Dear Gina and Tony,
I want to thank you for operating Bikram Yoga College on Maui. The Bikram yoga training program and classroom practice is teaching me techniques to preserve my health and restore my strength. At age 60, 4 years after treatments for prostate cancer, and with chronic low back pain, I have finally found a health preservation methodology that will stay with me forever.
Since I began the training in January, I have lost weight, down from 247 to 219 and am excited that I believe I will be able to reach my target weight. My body is taking shape and I am much more flexible. I find my determination and energy increasing with each class as I see improvement in my own body and mind health awareness.
I sincerely appreciate the individual attention by the class instructors who are dedicated to guiding me to do my daily personal best through the 26 posture program. The fresh towels, the clean facility, the availability of information, not to mention convienent class schedules, clothing, and especially for the healthy cold beverages make coming to class a time I look forward to.
Bikram Yoga was recommended by my physical therapist, and encouragement by friends who were attending your classes, and experiencing the benefits of better health. Your informative brochure and personal attention when I inquired, helped make the decision to start to the classes and begin learning very attractive. And of course, with your special 30 day intro offer, without any long term commitments. I just had to try it.
I am excited about your enthusiasm in expanding your programs and facilities on Maui as I know everyone would benefit once they try it. I will continue to practice Bikram Yoga, as your slogan says, it truly is a way to "change your life for real". I wish you both the very best, see you in class.
Elaine Gast was wandering the row house streets of Dupont Circle in Washington DC, when she ran into a friend clutching a tightly rolled yoga mat. "Come with me," the friend insisted, and Elaine obliged, not knowing what she was getting herself into. Half an hour later, she was teetering on one leg, sweating her eyebrows off in a Bikram Yoga class thinking to herself, "you've GOT to be kidding me."
"I couldn't believe people actually chose to be in that hot room. But after I left that class, I felt like a film had been lifted, and I was seeing the world a little more clearly. I knew I had to go back." And go back she did, over and over for sixty days straight. A year later, she went to teacher training, and after a traveling stint in Thailand, landed on Maui in late 2003.
What has changed about her practice the most in the last few years? "I used to think of Bikram yoga in terms of what I could get out of it, especially physically. Over time, I've been able to let go of the idea that yoga is exercise. Of course there are physical benefits, but I now see it purely as a way to calm the mind and be in the moment."
What would she most like to share with students? "We all come to yoga for different reasons. But if you look behind those reasons, for most, it comes down to getting to know ourselves better-and more importantly, learning to love ourselves as we are. I try to create a supportive space where people can find in themselves what they're looking for."
In addition to teaching at the studio, Elaine runs a freelance writing business (fourwindswriting.com), working with nonprofits, businesses and individuals.
My Bikram practice began 2 years and 9 months ago. My boyfriend Chris told me about the class and I immediately loved it. I had always enjoyed fitness. I enjoyed running and biking. I would run in Haiku from Lower West Kuiaha to Makawao and would often bike to the crater. Bikram has now replaced these more extreme routines. I find the 90 minutes Bikram class the perfect workout that leaves me feeling relaxed and happy.
I have experienced how a fraction in time can change so much in life.
In 1998 I was the passenger in a severe car accident. The vehicle veered off the road, rolled down a hill and landed on its right side. As the passenger on this side I took much of the impact which resulted with a broken C1 and T3 (neck and back). I was in a body frame for 4 months and slowly regained my mobility. Talk about "Releasing from the Cage".
As of the time of writing this I am on day 46 of the 60 day challenge. The 60 day challenge has taught me to respect my past injuries. i have worked through a twisted ankle in practice and then experienced terrible pain with rotation in my neck which lasted nearly 3 weeks. Through daily practice I have worked through these injuries and am able to go deeper in my postures. I concentrate on Breath first, posture 2nd and form 3rd through relaxation and strength. The daily practice has taught me the discipline and commitment of mind, patience and spirit. My commitment and determination have paid off.
Bikram has opened up my neck, shoulders and hips and I know I breathe much easier in life now. Practice releases the stress that can build up as a result of my works as a wedding planner and massage therapist. Each class I experience is unique and I never really know what is going to happen. the one constant is that I can always depend on myself to try my best. This is the ultimate feeling. As a result, I feel strong both physically and emotionally.
I have a lot to be grateful for. I believe in the practice and that we are capable of overcoming and challenge life presents to us. I really enjoy all my friends at the studio.
Jessica Leal - Kula, HI
A Mother and Daughter's story
Stacey Moniz - the mother
Aloha, I am 43 years old and last year I was inspired to join Bikram and practice regularly when my mom passed away from diabetes, kidney failure and the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. She was only 66 years old. She was Japanese and her relatives live to be nearly 100, so poor health was a result of her actions, choices and behaviors. I did not want to live that lifestyle.
So on April 1st, I came to Bikram. I am over 200 pounds, and short! It was not easy for me to do some of the poses, however, I began to notice results instantly and immediately. I could feel the toxins being released in my sweat. I was sweating like I have never sweat before, it was incredible! Bikram yoga taught my body how to sweat! I loved it! I slept better at night and woke up feeling great!
Every day my postures improved, I could go a little farther, reach a little closer to my heels, do each and every posture to my best ability. I was much more flexible and enjoyed the classes more and more. People started noticing that I walked taller. I noticed that I had a better sense of balance and felt more confident in my body.
By June, I had lost nearly 30 pounds and I looked better and felt better than I have in years. I went to my daughter's graduation from the University of Oregon and looking at the pictures I can see how fit I look and how vibrant my energy is.
My daughter came home after college and started coming to Bikram. She did the 60 day challenge and now she's hooked too.
I do know that practicing this yoga is the best thing I can do for my body.
Stacey Moniz Kahului, HI
Haley Rabago - the daughter
I had always been active in various sports. Most recently I had been participating in spinning classes but was experiencing back pain from the classes. A chiropractor recommended that I participate in lower impact exercise. My Mom had recently come to Oregon to see me graduate. She had been attending Bikram and had lost a tremendous amount of weight. Her improved health and weight loss inspired me to attend Bikram yoga.
My first day of class was the beginning of my 60 day challenge. I figured, what better way to learn something than to practice it every day? Throughout the challenge I had the support of my Mom and my boyfriend who would attend class with me on low energy days and cheer me on. There were days when I felt I wanted to lay down the entire class and days when I could do 2 back to back. It really made me understand how different my body can be on any given day. This has given me a deep appreciation for my body and all that it does.
Their slogan is "Change your life for real", and it has absolutely changed my life. I have gained inner strength and confidence and practice continues to teach me more about myself. I have energy, patience, and less stress than I had prior to practicing Bikram. I have lost weight, my lower back is much better and my body is taking on new shape. Friends have commented on how beautiful and soft my skin is, and how radiant I look.
Through this practice I've tuned in to myself in a way I never thought possible. The connection I feel to my body, mind and spirit are powerful and I am grateful that I have access to them now. I have given myself permission to hone in on and accept my true feelings, which has altered my life completely.
The staff is made up of amazing individuals who are genuinely supportive and interested in every one of their students. I am inspired by all of their knowledgeable and wonderful personalities
Haley Rabago Pukalani, HI
Bikram is a way to meet, greet and cope with, if not conquer each of these challenges at your highest and best state of being. I have learned that taking that time for Bikram is the best gift I can give myself and allows me to give the best of myself to those with whom I share my life.
Several years ago my dear friend Nancy invited me to attend a Bikram class. The memory of my first class includes erratic breathing, a pounding heart, awkward poses and even a few tears, feeling completely overwhelmed. I took all of this as a sign that I needed this challenge and I continued practice. Although I felt great benefit from the practice, the 3 hour allotment of time (30 min drive, 11/2 hr class, savasana, shower and drive back) became to much time given my schedule of work, family and additional commitments and I stopped attending Bikram.
I began again in 2005 and felt immediate benefits. Along the way somewhere with my ever busy schedule of work, children, volunteer positions and personal commitments I skipped a class, then another and then another and soon I had dropped away from practice again. I convinced myself that the 3 hours of time I needed for Bikram was a luxury of time that I could not afford.
Recently my husband was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease requiring chemotherapy. This new twist on life was overwhelming in itself. Add a couple of kids, an ever busy career, the personal changes that are part of life in your mid 40's and I was soon feeling physically and emotionally drained.
Thankfully I remembered and craved the strength and clarity that Bikram practice had given me in the past and I knew I had to get back to the mat. I knew that if I was to make it through this challenging time that I needed to take the time to make Bikram a priority in my life. Tony and Gina welcomed me back with open arms. Two days and two classes later already my heart and my head were feeling better. I must admit that my quadriceps were killing me but I found I could ignore the pain because my heart and my head felt so good. After 2 weeks of regular practice the change is already amazing. This time I am not going to let it go. I have and continue to know that I must take care of myself first and that self care comes to me in the form of time on the mat at Bikram Yoga. That 3 hours of time gives me a great workout, spiritual connection, emotional clarity and self assurance that allows me to meet meet the challenges of my day. My days are lighter and life is brighter when I practice Bikram. We all have jobs, families, animals, personal and professional commitments that need to be fulfilled every day of our lives. We each have our own personal, private or emotional challenges to work with daily.
Bikram is a way to meet, greet and cope with, if not conquer each of these challenges at your highest and best state of being. I have learned that taking that time for Bikram is the best gift I can give myself and allows me to give the best of myself to those with whom I share my life.
Bringing awareness into the body through touch is my way of sharing myself with others. I work as a physical therapist and massage therapist at my garden spa in Wailuku. Practicing Bikram Yoga is the way I restore my energy.
In 2004, a friend arrived at my favorite coffee store, all sweaty in yoga attire, yet beaming with joy. She raved about yoga in a heated room. Since that time, I have incorporated Bikram yoga as my form of self-care.
Less than one month into my practice, I was faced with a challenging health issue. I experienced anxiety and feared for my life. My nights were restless and I would wake up tense and exhausted.
I truly found solace by attending Bikram - daily at that time - and found that although I would enter class full of anxiety, conversely I would leave class with a feeling of lightness and assurance that "everything was all right".
Detoxification, stretching, strengthening and discipline played a significant part in my healing process. The group-energy added great support. Follow up medical exams revealed out of the ordinary healing results.
I often recommend Bikram Yoga to my clients. One client, who was scheduled for back surgery, attended Bikram for a week. He felt changes in his lower back almost instantly and was able to cancel his surgery.
I believe that Bikram Yoga is a "mind expanding experience". I am committed to my practice several times a week. Yoga is an excellent tool for Body - Mind - Health.
Claire Hrabak - Brand
People have stopped me and said " You look great!".
In 2004 when I started Bikram yoga I was suffering from severe Tennis Elbow. That suffering is now a dim memory. I also experienced problems with my sciatic nerve and a slipped disc this past summer and for approx. a 2 month period the only time I was not in pain was after I had completed a yoga class. I am turning 50 in a couple of months and I am committed to my yoga practice more than ever before. It is important that we all have a daily program to keep our bodies in shape.
I recently decided to take the challenge of 60 days of Bikram yoga to see if I was actually able to do it. The challenge was rough some days on a physical basis and there were times when making yoga a priority in my busy schedule was difficult, but I did complete the challenge. Since completing the challenge, people have stopped me and said " You look great!". I feel great, am more alert and need less sleep. Past pain and suffering is a dim memory. I see Bikram as a life commitment and believe in it 100%!.
Michael Healey Realtor Partner
Prudential Locations LLC
Maui Office 1215 S.Kihei Rd Ste.N Kihei HI 96753 808-875-5651 www.michaelhealey.net
~Aloha Aina Award Winner~ Maui' "Peoples Choice" Realtor 2006
I can run with my grandkids, touch my toes and most importantly; I'm happy!
I began Bikram after running into a friend who had just come from a Bikram class and I was in awe of how incredible she looked. She simply glowed! How this friend looked was my catapult to attend and find out if Bikram could bring the same glow into my life. I figured I was not too old to try something new. I had been living in Haiku where mold is a common occurrence in households due to the damp conditions and high humidity. I suffered severely from asthma & allergies. I was congested and coughing on a daily basis and was taking allergy medications. I was out of shape and unhappy. My emotions were all over the place and I cried almost daily.
I was not a person to go anywhere by myself so attending my first class was a real challenge.During my first class I coughed incessantly but I felt better for it and knew I needed to continue. I was determined to dedicate 3 months to yoga practice and myself. My goal was to practice 6 times a week.
I have been going to class 6 times a week since 2002 and a lot has changed in my life. I used to wear a size 12, I can now wear a size 6. My coughing has basically become non existent and I no longer take any medications. I no longer suffer from headaches or the emotional roller coaster I used to ride on a daily basis. I eat healthier because I care more about myself.
I can run with my grandkids, touch my toes and move my body in ways I did not think possible before I began Bikram. Most importantly I am happy. I know it, and friends comment on the positive changes they have seen in me.
If stress comes into my life I know what to do. Bikram yoga relieves my stress in one class. I finish my class each day with a smoothie as a nourishing treat to myself.
My life has changed! I now see the possibilities that life has to offer! I have a new attitude. My positive attitude has directly impacted the business that I own with my daughter and love so much. Business is soaring and the financial rewards have followed.
Thank you Bikram Yoga Maui-HI
Just Yoga, no diet
Have you ever challenged yourself and actually done the 60 day challenge? Recently 4 more students finished it, believe it or not, they still keep going daily and 3 more yogis are currently going through the challenge. All of them experienced many benefits from such steady practice, one of which being weight loss.
Judy practices since 6 months at 6PM and let's just say she looks like a different person! The other day she got asked about her liposuction doctor... she smiled and said: "It's just yoga, every day." Judy lost many pounds, but more importantly 6 dress sizes.
Of course such weight loss changes your life, for real. The thing Judy liked, was that she did not go on a diet, she didn't think about what to eat, she just came to class and the rest, well believe me, if you practice daily, the rest will come, just like that! You'll find that your cravings will diminish and change, like Jeff found out. He was surprised to find himself grabbing a coconut water after class and not a beer! He even craved a banana! Imagine; fruit!
It takes 60 days to jump start every system of your body, to replace and renew the majority of your cells. Now after the 60 days, things start to shift really big. Take Judy again, this lady is getting ripped... and just the other day she actually touched her forehead to her toes! Can you believe it?! If you have a chance to meet Judy, she's a wonderful lady and what an inspiration!
Do you want to loose weight? It works with Bikram Yoga and if you can't wait to get there, than your way to go is the 60 day challenge. Just don't forget to hydrate plenty (we're talking gallons of water, no longer ounces) and make sure you get electrolytes and minerals, either through your nutrition or simply in form of E'mergen-C or coconut water, which is all natural by the way! You'd have to eat many bananas to get equal potassium as you get in one small coconut water.
Imagine to have a choice to live the life you want to live!
Peace & Blessings,
Many of you recognize Amy Allen as the smile behind the front desk when you've entered the studio. Amy has been of great help to the studio in the past year, running the front desk and contributing her warm radiance and hearty laughter to all the students. Amy has headed off to a journey that begins at the Bikram training in LA.
"This yoga has helped me to slowly evolve into a mentally and physically stronger person with each class completed. Last fall, I decided I was ready for the next step, and I look forward to learning more and then ultimately sharing it with others.
Arteriosclerosis is the buildup of fatty deposits called plaque on the inside walls of arteries. ... called "hardening of the arteries". A chronic disease in which thickening, hardening, and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls result in impaired blood circulation. It develops with aging, and in hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and other conditions.
On October 30, 1986 at 27 years old I was admitted to Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in Portland, Oregon for surgery. As I was walking into the hospital I was using a cane, limping severely. I could barely walk. The surgeons told me that they were going to perform popliteal bypass surgery--not only on my right leg, but also on my left.
Because of the progression of the disease there was the possibility that they would have to amputate my right foot. They performed surgery on both legs without amputation. In December I was re-admitted into the hospital due to superficial thrombophlebitis - blood clots. I stayed in bed for the next six days and was released a week later. Six months later I was once again hospitalized. The doctors performed another angiography and I was diagnosed with stenosis of the proximal popliteal graft site.
Essentially the popliteal artery in my left leg was becoming re-blocked. The surgeons recommended another bypass graft surgery.
I was told that if I did not have the surgery there was a high likelihood that I would lose the leg within six months. I don't know what it was. I declined the surgery and left the hospital 'against medical advice'.
Several months later I visited with doctors at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, California. When I arrived I was unable to walk without some type of assistance. They essentially told me to get up and walk.
And that I needed to walk through the pain. They said that this would help to build new blood vessels in my legs. Within just two weeks of walking, I was able to go nearly two miles.
I continued this regiment for several more years. I felt better and I was still in a great deal of pain. In 1991 I started yoga. Initially I went to a general hatha yoga class. This did seem to help. As I continued my yoga practice I began to feel better. But at the same time I was still living with daily pain in my legs.
Eventually I began doing Bikram's Yoga on a regular basis in 1997. Within a month I noticed that there seemed to be a reduction in the level of pain. In spring of 1998 I committed to a three month teacher training program with Bikram. My main purpose was to heal my body - not to be a teacher. Within several weeks of intensive daily practice the pain virtually disappeared. As much as I wanted to, Bikram would not let me give up.
I did become a teacher and now own a Bikram Yoga studio.
As a side note, in 1971 I was in a water skiing accident. I had 60% of my liver removed, my gull bladder, six cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. I was not expected to live. The original reason I stopped practicing other forms of yoga was a diagnosis of superspinitis tendonitis with arthritis/bursitis in my left shoulder. This was the first thing to go away when I began practicing Bikram Yoga.
Today, December 2002 I continue to live pain free with both legs intact and a smiling happy face. This yoga has given me a better life!!!
I had a heart attack in 1985. Blood thinners were not as safe as now. I had it the old fashioned way--I went to the emergency room, they gave morphine. The doctors said I had been doing all of the right things, it was just in my genes. I thought, "Damn, if I had known that I would have been buying Gucchi's or a better quality of Wranglers."
My health improved with my aerobic exercise, but more when I started practicing hatha yoga in 1989 at the age of 67. My greatest improvement was when I started practicing Bikram yoga in 1994 with one of my best teachers, Patricia Gray.
The amazing thing to me was the changes in bone structure and body alignment and the increase in energy and the calming effect on my mind. I did not think these changes were possible at my age.
john 80th b.d. rabbit.jpg (60384 bytes)I became a firm believer in Bikram's 26 yoga postures. At the age of 77, I spent a lot of money and nine weeks in his torture chamber in Beverly Hills studio to become a certified teacher.
I owe Bikram for improving my health and for saving my life. In March of 2002 my heart beat increased to 200 beats per minute. The electrical current in my heart malfunctioned due to the scar tissue from my 1985 heart attack. My good health from practicing Bikram yoga kept me alive.
Since 1985 my ejection rate from left ventrical has been 30%, which is about 20% below averatge. By doing Bikram yoga and moderate aerobic exercise at St. Luke's Cardiac Institute. I have been able to maintain a work load, as monitored by St. Luke Hospital, that is 110 to 120% of tested people my age who have never had a heart attack. As Bikram says, his copyright 26 posture series is the best thing you can do for your health.
I am a WWII veteran. I spent 3 years in the South Pacific aboard the USS Louisville. I was in 12 campaigns, a major sea battle, and survived three suicide planes crashing on the deck of our ship. The combat taught me at the age of 19 and in my 20s that in order to survive you have to get off your butt and to have a sense of humor. Courage and humor are twin sisters.
I tell you this to let you know. Day after day for three years I lived in a stressful environment and survived. We now live in a time when terrorist threats will be with us day after day, preying upon our nerves and mind and sapping our energy. Bikram yoga is an excellent way to survive with a sound mind and a sense of humor and calm spirit.
John Carter, 4464 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri
Cholesterol is a steroid lipid, found in the cell membranes of all body tissues, and transported in the blood plasma of all animals. Most cholesterol is not dietary in origin, it is synthesized internally. It is present in higher concentrations in tissues which either produce more or have more densely packed membranes; for example the liver, spinal cord, brain and atheroma. Cholesterol plays a central role in many biochemical processes, but is best known for the association of cardiovascular disease with various lipoprotein cholesterol transport patterns in the blood
This information is regarding my husband, S.R. He began attending a Bikram's Yoga class in Montpelier, Vermont with Cindy Litchman to help him with carpal tunnel syndrome. Needless to say, it did help him a lot, but also, he just had his cholesterol checked and was shocked - his good cholestorol level went up 15 points, and his bad cholestorol level went down 60 points!
Anorexia & Bulimia
The United States is a fat-phobic society, and from an early age, girls are taught to believe that thin is better. The famous writer and theater critic Dorothy Parker once said "no woman can be too rich or too thin," a catchphrase that is still referred to today. Many people associate fat with ugliness and failure. Advertisements feature thinner-than-normal models that are often more than 15% below the expected weight for their height and age, a criterion for anorexia according to the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition).
Social pressure to stay un-healthfully thin is a primary cause of anorexia and bulimia. The clinical course of these disorders usually begins with self-dissatisfaction.
Many healthy children of normal weight are concerned about their weight and are afraid becoming too fat. An increasing number of girls who have not reached puberty are showing signs of anorexia. In one study, 45% of third through sixth graders said they wanted to be thinner, 40% of them had tried to lose weight, and 7% of them scored in the high risk range on an "eating attitude" test that detects or predicts eating disorders.
I was diagnosed with Anorexia and Bulimia when I was 21 years old. However, I had been concealing the illness for over 8 years prior. At the age of twenty-one I was hospitalized in California in one of their first eating disorder units. The doctors promised me no success rate at that time. Many of the girls in the unit dies of heart attacks or starvation during or later in life. I was then at the 6% percentile. I went from 60 lbs at 21 to always hovering around 90 lbs.
The illness continued to plague me until recently. Over the last year I am at a "whopping" 110 lbs. I attribute a lot of it to my Bikram Yoga classes with Bonnie K. in Tucson. I had heard that Yoga had been known to have positive affects on people with eating disorders. I only wish I would have started long ago - but I was most likely not ready then.
The classes at first were very difficult for me to stare at myself in the mirror - body image being at stake. But I have come to listen to my Yoga instructors' gentle and firm coaching to love myself more - to be forgiving - to persevere in a healthy way. I still have days and moments that are difficult but I don't go to the place of hurting myself anymore. How? I experience the upset, feelings of control, and then breathe. I'm indebted for this. My life has blossomed beautifully with my loved ones. I have always been extremely successful by worldly standards but not by a healthy glow, body shape, an aura of happiness. Thank you, Bikram, thank you Bonnie Kuykendall.
Within several weeks, I noticed a toning of my body that was different than my extensive runs to keep body fat and weight low. I mentally saw improvement right away. I began to feel whole and balanced - my thoughts became clearer.
* Weight gain and maintenance
* Toned Body
* Less Obsessive
* People interaction improved
* Being in charge of my life
* The ending of starving and purging
Healing Old Injuries
I fell on my hip while riding my bicycle about six years ago. It took a while for the scrape to heal, and from then until just a few weeks ago I had this lump in my left hip. Didn't really hurt, but my hips were definately different shapes. About the beginning of March I started to have these severe pains in my left hip and leg during yoga, which felt more like a muscle tear or stretched ligament. This went on for about three weeks, and then suddenly cleared up. Now that my leg feels normal again, my hips are the same shape again. The tissue mass in my left hip is gone!
I severely sprained my left ankle a couple years ago. Took more than a month for me to start walking nearly normally again, but there was always a feeling of weakness in my left ankle. I started yoga in October of last year and one of the things yoga brought to my attention was that I carried a lot of my weight with my right leg, still favored my left leg.
Then in December I again sprained the left ankle. Could barely walk, really limped severely. Went to a doctor who said I had four choices - Limp through it, a brace, a cast for four weeks to immobilize it or cortisone shots. I chose to limp through it and continued to do yoga (I could put weight on it, it hurt when I took weight off of it). It affected some of my postures, especially the balancing series, because there were certain points in my balance that my body tried to avoid to keep from experiencing pain. Asa suggested being right next to the wall and leaning my left side against the wall when necessary.
Over the course of several weeks my ankle healed to the point where it is as solid as it was before I sprained it originally! Now I'm working through re-balancing my weight so that I don't carry more with my right side anymore. It is starting to happen and I feel so much more even and strong and balanced. There are days when I have so much energy I don't know what to do with it all!!
I initially noticed how I was carrying more of my weight with my right side versus my left, and then I restrained my ankle again. So in my case, the condition actually got worse before it started getting better. The improvements were gradual over several weeks, and then I went through reusing atrophied muscles in new ways which was painful in a different way, but now the ankle is back to original strength and I am starting to feel balanced again.
High Blood Pressure from Work Stress
Problem During 2000,2001, and 2002, my doctor noticed that my blood pressure had begun to 'Drift' upwards. The results of my last blood pressure test in 2002 were 140/90. My doctor said this was border line and that if it continued medication would be in order.
Doctor Advice Life-Time medication if there was no improvement. The long-term result was that my elevated blood pressure was greatly increasing my risk of a heart attack and/or heart disease.
Benefit Description 1. My blood pressure slowly decreased over the last three years that I have been attending Bikram Yoga. To me it really seemed to go in stages. First, I got a hold of my breath in Bikram and this enabled me to be calmer during the classes. Then as this calm became more automated it spread to other areas of my life therefore making me calmer in general.
2. Then, after the breath, I became better able to attain the positions which seemed to bring me to the second phase. A more lifted chest (with an increased air flow capacity), increased stamina and calmer more relaxed personality. -BP:128/87
3. Finally, through the patient efforts (and it required patience) of the Bikram trained instructors at Bikram Burlington - Kelly, Mindy, Mandy, Marla, Betsey, Adam, and Mary, I began to be able to 'flow' with the yoga and quiet my sometimes excitable mind. I am now at the beginning of the path but I am squarely on the path. This is the final BP testing I will talk about. It occurred in December, 2005. To set the stage I will explain a little about myself. I am a busy executive at a software company. As part of my agreement with shareholders I am required to purchase 'key man' insurance. This million dollar policy is to insure that the company will not collapse if I die. Now, to get this insurance you must submit to a lengthy medical exam and, as you can image, insurance companies are not in the business of insuring border line healthy people. This exam involves a medical technician, an EKG machine, Blood Pressure Tester and several other blood assay tests. The insurance company's technician took my blood pressure three times and then looked at me with a quizzical gaze and said "you don't have much stress in your life." I asked him why he said this since the exact opposite is true. He said the three reading of my blood pressure were: BP: 114/78, 114/77, 116/77.
No one with stress in their life would get readings this consistent and this low. Then he took my standing pulse which was 64. Then my resting pulse on the floor: 46. He then hooked up the EKG machine to me and put sensors from my feet to my neck and read the difference between the pressures at these various parts of my body. All readings were exactly the same and all excellent.
In science, there is the concept of 'hold everything else equal'. This is a powerful concept because it enables a scientist to watch the changes caused just by the agent that is being added to, modified or deleted from the process. Well, I want to add this concept to my testimonial. In other words, the changes I listed were only due to Bikram Yoga because I changed nothing else in my daily processes. I held all other things in my life equal to their state at the starting of my practice.
Kelly, this is additional information: Today, my insurance agent, Jim Handy with National Life of Vermont called. He said that he had some great news for me but that he was puzzled. The great news was that he often quotes executives on what Prudential calls their Preferred Best rate.
This Preferred Best rate is the highest health category for an individual and therefore the individuals that achieve this rating get the lowest cost for the insurance. Jim said that no one he has underwritten (submitted) passed the health tests required to achieve this rating. That is until today when he received the underwriter's approval for my application. The savings between what it would have cost given a lower health score and my 'Preferred Best' rating has paid for my Bikram classes this year. (Thanks, Kelly of Bikram Yoga of Burlington, Vermont, where I practice: I owe you a debt that will be impossible to pay back.) Jim Handy is no longer puzzled about how I achieved this health. I told him - Bikram Yoga.
To Bikram and Rajashree, I thank you. To everyone at Burlington Bikram I say thank you. Without Bikram's expertise in designing the Bikram series, Bikram's and Rajashree's leadership and skill in training and certifying teachers and the dedication of these teacher upon graduation to helping each student excel, I would be just another bad medical statistic.