Yoga 360 Surrey Student of the Month (September): Kamila

This 24 year-old hairstylist had never tried yoga until she was invited to do a free class as an employee of a local business when Yoga 360 first opened in Surrey. “I’ve been hooked ever since,” she exclaims.

“My first class was awesome!” Kamila goes on to recount her experience, “I had Stephen as my teacher, and he is amazing at making sure you are in correct form. The class was particularly small that day, so it was as if I had a one-on-one lesson. I felt so energized after my class; I felt amazing! I was also starved, so I had something to eat. Even then, I had so much energy left over that I went to the gym afterward!”

Kamila claims that she knew “nothing at all” about Bikram yoga before that first class: “I knew it was in a hot room and involved stretches,” she laughs. Despite this, she feels that she would have discovered Bikram yoga eventually: “I’m the type to always try new things, so if I didn’t find yoga a year ago, I would definitely find it eventually! It was destiny!” she pronounces.
Even though Kamila is young and in good shape, she has experienced the healing and health benefits of the Bikram yoga series.” I feel much more relaxed in stressful situations; I do not freak out over little things anymore.  My back feels 100 % again, after an accident I had a few years back.” She’s also noticed that her cardio vascular health and lung capacity have improved: “When I work out, I am not as out of breath. I recently went to the beach with a friend and blew up an air mattress in less than half the time it took her,” Kamila laughs. What’s more, the beneficial sweating in Bikram yoga class has helped Kamila’s skin: “I had very dry skin that was rough to the touch, and now my skin is silky smooth,” she enthuses.

Through regular practice, Kamila has taken her body to new places. “I never thought that I would be able to sit my butt all the way down with my legs flat on the ground pointing back. Previously, I was never able to sit completely down; I have improved tremendously! I also never thought I could hold my posture while touching head to knee!” Her future goals for her yoga practice are to “to keep improving and become more flexible.” Kamila is always challenging herself in the regular Bikram class and the intermediate Master Core series. One of her goals is to work on holding her handstands in the intermediate series: “I would like to be able to hold them for long amounts of time.”
With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why Kamila makes the effort to do yoga 5 times per week. “I make yoga my priority. I don’t feel good if I miss Yoga.” If that seems like a lot of time to spend doing yoga, think of it the way Kamila does: “everyday spent in that yoga room is a day gained in my future life,” she smiles.


Bikram Yoga Maple Ridge Student of the Month (September): Jaren

“I don’t have any horror stories about my first class." Although Jaren’s recollections of her first Bikram yoga class might seem like a bit of a let-down with a lead-in like that, her story is one of love at first sight, not horror. "I tried a few other types of yoga before my first Bikram class, but once I tried Bikram, I had an immediate connection with the yoga: I knew it was the one for me." 

On the topic of The One, Jaren was recently married, but put a condition on her pending nuptials: “I told my husband before I married him that he had to come to a Bikram yoga class. Two days before the wedding he came to class - and he still married me - so it must not have been that bad."

What's to love about Bikram yoga? “I remember how amazing I felt after my first class, and how excited I was to try it again." 

"When I was in college," Jaren relates the story of how she first became interested in Bikram yoga, "I sat beside a girl who was really big into Bikram Yoga. She always had a lot of positive things to say about how Bikram benefited her; I knew it was something I would enjoy."

As someone who loves a challenge and also loves being physical - Jaren fills her weekends with adventures, friends and hiking and snowboarding trips - Bikram has continued to be a practice that excites Jaren: "I go to the gym 6 days per week. I almost never stretch after my workouts. Yoga is really complimentary to my workouts, and I believe it has helped me to prevent injuries by stretching out my muscles, strengthening my joints and increasing my flexibility."

Even though she has a demanding job, busy weekends and goes to the gym six days per week, Jaren still finds the time for yoga. : “Most of the year I try to do Bikram yoga about 4 days a week.” She explains her surprise to learn that she benefitted from doing even more yoga: “This past spring I did a couple of the 4x4 challenge and made it my goal to do 5 or 6 classes a week. I really liked how I felt, and was surprised at the improvements I made in class.”
With the fall approaching, Jaren plans to increase the frequency of her practice again - from 4 – 5 days per week. She explains what motivates her to make time to practice, “I think in today's world, everyone is busy. Making time is about prioritizing what is important. I feel that making the time now to stay healthy will give me more time overall.” She adds that she doesn’t just think about having more time later in life, but her yoga practice allows her to enjoy the free time she has now: “My weeks are hectic, but I always incorporate yoga into my schedule. I feel it is really important for me to have that 90 (or 60) minutes a few times a week to focus on the present and leave the day behind.” In other words, she explains, “Yoga is great stress buster for me.”

 In addition to increasing her practice, Jaren plans to continue with Master Core intermediate classes, and is looking forward to seeing improvements in these postures as well.

No word on if her husband intends to follow up his pre-wedding class with more yoga, but Jaren makes it clear that no one she cares about should expect to skip out on trying Bikram yoga: “I am always trying to recruit my friends and family to class. I have had such a positive experience practising Bikram yoga and I want the same for them.”






Bikram Yoga Langley Student of the Month (September): Colleen

What first brought Colleen, a recently retired medical receptionist and mother to two grown children and six grandchildren to Bikram yoga at the age of 65? Well, it seems the stars aligned when her desire to take charge of her health collided with a happy, healthy and talkative Bikram yogi: “I wanted to fix myself and get off medications,” Colleen explains. “I was curling one night, and I was talking with a guy from another team. He had just done Bikram yoga before the game.” Her new friend went on to explain that Bikram yoga gave him flexibility that he couldn’t get from weight lifting – it loosened him up. He also added that it worked wonders for his marriage, too: “If either her or his wife was cranky, they would tell each other, ‘you’d better go to Bikram tonight.’”
“From what he told me, I had to go,” so Colleen, who suffers from an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation of the joints, followed his advice. “A few days later I looked online and there was an open house, so I went,” she concludes dramatically, “and it almost killed me.” She elaborates: “It was quite excruciating. I thought I was going to throw up half way through it. It was just packed, so there was no escape – no path to the door. I didn’t know how I was going to go back. The slogan above the desk, ‘You're never too old; it's never too late…’ gave me the encouragement I needed to sign up for the one month introductory package.”
Now, six months later, she has made Bikram yoga a daily practice and is seeing some significant changes to her health and her yoga practice: “My shoulder and knee pain has reduced a lot - almost gone. I could hardly bend down, which previously affected curling, now I can bend without snapping and cracking my knee joints. My back still hurts me lots, but I’m just going to keep doing Bikram yoga until I feel good all over.” She adds that her daily yoga practice “just makes me feel peaceful.”
Colleen has bid farewell to her medications and acupuncture treatments, “I’d rather do yoga than needles,” she laughs. “I still go for massage,” she admits, “but she says the knots in my shoulders are so much looser. I feel a lot better. I have more energy; I feel like I get satisfaction in my class.”

Colleen notes that the constant and measurable progress in her Bikram practice is one thing that motivates her to keep coming back. “I like the steady progress. You feel like, ‘oh, whoa, that’s what it’s supposed to feel like.’ Like in standing head to knee – I just feel really happy when I can feel one more muscle fall into place and stop working against me and relax into the pose.” Colleen noticed some changes in a fairly short period of time: “I have gradually developed better balance and flexibility. Through increased concentration and focus, I am able to make continual progress on holding the poses.” She knows her yoga journey isn’t going to end soon, or even at all: “It’s ongoing forever. It won’t be like, ‘I’ve got it, and I’m done.”
But what gets Colleen out of bed for her early morning classes? “I did the 30 day challenge in May, which got me into the habit of attending classes every day.  I find the 6:00 a.m. class starts my day off with a sense of accomplishment and makes the rest of my day seem smooth and easy.” She adds, “Nothing else has ever gotten me up; I never got up at 5:00 a.m. for anything.” Colleen notes that besides the sense of accomplishment, she doesn’t let herself off the hook and has even convinced herself she likes her 6:00 classes. “I like the 6:00 a.m. class and I never make excuses not to go.” She also notes, “I like to go early, so I can go in and stretch my back out – at least 15 minutes early.” 

Collen hasn’t seen too much impact on her other activities, golf and curling, but can’t wait to see the flexibility and strength she’s developed in yoga play out. “I haven’t curled yet. I’m going to a curling meeting tonight, and curling starts the middle of September. I think my yoga practice will really help my focus when I’m doing my sports.”
If you think Colleen is amazing, you’re not alone. Other people in her classes find her an inspiration - “Some people at yoga have said I have a lot of flexibility, and I was surprised. They are impressed that I’ve started yoga at my age.”- and she can’t believe herself that’s she a daily yogi: “I still can’t imagine that I’m even doing this. I’m just starting.”

For the doubters, she has these thoughts: “Some people think I’m over-doing it because I go every day. I don’t think I’m overdoing it. I feel good. They just don’t realize how beneficial it is to me.”

Colleen says that her steady progress has motivated her to come back day after day: “When I was first getting results, I thought ‘I can’t wait to go tomorrow, and I’m gonna do it!’” And, now she is doing things that she thought were impossible only a few months ago: “I just knew that I’d never do that one - camel – but now I’m doing it,” she says with delight.





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