your life

Call to Action

 By H. J. Klingman Most of us do more to care for our automobiles than our bodies.  Would you put sugar in your gas tank? Of course not! But we’ll put sugar in our body’s “tank” day in and day out, though it can not process it as effectively as other fuels. Would you drive for miles on a flat tire and let your wheel rim grind into the ground? NO! But we'll let a persistent pain or injury in the body go untreated for years before taking action?

Taking action to participate in maintaining our health is not a luxury or a burden; it is our duty, a call to action, our Karma Yoga. Karma yoga is our duty to care for our bodies and our health. Bikram reminds us constantly of the importance of caring for YOUR LIFE. Nobody else can take care of your life for you, it is your own effort required to fulfill this aspect of your Karma Yoga.

The word “Karma” translates literally to “action”.  When we begin to practice the physical, or “Hatha” yoga, we are taking action by caring for our bodies, fulfilling our Karma by doing our duty. Taking action to keep your body and mind healthy and functioning, allows you to perform the other kinds of yoga in your life.  Both actions and the results of those actions are Karma. According to Bikram , “Karma Yoga is number one; nothing is more important in your life, in my life or in this world than fulfilling your duty. This is what maintains balance and harmony in the universe.”

By practicing Hatha Yoga (the physical aspect of yoga) and Raja Yoga (the mental aspect of yoga), we prepare the body for Karma Yoga.  When we practice Hatha Yoga we can discover where our Karma lies, and how to carry out our life’s mission. So, if ever you are feeling lost or without direction, all you need to do is roll out your yoga mat and begin practicing Asana (postures) and Pranayama (breath control). When you care for your mind and body your mission will come to you. Through patience, practice, and persistence you can begin to perform your Karma Yoga and fulfill your life’s mission one posture at a time.

What is the Most Important Thing in Your Life?

By Terri Villavaso Seemingly, the good answers to this question are endless….

Well Bikram reminds us, the ONLY answer is in the question…


My whole adult life I have been mindful to stay fit, and take care of me.  I enjoy running, hiking, cycling used to be big on the list, going to the gym, etc.

In 2004, I had no idea what a yoga class might entail… Union of mind and body, what does that mean? 90 minutes in a HOT room?  Of course, I questioned WHY so long... Do everything twice?  One time should surely be enough? WHAT DOES BREATHING MEAN?

My husband, Guy, started yoga a long time before me.  I had zero interest in going.  Of course I was capable of doing my own thing, and did not need a structured HOT class.  I had so many opinions about it all.  I thought for a long time, people were just sitting around in a room meditating, and there was no work out happening…

So our kids, Evan, Tyler, and Emily, were about 12 and 13 years old and they went to a class before I did with Guy!  THAT, is what got ME to my first class…  hearing them say, "MOM, YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS….  YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE IT... YOU LOVE CHALLENGES."

My first class felt like it lasted about 3 hours… time dragging, no clock, I was in shock, most inflexible person in a room of about 45, some crazy teacher calling me… “hey you, in the red shorts”…

I was literally mad at every person in that yoga room, most especially at my husband for not telling me how it REALLY was going to be.  All these so-called, YOGIS, focused only on their face in the mirror, not even noticing or caring that I was about to puke or pass out!

I could not talk for about 2 hours after class, and sat on the corner of my couch at home wrapped in a towel, unable to move or think.  All kinds of things racing in my head, and I could not get the vision of this pretty chick on the front row doing a beautiful “standing bow pulling pose” out of my head!  How dare her show me up, surely I can learn how to do that???

My family still laughs that I was the most unlikely person to ever go back for a 2nd class or next, or next, or to out of the blue, in 2007 announce to them, I want to be a teacher!!!!

It was not easy the whole process.  Bikram always says, THE RIGHT WAY IS THE HARD WAY, AND IT’S UP TO YOU TO MAKE IT WORK.

I started noticing right away the effects of the yoga.  I felt more patient, more disciplined with my diet, more tuned in to the inner person in me… the observer.  I started feeling different from the inside of me, deep down.  At the top of the list was something very big- my whole family became much more connected.

Somewhere between classes 8 to 10, I thought I might decide that this practice is for ME.  We all know that moment… the one when you walk out of the studio and you have MORE ENERGY, compared to feeling you have to go home and rest!

I got on a routine pretty quickly and decided more is better!  I have kept it up for a long time.  Following a senior teacher seminar back in 2007, I got all energized and just could not stop thinking about it all.  Craig Villani led the seminar at our studio, and he had such a strong presence and so much warmth and knowledge, and I just knew in my heart that teaching was calling my name!  I could not stay off the Bikram website, and started waking up in the middle of the night, wondering, WHY IS THIS CALLING MY NAME?

I feel blessed I followed my heart.  I have been teaching for 5 years now, and it just keeps getting better.  I learn from watching the students, I keep growing on a daily basis.  The yoga does not change, I enjoy the way I keep changing and I see the way YOU keep changing!