Troy Myers & Aiko Nakasone, co-owners of Bikram Yoga Tri-Valley Pleasanton, wanted to share below a few testimonials from their other studio in Brooklyn, New York.
have tried many different forms of exercise over the years and have always
been the on-again, off-again type of person who would start an exercise
program with a lot of enthusiasm only to burn out and give up a few months
later. So, when a coworker told me about Bikram yoga, I was eager to
try it but skeptical about sticking with it. That was over two years
To be truthful, my relationship with Bikram was a bit haphazard at first.
Sometimes I would only go once a week, sometimes not at all. I found reasons
not to go – it’s hot! – but, over time, I kept coming
back, which was new for me. I found I was approaching Bikram differently
than I had any other form of exercise.
My approach was not intentional. I simply found that I truly missed not
going to class. I slowly realized that I gained something through Bikram
that I could not find anywhere else. In fact, I don’t think I knew
I was missing it. Even now, it is hard to define. Yes, my body has changed
and I feel stronger than ever before. I am more flexible and less stressed.
My knees don’t ache like they used to. I have learned how to breathe.
I have focus. But it is more than that. The benefits of Bikram have extended
to areas of my life beyond the studio. I am more content with my marriage,
my career, my friends and myself. Simply put, I feel more alive.
Over the past two years, I have gone from practicing once a week to just
recently completing the 60-Day Challenge. Just starting yoga in the first
place has given me the determination needed to complete those 60 days.
That, and the great instructors at the Brooklyn Heights studio. No matter
what type of class you had the day before, the instructors help you to
get right back in there and do the best you can do for that day. That’s
it – the best you can do. It is not about competition or how well
the person next to you is doing; it is not about 110% all the time; it
is not about what happened two minutes ago. It is about what is happening
now. It is about taking the time to improve yourself and your practice.
It is about progress.
I thank Bikram and the Brooklyn Heights studio for helping me to make progress,
both physically and mentally. I thank them for all the progress I have
yet to make!
A friend of mine mentioned that she was taking Yoga at a studio on Montague
street. At the time I was in law school and I desperately needed some way
to exercise and relieve stress. I was also having persistent lower back
pain, which a doctor said was likely the result of too many hours of sitting
in one place studying. I had always been interested in yoga, but had only
taken a class here and there at my gym. One day I was walking by the studio
and I picked up a schedule. After my first class, I was hooked!
My first class was difficult. I remember struggling through the postures
and with the heat. I was surprised at how inflexible and out of shape
my body was, even though I was running once or twice a week. That said,
there was something very soothing about the simple movements and slow
I came back to class because the workout I got was terrific. There was
no question in my mind that if I kept it up, I would lose weight, become
more flexible and gain strength.
I have been practicing for a year and a half.
Bikram yoga has had an incredible effect on my body. After a few months
of taking class regularly my lower back pain disappeared entirely. I
have also lost about 10 pounds, and my body is more toned, my muscles
longer, leaner and stronger. Taking class soothes and relaxes my mind—its
nice to concentrate entirely on yoga--and not your life--for an hour
and half! In addition, I find that I often practice deep breathing we
learn in class during stressful moments when I am not in class. (during
my law school exams, for example).
I had always wanted to try some type of yoga, but had no real experience/knowledge
of the different types that exist. I saw the sign of the studio on the
street in my neighbourhood, and was curious. So when I first went in, it
was to get a brochure + just try it for a week.
I loved it and was hooked immediately. (Since I started in the winter,
I actually looked forward to the heat!) I didn't really know what to expect
since I was new to the whole experience, even though I was athletic + ran
regularly, so I just prepared myself for a rough couple of first times
before I became accustomed to it, and thought I'd figure out later if i
wanted to continue. I decided after my first week that I HAD to keep going.
I wanted to get to a point, too, where the heat became more normal for
me to practice in. It was so much more appealing than running, for sure.
The instructors were so kind, patient, knowledgeable, encouraging, and
helpful! The atmosphere and set up of the studio is comfortable, welcoming,
calm, and nearby my apartment, so I kept wanting to come back. I couldn't
find a legitimate reason NOT to come back!
I'm on my 81st day of continuous practice, (today is May 15, 2003!) but
have been coming/practicing since December of 2002.
I started taking bikram yoga tocope with stress better, to breathe more
deeply /better in general (I tend to breathe shallowly when stressed--or
forget to breathe at all!),
and, hopefully, to strengthen muscle tone and/or lose weight (who DOESN'T
want those things?!?!), to focus a bit better,and to deal with depression.
The changes in ALL those areas have been made manifest--some sooner than
others-- and the beauty of the bikram practice to me is just that: You
are in a constant state of change as a person, so your practice is always
different. If you are a perfectionist (like me), in general, you tend to
think that if you are good at something once, you must always and every
time be good at it afterwards. In this form of exercise, you gradually
improve and in different ways, but according to what your body is ready
for AT THAT MOMENT. It teaches so many personal lessons in discipline and
contentment with your personal abilities that are profound, but sometimes,
its just a really good workout that leaves you really happy afterward.
Another reason I enjoy this practice is because everyone attending is really
focused on their own situtation and performance, so they aren't seeing
how good or how bad you are doing--and that's why its so great; all are
at different levels; you can do YOUR best (whatever that is- for THAT day),
and so are the others, so you might see a neat trick or two, but really,
it is about listening to your inner self and just letting your body and
breath take you where YOU should be.
I had read an article about Bikram Choudhury in Yoga Journal, about a year
later I noticed Bikram on Montague Street.
I definitely enjoyed my first class. It was always difficult for me to
experience an aerobic workout because of a foot condition that prevents
me from running, cycling, aerobics, etc. I was so excited to have a super-challenging
yoga class in a carpeted room (for my foot!)
A desire to experience the same feeling that I felt immediately following
my first class (and throughout the next 36 hours) inspired me to return
to class - for over two years now.
Without question, Bikram yoga has improved my mental clarity. It has helped
me to both cope with and confirm some very challenging life decisions.
Bikram yoga has cured a serious female health condition that I had suffered
with since high school (I am 27 now). Severe cramps accompanied with a
violently upset stomach had me “bed ridden” once a month and
the ONLY relief was prescribed opiates (codeine and stronger.) I was unable
to go to work and unable to leave my house on these days. Although, I did
not expect or even dream that Bikram Yoga would completely cure this condition – it
did. Within six months, I no longer needed prescription medication and
I no longer needed to miss a day of work, or a day of life for that matter.
The summer of 1990 was the most exciting and awakening
time of my life. I was 14 with a full time scholarship at the Dance Theater
of Harlem. There
were only 7 days left before I started classes at my dream school "Fame".
Little did I know that one volleyball game would turn into reconstructive
knee surgery on both my right and left patellas. What was once a horrible
event had now become a test of my strength and endurance.
All I remember
were some physcians telling me my future looked quite dim, if not impossible
concerning dance, cycling, volleyball, basketball; bascially everything
I loved to do. It was then that I realized I was going to have to look
within and find the strenght to return to the things that made me passionate
Over the past10 years I've been diligent in all forms of excercise
hoping to regain my flexibility and range of motion aroung my knees. Bikam
Yoga is the first form of excercise that has worked so much on an internal
level that, over the last three months I've felt a remarkable change that
I can't deny.
Having been certified in Pilates and Cycling I had always
heard of the Bikam Method, but I had never tried it myself. I began my
practice in March of 2003 and I can't believe at the things I have been
able to do again. I never thought I'd be able to sit indian style, or squat,
or even do deep knee bends without being in excruciating pain, but I have
been and it's amazing. I'm so happy I found this technique on my path to
become balanced in all things here in this life.
Anyone that wants to see
and feel results on an internal and external level needs to try a Bikam
Yoga at least once. I promise once you start you will start to feel the
results after your first week of practice, if not the first class. Bikam
Yoga is amazing, and anyone who tries it will become an avid lover of feeling