Confessions of an Ex-Gym Junkie: Sherand’s Journey to Bikram Yoga

 

I was an avid runner, gym junkie and thought yoga was the biggest waste of time. I’d rather spend 2 hours a day, 5 days a week in the gym than spend 30 minutes ‘stretching’. I didn’t even like to stretch when I ran. So when my sister-in-law asked me to accompany her to a 90 minute Bikram class, I thought she was nuts! Little did I know that class in June 2009 would change everything for me.

I emerged from that first class looking like a drowned rat, but feeling euphoric, like I’d just had the most amazing workout. Per the teacher’s recommendation, I went back the next day and a few days later, until I was practicing 4 to 5+ times per week. Within 2 months, I had stopped running all together and cancelled my gym memberships. My body was in better shape doing the yoga than it ever was running or going to the gym and required much less effort on my part. Show up to class, turn your mind off and follow the teacher’s instructions. Simple.

 It was the physical exercise aspect of Bikram that I was initially drawn to, but it didn’t take long to realise through regular practice, I could heal my body as well as my mind. I dislocated my tailbone in my early 20’s and as a result my tailbone protruded causing a significant sway in my lower back. I had gone to doctors to get weekly ultrasound and electrotherapy treatments to relax the muscles and fix my posture, which made no difference. I also have slight scoliosis between my shoulder blades causing my shoulders to round forward. I quickly noticed my posture improving and my lower back pain dissipating. I no longer have the sway in my lower back and am confident, in time, I’ll straighten out my spine as well. I have learned to look in the mirror and love the person looking back at me (most of the time). If I don’t like something I see in that reflection, I have the option to fix it. I have learned to quiet my mind and still my body.

Within 9 months of my first class, I was at Teacher Training. I knew I wanted to share the gift of Bikram and help others heal their body and mind. I have travelled the world teaching Bikram Yoga: the US, Ireland, Colombia, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya and now Scotland learning from everyone about different body types and cultural differences. I have been blessed to learn from so many skilled and knowledgeable teachers and studio owners to develop into the teacher and student I am today. We all come to this yoga with junk bodies and it takes time to undo the damage. Through regular practice, your body will change. You mind will change. Your life will change. Just be patient and never give up trying. If you can, you must. If you can’t, you must try.