I found Bikram Yoga after suffering many injuries and trying various types of yoga and surgeries to alleviate them.

My list of injuries:

  1. A dislocated knee from playing soccer, resulting in patella realignment surgery and two large screws in my leg
  2. Two broken wrists from skateboarding 
  3. One shattered wrist from snowboarding, with reconstructive surgery and two more screws
  4. A dislocated shoulder from snowboarding, which occurred four times, resulting in surgery 
  5. The same shoulder dislocated from doing yoga (not Bikram) in a posture called Visvamitrasana, resulting in another surgery. 
  6. The worst one? A shattered leg from skateboarding (the same leg as the dislocated knee) resulted in 22 more screws and three metal plates.
  7. A cracked kneecap from snowboarding – the same leg again. 
  8. Back and neck injuries from snowboarding, resulting in chronic pain. 
  9. Severe elbow tendonitis from weightlifting
  10. Further damage to my lower back from an incorrect form in a different style of yoga (see below.) And finally, 
  11. Early onset of arthritis in my wrists from doing handstands and other inversions.
x-rays showing the extensive work Josh received

After the last significant injury, I decided enough was enough – I stopped doing extreme sports and instead focused on wellness, and thus yoga became a huge part of my life. I did two teacher trainings: one in Power Vinyasa and another in cYoga (the “other style” of yoga), an extreme style focused on exceedingly difficult peak poses. While doing the cYoga teacher training, I dislocated my shoulder again. I taught both styles for a couple of years.

Eventually, I found Bikram Yoga and instantly noticed a remarkable relief throughout my body. Within every joint, bone, and ligament began a sensational feeling of realignment that none of my other yoga practices had been able to provide – the healing power of this style has been truly miraculous. I used to limp down the stairs, and now I can run down them.

Josh in Half Locust pose
Josh in Scorpion pose

The doctor said I wouldn’t regain my normal range of motion after the skateboarding accident, but I have! I can do a toe stand and get my hips to the floor in Fixed Firm pose. What’s more, my back has healed too. I no longer have neck pain, nor elbow or wrist pain! Even my shoulder feels normal again, whereas before, despite the two surgeries, I felt like it would dislocate again – now I don’t even notice it.

My story ends here at BYSJ – no other studio I’ve practiced at comes close to the quality of the teaching and facility.

My advice to any new students would be this: start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can. Believe in yourself because you have the tools at your fingertips, right here at this studio, to heal your body and mind.

The power of this yoga lies in more than merely a physical practice. If you commit yourself to this magical yoga, you will find that your entire life outside the yoga room will improve. There is a magnificent butterfly effect that will enhance your life and the lives of those around you, and bring peacefulness to your state of mind.

Josh practices his toe stand
Josh Paradis shows his standing bow pulling pose
Josh Paradis at BYSJ