Student Profile: Cassie M.

Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class …

My first class was probably around two-and-a-half years ago. My girlfriend Michelle turned me onto the idea. She told me to bring two towels and a sense of humour – she also advised me to wash off my mascara beforehand!

Well, I forgot to wash off my mascara and, by the end of the first breathing exercise, I looked like Alice Cooper after a hot-tub party. I remember sitting in the hot room before Cedric even walked in thinking, “I am so screwed.” Cedric was patient though, even after his 11th attempt at showing me the proper way to get into Eagle Pose (apparently I have a hard time deciphering between the left and right side of my body). Also, some of the floor series made me feel like a beached whale (every so often, I still feel like a beached whale).

It’s awesome, though, that moment of truth after your first class is FINALLY over. You’ve been fantasizing about the “outside” for around 90 minutes and you get to open the door … the cool air hits your face, you can breath again and you mumble under your breath, “What was THAT all about?!” Worth it, every time.

How soon did you come back for your second class?

I came back the next day. As I was walking out Cedric said, “Go home and eat whatever you want, and I’ll see you tomorrow.” I went and got a McFlurry. I think it was Oreo flavour. After the second class I was completely addicted though; the second class is one million and three times easier than your first, trust me. I keep on coming back for more so the McFlurries have a harder time catching up to me; Bikram Yoga is a workout, man!

These days, I try to practise every day, but sometimes I just can’t make it to class. Still, it’s the best feeling in the world to drag yourself out of the house at 9 p.m. to do yoga; it really is. I pat myself all over the back for every class I make … and somehow I still find Danny’s barbecue jokes hilarious.

What are some of the benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga?

Before I started Bikram Yoga I absolutely could NOT touch my ankles. I used to compete in triathlons; my legs, back – EVERYTHING – were extremely tight and stiff. I had neck problems and my flexibility was pathetic. After six months of Bikram Yoga I could put my face on my knees. It’s also made a world of difference for my neck and back pain; I swear by it.

What do you find most challenging about practising Bikram Yoga?

The hardest part is saying no to the second beer, Monday night football or another episode of Teen Mom and head to class instead. In some classes the heat may start to get to me a little bit; in others I’m tight and stiff. But I love Bikram Yoga; it’s awesome.

Does it help to have a Bikram Yoga buddy?

It does! My buddy is Jacob B. Jake is a much better student than I am, though. He has much better discipline. He helps me to say “no” to TV and Pilsner, though; I have to thank him for that. He’s like the voice of reason sitting over my right shoulder.

Since you’re studying addiction in school, we thought we’d ask … is it possible to become “addicted” to yoga, and would that be considered a healthy addiction?

With respect to “addiction,” I’m not sure that it’s ever healthy. Of course the term addiction is thrown around a lot, but I think that everything should be enjoyed in moderation. The moment an individual becomes dependent on anything, I believe it’s a problem. Yoga can be called a “healthy habit” instead – you get some return on your input, and it keeps you coming back for more. Don’t get to the point where you get the shakes if you miss a class, but certainly some guilt can be motivation enough to stick with it!

Any New Year’s resolutions for 2012?

Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up …

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