yoga for emotional health

Student Spotlight: Bob


I was having a conversation with a client and she mentioned Bikram Yoga, I had never heard of it before. Ironically, as I was driving home that day I noticed the Bikram sign when the studio was across the street. I stopped in to check it out and met my first instructor, Lora; the next day was my first class and I was hooked (Bob has been practicing Bikram Yoga for over 6 years now!). Before practicing Bikram Yoga I was involved with Martial Arts and Weight Training. It seemed I was always recovering from the sessions and occasionally in a healing mode.

Bikram Yoga is teaching me to work on realigning the balance between my body & mind, to apply the peace we learn during class in our daily lives. To –“ Let No One Steal your Peace”. The yoga has helped me through the expected and unexpected lows that life presents to all of us at one time or another. When I was 17 I was in a motorcycle accident. I dislocated my hip & shoulder. I have had chronic, neck & back issues since. I tried the chiropractor when I was younger, then went to Physical Therapy & different exercise programs. Bikram Yoga has helped me not only control the symptoms but also I see improved flexibility and mobility. I attended Nicole’s Boot Camp last fall and am working on my alignment for each posture; it’s amazing how the slightest change can have such a direct effect. I would say Balancing Stick is my favorite posture. I feel that’s the one out of 26 that I might actually be doing right – only 25 more to go.

My advice to new students is strive for consistency in your practice. I have to tell myself this one as well. I sometimes will do a challenge and end up then taking off several weeks. It’s like starting all over again. Learn to focus on yourself, it’s your practice, your time, let it happen. Also - Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate - I have seen my life flash before my eyes several times on my mat over the years when I don’t pay attention to hydration.

I love Bikram Yoga for many reasons. The two that stand out are: The Teachers & The Studio. I have probably experienced close to 100 different BY instructor’s classes over the years. And while the 26 postures are a constant, it’s the individual teacher’s passion that makes each class unique. Through their own personality they are always encouraging you to do your best, pointing out subtle changes that will make a difference in your posture. They are the energy conduit that makes you want to practice to the best of your ability, to try to not only find your edge but to see what’s on the other side. I always share my BY experience whenever I can with other people. I let them know what an amazing collection of people practice Bikram Yoga. People from all walks of life sharing and experiencing a common goal together. It’s a cross-section of the world in many ways. It’s the realization that thousands of people are doing the same thing, for the same reason, every day.

Perfection is a Direction, Not a Destination

By Jessica Frent

Before the holidays I had surgery and was forced to take a break from our beloved “hot room”. For almost two months I wasn’t able to practice and with every passing day I worried that my postures, which I had worked so hard to “perfect” wouldn’t look the same. I worried that my back bends wouldn’t be as deep, my balance would be lost, and my strength to hold triangle would be less than it once was. My first practice back, I was so concerned with how others may perceive my imperfections I went to the 5:30am, practiced in the back of the room, and hoped no one would notice me. I realized quickly I was the only one critiquing my postures with such precision and that perfection is a direction, not a destination. You can always go deeper, hold longer, or achieve a more graceful strength. It has been almost six weeks since that 1st day back while my practice isn’t the same it’s in some ways stronger than it was before. The “perfection” I was so worried about losing wasn’t lost it just shifted.

For those of you perfections out there like me, remember what the wise words we have all heard before "bikram yoga is a practice, not a perfect" and if you want to receive the full benefits it’s important to allow yourself to be vulnerable, learn something new each day, and not let your own ego make you afraid to step into the room after a break.

Yoga on My Wedding Day

By Niki Fillmore

Our wedding day was one filled with love, joy, laughter, and yoga. That's right, yoga. After all, that is how Nate and I met! (I taught Nate's first class years ago). My bridesmaids and I started the day off by doing a yoga session together in a basement conference room at the hotel. (We let ourselves in!)

This yoga theme continued as our family and friends performed our ceremony and referenced yoga numerous times. And then Nate did it... he said "Lock the Knee"… during his vows. It was awesome. It even made our wedding highlight trailer! 

Student Spotlight - Jody

If you have ever met Jody at the studios then you know, she is an absolute joy to be around and she loves the yoga! Here is her story of how she got to where she is now and how the yoga has helped get her here.


Before I began practicing Bikram Yoga, my life looked very different. I now live in a wondrous world of joy but back then that wasn't the case. I lived in Northern California and was in the middle of going through some very challenging and life changing times. In hindsight, I see these times were all tremendous blessings, but when I was going through them I experienced a taxing toll on my mind, body and soul. I moved to Fresno where a dear friend encouraged me to come with her to a Bikram yoga class. She knew what I was going through and knew it would help. Boy did it ever. Now, I must confess, it took me 2 years to go to my first class after my friend encouraged me. I was afraid of the heat and intimidated that I'd never done yoga. But when I finally went... It was my saving grace. I healed in a very profound way on many levels. I don't think I would have come through what I did, how I did, without my practice. Coincidentally, as I began practicing Bikram I also began studying to receive my M.A. in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. The two together brought me to new levels of awareness that we truly are spiritual beings having a human experience and that our body is a blessing to travel the journey.

Bikram Yoga has connected my mind, body and soul, and created deeply fulfilling change and growth on every level. From my Practice, I am discovering and getting to know myself and my body in ways I never imagined possible. Bikram is not simply a physical sport; it is a gift to bring balance and harmony while offering a great way to stay in shape. My Bikram practice has helped me to lose 53 pounds and bring my body more fully into balance. Even though Bikram Yoga can be challenging and there are times in the room that I am being pushed to my limit, I find NOT doing Bikram to be more of a challenge. In my off times from practicing, even though I was still working out in other ways, I have found my self out of sorts, off and feeling rather miserable. With my commitment to regular practice, I am able to clear my mind and connect with my heart in a way that flows into my everyday life and that brings me such joy.

Bikram yoga has healed my mind body and soul and continues to do so every time I practice. I have so much gratitude for my practice. It has given me back to myself. I have learned so much about who I am. I have become stronger, both physically and mentally. What happens for me at the studio is healing, releasing and growing in ways that impact me in every aspect of my life. From my Bikram practice I have cultivated gentleness, patience, kindness, clarity, devotion and dedication to myself. I have deepened my awareness of the body as a temple and treat my body and myself kindly with thoughts and actions. This is huge for me since I have a past of being REALLY hard on myself. I have awakened to a new way of being and for that I am thankful.

My encouragement to new students is: "You can do it! Give yourself one of the best gifts you ever could and begin your Bikram practice. When it gets challenging, keep coming! It's worth it! You're surrounded by a community of love and support. We're all in this together. "

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us."

Prescription for a Healthy and Happy Life

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.