Hot Yoga

From right; Barbra Chakos, Kathleen Petryshyn, Zanne Williford, Kirby Barnum, Casey McCullough.

It’s not a church or synagogue. It’s not a hospital or clinic. It’s not a drug or magic pill. It’s Coronado Hot Yoga, home of Bikram Yoga in Coronado. And yes many of its regular students are experiencing miraculous results that keep them coming back for more.

One such student, Kathleen Petryshyn, local Simply Music Piano Teacher, broke her kneecap in two pieces in December 2013. After 7 months of recovery, and a private consultation with one of the teachers, Vince Eggleston, Kathleen, 66, returned to her yoga practice, using her walker for support for some of the standing poses. She had started with Bikram the previous year when the studio opened in Coronado, so this form of yoga was not entirely new to her. “I knew that if I did not do some form of exercise or physical therapy for my knee every day, I would not see the improvement I was looking for and that just wasn’t good enough for me.” So in July she began coming to class four or five times each week. “I could only do classes two or three days in a row and then needed a day to rest. By week four Kathleen began a 30 day challenge meaning 30 classes in 30 days. By week six and 15 days into her challenge, she was no longer toting the walker to class. “Not only do I have more range of movement in my knee, I am feeling stronger than I had felt even before I broke my knee. In addition, I am now sleeping better and rising early enough to attend the 9 a.m. class. Previously, I had trouble falling asleep and was never awake enough in the mornings to go to class.” By the end of October Kathleen had completed the 90 Day Challenge, meaning 90 classes in 90 days. “They tell you in class, 30 Days – new mind, 60 Days – new body, 90 Days – new life! In my experience, it’s all true! I feel fabulous!”

Bikram Yoga is the 26 posture sequence selected and developed from Hatha Yoga by Bikram Choudhury. It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

Yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change the body, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system.

Casey McCullough 49, walked into the Coronado studio after 12 surgeries in five years, in and out of the hospital, almost dying twice, and an ileostomy bag attached to her abdomen. She comments, “Once I started doing this yoga, I didn’t stop.” She finished her 90 Day Challenge in October, exactly 90 days after her first experience of yoga and continues to go almost every day. “I’d never done any type of yoga before. It was so empowering for me to be able to take some control over my life. You show up and look in that mirror and face the reality of what is going on in your life. Seeing the truth, whether you like it or not is so freeing. I feel so much better when I start my day with yoga. My doctors didn’t think I could do it, but I’m here, getting better and better every day.”

Kirby Barnum, 52 says, “I’d never done yoga in any way, shape or form, let alone hot yoga. Doing the 90 Day Challenge has shown me that I can do anything if I just put my mind to it. I am proud of myself and inspired in every area of my life. This yoga not only changes your body, but also changes your mind.”

Students of all ages are attracted to Bikram Yoga. One of the oldest students in the studio, Steve Gaal, 80, a retired Orthopedic Surgeon who practices three to four times a week, remarks, “Before class my mind comes up with all the excuses and chatter about why I should not do yoga, but as soon as the class begins, my mind quiets. I just show up, suit up and follow directions. At the end of class I feel this amazing sense of rejuvenation. You don’t have to be a super star to get results. You get out of it what you put into it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Another student, Zanne Williford was an athlete her whole life. “By the time I reached age 58, I had run marathons, played soccer for 20 years, won racquetball tournaments, lifted weights, mastered step classes, played tennis and squash, but discovered one day that I was unable to stand on one leg.” She immediately began Bikram Yoga. Eleven years later, this yoga has seen her through many hardships, including a relationship break-up, the death of a child, a malignant renal tumor weighing 30 lbs, as well as the cancer reappearing resulting in having a portion of her lung and kidney removed. But she was back in the studio shortly after each surgery. “I continued my yoga with the goal of balance still in my mind. I wish I could say I have attained perfect balance, but I can’t. I can claim to try hard every day and to show up regularly. I feel wonderful, at age 69, to be able to say that I am still improving!”

The truth is that life happens to all of us. The magic of Bikram is that it works and supports students through the ups and downs of life. Whether you come just a few times a week or every day, just keep coming back regularly and the results are there.

Bikram Yoga can be experienced under the guidance of Karlie Knight, owner and certified Bikram Yoga Teacher, and other Bikram certified teachers at Coronado Hot Yoga. The studio is designed in such a way that you will always get the proper heating which helps you to do your postures optimally.

One such teachers, Barbra Chakos, Coronado local, experienced a traumatic brain injury in 2002 that left her in a coma, unable to walk and in a wheelchair. Once she regained consciousness chiropractic medicine, acupuncture and Bikram’s Yoga helped revitalize her body and instill confidence in her mind. She realized that she wanted to teach the yoga that eventually gave her back her life. “In the fall of 2009, I completed the Bikram Teacher’s Training. I continue to see miracles in motion, from the 70 year old woman who thanks me for helping her to be able to look over her shoulder while driving, the husband and father who is grateful for the improvement in his relationships with his wife and daughter or the friend who was given six months to live and now baffles his oncologist with his cancer free body. You don’t change the yoga, the yoga changes you.”

With regular practice you will enjoy numerous benefits including: improved strength, flexibility and balance, toned muscles, improved immune and lymphatic system, stress reduction, increased bone density, improved digestion and circulation, as well as feeling more relaxation and a greater sense of well being. 

Many people find that Bikram Yoga is an excellent complement to their regular fitness activity (i.e. golf, tennis, weight training, running, etc.), keeping them injury free and doing these activities for much longer!

So, start your New Year off right with a word of advice from the founder of Bikram Yoga, “Never to late, never to old, never to bad, never to sick, to start from scratch once again.”

Coronado Hot Yoga, your home for Bikram Yoga on the Island is located at 1222 First Street. For more information about classes and times, call 619-319-5195 or go towww  See you there. Namaste!

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