Winnipeg Bikram Yoga Testimonials
'As a long time runner and triathlete, I'm very familiar with the aches and pains that come from training. After 20 full marathons, 3 Half Ironmans and countless shorter races, I'd come to think that my hamstrings would just be chronically tight. But when I tore my hamstring in the 2007 Seattle Marathon, I told myself that once it healed, I was going to do something to improve my flexibility.
That resolution lead me to yoga, and ultimately, to Bikram Yoga at Stafford Street Hot Yoga. The difference it has made in my flexibility has been nothing short of miraculous. I still recall my first class and attempting "Standing Head to Knee Pose". I told the instructor that it would be impossible for me as long as I continued to run. I couldn't even extend my leg to 90 degrees. These days, not only can I extend my leg, but I can touch my head to my knee and stay balanced while doing it!
What surprised me most about Bikram Yoga at SSHY were the other benefits: Improved balance, increased mental focus, increased strength, better ability to deal with hot racing conditions, and improved overall toning. Last year, I had my best race season ever, with a personal best in the 10K, Half Marathon and Half Ironman. I credit Stafford Street Hot Yoga with helping me stay healthy and injury free throughout!'
~ Linda Whitfield, Long Time Runner & Triathlete, Winnipeg, MB
"I’d like to share my story of how Bikram yoga became a permanent part of my life in September, 2009. It came as a result of an accident that happened on May 25, 2008. Essentially, I shattered both of my ankles and was wheelchair bound for almost three months. I lost all muscle memory in my legs and I learned how to walk and use my legs again during my rehabilitation. June 1, 2009 I was told by my surgeon that any further progress in my healing was unlikely. At this point my range of motion let me barely bend my knees and pain was constant. When I wasn’t wearing supportive footwear I got around by walking on my tippy toes because my ankles could not accommodate my feet to walk flat on the ground.
One day my Dad suggested I check out a hot yoga studio. We had heard of these ‘miracle stories’ of people overcoming serious physical odds because of hot yoga. I didn’t have anything to lose and after some research I bit the bullet and took my first bikram yoga class ever at Stafford Street Hot Yoga. I practiced consistently for a year and it was the only form of physical activity I incorporated in my day-to-day routine. During this time I met with my doctor to discuss talks of cutting my right Achilles tendon in three places in an attempt to improve my range of motion. And the diagnosis? They determined my range of motion was still improving and the surgery was not recommended! All my hard work in the hot room was paying off!!
I do not think I would be where I am without the yoga I found at Stafford Street Hot Yoga. Today I still walk with a slight limp, but I prefer to call it a swagger, and I do not walk on my tippy toes anymore. I can also bend my knees enough to go into a low squat. The sharp pains have lessened into more of an annoying ache and my body’s improvements have allowed me to push my limits and enjoy other physical activities I thought I would never be able to do again. I know I have a little further to go with my recovery and I truly believe that with dedication this yoga will take me to even higher healing."
- Caitlin Trakalo, SSHY student, Winnipeg, MB (Read Caitlin's full story here)
“I’ve been a yogi for a couple years now and I want to share with you my personal experiences during my Bikram yoga challenge. I noticed that during my challenge my life had become yoga. I lived and breathed like a yogi. I purchased the book Bikram Yoga and read about Bikram’s life and the different postures. I am much more mindful of my breathing and grounded to the earth - meaning that I am much more peaceful and who doesn’t want more peace in their life?
The challenge changed me from the inside out; affecting all areas of my well-being.
As my strength and flexibility improved I realized how unbalanced my body was.
As my balance improved I realized how mindful I needed to be to notice this.
As my mindfulness improved I realized how much I need peace.
And as I created peace in my life I realized how necessary yoga is.”
- Colleen Rogers, SSHY student, Winnipeg MB
Read Colleen’s tips for making it through a Bikram challenge.
“My overall health, just like for most us, is very important to me. There are many other things I do to ensure I live a healthy lifestyle, but since introducing yoga into my routine I have a new lease on life. When I think back to how I felt physically and emotionally when I first walked through the doors of SSHY the transformation has been unbelievable. I can proudly say for the first time in over 20 years, I’m living a pain-free life. I feel younger, energized and ALIVE!
I have been with SSHY for over two years and the journey has not been easy. I had to endure a lot of pain in order to heal my old injuries just like Amanda said I would experience. She kept my hope alive by encouraging me to work and push past the pain in order to heal the deep-rooted injuries. I know there are other yoga studios throughout our city, but making that decision to drive down Stafford was the best decision I could have ever made for myself and for my overall well-being. Why would I want to go anywhere else? The staff and studio are first rate. The people who attend are great. The location is ideal. Yoga is not only great for your body, but it does wonders for your mind and soul. To be able to release the stress from our everyday lives, I believe that if more people gave yoga an honest and committed effort there would be a lot less people dealing with serious health issues. Take it from me. I’m living proof of that.”
- Denis Marion, SSHY student, Winnipeg MB (Read Denis’ full story here).
"My Bikram journey of healing and growth began when my physician asked me if I had heard of hot yoga. I had been having challenges maintaining my blood pressure. In fact, I had been diagnosed with anemia as a child. I had been practicing other types of yoga for a few months, had been a runner, and did light weights at the gym, but I had always felt that "something" was missing.
I began to practice at Stafford Street Hot Yoga in 2009, and entered my first 30-day Bikram challenge. I didn’t know if I could really survive, but I did! I felt amazing support and determination from my fellow challengers. There was such an array of emotions – we laughed, we cried, we suffered, and we conquered. And following the challenge, I took my practice to a new level; doing the hot yoga so consistently had helped me let go of the anxiety and shyness that had plagued me. My practice was no longer defined by how others perceived me, but by how I saw myself. In the hot room, it was my time."
- Giselle, SSHY student, Winnipeg MB (Read Gisele’s full story here).
"Hi there. My name is Laureen and I recently successfully completed a pretty major personal challenge. I can't quite believe it myself, but I did it - I completed 60 Bikram Yoga classes in 62 days! This was not my goal when I began, but rather it evolved into something that I never would have thought I could do. I started practicing at SSHY in December 2012. Prior to this, I practiced at another studio but after taking a long break from Bikram Yoga, I decided to start fresh at a new studio. And boy, did it ever feel like a fresh start! The beautiful studio, the amazing instructors, and the very accepting and welcoming community at SSHY helped me to feel like a regular in no time - like I had found a really comfortable home where I could be physically, emotionally, and mentally renewed whenever I wanted.
When I heard that the studio was offering the chance to do a 28 day challenge in January I knew I really wanted to do it. It seemed like the perfect post-Christmas cleanse and something that would help me deal with the winter blues.
During this challenge, I learned so much about myself. One of the biggest things I learned is that I can be committed to taking care of myself. In my line of work (counselling) I am constantly taking care of others, and even though I know that self-care is important, it’s easy for this to slip. Without Bikram Yoga and SSHY, I am not sure how I would have managed the stresses that came my way during this time. When life got overwhelming for me at my workplace in Jan/Feb, I often found myself thinking, “well, at least I get to go to yoga today.” It was the perfect way to shake off my day and get home feeling renewed. Practicing everyday really helped me balance my emotions and feel positive during a time that I could easily felt anxious and depressed."
~ Laureen Janzen, SSHY Bikram yoga student, Winnipeg, MB (Read Laureen's full story here)
Have your own Bikram yoga success story to share? We’d love to hear from you!