Hi Terri! Tell us about your first Bikram Yoga class … when did you go and why?
My very first Bikram Yoga class happened some time in 2004. I basically went because one of my friends was practising Bikram Yoga t the time and she knew that I would benefit from it. She was right.
What was your impression of Bikram Yoga after that first class? Did you love it or loathe it?
Actually, I felt pretty neutral toward the yoga after my first class. I did get nauseous during the second half of class but I figured out pretty quickly that as soon as I lay down and took a couple of breaths that feeling subsided. I definitely didn’t hate it, mainly because I like the challenge and it felt good to have survived such a big one! I had to come back because even though my brain hated it, my body loved it!
How soon did you come back for your second class? Third? What was it that finally got you “hooked” and, so many years later, what keeps you coming back for more?
After my first class I bought a 10-class card and split it with a friend, so I had five classes that I could use. But I didn’t come back until three months later, and then only for one class a week for the next three-and-a-half years. You could say I was a dedicated once-a-weeker! But I kep coming to that one class each and every week because I kept thinking of it; I knew that Bikram Yoga was good for me. I’d actually had a car accident in 1999 and was always feeling some pain, which I thought that I was just going to live with. The yoga really helped to alleviate it to the point that now I can’t even call it pain anymore. I also saw progress, fast; after just three months I could finally touch my toes! Even at the age of five I couldn’t do that!
How often do you practise these days?
I’m actually doing what I call a “five-day challenge” on my own right now. I used to do yoga four times a week, and now I’ve upped it to five and have really noticed a change. Four days was good but, after four weeks of five times a week, I feel a huge jump of positive results. So I guess this is my prescription to medicate myself. I do class at all different times, but usually not before 11 a.m. as it hurts less! The later the class, the easier it is for me.
What are some of the most important benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga? Has it helped to improve your life in any way?
Upping my practice I’ve noticed more calmness – I’m usually pretty anxious. Doing Bikram Yoga, I worry a lot less so life seems easy. My head seems very clear. I also have carpel tunnel in both my wrists and it doesn’t even bother me anymore. Another pleasant bonus: I’ve unintentionally gone down a dress size.
What do you find most challenging about practising Bikram Yoga?
The heat is still something I have trouble with. Normally, I can barely stand being hot. Now I get hot flashes when I talk about the yoga with friends and when eating hot foods, but I don’t mind it as I know that my metabolism and my body’s detoxification has just sped up. Focusing is also a challenge … my trick to not get distracted so easily is to not let myself look at anyone. Sometimes, I actually find looking at myself distracting, too!
What’s your current favourite posture?
I don’t really have a favourite posture, as I find them all equally challenging, but I’m currently obsessed with Standing Bow Pulling Pose – and have been for a long time. (Secret: I do it a few times a day at home!) I can finally hold it for 30 seconds without falling out. The posture I feel best after is Rabbit Pose. When you’re done with that posture, it’s just so much easier to breathe.
As a seasoned practitioner, what are some of the best lessons you’ve learned from Bikram Yoga?
What I have learnt, I’m still learning. You can’t control anything and anyone except yourself. To put it bluntly, a lot of things are just in your head. This yoga tames the craziness in all of us.
You’ve been practicing yoga for so long … ever consider Teacher Training?
I work as an esthetician and am helping others feel better, so teaching has definitely crossed my mind as it would still fulfill that part for me … maybe later?
As an esthetician, do you think that Bikram Yoga provides any benefits in terms of beauty, aging, etc.?
Yes, the more toxins that are in the body, the faster it ages us – not just on the outside, inside, too. If you are stressed, your liver produces toxins in the body as well, so Bikram Yoga is very good at combatting stress. Toxins, oxidants … these change our healthy cells to unhealthy cells, which in turn multiply. When cells aren’t healthy, cellular function is also slowed down. So the cleaner you are, the healthier your cells are, the younger you look. Toxins also cause hormonal issues, which in turn affect the skin. So the more we sweat, the more we remove toxins. Of course, you need to eat well and drink lots of water, too.
With all the sweating that happens in the hot room (and, for some, the consequent breakouts), do you have any tips to help keep skin glowing?
If your skin tends to get irritated easily, try not to wear any makeup and rinse your face immediately after your practice. I also recommend exfoliating your face twice a week to speed up cellular turnover, which also leads to less breakouts. As we age, turnover slows down. By exfoliating, you help bring the deeper layers of more-hydrated skin to the surface and, if you do a lot of Bikram Yoga, your skin is bound to be more dehydrated than average. I also like washing my face with a wet washcloth for added exfoliation. A mask is also good for correcting a specific problem … and don’t forget to moisturize. I use and carry Éminence Organic Skin Care products; it is made of only fruits, vegetables and herbs, has no chemicals, fillers and is loaded with active ingredients all derived from nature. Remember, everything you put on your skin goes into your bloodstream and organs, so you are basically ingesting it.
Terri provides exfoliation, facial, massage, hair removal, nail and other esthetic services at Terri’s Beautique. Call 604-961-8209 for more information or to make an appointment!