Student Profile: Lindsay H.

It didn’t take long for Lindsay to become a devotee after she tried Bikram Yoga for the first time four years ago in Kits – she was soon doing up to 12 classes a week! But after relocating to the U.K. in 2010, keeping her practice up became somewhat of a challenge. Find out what happened once she moved back to Vancouver – was it like truly like starting from scratch all over again?

Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class …

My first class was at Kits in September of 2008; Maria was teaching. I’d recently gone through a breakup and a woman I worked with suggested I give it a try; she said it would help me take my mind off of things. I remember trying to hide behind one of the pillars in the back so that Maria wouldn’t see me but, unfortunately, it didn’t work!
That first class was really hard. I felt sick, confused and annoyed with the teacher (I now realize that all of those things meant I was doing it right!). But it was how I felt after class that made me come back: completely rejuvenated. Not only did I feel fantastic physically, I left the studio truly happy for the first time since my breakup. I came back the very next day to take another class.

What was it that finally got you “hooked” on Bikram Yoga?

I became really hooked after a few months of coming to class regularly; I started to see results that I was never able to reach by going to the gym or running. I enjoyed the challenge and constantly wanted to improve my practice. Seeing the steady improvement in my postures was rewarding and, ultimately, addictive! My schedule was flexible enough at the time that I was able to practise Bikram Yoga up to 12 times per week, doing one class in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening each day.
In the spring of 2010 I decided to move to London, England. After I arrived I started checking out different Bikram Yoga studios around the city; it took a couple months and about six different studios before I found one I liked, where the room was kept hot and the teachers were great. Unfortunately, it was in north London and I lived in the south, which meant I had to commute an hour on the train to get there.
Doing Bikram Yoga in London was very different from practising in Vancouver; it seemed to me that Londoners don’t take their yoga as seriously. At first I found the non-committal attitude and less-intense environment frustrating, but eventually came to appreciate a more relaxed class. Unfortunately that, coupled with the excitement of living in a new city and being able to travel on the weekends, meant that I eventually stopped practising.

When you moved back to Vancouver, did you get back into your regular practice right away?

It took me longer then expected to return to yoga after I moved back home last October. I didn’t renew my BYV membership for five months; I definitely regret not getting back into it sooner. I was really nervous to take my first class in Vancouver again because I hadn’t practised for nearly 11 months. What if I had forgotten how to do the postures? I wasn’t sure if I was ready to see how much my practice had regressed.

Tell us about your second “first” Bikram Yoga class …

I went back to Kits for my first class back in Vancouver. I didn’t know the teacher and I think the anonymity helped me pace myself – there was no pressure to practise at the same level as when I left. Although I was very frustrated with myself and felt like I couldn’t do anything very well, I was relieved to find that I felt the same way as I did after I took my actual first class four years ago! Now I practise four to five times a week and, though I’m not as flexible as I was prior to moving to London, my mental focus and determination haven’t changed. But if I ever move away from Vancouver again, I will definitely keep up a regular practice!

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