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This is a short article written by Bikram Yoga in The Woodlands, Texas (Houston). They profiled my dad because of the tremendously results he had practicing Bikram Yoga regularly.
For over ten years, starting in my mid-twenties, I suffered from extremely bad arthritis in my hands. During those last few years, I would wake up in the morning unable to make a fist. I took medication 4 times a day just to get the joints relatively flexible, so I could work on the computer, and to try to alleviate some of the pain (the pain never really went away). It was terrible, but there wasn't much I could do about it and it was just a part of my life. Then I started Bikram. Within 9 months, the pain was gone and I had total flexibility in my hands. As long as I keep up with Bikram, the problem in my hands is non-existent. Bikram cured it completely. This is why I am so adamant about a nice, tight, white knuckled Bikram grip when I teach.
I also had high cholesterol, more of a genetic problem than an eating one. When I started Bikram I was taking Lipitor to keep my cholesterol down. Without Lipitor it hovered around 290-300. With Lipitor it stayed at 200. But no one knows what the side effects of these drugs are and I was never comfortable taking them. Just as an experiment, after Bikram solved my arthritis, I stopped taking Lipitor, to see what would happen. My cholesterol remained at about 200. It has stayed that way for the last 4 years.
I currently take Bikram 4-6 times a week. Bikram works.
Tom Provost, Bikram Teacher
One of the pieces of advice I ever received was from my first Bikram yoga teacher. When I asked Lynn how often I should do class, she said; you get up every day and brush your teeth, wash your face, and do your yoga. Resistant at first, I eventually tried a 30-day challenge. It changed my life. The lower backache I had from various injuries over the years disappeared, I lost 30 lbs and changed the shape of my body, and best of all got rid of my chronic insomnia. I have suffered from insomnia ever since I was a little girl. Even in my first grade school picture you can see the deep circles under my eyes! Insomnia runs in my family and was only exacerbated by my own personality. When I keep a regular practice I am able to go to sleep and stay asleep all night long.
Still, I'm pretty stubborn and contrary and don't like to be told what to do, so I left and returned to Bikram several times over the next few years. Each time I tried a different form of exercise I would eventually realize that nothing else worked every single cell in my body every single time I went. Dissatisfied, I ended up back in class.
I had always been attracted to the idea of going to training, not so much to teach, but because complete immersion and really seeing how far I could push my body appealed to me. I finally made up my mind, made the time and found the money and attended Teacher Training in 2005. It was a glorious nine weeks. One of my favorite memories is of the day I had a 102 degree fever. I was so sick, but I had to do class. At one point I lay on my mat crying because I felt so awful. BUT!! I was not only able to get through class, I also felt better at the end of it. At one point I remember lying there thinking If I can do this, giving birth can't be that hard.” I was right. Ten months after training ended I gave birth to my perfect and beautiful daughter Maya. I went through many many hours of back labor, after which I was given two and a half epidurals. More hours of waiting followed. At last they were all ready to wheel me in for a caesarean when I suddenly went from one centimeter to ten. Even though I was effectively numb from the waist down, and had been in labor for thirteen hours, I was able to push my daughter out in two hours. Without all my yoga training I would not have been able to isolate my muscles even though I couldn't feel them, and I'm sure I wouldn't have had the endurance to last all those hours up to and through the pushing.
Oh, and now I LOVE teaching. Brush your teeth and do your yoga!