I've got to tell you the effects I've felt in 3 weeks of doing this beautiful practice. I arrived at your class on a Monday morning when my physical and emotional health were not what they could be, exhausted and stressed from my busy NHS job, four stone overweight, tired, miserable, super-stressed - my body needed emergency love badly.
I needed a real solution. And so I put my fears on silent and almost feel as if the universe scooped me up and carried me to your studio that day.
Three weeks on, my chronic psoriasis is 90% improved, my skin looks like I've spent the last month on holiday in the Caribbean! My huge varicose veins have almost gone overnight, I've lost a stone in weight, I'm sleeping more easily and more deeply, I'm an inch taller, a dress size smaller, have finally getting control of my lower abdomen which as a belly-dancer, is a gift. I'm calmer, more 'able to deal' and am feeling so much more centered and loving to the world, I've stopped smoking! And am feeling so much braver and present again in my life. I just can't believe what on earth has happened for me in such a short space of time.
One by one I've been telling all those I love and all those that will listen about your centre. Three have signed up and are loving it and three more are on their way to you when they return from their holidays.
Your staff are a credit and I am loving the energy which you have used to create this space for us all to enjoy. I know already my life is changed and I already know one day I will teach this yoga too. I am so inspired and so grateful. Really. And I needed to share all this with you.
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. -BP:135/88 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.
President, EQ2 Incorporated
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. 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.
Hypoglycemia is an abnormally low level of glucose in the blood. Love Bikram Yoga. Cured my long term chronic hypoglocemia inside of 5 practices. Has significantly reduced my vata excess.
HIP INJURY: 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!
ANKLE INJURY: 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 cortizone 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!! Specific Improvements: I initially noticed how I was carrying more of my weight with my right side versus my left, and then I resprained 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.
Insomnia is an abnormal wakefulness or inability to sleep. The condition may result from illness or physical discomfort, or it may be caused by stimulants such as coffee or drugs. However, frequently some psychological factor, such as worry or tension, is the cause. Mild insomnia may often be relieved by a soothing activity like reading or listening to soft music. Chronic or severe insomnia requires treatment of the underlying physical or psychological disorder. Many patients respond to the assurance that their sleeplessness is a result of normal anxieties or a treatable physical disorder. Opportunities to ventilate anxieties often ease distress and helps resume normal sleeping patterns.
While the physical aspects of practicing Bikram Yoga have made me feel much stronger, the greatest benefit has been the mental and emotional aspects. Before starting Bikram Yoga, I experienced insomnia most of every night. Since attending classes, I often sleep through the night, or wake up just once and am able to return to sleep. My outlook and attitude has become very positive since attending Bikram Yoga. DIABETES: I have had type I diabetes since I was 25 years old. I have had been on intensive insulin injection therapy since that time. My blood sugars have always wildly varied from highs of over 300 to less than 30 mg/dL. My hemoglobin H1AC results were over 8.0 (normal is 5.0 to 7.0). I experienced insulin shock 3 times a month on average. Some of these resulted in trips to the hospital. My weight had increased to over 220lbs and I had lost a great deal of flexibility in my upper torso and legs. My doctors plan involved intensive insulin therapy through multiple daily injections of Lispro insulin, and a rigorous and difficult to maintain diet that involved carbohydrate counting. The risk of long term complications such as blindness, neuropathy, and amputation was probable if the disease is not managed through tight control of blood glucose ranges. I started Bikram yoga in April 2000 and since that time my HA1C level has dropped to 7.1, I have lost 15 lbs. I have had only one insulin shock incident. My flexibility and muscle tone have increased remarkably in only 3 months of practicing three times a week. My blood glucose now ranges from 60 to 200 mg/dL and my insulin dosage has decreased by 20%. I look forward to continued improvement in my glucose control. This really works.
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