How did you first discover Bikram yoga?
I discovered Bikram Yoga about 12 years ago, when I developed pain from Sciatica nerve. The pain was excruciating, I couldn’t stand on my right foot. I went through x-rays, MRI, went to Orthopedic doctors, Chiropractors, had many sessions of physical therapy, massages, acupuncture, anything one can think of. Nothing worked. Out of desperation, I tried Yoga.
I feel I learn something new every time I practice. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will never be perfect at yoga. For me, as a perfectionist, this has been a hard lesson to come to terms with, and the main reason for my many setbacks..
What has been your greatest struggle and/or greatest accomplishment?
I have always had my own business, in the very competitive field of fashion, in the heart of San Francisco. All I knew, was how to compete and succeed. Failure was not an option. Doing your best didn’t mean anything. You had to do what it took to get the job done. Since the fashion world is constantly changing; I had also been trained to anticipate and accept change, to be constantly on the move. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I will be doing the same poses in the same order, every time!!
It took me a few years to realize that my life long learnings were not only not useful in the yoga room, but counterproductive. I had to put aside so much of my personality before the start of each practice. I had to remember that it is OK to fall in balancing poses, it is OK not to do the poses perfectly, and it is OK to relax & breath. I must say, after so many years, there are still times I fall back into my old self. I still have difficulty looking at myself in the mirror while practicing, without judgment.
Relax. Forget about how you look in a pose. Forget your ego. And listen to the teachers. As Michelle advices: “feel the pose”. It took me years to understand that doing yoga is not the same as going to the gym. You cannot measure your “success” by how much weight you lose, how toned your body gets. There truly cannot be any expectations attached to yoga. Just try to feel good. Then you know you are “succeeding”.
What do you like to do outside of yoga?
I love to read. Go for walks with my husband.