Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class; when was it and why did you go?
My first class was about 10 years ago at the original Kits studio on Broadway. My girlfriend at the time suggested we try it; also, a singer I was working with was raving about Bikram Yoga. I’d been interested in yoga for some time, but this sounded like something a little different and I was curious …
How did you feel after that first class?
I loved it and hated it all at the same time! That class reminded me of the first hockey practice of the season. I felt faint and nauseous but, having been very athletic when I was younger, I knew it was good for me. I really liked the intensity … but I admit it took about six months for me to go back. After a few more classes though, I started to really enjoy the yoga and found myself going more and more often.
What finally got you “hooked”?
I’d say I got “hooked” on Bikram Yoga for many different reasons, including the fact that I noticed someone I’d taken my first class with six months later and was astounded by the change in his body and the progress he’d made in such a short time. I wanted to get back into the shape I was in when I was 20. Even though I’ve started and stopped practising several times along the way for various reasons or excuses, I’m never stopping again! Now I practise as much as I can – every day, if possible.
What are the main benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga?
Because I’ve started and stopped several times during the last 10 years, I have a very clear idea of benefits of this practice. My life is very different when I’m doing Bikram Yoga, as opposed to when I’m not; in fact, the two are almost polar opposites. I’m going to be quite honest here and admit to a history of addiction and depression (I’m talking industrial strength for both) and, quite frankly, it’s impossible to feel depressed when I’m doing yoga everyday.
To put it in perspective (especially for all the Star Wars fans out there), it’s no coincidence that “yoga” and “Yoda” sound similar (I’m a big fan of both – and do a great Yoda impression)! The physical benefits of doing this practice are obvious and profound – but, for me, the psychological benefits are even more important. When I practise Bikram Yoga, I feel:
- an increase in energy and motivation, and a decrease in lethargy and apathy;
- an increase in self-control and discipline;
- an increase in productivity and decrease in procrastination;
- my appetite for healthy food increases while my cravings for less nutritious food wanes;
- I experience much more mental clarity and focus far less on “bad” ideas; and
- an increase in drive (of all kinds) and acceptance.
Bikram Yoga is Jedi training indeed! Mind over matter!
Anyone who’s been to a Godfathers of Love show knows that you (along with Danny) are a great and passionate musician; does Bikram Yoga helped when it comes to your music?
YES! YES! YES! YES! I love singing as much as I do playing the piano, and I aspire more than anything in life to be the best musician I can be. That is my dharma, my purpose.
Interestingly, most voice coaches incorporate some form of stretching into their daily vocal practice, recognizing that the body is truly one’s most important instrument. Yoga keeps my body tuned, precise, limber, resonating and powerful … the list goes on and on (Locust Pose is a MUST for pianists and guitar players).
One of the best songs I’ve written literally came to me (words and music) during the floor series in two consecutive classes; the first verse on day one, with the chorus on the walk home and verse two the next day. It’s a song about connection and empathy entitled “Where I am You.”
Tell us a more about Godfathers of Love …
Marcus Rummery introduced Danny and I about five years ago when I started going to the (then new) Kits studio. We had great musical chemistry right from the start. “Under her Bridge” from the first CD was the second song we wrote together. We continued to work on tons of songs in my studio here in Kits for the next few years. The band started to rehearse about a year ago and I joined as a member last summer. I love this band! It is very rare to have what we have. People are really loving our live sets, even when they’re hearing the songs for the first time. It’s so rewarding to feel such a warm response from people after the show. I can tell the music has affected them in a positive way, and that’s absolutely the best result a musician can hope for!
We’re now starting to do radio promos, online marketing and playing various venues around town; we have a regular night at Displace in Kits (a great place to see the band) every first and third Monday of each month. Our new CD, Little Bit of Drama, will be on iTunes any day now.