Sweat together, stay together! In honour of Valentine’s Day we’re asking BYV couples how Bikram Yoga helps keep their relationship strong, balanced and flexible! Cassie and Andrew’s yoga love story started far away in Ontario, in the summer of 2010 …
CASSIE: I was living in Toronto. My ex knew the owner of Bikram Yoga Toronto, Dana, who seemed like she had her life figured out. I wondered what her secret was. She asked me to come try a class and, despite how hard it was, I thought, ‘This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.’ I didn’t get into a regular practice until winter, when I was going through a tough time. My boyfriend and I were breaking up and, after a friend introduced us, I found myself developing feelings for Andrew. I was confused, emotional, overwhelmed – showing up to yoga daily was the only thing that focused my thoughts and gave me peace. I’ve kept up my practice since; four to five classes a week. It took some convincing, but Andrew finally joined me in the hot room a year into our relationship …
ANDREW: When Cassie started doing Bikram Yoga every day I wasn’t 100% supportive. But when I saw how important it was to her, I accepted it – me going to class, though, was a different story. We argued about it … until she wore me down. We were doing the long-distance thing and, on a trip to Toronto to see her, I agreed to go. I was nervous – mostly because all Cassie did on the way to the studio was laugh and say I was going to “diiiiieeeeee.” When I first stepped in the room I thought the heat felt great compared to the weather outside … then we began the warm up. I was pouring sweat … and loving almost every minute of it. The teacher helped me make the most of each posture I was able to do. I was tired after class, but my energy quickly came back. We went twice more before I had to go home.
Back in Vancouver I made a decision: I wanted to create a lasting relationship with Bikram Yoga. It made me feel like a kid again; I know, I’m only 24, but I still miss that feeling of truly unlimited physical ability. I’d eventually like to go to Teacher Training, but I’m not in any rush. To me it’s about growth and challenge – two things that never stop in us. Rather, they become easier to direct with proper concentration. Bikram Yoga forces you to become aware of the power of your own concentration, and with that awareness comes the ability to direct it where you want.
How often – and why – do you practise together?
ANDREW: We try to go together a couple times a week. Doing physical activity as a couple is beneficial; it lets you grow together on a physical scale. Bikram Yoga is one of the absolute best ways to do this. I can literally “feel” Cassie’s energy in the hot room, and I think she can feel mine, too. We usually plan to get a coffee after class, which lets us spend extra time together.
CASSIE: I find that Bikram Yoga has made us more grateful – of each other and everything else in our lives. The postures are always the same, but somehow the series gives us a fresh perspective on life each and every time. Andrew has been particularly loving toward me since we began our practice. I don’t think a day goes by without us expressing how grateful we are to have each other – that definitely wasn’t the case before. I’m so lucky to have that in a relationship, and to have this yoga to feed that.
What do you admire most about each other’s practice?
CASSIE: Andrew is incredibly strong, focused and determined. Outside of class he struggles with ADD, but you wouldn’t believe that in the hot room! It’s so nice to practice beside such a strong, determined energy, especially since I know he works so hard. It’s not rare to see me sitting out a posture or two when I’m struggling – but Andrew’s inspired me to work on that and keep at it. He’s amazing at keeping his 90-minute focus on himself and his body, and that’s pushed me to maintain a fuller connection with myself for the whole class, as well.
ANDREW: I’ve always admired Cassie’s positivity, focus and strength – qualities that become even more apparent in her practice. She’s always happy with her performance in the hot room and, since I struggle to give myself credit for my accomplishments, that’s something I admire. Through her practice, Cassie reminds me of who I want to be.
What do you love most about each other?
CASSIE: Andrew doesn’t live on the surface; everything he does is full of meaning and love. He cares so much about others, rarely finding time for himself (sometimes I have to tell him to come to yoga for me, just to give him 90 minutes for himself). With this quality comes a connection I’ve never experienced before. Andrew openly lets me into his thoughts and his world, and doesn’t hesitate to talk about what’s bugging him. I think he’s even more in tune with me than I am; he knows what’s bothering me before I can put a finger on it (this is one of the biggest reasons our relationship is so strong). I usually just try to stay happy all the time, even if something is off, and Andrew has put me in touch with myself and who I am in a way no one else has been able to do – except Bikram, of course!
ANDREW: It’s such a “Hollywood” line, but I love everything about Cassie. Even if I had the power to, I wouldn’t change a thing. She is who she is and I have so much admiration for that. When I am going about my day all I have to do is think about her and I smile.
Any special plans for Valentine’s Day?
ANDREW: I’m thinking we’ll make dinner together, watch a movie and shut the bedroom door …
CASSIE: Ha ha … what he said!
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