While I love the physical strength practicing Bikram brings to my life, the spiritual and emotional strength and clarity it provides is far more precious. The warmth of the team at Fitzroy and their individual support is unique. They take the time to notice, celebrate and challenge me and in doing so, remind me of the importance of taking the time to acknowledge myself and self-reflect in this way too. In June 2015 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. This resulted in surgery and medical advice that I should not exercise for 6 months in order to give my body the best chance of healing and being ready for more treatment. No swimming. No running. No Bikram.
While I was willing to stop swimming and running in my quest to be cancer free, after much reflection I did not think I could remain remotely sane without Bikram. So, I chose to continue my practice. My post-surgery six month scans and tests occurred the week before Christmas. The surgeon had warned me that it was 90% likely that 2016 would involve a series of radiation treatments and potentially more surgery. However, not only was further treatment not required, the tests revealed that I am cancer free.
The surgeon was astounded by both these results and the speed with which my body had completely recovered from the surgery and had created healthy cells in the place where cancer had once bred. So, for me, 2016 now holds more Bikram classes in amongst finally being able to begin running and swimming again. My gratitude to the team at Fitzroy, in particular Michael, Susan, Deb, Claire and Karen, is eternal. Without ever realising it, they each provided me with the courage, balance and strength to help my body heal and survive."
"Here are some things I have discovered when practicing Bikram Yoga while injured. 1. You will still benefit from practicing BY when you are not at full physical capacity or injured. [You will benefit from those postures you can do as well as from those that you can only do partially.]. 2. If you practice BY when you are not at full physical capacity or injured, you will be surprised at how quickly your injury and practice improve. 3. Practicing BY when you are injured or not at full capacity really builds character and determination into your practice. Of course, there might be times when you probably should not practice at all, but in my experience it is better to give it a go, particularly if you are an experienced student."
"There was once a time - not long ago, when I felt I was to be forever enslaved by an eating disorder. This condition had consumed most of the last 9 years of my life, and I suffered greatly. Without much improvement, despite years of therapy and medication, I was beyond giving up hope.
It was by chance that I stumbled upon Bikram Yoga Fitzroy, and initially I gave it a go with the hope of simply improving my flexibility and strength.
But there was something significant about the practice; something spoke to me and told me to push past the exhaustion of the first class, that there was a reason why the studio was filled with a group of spirited people and inspiring teachers encouraging us to return.
I noticed the benefits almost instantly: firstly I learned how to breathe and calm my anxiety. My sleeping improved, my digestion improved. I was in a better mood. And for the first time in 9 years, I realised that Bikram Yoga was slowly giving me back control over my eating disorder. To say that Bikram Yoga has changed my life is an understatement: Bikram Yoga has given me another chance at life.
Now, as a first year university student, the stress of study is immense, but I find that Bikram Yoga gives me the physical and emotional conditioning I require to be able to cope and to perform at my best. It provides me with clarity of mind, allowing me to focus on what is important around me.
Whether you suffer from a mental or physical illness, work in a stressful job, or simply wish to feel more present in your life, then I urge you to give Bikram Yoga Fitzroy a go. Their practice will help you in more ways than one. "
After a couple years of trying different yoga studies, all of which were great studios, and my interest in Bikram fluctuating week to week, I discovered Bikram Yoga Fitzroy.
Despite attending at least 3 classes per week, my hip, injured due to a combination of long distance running and ballet, was still causing me pain and considerable frustration and as an absolute perfectionist, I was super frustrated that my yoga was not improving.
I am actually not sure what led me to the Fitzroy studio originally, particularly given I do not live in the area. I just know it felt so comfortable from day 1. Regardless, I now have a 'yoga home'. Life is funny - sometimes you just have to find your home, where you fit. In hindsight, I was not really connected to my yoga previously, I was just doing yoga. I feel that am now connected to my yoga and a yoga community.
I am now completing my 3rd 30 day challenge for the year and thinking of rolling it into a 60 day challenge, and also doing ballet classes again for the first time in years. The hip does not even squeak.
When I reflect on what has fundamentally changed for me and driven this connection and commitment, it really is essentially about the studio environment and the people. Working in a very tough, high pressure and competitive corporate environment, I find the incredible sense of community, care and kindness demonstrated for and by others, and acceptance regardless of your abilities, both significantly refreshing and balancing. Without sounding cheesy, it is really helping me become a much better, balance and kinder person.
My yoga has continued to improve at Bikram Yoga Fitzroy (finally I can almost do standing head to knee!!), but more importantly, so has my approach to life, particularly resilience, patience and my gratefulness for quality of life. A lovely secondary outcome has been improved body tone and sleep quality. I now finally understand how to quiet my mind and just breath. I am calmer and much more focused on what is truly important in my life - other people and what I can do to help others. Thank you for creating such a wonderful environment, in which exists such an amazing community.
There are many reasons why I love Bikram Yoga Fitzroy and I appreciate the wide range of benefits that I receive from my regular Bikram Yoga practice (and the physical side is just the beginning!)
Some of the physical benefits include amazing core strength, toned muscles, increased flexibility, glowing skin and clear eyes. Since starting over 7 years ago I have never got sick and hot weather doesn't bother me when others wilt.
I'm more aware of my body as Bikram Yoga increases my mind/body connection - each class is a diagnosis of tension/tight muscles as your body is different each day. In life, I have better posture, enjoy so much energy and sleep well at night. Bikram Yoga clearly increases my metabolism and good health as I only crave healthy foods, only eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I never crave unhealthy food and it's effortless to look after myself.
The increased mental focus and determination that I've developed through Bikram Yoga has had a huge, positive impact on my life. If you can get through 90 minutes of hot yoga, only thinking of the postures and breathing, then you have developed massive concentration and self discipline skills. It is pure joy to clear out the constant clutter of thoughts and to enjoy an "open eyed meditation". In life, it has taught me to just get on with things, to listen to my body and to be kind to myself. I don't worry, self-doubt or compare myself to others.
On a personal level, Bikram Yoga has made me the person I am - calmer, focused and I don't get stressed. After every class I radiate positive energy and float through the rest of the day with a smile on my face! The insightful dialogue from the wonderful teachers at BYF remind me to look after myself and to just breathe when life gets crazy. It has given me the ability to achieve whatever I put my mind to, with intention and dedication. Regular Bikram Yoga practise gives me the sense of a calm lake in the centre of my being that helps me cope with anything. I can't imagine my life without it. Thank you to all the teachers at BYF for creating such a positive and healing place!
I returned to Bikram Yoga at Fitzroy after 4 years absence due to having had 7 months of chemotherapy and 3 separate abdominal operations for cancer. I had lost a lot, my silhouette, my balance, my strength, my flexibility, the calcium in my bones and my faith in the goodness of life.
The very kind owners of the Fitzroy Bikram Yoga studio welcomed me and encouraged me to resume practice at my own pace. I knew in my heart that I could not continue to allow myself to waste away. It was very hard at first, because Bikram Yoga is a full on mental and physical work out. Every part of your body is engaged and tested and healed.
Within a few short months I had regained my silhouette, and my flexibility, my body felt stronger and more reliable, I was able to do more and better postures. My balance is still improving and I’ve not yet had my bone density retested but I’m pretty sure that will have improved.
The studio is my "happy place" where I do not think of workaday things but only about the 90 minutes of moving meditation and healing that takes place. I am way better for Bikram Yoga and will be doing it till I am 90+.