How did you first discover Bikram yoga? 

I have been doing Vinyasa for a few years when I accidentally tried Bikram Yoga. Unfortunately, it was not love on the first try and it took me quite awhile to appreciate the challenge of the practice and become a regular practitioner. It’s been 3 years now and I never looked back.  

What have you gained from your yoga practice?

I’ve learned that the practice make me calmer, stronger and happier, that life is too short to feel sick, depressed and disappointed and not do anything about it.  This practice empowered me to make some bold moves in my professional life and make some life changes.

What has been your greatest struggle or accomplishment?

In the last few years I have been dealing with lower back pain due to sciatica. There were times when I was in so much pain I wouldn’t want to get up from my bed. I was taking pain medication and was depressed. I strongly believe that this practice saved my back and in many ways, my life. The greatest struggle and accomplishment is the acknowledgment that the road to recovery is long and zigzagged. You manage to improve one part of the pose and then realize that the pose is still far from perfect and you still have to work on the same one.

Sladana gets nice and low in her Eagle pose.

Sladana gets nice and low in her Eagle pose.

What advice would you give to new students or those struggling with their practice?

At the beginning of my Bikram journey, I believed that the poses are the end result. And the 26 poses are important, but the end goal is the meditating aspect of the practice, finding the inner peace and balance. By focusing on my breathing during the practice I am able to get that state of relaxation and feel calm. It is still a struggle but when it happens, it is divine. Focus on breathing and the poses will improve.

Sladana practices her Camel pose.

Sladana practices her Camel pose.

What do you like to do outside of yoga?

I love to read books on humanity, progress and technology.