I have known about Bikram Yoga San Jose for a while. In 2005 I went to visit Michele’s first yoga studio to inquire about the practice. Several years later, I checked out her second studio not once but twice. More years passed, and I found three friends who practiced at the studio. They encouraged me to give it a try. And finally, some years later, I got bitten by the empty nester bug. 🤒 Suddenly I had no schedule to keep. Weekdays and weekends were identical. With all of the courage I had, I took a big leap and attended my first class on Monday, February 8, 2016.😅

After practicing Bikram yoga for several years, I started having lower back pain. 😢 Soon after we moved to the current studio, I dropped my practice frequency from five times a week to three. ☹️ During the pandemic, I stopped practicing all together until a week before the studio reopened in October 2020. By then, I had forgotten how to practice; I was taking the first step again. I had to listen and follow word by word. I know this is what I am supposed to do every single practice, not just when I restart. As a result, I get into and out of the pose correctly, avoiding injury to my back. 👏🏻 When the studio closed after only a short but sweet two weeks, I kept up with a home practice.👍🏻

On March 25, 2021, I attended my first studio class. Having a long break from yoga let my lower back heal to some extent. Now I practice every day. 😊 Actually, I skipped a day 🤫 to help America rebuild the economy 💸 (shopping). In general, I think my poses have improved. 😆 Before, I couldn’t do Rabbit Pose at all; just a slight lifting of my hips caused tightness and pain in my lower back. Now, there is no lower back pain. I am finally learning how to do Rabbit for the first time.

I don’t have any advice to give, but here is the guide I follow daily:

  • The yoga room is hot. 🔥 Some days it feels hotter than others, but I am grateful I don’t have to wear a mask anymore.😷
  • Sit down (yay). Fall down (nay). I listen to my body. Some days I have more energy than others. 💪🏻 Even professional athletes have bad and good days.
  • Push myself (yay). Stress myself (nay). I try to relax during poses (Who said “relax, relax, relax” in class?). All poses need different body parts to be contracted, while the rest need to be relaxed. Recently, I have been trying to relax my face. No pose needs a tight face, plus who needs more wrinkles.😖
  • Focus on myself the whole time. Well, this one is always easy. Without glasses 😎, I can only see ME in the mirror.😘
  • There is no bad teacher (yay), only bad students. I hate to admit it, but everyone has a favorite teacher, including myself. However, I am proud to say that I have moved on to emphasize practicing at the time that fits my schedule.🕰

Every cloud ☁️ has a silver lining. I truly believe in that phrase. It wasn’t great when we were only allowed 12-24 students in a class. However, I made new friends during that time and got to know more about the friends I knew before. 🙏🏻 The lobby felt like a VIP lounge because only winners were allowed to get in. 🎉 Every time I heard a “choo-choo” 🚂 (the incoming text tone for BYSJ alerts) from my phone, I was so happy; I had won the lottery!🥳

Practicing Bikram yoga in the studio since March has kept me sane, humble, and grounded. I am blessed to be a part of the BYSJ family. I want to thank my teachers: Sarah, Kerry, Yi-ting, Mari, Matt, Jessica, Michele, Rewa, Kelly, Murshida, Jen, Cynthia, Jason, Claire, and Chris. 👏🏻 I also want to thank the BYSJ staff: Shirley, Jill, Aicha, Lori, Johanne, Tonni, and Michael. 👏🏻 And last but not least, a special thank you to the big boss Willie 🐶, you keep the studio safe. 👏🏻 Namaste.🙏🏻