or have commitments not allowing time for practice.

What brought you to Bikram Yoga in the first place?

ZV: After I was told physiotherapy will no longer improve the mobility. I talked with my doctor, who actually condoned a yoga workout.

How does your family feel about your new found focus in your life?

ZV: My daughter is 100% supportive, being yoga practitioner herself. She is smart, strong, independent 30 year-old woman that gives her mother every reason not to only love her unconditionally, but to be very proud of her as well. (Having a 30 year-old child should tell you how old I am! Ha-ha!)

What have you learned that you consider most important since June 1st?

ZV: The most important truth I have learned is this: we all make time for what is important to us. Going forward I will always have time for myself, for my well-being.”

What are your goals for the future?

ZV: My goal is to keep challenging myself – and keep getting challenged – so my body will keep repairing what still can be repaired, so it will keep getting stronger and more and more in tune with the spirit within.

What would you like to say as the closing?

ZV: I’d like to leave you with the quote below:

“You don’t have to change the world; just change yourself, and you will surely inspire the world to follow.”

      - Bikram Choudhury

September 24th, 2014
Zuzana Vyskocil


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