How did you first discover Bikram yoga?

I moved to West San Jose in 2006 just before my wedding and was looking for a local yoga studio. I found Bikram Yoga San Jose online and did the trial offer. After the first class, I was disappointed in myself since I had zero flexibility, but I was impressed with the energy of the group and teacher. After class, I felt like I had received a full body massage; I was hooked! I practiced regularly for several years and loved the consistency, which allowed me to see my flexibility improve. I took a long break when my kids were born, and life got crazy. I was working full time, traveling internationally; my hubby went back to school, and there was no way I could carve out 1.5 hours for class. When I started lashing out at those around me, I knew something had to change. I restarted my practice when my youngest child was three. 

What have you gained from your yoga practice?

Patience, mental calmness, empathy, flexibility, strength, being a better wife and mother, and the list can go on and on! The tips from the teachers throughout the years helped me progress tremendously, both physically and emotionally. Their insight about yoga, dedication to my progress, words of wisdom, and funny jokes at 5:30 am are always appreciated! 

What has been your greatest struggle or accomplishment?

My greatest struggle has been adapting to the online classes. I was going 3-4 times per week before COVID. I loved the 5:30 am community, the heat in the mornings, the teachers, and then it all stopped. I couldn’t believe that I could do the class without the heat. After several failed attempts of trying it on my own and accepting COVID that would be around for a while, I finally started going to the online classes. How refreshing it was to see familiar faces and hear their voices! I was disappointed in all the muscle loss and inflexibility but kept remembering the phrase “to start from scratch once again.” I knew if I just kept going, I would get better. I also started to appreciate all the advantages of online classes (practicing with my dog, rolling out of bed five minutes before class, less exhausted after class, no line to use the shower, and a smaller class size with more teacher attention.) My biggest yoga accomplishment was maintaining a regular practice during the pandemic and regaining the strength to kick my leg out in Standing Head-to-knee pose for the first time!

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

Make the time to practice. Yes, it is a big time commitment, it is exhausting, it is repetitive, but your body, mind, and those that are important in your life will appreciate who you become. Listen to your teachers. They are authentic healers. They can see things via zoom or from the podium that we overlook. Millimeters, but they make a difference!

What do you like to do outside of yoga?

I am an engineer, still working long hours (but no travel!) I love spending quality time with my husband, kids, and dog; we hike, play at the beach, walk around our neighborhood, do puzzles, or play board games.