By Jarka Kovarova Two years ago, I stepped into a yoga studio for the first time, knowing nothing about Bikram Yoga. The people I saw were sweaty and tired, but smiling. "Try it; you will like it,” one lady said to me. So, I took her advice and I tried it. She was right, I loved it! I'm happily part of a 5:30 am group which consists of amazingly strong people who inspire me every day. The people I have come to know through yoga along with my beliefs about nutrition and exercise has proven to be a perfect match.
I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, where I lived for half of my life. I always believed in a healthy lifestyle and I am sure that is why I have never missed a day of work in over 20 years due to illness. I believe that proper nutrition is the best medication. As Hippocrates said, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, we would have found the safest way to health.” What we eat, together with exercise has a direct influence on our health and general well-being. I participate yoga for a couple of very important benefits that mean a lot to me. I have found that yoga has a positive impact on my physical body, strengthens my muscles, improve balance and posture, increase my flexibility and keep my body in good condition. In addition, yoga has also had a positive influence on my psyche, emotions, and assists with relaxing of my mind. As Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra states, “Yogash chita vritti nirodha,” or “Yoga is the cessation of turning of mind.” My mind becomes still and peaceful. I feel mentally more resilient, stronger, with positive thoughts, and more content feelings.
My favorite posture is the Standing Bow posture. It gives me a chance to learn how to have better balance and calm my breathing. This posture is a challenge for my determination, which is to never give up. To me, it is more than posture; it is a challenge for my mind.
For me Bikram Yoga is a prescription for healthy and happy life. I love our enthusiastic team of teachers who welcome everybody like they are family. No one ever came to yoga without leaving a better person, more grateful, feeling happier, full of smiles and warm feelings in the heart. Yoga is a friend not only for my body, but also for my mind.