A fixture at BYV, students love seeing Stefanie’s smiling face both at the front desk and on the podium! Read this teacher’s thoughts on everything Bikram Yoga related!
Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class – when and where was it, why did you go and what was the experience like?
The very first time I tried Bikram Yoga was at the old Cambie location in 2003. My mom, who was using the practice to recover from a serious car accident – she was rear-ended at a red light by an 18-wheeler truck and found the yoga extremely helpful with her recovery – asked me to join her in class. She figured that, with all my sports injuries, it would help me as well. To be completely honest, my first experience was horrible. I felt so dizzy and nauseous that I thought I never wanted to do it again – so I can definitely empathize with our new students when they feel the struggle in their first class!
How long after that very first class did you decide you wanted to become a teacher, and why?
It took four years before I stepped back in the hot room! The second time around I fell in love with Bikram Yoga. I loved the way it made me feel and kept a very consistent practice for another three years before I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to help others feel good about themselves, which is what it did for me.
When did you do Teacher Training and what was it like for you?
I went to TT in the spring of 2010. The experience was amazing – nine weeks of pure enjoyment!
How often do you practise Bikram Yoga these days, and would you consider your practice perfect at this point?
I try to keep a consistent practice of three to four classes a week, but I would never consider my practice perfect. Every class I take there’s always something new to work on, whether that be my postures, my breathing or my physical and mental state of mind. Every class is a challenge. I never go in expecting perfection, but I go in with an open mind and am ready to receive whatever the class is able to provide for me that day.
What do you love most about practising and teaching Bikram Yoga?
It’s helped me to realize who I really am as an individual. I also love how it makes me feel, physically and mentally. In terms of teaching, what I love most is seeing my students improve with each and every class. It’s also great to be able to share something that’s so special to me with so many other people. My main goal with every class I teach is that everyone learns something – and has fun doing it!
What else do you hope that students, at all levels, take away from your class?
I hope they realize how important it is to find some time in their busy lives to take care of the most important person in their life: themselves. The time that they do commit and spend in that hot room is most likely the only time in their day when they are disconnected from the outside world and learning to reconnect with their own mind and body again.
Heading into spring/summer, what’s your top tip for Bikram Yoga students of all levels?
As the weather gets warmer you may participate with more activities outside in the heat, so make sure you hydrate well and incorporate more electrolytes in your day!