Where and when did you start practicing?
Tucson, AZ 2008
What brought you in?
My friend took me to my first Bikram class. I read about Kareem Abdul Jabbar and his experiences specifically with Bikram Yoga. He said his back was really messed up and Bikram gave him a few more years in his NBA career. After I was wounded from my time in the military, I didn’t want to come back to class – but your studio made it possible.
What keeps you coming back?
I have learned so much about myself in Yoga. I have learned much physically but more than anything, my soul is much, much more healthy because of my time spent in the hot room. I used to feel embarrassed because I couldn’t do some of the postures because of my combat injuries. After a while I began to see that everyone has their own limitations. I could work in spite of those limitations and in doing so, I was able to establish a kind of healing that I didn’t believe possible.
Additionally, I have met some amazing people in the hot room who have touched my life deeply and for whom I am very grateful. Top of my list is Becka, the studio owner. One day I came into the studio despondent about the legal case I was in the middle of with Sgt. Bergdahl. I was absolutely grateful for her studio and for the work, time, and love she pours into it. It has saved me from myself on many occasions. She accepted an emotional hug from me that day and then we went in the hot room and she taught a great class. I walked back out into the world with a new frame of reference.
(Disclaimer : Jimmy made me put this last paragraph in here!!!
I did not want to be hunted down by him, lol!)
Keep at it. Be humble and kind to others, but with yourself most of all.
What would you tell a new student?
Don’t worry about others in the room judging you. We’ve all been there. Don’t worry about what you can’t do. Keep coming. It will hit you soon enough that you’ve found a secret helper in life. It’s the YOU you’ll find in that hot room.
I was a member of Naval Special Warfare and was wounded on a mission to attempt to rescue St. Bergdahl in 2009. I took an AK-47 bullet through my femur and had 18 surgeries to get it to where it is now. I spent more time in hospitals because of my mental issues than I did for the physical ones.
Bikram helps me with both. Immensely.