yoga for strength

September Student of the Month: Lynne Feilbach


Lynne has been practicing Bikram Yoga for an incredible 14 years now.  Before Lynn began practicing, she would work out at the gym and take yoga classes that they offered there.  She says, “I have always been a small person but with almost no muscle definition and strength. I never achieved that until I started at Bikram.”  Then came Bikram Yoga!

She became interested in Bikram Yoga because her roommate at the time took her along to class one day. She stuck with it because she finds it to be the most rewarding of any yoga that she has tried.  “It is like the Mount Everest of yoga,” she says. “I feel if I am going to take the time to come I should get the biggest rewards.” And rewards it gives!  Lynne attributes her focus to Bikram Yoga, stating that it gives her a plan instead of just having random workouts. Her mind tends to wander very easily, but it has kept her healthy and strong.  She used to suffer from asthma and sinus infections and with regular practice she no longer suffers from either ailment in the past 10 years!  Lynne has been a hair stylist for many years and she also suffers from having “horribly tight shoulders” due to her job, but Bikram Yoga keeps her functional at work and her back and feet strong.  She says, “I had broken my leg 2 years before and wore a cast for 10 months. I had a lot of atrophy in my foot and ankle from that. My foot used to swell and ache if I tied my shoe too tight or if it rained. Bikram Yoga has broken all that scar tissue up over the course of maybe the first year and it hasn't bothered me since.”

When asked what the most important pose to her was, Lynne says, “The most important pose to me is half moon. It wasn't always but just a few years ago during class the teacher said the harder you work in this pose the better and easier class will be. As soon as I heard that I started to actually work harder during that pose, not just get through it and I really excelled after that. It really was true.”

As for new students, Lynne offers, “Stay focused and listen to the teacher's words and don't rush to the end result without doing the setup properly. Also don't be afraid of the front row.”

Lastly, Lynne leaves us with this beautiful statement that her mom would always say, "Love Light and Peace.”  She says, “It has always stayed with me and I have it tattooed on my foot. It's my mantra in life.”

You Can Balance Here Forever

By Nate Fillmore balance. balŸance (ba-ln(t)s) noun, verb, adjective. (n) a weighing device. (v) to keep or put something in a steady position so that it does not fall (adj) mental and emotional steadiness (balanced).

There are 9 definitions of balance according to Webster’s Dictionary and 3 times as many variations in the ways we use the term in our everyday lives. People are constantly trying to balance their time, between professional and personal life. Within personal life we try to balance the time between family and friends and maybe even some alone time. We balance our bank accounts (or you might let the banks do the balancing for you). However you define it, balance is a goal everyone seems to strive to achieve.

Since being introduced to Bikram Yoga in 2011, I began seeing other aspects of life’s balancing act appear in my practice. The postures themselves present lessons in balance. The pushing/pulling partnership that is seen in Camel and Rabbit. The balance required to hold Standing Head to Knee. And who can forget Balancing Stick! Even though it’s only 10 seconds, my body completely understands the full complexity balance can bring.

My favorite definition of balance states “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. I think all Bikram Yogis can relate to this statement as we constantly hear our teachers in Standing Bow, “Stretch forward and kick back, you can balance here forever”.  They teach us the importance of balancing our flexibility with our strength, our determination with our patience, and our effort with our relaxation.

There is also the mental, physical, and emotional balance that exists within each one of us.  Being in a room that’s 105 degrees with 40% humidity puts that balancing act to the test.  I haven’t experienced a class when at least one of these aspects isn’t being tested. You might have a great physical class with high emotions from the day, but your focus might not be at it’s highest.  When you can find the balance of all three for 90 minutes, I presume the final Savasana is unlike any other experienced (and I will be happy to let you know if I ever find out)!