How did you first discover Bikram yoga?

A friend suggested trying it back in 1999/2000 at a studio in Mountain View. I liked it but then had a teacher roughly adjust my knee in toe stand which caused some damage and I turned my back on Bikram. Then in 2004 I moved into the Westgate neighborhood and would drive by the old BYSJ studio all the time but it took me till 2013 to finally try it again. By that time the new studio was opened. I was completely broken and lost both physically and mentally, life was not good. I think I took it back up because I had this belief it would force me to find myself.

What have you gained from your yoga practice?

My life. But there’s so much that has been gained the list just goes on and on and will continue to go on. I first came in trying to hide in the back behind people not wanting to see myself at all and the postures/breathing were a train wreck. But I kept coming back and talking to teachers and slowly things change, you move forward, then backwards then forwards.

Where you’re at and what’s in focus will change, currently I’m locked into finding patience, but that will change and become something new.

The room/practice will continually expose things, nothing hides from the hot room.

Michael Krauss in Camel Pose

Michael shows his Camel Pose

What has been your greatest struggle or accomplishment?

In hindsight I’d have to say my greatest struggle has been and most likely always will be my brain/myself.  I limit myself and create more roadblocks, turbulence way more than anything else. But it took me a long time to see that and even longer to accept it. But you can’t beat yourself up, you have to love yourself and have patience with where you are, that took me even longer to learn.

My greatest accomplishment will sound silly but I slipped and fell in my garage a year or so back and really hurt my back. It was then that I saw the true healing potential of this practice. Up until then it had been more an inward journey, slight aches and pains but no serious injury.

I see that as an accomplishment because suddenly it opened up a whole new world of yoga. I suddenly saw the others in the room that were in pain, struggling, and my heart went out to them. I find huge strength in the room now because there is this awareness of how much others may or may not be struggling, no matter what it is, physical or mental. The fact that they are fighting through it just gives me hope, provides strength.

Michael Krauss showing his Awkward Pose

Michael shows his Awkward Pose – great form!

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

Patience – it’s a slow process. Do not think of it as a destination you’re trying to get to but rather a journey you want to be on, there is no finish line.

Talk – you are not alone no matter what the issue is you are having, other students, teachers, etc there is a wealth of knowledge in this community tap into that.

Move – don’t get stuck in a spot, move around the room – it’s ok to have a few spots you really like and to favor them but you will grow way more as a yogi if you move more around the room.

Listen – Try to hear what the teacher is saying, be open to it. If they call you out by name be open to trying what they are suggesting (you might not be able to, but be open to it).

Breath – it all starts with your breath

What do you like to do outside of yoga?

Dad, co-parenting, home owner, trail running, photography, work, hiking, backpacking.