Vancouver Bikram Yoga is my home away from home... all the studios in town are great, but VBY offers a COMMUNITY and family feeling environment that makes it so much fun to come to Yoga. If you have never tried Bikram, I suggest you come here first. The instructors are wonderful and supportive while gently motivating everyone to do their personal best. Erika Lasee, the studio director, keeps the studio very clean and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Bikram Yoga is in a class all by itself. I am a lifelong runner, and the balance of including Bikram yoga over the past years has allowed me to continue to run injury free and increased my stamina. I seriously crave the heat!
I had been practicing Bikram yoga for about a year and a half before I got pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant I still went to class, but it was so challenging because of all the change my body was undergoing. I was lucky if I made it to yoga once a week. Eventually I went on month-long hiatus because I was tired all the time. It was starting to get warmer outside so the last thing I wanted to do was spend 90 minutes in the hot room.
By my second trimester I got that surge of energy that I had read and heard about so I started to go to class two to three times a week. It was the best thing I did for myself. The fact that I had no back problems and was able to avoid swelling until my ninth month of pregnancy can be attributed to this practice. I firmly believe that this practice also gave me the energy, mindset and flexibility to enjoy my pregnancy and live my pre-parenthood months to the fullest. I practiced until my due date!
Reflecting on my birth and labor I am affirmed that this practice also benefitted me during my labor, birth and days immediately following. I opted to give birth naturally and was able to do so, breathing through my contractions during active labor as we do at the beginning of class. I went home the following day and my nurse was so impressed at how well I was walking. She told me it was as though I didn't have a baby! I was in great shape!
I would most definitely encourage any woman who is considering practicing yoga during pregnancy to do so, even if it's only once a week.
Throughout many life changes, and changes in our bodies, one thing I can tell you for certain is that regular practice of Bikram yoga is amazing to not only your body but your mind. After being away from it for many months, I was simply amazed at how great it felt to reunite with my practice. The people and instructors you meet along the way make it a positive experience. From back issues, weight problems, arthritis to depression, it will definitely improve the quality of your life. Come as you are! Class members are all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes. This studio is very clean and friendly. Don't delay come enjoy one hundred percent of the benefits this yoga has to offer.
I never could imagine how the studio would change my life after my first class in November 2010. Since beginning my practice here, I have seen changes in all areas of my life. An avid runner and cyclist, I have seen improvement in my performance and fitness levels. My plantar fasciitis no longer stops me from running and my low back pain does not prematurely end my rides. Recently I have gotten into rock climbing and it helps there as well. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I use the postures to help kids get stronger mentally and physically. But most importantly, the yoga has given me my breath. It has brought patience and calm to all aspects of my life. I do and have done other types of yoga for years, but this yoga continues to center me in a way nothing else has been able to do. I'm grateful for all the gifts, including people, it has brought to my life.
Bikram has helped me in so many ways. I struggle with a couple Auto Immune diseases. One being Hashimoto's hypothyroid. I was diagnosed very late and the disease had progressed and pretty much killed any function my thyroid had. My adrenals were trying to support my entire body. I tried Bikram w/a groupon that came up. I have to admit, I hated it. I wanted to crawl out of the classroom 20 minutes in. But something amazing happened. I went back! And pretty soon I was addicted. After I used all the classes on my groupon, I couldn't afford to continue. I would work out at home but it wasn't the same. Then I became pregnant. Because of thyroid issues, I suffered a miscarriage and I was devastated. I honestly remember sitting at my computer a couple weeks after my D and C procedure wishing and I could find away to take some Bikram classes. I knew my body needed some balance. Then a few days later I received an email from the local Bikram studio. A special offer to get customers to come back. I think it was something like 20 classes for $40.
My prayers had literally been answered. I was able to go to yoga for a couple months while my body healed. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant again. My Dr. advised me, no more Bikram yoga during the pregnancy. I am too high risk. I am happy to report I am 21 weeks and we are having another boy! This pregnancy has been so much easier than my first. I truly believe the little bit of Bikram I practiced before I got pregnant helped my body get to where it needed to be. I should share with you that after my miscarriage, my Hashimoto's antibodies were through the roof. That is not a good thing. I had them tested again at 4 weeks pregnant and they were just above average for someone w/out this disease. I plan on returning to Bikram after the birth of my son. I miss it terribly.