Noa is one of our dedicated Bikram students. We thought it would be interesting for you guys to hear her story! Noa is 31 and works in Vancouver as a journalist where she stresses over meeting tight deadlines on a daily basis. Read about her Bikram journey here:
Hey Noa! You’ve been practicing Bikram Yoga regularly for a while now! Exactly how long has it been? How often do you try and get into the studio each week?
I started practicing almost four years ago and I’m totally addicted. I’m in class pretty much every single day.
What got you started at Bikram Yoga? A friend? Curiosity? An injury?
Shortly after I moved back to Vancouver from Toronto, my sister took me to my first class. I thought it was insane. I really didn’t “get” the yelling and the heat. Where were the candles and the incense? When would the chanting begin? It was nothing like I’d imagined yoga would or should be.
What kind of improvements have you seen? Mental? Physical? Emotional ones?
I’ve always been active/fit, so I wasn’t sure how Bikram Yoga was going to help me physically. But it has. I don’t think I’ve ever been in better shape in my life. But the best improvements have been the mental/emotional ones. Yoga helps to reduce my stress – that’s the main reason I practice daily. I also find that it helps lift my spirits a great deal during the winter, when the days are dark and gloomy and Vancouverites tend to get SAD….
During a really hard class, what keeps you in the room? What inspires you most to keep you coming back to class each week?
It is, in fact, the challenge of a really hard class that inspires me and keeps me coming back. Even after four years of (nearly) daily practice, I still have days when I don’t think I’m going to make it through the 90 minutes. I love that there’s always something to strive for. Also, the benefits never “run out.” You can definitely improve your practice over time, but you never really “master” it to the point that it gets too easy or mundane, or simply doesn’t deliver any further benefits.
Do you have a favourite posture? Least favourite?
My favourite and least-favourite postures change on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Right now I’m loving Standing Bow and hating Camel Posture – but that could change tomorrow. I’ve recently gained a renewed appreciation for Dead Body Pose; when you’re able to fully “relax” and let go, it almost feels like you could float right out of your body (and that’s not just the heat getting to my head)!
What I’ve really learned through this yoga, though, is the futility of placing “love/hate” judgments on things, including the postures. They are what they are and, at the same time, they are what you make them.
If you had to give a bit of advice to a first-timer, what would you tell them?
Breathe!!! After four years I’ve finally figured it out – it really IS all about your breath! If you can master your breathing and really get that under control, the heat, the humidity, the difficulty of the postures, the length of the class – all of those things just fall away.
Mmmmmm. A food question: What is your favourite post-yoga snack? Any great restaurant visits lately?
This is my biggest secret: I do yoga so that I can pig out on a daily basis. Cinnabon, Krispy Kremes, gigantic plates of pasta piled with cheese … it’s so great being able to eat all my faves without feeling an ounce of guilt. That alone is worth 90 minutes in 105-degree heat any day!