"As a professional cellist, I spend a lot of time sitting and practising at the instrument, repeating the same sorts of motions for up to five hours a day. As a result, I was beginning to develop signs of RSI. This would mean drugs, operations, or possibly the end of my performing career. I had been sent to a specialist who advised me to change how I played, or to stop practising as much. Neither was really possible for me. After twelve months of regular Bikram Yoga practise I went back to the same specialist. “What have you been doing?” she said. “Your arm is completely back to normal!” I told her about how excruciating half-locust was for me – in fact, it still is – but I know that it is the posture that has saved my arm and my career!"
– Rachel Scott, Cellist and Music Educator
I started Bikram Yoga in October 2012. The changes both mentally and physically happened gradually. Years of a stressful job had paid a toll on my health, but my attitude began to change and I was so much more positive. I would no longer sweat the small stuff (excuse the pun). I was getting fitter than I have ever been in my life. I was hooked. It was no longer the yoga class had to fit in with my life, rather that my life had to fit in with my yoga.
In August 2013, after returning from a paddle boarding holiday in the Cook Islands, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was super fit, I had no symptoms, no lump, I just went for my first mammogram. (Ladies get yourself checked) I truly believe that it was my new positive outlook and new found fitness that contributed to my recovery. I endured two surgeries and six weeks of daily radiation therapy and continued my Bikram as best I could. My beautiful Instructors modified my routine and were even kind enough to visit me in my recovery. With each day my strength and positivity returned.
So each day that I put my hands in prayer, at the end of a class, it is with gratitude that I thank Bikram for me being able to sit here today.
"After what I would consider to be one of the most stressful years of my life, I took off and walked the Camino de Santiago. Before I left, I had a penchant for whisky, ruminating, negative thinking and hamburgers. I was pretty down on myself.
After six weeks of good food, sunshine, meditation and thinking, I came back to Sydney looking for something that would help my brain stay connected to my body.
I ended up going to Bikram in Petersham as it was close to me and I liked the idea of being hot.
After a couple of Pranyama’s in my first class, I did not like the idea of being hot so much. That being said, I stuck it out and felt happy, clean relaxed and ridiculously uncoordinated afterwards.
Since that first class, I have been hooked. I try to go six days a week and I have seen so many changes both inside and outside myself.
Firstly, I am mindful of my whole body. From the tendons in the soles of my feet to my hips, to my knees to my baby fingers to the top of my skull. Every class I notice a small physical shift somewhere in my body and I feel better for it. Secondly, my brain is calmer and less scattered and, I am able to metalize and place distance between myself and what is happening. This has helped me make better decisions in all facets of my life.
Whilst I Have adjusted to the heat and slowly moved from the back of the class to the front row, I like the idea that there is no end to the practise, you can just keep going to slowly working on yourself. Last week, after slowly coaxing my lead-like knees for months, weeks, days and hours of practise, I finally got my ar*se on the floor in Supta-Vajrasana. I honesty believed that this would never, ever happen. Ever.
Yoga / BYIW are the best and I still really, really, really like hamburgers."
– Emma Molloy, Loans Manager
I remember many years ago, when I was actually a dancer, a friend told me about this yoga she was going to - but - I had to be ready to have smelly sweaty feet in my face ...she said.
Really sold it to me.
Seeing a studio emerging close to my house about 4 years ago created a new curiousity - I called, I attended and hated it. Really hated it.
Only 26 postures? for a dancer (well ex dancer?) Umm boring!
Actually in truth, I hated my situation and myself.
I hated this honesty this yoga was stirring.
Cue train wreck moment and some extremely difficult times.
I went back to Bikram, encouraged by a family member who also attended, suspecting that I was not quite ok.
I’m now producing arts projects including dance, experiencing being stuck behind a desk, oodles of stress, very little personal time, dealing with round the clock international partners and not dancing.
I love this work - call me crazy. But I’m happy.
I am a different person - lots of work to get here, and lots of maintenance. Physical, emotional.
Not only do I feel great the next day, I can also breathe properly (chronic sinus issues are now @ bay with some care and heat), and most of all, its the discipline, determination and sheer mental and physical strength has been the most sparky by-product….who knew?
My body is far from the dance machine it used to be, but it is once again open, tuned in as it was trained to be, now with more self worth, joy, strength, admiration and wonder.
I dont hate this yoga, I now know its benefits, and have experienced most.
I need it - I have come to rely on feet in my face.
– Kiri, Dance and Arts Producer