High Blood Pressure/Cholesterol
Bikram yoga has changed my life. I am a 41 year old man and have always considered myself to be a healthy, active man. In the fall of 2007 I had a routine physical exam that revealed I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I had also gained weight. My physician recommended that I lose 10 pounds and return for a follow up visit in six months. Considering a family history of heart disease and cancer, he was very concerned. We discussed medications I may need if I did not take this seriously. He did state though that even losing a few pounds may help me a great deal. My wife was also worried about me and suggested that I try a Bikram yoga class. Yoga for a guy, “no way” I thought.
After some gentle nudging from my wife, I started taking Bikram yoga classes in November of 2007. What I found immediately was that this 90 minute Bikram Yoga class was extremely challenging, and I considered this the hardest workout I had ever done. I also found dedicated instructors and fellow students and friends who supported me and provided needed encouragement during this life changing transition. I have committed myself to practicing Bikram Yoga at least three times per week and have been sticking with it for over a year and a half. I have found the challenge to be a bit addictive. Yes, it is a hard workout, but it is also a 90 minute break from everything else. Putting this time aside for myself actually allows me to give more of myself to others in my life now. You can do more when you feel great. I feel great.
Prior to Bikram Yoga I was also experiencing lower back pain, upper back pain, and loss of flexibility. My spine was hunched over. I could not touch my toes without bending my knees. My back hurt if I tried to bend down, and especially hurt after doing regular household chores such as raking leaves or mowing the lawn. It even hurt during my sleep – and kept me awake many nights. I had inflammation of the temporomandibular joint which was probably related to all of these stresses I was feeling. I also have a long history of environmental allergies.
Currently I am in very good physical and mental condition. I have gained incredible physical strength and ability, and my core is stronger. My physical appearance and muscular definition have improved. BP is normal and cholesterol is down 40 points with no meds, regardless of family history. I have lost and am maintaining 40 pounds of weight loss without starving or neglecting myself. I can keep up with my children. I am much more flexible and rarely experience back pain. My spine is much straighter and I notice improvements and more movement in this area all of the time. Temporomandibular joint issues are gone. My allergies have even improved.
Most important - I am happy. I feel like I can do anything again. I intend to still be skiing at 80. Hope to see you there. The choice is yours!"
To Bikram and Rajashree, I thank you. To everyone at Burlington Bikram I say thank you. Without Bikram's expertise in designing the Bikram series, Bikram's and Rajashree's leadership and skill in training and certifying teachers and the dedication of these teacher upon graduation to helping each student excel, I would be just another bad medical statistic.