Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Student of the Month (August):Don H


don_postureDon likes that Bikram yoga is anything but boring. “I started walking, but I found that to be too boring. I tried the gym, but I just couldn’t focus on what I need to do, and I also found that boring.”

“I heard about this hot yoga thing, so I investigated a few of them and found Bikram to be the best.” Although Don describes his first Bikram yoga class as “brutal”; it’s obvious to see why he would choose that over boring exercise regimes that he found difficult to stick with.


 “Usually, I start a program (the gym, walking,  running, etc.), and I give up after a short time.” He  adds, “I’ve been doing this for almost three years  now, and I don’t intend to quit – the benefits to my  overall health are too valuable.” He goes on to  explain, “when I turned 50, the aches and pains of  everyday living were getting worse and worse. Running  didn’t work, because my knees and joints hurt too  much.”

 “I looked at a few other yoga paces,” he says, “but  the staff at Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge was so friendly  and helpful that I decided to go try it.” During his first  class, Don wondered, “what was I thinking?” But he  also instantly knew that this yoga is what he needed.  “I wasn’t looking for strength and endurance, I was  looking for more flexibility. It wasn’t until later that I  realized I was getting strength, endurance and  cardio.”



Now Don’s feeling incredible with his 3-4 class per week practice: “I have a lot more flexibility, better balance, my joints are stronger,” he continues to list the benefits of yoga, “no more sore backs, I sleep better, I have more energy, I feel better, my concentration is better and I have a better immune system.” In summary, Don claims that almost everything is better since he started doing Bikram yoga; previously, “I was really run-down, tired, no energy...”

He’s looking forward to testing his new-found vitality this summer: “I want to try some things that I did 10-15 years ago that I couldn’t do 3 years ago. The Grouse Grind is on my list.”

He’s quick to note that aside from the health benefits, he’s stuck with Bikram yoga because “I enjoy it. I’m hooked! I like knowing that I’m improving with every class I go to.”
Don says some people are surprised that he’s doing yoga, “but once I explain the process, they say they would like to try it one day.” He encourages all of his friends and family to try Bikram yoga – even just once. He’s pretty sure that they’ll be as hooked as he is.

Don loves his job as a realtor, but it also keeps him busy and the hours are irregular. He squeezes in classes whenever he can and laments, “four days without yoga and I can notice a difference in my mobility.”  Despite not having a routine, Don has the secret to maintaining a regular yoga practice: “It’s easy when you’re addicted to it,” he smiles.

At 54, Don’s goal for his health is to continue to do yoga as much as possible. “Three years ago, my vision of 10-20 years down the road was very bad. I was seeing myself as old and decrepit. I hated it! Now, I envision myself feeling great, being very active and living forever.” He laughs a bit at this last statement and says, “well, for a long time anyway.”


Bikram Yoga Langley Student of the Month (August): Alison S.

alison_shtkBack pain and degenerative disc disease first brought Alison, a claims administrator for Co-operators Insurance, to Bikram Yoga. "I was told not to do the high impact aerobics that I had been doing. I tried low impact aerobics, Aquacize, Pilates, regular yoga - nothing helped. My massage therapist recommended that I try Bikram yoga - that was six years ago, and I haven't stopped since." Alison adds, "My back pain is gone."

She did have to go through the 'painful' experience of her first Bikram yoga class before getting rid of her back pain through her practice: "My first class was really hard, I could not believe how much I sweated during that 90 minutes. I remember distinctly doing forward bending and noticing that even my legs were sweating - I had never seen them sweat before." She quickly adds that there were positive aspects to even her very first class, "I also felt energized and never looked back."

Alison started out doing Bikram yoga with her daughter, Erin, who now lives in Vanderhoof, BC, and hosts a morning radio program. "We really miss her being so far away, but we talk daily. I really miss doing yoga with her at Bikram Yoga Langley," Alison laments.

alison1Besides having relief from the pain of degenerative disc disease, Alison has noticed that her golf game has improved and that her husband thinks she's nicer after her class. "I don't play much golf, and I'd like to play more, but the first time I played after becoming a yogi, I noticed I could hit the ball further than before." Alison lists some other benefits she has experienced since starting Bikram yoga: "increased energy, drinking more water, eating less junk food, getting rid of back pain and becoming a happier person overall."

Alison says that what she likes the most about Bikram yoga is how she feels after class, and, increasingly, how she feels during class. "I often feel very privileged and grateful that I am able to do this for myself." Her regular routine is weekends at 10 AM and weekdays at 6 PM, except for Friday night date night with her husband of 28 years, and book club Mondays.

Alison has a lot to keep her busy, aside from her regular yoga practice, job, and other hobbies, she recently took up autocross racing with her 2003 Corvette. "I've always loved driving and this is just a new twist on that," she says.

Alison clearly likes taking on new challenges and she had come to embrace challenges in her Bikram yoga practice as well. "I remember the first competition I watched in 2009 and thinking, 'I'll never be able to do that.' If I look at an advanced posture now, I think, 'I'd like to be able to do that one day,'" Alison muses. In fact, doing more Master Core Intermediate classes and getting better at those postures is one of Alison's goals. She explains her commitment to challenging herself and sticking with her Bikram yoga practice: "My mum is 82 years old and quite fragile physically. I hope that at 82 I will still be doing Bikram yoga."


Yoga 360 Student of the Month (August): Jenny K.

jenny_bow“People make comments on how I can look so good after having three children,” says Jenny, a mother of three children under 10, a family nurse practitioner and UBC Masters of Nursing lecturer, “One word sums it up: Bikram.”
Jenny wasn’t always so enviably toned: “Bikram yoga completely changed my body: I lost 20 pounds; I had definition and shape. After years of going to the gym and running on a treadmill, I never saw results like I saw after only 4 months of Bikram yoga.” “Mind you,” she adds, “I was going 4-5 days per week.”
“It was very hard. I had been a gymnast as a child for many years and was frustrated when I couldn’t even balance on one leg. I was using muscles I had never used before,” she exclaims. “I was determined to one day be in the front row and mastering standing bow,” she asserts.
“I did my first Bikram class in 2001... And never went back,” she admits. After that rocky start, Jenny committed to a regular yoga practice in 2004. When she moved to Los Angeles, she and her husband, Jason, took the opportunity to do intensive classes with Bikram himself.
“I personally enjoy that there are no candles or chanting and more time is jenny_trianglespent on moving and challenging your body. You find the meditation in the peak of holding a pose and then pushing through and never giving up. ” Jenny find new challenges in her yoga practice all the time, “No class is ever the same for me and it never gets easy. It’s always a challenge, and I embrace that.” Even though she has doing the same postures in the same order for 10 years, she doesn’t find it repetitive. “Each class, I want to see where my body can go given how I am feeling that day. If it ever got to a place of complacency, then that would be dull and boring, but I don’t see Bikram like that.” While she is always working on her postures from the beginning series, she has also started doing the Mastercore Intermediate class. “Starting the advanced series has been new and amazing – another challenge I look forward to taking on.”

jenny“My goal is to always be capable and to do yoga until I’m 100. I’m not kidding!” Jenny exclaims. “I don’t ever want to be dependent on a walker or wheelchair.” Prior to starting Bikram yoga, Jenny had three knee surgeries and avoided further surgeries through a conscientious yoga practice. Jenny experienced other health benefits as well, “my cardiovascular endurance became stronger; I was more limber; I’m able to play with my kids at their level and not groan with every crouching position.”
Jenny knows that Bikram yoga will be part of her life, and her family’s life, forever. “I will never not do yoga. After having children my time is obviously more limited, so my goal is 2-3 days per week. You have to make time for your health. We have full-time jobs and three children, so some days you don’t sleep as much, but it’s important that we allow ourselves the time, even if it’s only two days per week.”
Speaking of children, “I was back in the studio within 2 weeks of the birth of all three children and lost 40 pounds in 6 months.” Jenny knows that it is important to model a healthy lifestyle for her children, “My 8 year-old loves yoga, and it is so beneficial for children to see their parents fit and active and taking care of their health.” The yoga bug is nurse-approved, “It’s contagious and so necessary for the next generation.”
Thinking especially of working moms like her, Jenny offers this advice: “No excuses. I know there are days you don’t feel up to it, but the hardest part is getting there. Once you are there and your class is completed, you feel such a sense of achievement, confidence and happiness – you did it! And then go back – every day if you can, and you will see the results.”


Student of the Month for July Yoga 360 Surrey: Justin O.

Justin recently completed 100 Bikram yoga classes in 110 days. In case you might think that's an easy feat for a fit, young man, Justin sought out Bikram yoga to heal tightness and muscle asymmetry from years of playing sports. Although he is young and in great shape, Justin can't sit cross legged due to his hips and back. “Although I’m nowhere near my goals, I’ve got a pretty good start,” Justin says modestly. “Yoga has helped me learn to use more parts of my body and to listen to my body. It has also helped me heal and strengthen my lower back.” Read about how Justin manages to find time for all that yoga with his daily commute to down town Vancouver and the changes he's seen here. Read More


Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Student of the Month (July): Kathleen E.

“Going from using a walker to doing Bikram yoga is the most significant achievement of my life - and when you are only two years away from 70 that is a lot of life experience,” Kathleen exclaims. Bikram says "You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start from the scratch once again." Kathleen simply says, "If I can do Bikram yoga, anybody can do it." Want to know more about what got Kathleen into the yoga room and out of a walker, and more milestones, besides? Click here to read Kathleen's full, amazing story. Read More


Bikram Yoga Langley Student of the Month (July): Natalie K.

Natalie works 12-hour shifts as 911 dispatcher, but ensures that no one will be calling the emergency line about her - she relieves stress and replenishes her energy at Bikram yoga at least 3 times per week. "I recently bought a shirt that says, 'I do yoga so I don't kill people," she laughs, "Its particularly funny when I wear it to work." She's not shy about sharing the other benefits of her regular Bikram practice either: "I rarely get sick, I feel better physically and mentally, and I've lost weight." Click here to find out more about Natalie's practice and her exciting goal for yoga and her life. Read More


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