Absolutely, cancer is brutal. In battling it, we have to be fierce while combating it with awareness and education.
Hot yoga and yin yoga poses along with the heat lubricated each joint and fiber of my body promoting healing specifically where there were scar tissues and inflammation due to repeated chemotherapy.
Through the continuous breathing exercise, Ujjayi breath, while doing Hot yoga I was able to regain full strength in my radiation weaken lungs . As result of my diagnosis, I had to undergo double mastectomy along with lymph nodes removal. Hot Yoga sequence brought mobility, flexibility and movement back to my body.
Since getting into Bikram Yoga in November 2014, I have lost approximately 60 pounds! After suffering a major knee injury in 2013, I tried the conventional rehab process with little success. With my knee problem I was having difficulty being active, my weight spiked and physically I was kind of a mess. I was looking for a low impact workout as a way to rehab my knee and lose weight. I had tried Bikram Yoga 10 years earlier, so I figured I’d give it a try.
Not only has Bikram Yoga been instrumental in helping me lose 60 pounds, it has helped improve the overall condition of my knee. Coupled with the increase in my overall strength and flexibility, Bikram Yoga practice has had a major positive influence on my overall physical well being.
Suffering from horrible insomnia while on Ambien, religiously counting calories, going organic, being gluten free as a celiac, having already had one back surgery and looking down another, on medication for rheumatoid arthritis, than add depression, I was lost, sad and feeling hopeless.
With 40 just a month away, I woke up one morning and decided to go cold turkey from sugar after watching a documentary at the being of August 2015 and days later started Bikram Yoga five times a week. Getting into gym clothes and standing in front of that mirror for 90 minutes for me, was much harder than staying in the room and doing every asana, in fact it was miserable at first.
In the nine months since though, I’m free of all medications, haven’t seen a depressed day or anxiety in 8 months, and have lost 85 pounds so far (have 15 more to go)! Sharing and seeing these pictures side by side at 230 pounds (size 18, taken in July 2015) and than at 145 pounds (size 7) has really opened my eyes to the changes and makes me crave Bikram. I’ve since taken up stand up paddle boarding, outrigger canoeing, cycling, and just completed 540 miles of hiking on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Without Bikram Yoga, I truly believe that none of that would have ever been possible and never do I miss and opportunity to praise Bikram Livermore and all their staff for constantly supporting, encouraging and helping me realize that I can do this!
They say that yoga adds years to your life and life to your years. I never understood the meaning of that phrase until I found Bikram Yoga. I decided on a whim to give hot yoga a try one day after walking past the Bikram Yoga Livermore studio. It had always been on my bucket list and what harm could it do? After a few classes, however, I started to recognize a change happening within me. My migraines (for which I had to medicate daily) were quickly dissipating and are now gone. I experienced more energy during the day. After years of miserable insomnia, I was starting to sleep well through the night. My back and neck weren’t in constant pain anymore. I experienced renewed health and my quality of life significantly improved, all within a few months of beginning a practice which I previously thought was a little far-fetched and unimportant. How wrong I was.
This studio has been a shelter from the storms of life and a time out from the daily stresses that plague us all. I’ve learned that although yoga certainly improves physical health, it can also serve as an incredible source of peace. Yoga is more than just stretching. It’s a way of life and a state of mind. It provides a path toward introspection which is so vital for mental health and self acceptance. Practicing regularly has enabled me to be mindful and present in whatever situations I’m given.
Since I could walk, I’ve been an athlete. For the last 15 years, I’ve been an injured athlete. Because of Joya, the injured part of me is starting to heal.
By the age of 14, I had already taken years of ballet, gymnastics, tennis, and karate. But on one unfortunate night of sparring in my weekly class of Shaolin Kempo, I was hurt by a jealous boy who couldn’t fathom that a girl was beating him at “his” game. He swiped my leg from underneath and I fell with all my weight on to my right knee. Two years later, I was the starting varsity pitcher for my high school’s softball team. During a three-game week, my shoulder had given out and dislocated. It was repaired and I finished out the season, but not before overusing it for the rest of the season and the subsequent. One year later, I joined my college’s hip-hop dance team and during one of our daily four-hour rehearsals, I felt my right knee pop as I went into a deep squat. And finally, one year later, after many months of pain during orchestra rehearsals where I played the viola, I decided to get my left shoulder examined. I had a tear in my left scapula which was not severe enough for surgery but severe enough to get me out of my orchestra requirement. By the age of 20, I had two bad shoulders and two bad knees but with the hard-working life as a struggling Millennial trying to justify her internships for no pay and working overtime just to pay the bills, there wasn’t much time, or energy, to exercise to the degree of attaining recovery.
Eight years later, after an enlightening moment in early February 2018, I decided it was time to put self-care first and signed up for Joya using a Groupon. My husband and I realized it was now or never and scheduled ourselves for classes at least once a day. After a few classes of trial and error and deciding which teachers best fit our learning style, we got into a great rhythm and starting feeling balanced, whole, and energized once again. We fell in love with the energy of Inferno Hot Pilates, the precision of KettleBell Express, and the burning inner thighs we earned from Barre Furry. We loved that instructors knew us by name, engaged with us beyond the classroom on social media, and encouraged us to be the best we could be. Instead of a one and done class where gorgeous women join together in hopes of losing the last five pounds, we’re able to see real working people, parents, and adventurers pursuing their healthiest selves with yoga and pilates.
I’ve always prided myself on being the strongest woman in the room, despite my injuries. I may have trouble enduring an intense hike but I can carry a 200-pound person into another room if need be. At Joya, I love that I’m not the strongest woman in the room because every other woman is just as strong or is pursuing the same strength. That kind of energy is empowering and healing more than medicine ever could be. Joya is not only helping me heal my injuries, but is also helping me find friendships and new role models for which I will cherish for years to come. Joya provided the environment to finally put myself first
Growing up in Northern California, there were many activities for a kid to do. I spent much of my childhood hiking and biking along the East Bay trails and swimming at Shadow Cliffs and at the Briar Hill community pool in Dublin. While these sports and activities allowed me to enjoy the outdoors and kept me lean, they didn’t teach me how to develop and use my strength and flexibility. I was lean in my adolescence, but not as strong, flexible, or fit as I had hoped to be.
By my early twenties, I had taken an interest in yoga, yet being single with a high rent, I couldn’t afford many studios in my area. I thought that I could change that after moving to Los Angeles, yet with the city’s even-higher prices and long waitlists, I quickly learned that yoga and Pilate studios were still beyond my reach.
In 2017, my wife and I began our years’-long journey across Canada and the U.S. After nearly 30,000 miles of hiking and driving through dense forests, scorching deserts, and snow-laden mountains, we returned to California with worn muscles and lost flexibility. To mend our bodies, my wife and I decided to search for a studio and attend a few Pilates classes while staying with family in Livermore. After a few minutes of searching, we signed up at Joya. Little did I know then that I would gain so much more than just strength and flexibility. Invigorated after our first hot Pilates class, my wife and I continued to take many other classes – kettlebell, barre, yin, and buti – as often and regularly as we could. I could feel myself getting stronger, fitter, and happier after only a matter of days. What I hadn’t anticipated, and what makes JOYA exceptional, is the warm comradery and friendships between the staff and its clients. Everyone in Joya shows each other respect, compassion, and encouragement to be their best selves. I’ve been so pleased to have made so many new friends. In fact, after attending a class on my birthday, my wife and I were invited by our classmates to a local eatery to celebrate – it was one of the best birthdays I’ve had in recent years.
My wife and I are currently back on the road and while we are amazed by the places we visit, our hearts remain in that studio and we can’t wait to return.