Bikram Yoga Williston, Student of the month – May 2016

Congratulations  – Margie!

Yoga May-2

What brought me to my first bikram yoga class was an absolutely amazing transformation of a friend who had recently shared a before and after picture. I thought – “I need to understand what this bikram yoga is.”  So I researched it and thought, I’m going to give a try.  I had no expectations, so I knew I would not be disappointed.  When I got there, I thought – “I should pay for one class, but then I thought, I remember reading that you have to go to at least five classes to give it a fair shake,and I thought, I better just go all in and pay for an unlimited month.  I did.  After my first class, I thought, “What was I thinking?  And then I slept better than I had in five years that night, and I woke up the next day and said, since I paid for an unlimited month, I better get there and get my money’s worth.”

What keeps me coming back? There is a soothing meditation that is happening inside my mind and body that is literally transforming me.  I committed to 28 days publicly online on March 30 because I know when I commit to it outlaid, it becomes part of me and something I must do.  My belief is powerfully strong because Erin Hays teaches it in a way that is warmly welcoming and nurturing, even to someone like me as a real beginner.  I consider myself a positive thinker, but I also know my body is chunky – Chunky Dunki – and that makes it challenging to do the poses; and one would think that could be intimidating by the other beautiful yogis surrounding me, however, surprisingly, it’s not in the least.

Everyone is in their own place mentally and goes for their own reasons.  I don’t even notice the others in the room once we start.   I also feel the love and shared support of just giving it the best you can can give it.  It’s truly inspiring that Erin makes each and every single person feel truly supported.  Her belief in us is so strong that it is transferred to our belief in ourselves.  Erin restored hope to my mindset, but beyond hope, she restored expectations through little minuscule movements and nurturing words.  I expect when I show up for this class without fail, every day, my body will change.  I expect that because that is Erin’s belief.  It is now my belief.  I’ve shed 16 inches and 16 pounds off my body in the past six weeks.  I’ve been coming to yoga for 20 days in a row – and even a day before that – and what I’ve noticed is my mind and my body are synching and aligning with the same goal to just do a touch better today than yesterday.

Millimeters of progress equal monumental progress – because being able to touch my toes or grab my ankle when my hands waved wildly in the air just three weeks ago is a millimeter change, and yet, why do I feel it’s a monumental mental change?  Because it’s happening!  I keep coming back because I know that this is the yoga I’ve been seeking.  It challenges me and it’s changing me.  When Erin says, “Change” after every posture, I connect mentally that I am “changing” right at that second.  The other reason is Erin nurtures my soul, and it’s an education every time, knowing which organs I’m letting the blood flow to.  You see, Erin is not just a certified instructor, she’s an excellent certified instructor, and she pours out kindness, generosity, love and knowledge every single class.  Who doesn’t need more of that in their life?  I am a different person than I was three weeks ago.  I’ll be millimeter ally – monumentally even better in three more….

Yoga May-1

The biggest challenge I face in bikram yoga practice is it’s not a natural love for me. I don’t enter the studio and say, “Oh, I love this heat.” But I do say, “Margie, is it good for you?”  I answer, “Yes.”  I don’t enter the studio and say, “I can do this pose.  But I do say, “Margie,how is this good for you?”  I answer, “Because it detoxes my system and lets the blood flow, rejuvenating my soul.”  I don’t enter the studio and say, “Hey, let’s have some fun with this.”  I enter the studio to honor myself, to take care of me so I can take care of others, to know that if I want change in my life, I have to change my patterns, and to change my patterns, I must change my habits.  Habits change by starting with awareness.  I was aware I was very unhealthy and wanted to change.  Next, I made the decision to change my habits.  I did things I wouldn’t normally do, like try this class, and not just once, but five times to give it that fair shake.  And then I noticed my patterns change.  I’m calmer, less anxious, desire more of myself, feel more confident, more certain, expect more of my body.  I feel my body is so much more capable of performing than I give it credit for – so I work on my mind, a healthy mind, positive talk, positive affirmations and align that new thinking with new habits.  If you want to change, you cannot use old ways of thinking and conditioning to get new results.  Would you do something the same way you did it four years ago if you knew how to do it better today?  No.  You go with today’s thinking, cutting edge.   This yoga practice is a gift to each and every person.

Erin is generous and values our presence in her class.  She is growing this community, planting the seeds, and we are here to help water the seeds.  We are the seeds in the studio, and we all take sips of water, growing the seeds, blossoming the community, making it stronger, healthier, more mindful.  This practice allows me to set my intention for the day and tackle my day, knowing how I approach the day is how people react to me – and why am I able to do that?  Because Erin teaches us how to set our intention for each class and practice that.  Life is about having fun and being lighthearted and enjoying and giving back to others.  It’s also about taking our work seriously – and even this yoga – because truthfully, this is a game changer.

In six months, I’ll be sporting that “after” picture. I’ve only had “before” pictures because I got lost somewhere along the way and felt hopeless about trying.  No more!  I feel hope, I feel expectations, I feel belief, confidence, renewal, strength, tenacity, focus, and the exhilaration of the challenge and overcoming little obstacles.  I’m not lost anymore.  I’m on the right path, plugged in and happy to be here.  I hope you’ll join me and experience for yourself the internal and external transformation.  Exciting and grateful.  Thank you Erin Hays for opening Bikram Yoga in Williston.  The word CHANGE is exactly what is happening to each of us.

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