Yesterday was my one year anniversary at the Bikram studio. I started last year on April 13th out of pure desperation. I was flaring multiple times a month and my body was aching daily. I was living and getting through my days, weeks and month but find that I was losing faith in what I was doing. I was still working out and doing pretty much what I wanted so my doctor thought I was actually doing good and although the multi flares per month was new he thought we were doing all we could and this was just the progression of my disease.

I’m always looking for more and better and expecting more out of myself and life even with this disease so that was not good enough for me at the time. I started to research acupuncture and other alternative medicines but I wasn’t real sure about them. I worried if I would be spending too much at 75.00 per hour twice a week. Not that I think I can put a price on my health but I do need to take into consideration what my medical bills mean to my husband and I and try to work within a budget that won’t jeopardize our life style or bankrupt us completely.

As I was doing research on arthritic pain and alternative medicine I found Bikram yoga. I had done it one other time with my mother, sister and sister-in-law as a “let’s try it as a group.” They didn’t like, I didn’t mind it but we didn’t return. I remembered how warm it was in there and I started to think that might be for me.

I went and signed up for the newbie $30.00 for 30 days. I could see if I would actually use it for a month and if I would like it. As it turns out I went and loved it. After my month I signed up again for a month and knew I was hooked. After that I just said sign me up for the year. I didn’t turn back and have been going regularly ever since. I do believe it has helped me in so many ways. It has allowed me to have range in my knees and my hips to actually be on the floor with my nephew for hours at a time playing. I can squat down and pick something up off the floor without my knees screaming at me and it has just given me flexibility in my entire body that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It has also given me wonderful balance and let’s not forget confidence.

Along with Bikram I also started P.T weekly at about the same time as I started Bikram. It could be the combination of the two or one of the two I don’t really know but I do know that I look forward to the next 12 months of getting in there and perfecting my body and practice even more. Many people try it and leave, some may come back, some may never leave. I think I’m one of those that won’t leave. I have aligned myself with a few other women that I know will be there with me all year and that makes it fun too.

I wish I could get my family, any of them especially my husband to just join me. I figured after a year of them watching me progress and grow and be flare-up free as long as I have they would see the benefits in this practice not just for people will illness or disease but anyone focused on their health and wanting to live a long healthy life. My mother is amazed when I’m on the floor with my nephew while she is in the chair but she too could be down there with me if she just worked the flexibility in her knees and hips. I know that pain of tight joints and it doesn’t feel good. I dreaded dropping anything on the floor because the only way I was going to get it was by bending at the waist and hoping my hands reached the floor. The knees were not bending. Now I don’t dread any of it.

The Bikram motto is that no one is too old or too sick to do the practice. I encourage everyone I see to try it but I have yet been able to bring anyone to class with me.


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