We check in with our Bikram Yoga Experiment participants from our first round.
As we know, Sheanna is our participant who is seeking a healthy lifestyle change as she enters the next decade of her life. Sheanna has noticed the most significant changes in her mental state – she said she is just now beginning to feel energized by the class instead of it taking everything out of her. She says the mental effects have been intense, “Bikram Yoga has been exhausting me to the point of not being able to check out of what is going on inside of me. I MUST listen to myself because there is no escape.”
Her mind-body connection is strengthening and has been noticing changes in her cravings for food. She has been craving juicy fruits, lean proteins, less bread products, and is eating smaller portions in general. Her clothes are definitely fitting better and she feels more toned but reports “nothing dramatic” about her body. This is important as healthy body changes are slow and will show a gradual shift over the course of the three months. Sheanna also reports that she has added 1-2 liters to her drinking habits! Great news. To follow her own personal journey, you can read her blog here.
Our next participant, Julie R, who has fibromyalgia, is increasing her Bikram Yoga does from 2-3 classes per week to 5 classes per week! These changes are interesting for any semi-regular practicing yogi who wants to see the benefits of increasing the dose! Julie has noticed a significant change in her sleeping patterns. She sleeps for the same amount of time but wakes up feeling more rested. The increased dose might be helping her reach deeper and more energizing sleep states. She notes that her body has shown general improvements in her pain levels in the area of fibromyalgia and says she is finding herself having to say no to more things in her life in order to keep her practice continuous. Commitment is key!
She says mentally that she feels more balanced and has had an exciting physical breakthrough – she went back in camel posture for the first time in her life! Woohoo! Improvement comes more readily with increased dosage. She has noticed changes in her body (like increased strength and flexibility) that become most apparent after a few days of rest – she feels like she can get in and out of postures with more ease. She has also stuck to her commitment to cut out wheat from her diet and cut down significantly on sugar and cheese! She says, “I feel more balanced and rational, yet open and creative. Like I’m able to balance on a wobble board or dance freely.”
Julie B was looking for physical adjustments involving weight loss, quitting smoking, dietary adjustments, and healthier habits. Julie B has reported that she has stopped craving sugar. She says that with yoga in her routine she has no time to eat out of boredom and has cut the habit. Her clothes are fitting better and, like Julie R, reports sleeping more soundly more often (although
Emotionally, Julie says, “I think it is pushing me to deal with emotions I have bottled up for a long time but it is also making me realize that I don’t have to be perfect all the time (always nice and courteous and concerned with others) I am a lot more assertive and careful with my personal boundaries.”
Our favourite comedian, Jane, suffers from various digestive problems (she is a celiac) and also was in a debilitating car accident. She has already lost 6 inches off of her waist! She is really excited about her physical changes – she has been finding herself craving and eating more vegetables and salads. She decided to cut out greasy food and the change has stuck! The biggest mental change for Jane is her ability to focus. She feels that it has improved significantly. Like the other girls, Jane has also been noticing much deeper sleeps. She has also increased her water intake by a liter per day! Go Jane!
Elviro wants to improve his quality of life and heal his injuries that he got as a result of a car accident. He has been so dedicated and has been through an emotional and physical rollercoaster at our Kitsilano studio. His neck injuries are feeling better and the pain is slowly subsiding. He also adds, “My hips feel loser and my knees are better.” He has noticed changes in his sleep patterns and reports feeling more energized upon waking.
The highest point of Elviro’s month has been his success in quitting smoking! Elviro went from two packs a day to none and has tripled his intake in water! He went from drinking 2-3 glasses a day to 10 glasses a day as a result of practicing this yoga. Since he has stopped smoking, his appetite has increased while his cravings are directed more at vegetables and salads. Regarding his mental state, he reports, “It has increased my awareness and helps me get in touch with the reality of my current state.” Sounds like an improved mind-body connection to us!