I first discovered Bikram Yoga in 2002. My sister and I took our first Bikram class together, and we still practice almost daily. We’ve always been best friends, and this yoga has added another layer of awesome to our relationship.

My yoga practice brings me so much joy and peace. I’ve been a professional chef for 15+ years and have owned two very busy restaurants in my career. Without this yoga, I would probably be one of those chefs who choose outlets for my stress in less healthy ways. This yoga has taught me so much about myself, including patience for myself and those I interact with, either at work or socially. It’s given me perspective on my life. I’m so grateful to have my practice!

Two years ago, I had a hip replacement. I’d been suffering for many years with intense hip pain, and although I didn’t let this get in the way of my chef life, it created limitations in my daily movement. With the hip replacement, I no longer have any pain – so incredible! I returned to my yoga practice within a few weeks of surgery. And although I still am a bit limited in my postures, it has been a great reminder that it’s never too late to practice. I hope one day to get back to touching my head to my knee in Standing Head to Knee pose and other postures I used to be able to do in their full expressions. For now, I am focusing on having patience and faith, and above all, enjoying my practice to the fullest every time I step onto the mat.

My advice for new students or those struggling with their practice is never to give up! Your practice is yours and no one else’s, so who cares if you can’t do a posture – enjoy what you CAN do, and work slowly and patiently with what you can’t. Enjoy breathing, 🙂 enjoy the journey, 🙂 and most of all: try! 🙂

When not practicing yoga, I enjoy working on my two business ventures: Blue Canary Sweets, an online chocolate bar shop at BlueCanarySweets.com, and my newest career as a licensed real estate agent. I also enjoy cooking at home with my daughter, traveling, reading, and visiting family.

heart-shaped chocolates made by Julia Anderson