Share, Inspire and get Inspired
Dolores - bikram student - Dolores says "No excuses and no pity parties"
Nine months into her practice and 100 classes behind
her, Dolores continues to inspire teachers and to students practicing along her. We caught up with her and asked her
to share some of her inspiration with us.
Yes this program is difficult but nothing worthwhile in life will come easily. And being in this program has only made my life easier. All it takes is time and effort.
I had been thinking about yoga a few years before. Previously I practiced cardio and muscle training at the gym until car accidents left me with injuries that couldn't heal. I was on a daily dose of muscle relaxants and anti-inflamatories. I had so much pain in my body that I could barely walk when I walked into Bikram. This however was not my only physical problem. Not many know this about me but I am a female carrier of a mutated gene that causes my arms and legs to be shorter than my torso. This is challenging for some of the postures. Everyone around me just thinks I'm short.
I'm also suffering from depression and low thyroid to the point that I felt suicidal. I was on heavy medications that didn't help very much. but had horrible side effects. But I have been able to cut back quite a bit on those. Focus is extremely difficult for me but Ruzica keeps me on track no matter what her class size.
So I was in pretty bad shape when I came to Bikram and I was overwhelmed for weeks. However , I made friends easily and got encouragement from everyone. I quickly realized that the only thing I had to do was keep trying and eventually I would be able to progress. And, Ruzica is an amazing instructor who won't let you give up. The key is to have lots of patience with yourself.
The time and effort is so worth it to me. In fact I was in a car accident just a few days before X-mas. It is the first car accident I have been where I did not have to go immediately to a chiropractor or massage therapist. I was not hurt, just went to yoga practise as usual.
Now that my thyroid is functioning better, my metabolism has improved, I've lost the unexplainable pounds and inches that haunted me for years.
So, I tell everyone that yoga is my life now, I can go on vacation and practice it too. No excuses and no pity parties. It is true gift of health that only we can give to ourselves.
Thank you Dolores for sharing something so personal with the rest of us and for helping us see our own hang ups.
EMILIO ZARRIS- bikram student
What do you love most about Bikram Yoga?
I love the discipline and the overall benefits to the health and wholeness I'm experiencing physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
What do you find the most challenging about the practise?
Breathing calmly in the postures. Patience with myself to improve on each posture.
You recently completed a 90 day challenge and are now continuing with doubling up classes. What is your inspiration?
The best of life, overall health and wellness, perfect self-expression, the instructors and practitioners... these are all my inspiration. I love seeing the focus, passion and determination in others and in myself. I want to see what is possible for me as I apply myself to the consistent practice of this discipline. I love being in it.
I'm inspired to get in the best shape I can; fit, toned, and ripped.
What are some of your accomplishments?
After 3 ½ months of consistent daily practice of Bikram Hot Yoga, I am stronger and more flexible physically. I can go further in all the postures (even if not all the way in some of them, i.e. left foot toe stand)... much better than when I first started. I have lost almost 20 lbs. I have more stable energy that lasts throughout the day/evening... definitely more stamina. I can see muscles developing. My body is getting more toned.
Off the mat, I fulfilled some life dreams in becoming a professional singer/entertainer. I was in the cast of Miss Saigon in its Toronto premiere back in the 90's. I've worked on the cruise ships of Carnival Cruiselines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a lead performer in their production shows. It was like getting paid to go on a vacation and doing what you love.
What is your favourite posture and your most challenging posture?
My favorite posture is "Savasana", because I can finally catch my breath and it's an opportunity to be present in stillness. Another favourite is the The most challenging posture for me is the Toe Stand, esp. on the left foot.
Any new resolutions?
I want to get into my optimal peak physical, emotional, mental and spiritual shape before I turn 50 in 3 years and maintain it for the rest of my life... which means being more conscious about my lifestyle choices and habits.
Meet our 30 Day Challenge participants Jacqueline & Ian,
Congratulations to all of you who participated in the 30 day challenge ! We celebrated February with sweat, dedication, groans, moans, radiance and renewed sense for life.
I was asked why I decided to do the 30-Day Challenge, my answer is because I can. As I look around , I see so many people younger than myself that groan and moan with every move, seniors that can hardly walk , that's not going to me.
To commit the time and energy every day, is a privilege not a burden; I get stronger in body and mind with every class I take.
Three years ago, I set my goal to run the Boston Marathon, joined a high output endurance club, hired a personal trainer at $85/hr. Yes, I lost weight, toned the body, started to run daily, but the knees just couldn't handle the pounding.
Now after doing Bikram Hot Yoga every day, with proper guidance, I feel my body has overall improved 90% plus,
I lost 19 lbs, my energy level is high, I sleep soundly every night. I'm less irritated at work and my stress level is very low.
During this challenge my personal goal daily was, to to do all 26 postures to the best of my ability, and as correctly as possible. This did not always happen, but with every class I completed a sense of personal satisfaction that I tried and succeeded to my own personal ability.
If everyone would do one class daily, your life would change for the better, take it from me it only gets better.
We get older every day, but we can stop falling apart.
I signed up for Bikram Yoga because I wanted balance in my life. When I heard about the 30 day Challenge I thought I can do this. I knew that yoga will give me more energy and balance, so I it did. At the age of 47 I wanted to be a lot more flexible in every movement, because in my line of work I have to do a lot lifting. Yoga helps to aline my posture so that I would not harm my body.
What kept me motivated and inspired was my family. Everyday they would ask me, are you going to yoga today and when I am leaving the studio my teacher would say, see you tomorrow, then I would have to show up the next day. When I put my mind to doing something I just do it.
I have lost 4p, I usually have a glass of wine to put me to sleep or calm me down, now I just fall asleep without it.
All of the 26 posture were very challenging especially the toe stand, I am almost there with the help of my teachers.
I also think that yoga should be taken once a day like a pill, it gives you a burst of energy and it is all natural for you.
It gives you flexibility and balance in your everyday living.
I am truly grateful that my body has allowed me to participate in the 30 day challenge. Yoga makes you mindful of what you think and do in your everyday life.
One love to Bikram Yoga and all my teachers
After 'seriously' practicing Bikram Yoga for over a year the opportunity to try the 30 day challenge arose: I signed up. I figured why not I'll do the best I can, if I miss a few classes at least I tried.
The toughest day was class 3. Middle of class I thought "okay I can't do this... I'm over it" but after class 4 I felt so energized and soon became addicted and completed all 30 classes. I found that having to go to class every day made it easier for me. Instead of sitting at work thinking "hm should I go to Bikram today... or should i just go tomorrow?'; I had no choice... and it was awesome!
If you're thinking of trying the challenge go for it. The teachers at Bikram Yoga Toronto East are amazing and so encouraging. They offered great tips and coaxed me to do a few double classes (another aspect of Bikram Yoga I thought would NEVER be possible for me)
I was also surprised that my flexibility has increased and I can finally touch my toes (this has never happened in my life). And most importantly I actually feel healthy for the first time in a really long time and comfortable with who I am.
I started my Bikram Yoga practice three months ago. I found that my first class was very challenging and somewhat intimidating. I was so proud of myself to get through it... I was also too proud to give up. Now after three months, practicing three days a week, most of the time, I find myself much stronger and I am actually enjoying the postures and really feeling the benefits. I love that the teachers explain why each posture is good for your body. I also love the variety of teachers, with their own unique way of teaching the class. It keeps it interesting and it is also very motivating because they all look fantastic. I have learned something new each class I have attended. I have also developed a healthier body image and confidence. When I first started practicing Bikram Yoga, I always wore a long shirt to keep covered up and now I actually wear a short top and feel amazing. It helps me to be more aware of my abdominal region and remember to tighten up for a more physical benefit. I also love the meditative environment the class brings. It is so lovely that the class respects each individuals peace and personal space. I really enjoy the readings during shivasina, they are very thought provoking and make me want to be a better person. Overall, I feel wonderful and am excited to see what my body is capable of with many more Bikram Yoga sessions!!
Thank you for putting the Bikram Yoga flyer in my mailbox... my life has changed for the better ever since:)
I completed 5 consecutive days of Bikram Yoga at this studio. I have practiced 2 years of different styles of Hot Yoga and have found Ruzica's instruction and attention to detail very inspiring. I enjoy being challenged and was certainly not dissapointed. The progressive nature of each posture builds a solid foundation for an exciting and satisfying experience. The mind and body benefits after 5 days was obvious to me.
Dr. Robert P. Beckford, B.Sc., D.C.
I have gone to Bikram 15 times. My 15 year old son said without prompting-that yoga is making you look younger mom!
I would like to say Bikram Yoga has gotten me in touch with every cell of my body. I know every inch of my body and every cell in my body has been awakened,washed with water and sweated that water out. No one has to convince me it is worthwhile I feel great already. (15
The 30 day challenge has made me more aware of the link between the mind and the body. Focusing my attention on the poses and espcially trying to maintain each pose also helps to develop self discipline. It is great for stress relief and nothing beats walking into a warm room on those freezing nights.
Bikram Yoga has enhanced my sense of Self. When I stay in the moment, I am more aware of my connection to a power greater than myself. My physical body follows the path of my inner being.
My daughter, Joanne, was the one who invited me to try a Bikram Yoga class about 18 months ago. Now, I currently do 2-3 classes a week regularly and sometimes even more! I have noticed some great changes to my body. My flexibility is slowly increasing, and my state of mind is much better. One of the biggest changes is my feet. Seven years ago I had foot surgery and have had a difficult time moving my toes. Now, due to a steady yoga practice, I am able to move my toes easier and my ankles are not as stiff as before. Also, I was scheduled to have a varicose vein removed but I no longer require the surgery as my vein is no longer protruding thanks to Bikram Yoga! I am a firm believer that Bikram Yoga works my body inside out and the benefits are phenomenal.
Yoga my passion
I had tried other forms of yoga in the past. At the encouragement of my friend Rani, I tried Bikram Yoga. It was painful, awful (too much heat) and I did not like it. But for some reason I kept making myself go and by the #11th or #12th class I was sold and signed for one year unlimited classes membership.
What I have learned personally in the past three months is that this practice is about staying present and focused, deeper sense of self, greater balance of mind, body and spirit.Bikram Yoga is saviour of my life. It has improved pain related ailments such as aches and pain in the joints, Baker’s cyst, Tennis elbow, Dry skin and many more. Once you get used to that heat and physical suffering, it is not difficult anymore.I am hooked, I really feel good when I go almost everyday. It is my passion now. It has given me so much confidence about my body, apart from imperfections, I love my body. I never wore shorts in my life and was very shy but not anymore.You will be amazed at the changes in your life. I loved the whole experience.
There are so many benefits Bikram Yoga brings to my life!
There is the focus aspect it brings to my life; I find am more focused and calmer in my business and personal life!
My sleep patterns are more regular.
Also, I have a varicose vein on one of my legs which used to give me a lot of pressure; I have noticed in the last year and a half that I have done Bikram Yoga, my vein no longer hurts and the vein appears to be stabilizing as opposed to worsening.
As a runner, my muscles are very tight and Bikram Yoga is the perfect balance to my workout regime.
Ruzica, you are a are wonderful addition to the West Rouge Community. For years, I hoped someone would bring a holistic business to our community and you have surpassed my expectations! Thank you!
SWEATING MY DEMMONS
Here I am once again, breathing deeply
Taking my elbows up, chin down
Hope this class will calm me down
The thirty-day challenge will be enough?
To sweat my demons and love my gut?
I think I’m adding 30 days more
Just to make sure I will stretch my life more
Ruzika told me: “Wear those Bikram short pants”
I pay attention, and show myself off
What a revelation that was
When I saw my body in the mirror, and made
Peace with it All
Now Sunday Meditation is added to the task
Can we all get Silent, and get those demons
May all be grateful for showing UP, and
Make doubles when we skip one class
More and more I feel correcting my beautiful spine
I think that means, I am ready to SHINE
Sweat my own worries, doubts and fears
Believe in the process, and become the great ME
That is the MANTRA that will get rid, off all those
Black demons that live in this body,
I LOVE INDEED
Over the past seven years, I have been blessed with five pregnancies, and I was fortunate to bring three beautiful little girls into our world. Unfortunately, my childbearing experience ended on a painful note last summer with two miscarriages. I have spent a lot of time trying to find the lesson in those moments, as I truly believe that nothing happens by accident. I became very focused on making my body strong again, as I believed my mind would follow. After trying intense exercise programs, I realized my body could not become powerful if my mind did not lead the way. I also realized I was trying to punish my body 'back into shape' - it was then that I decided to find a way to make amends with my physical self by letting go of the anger and sadness that I carried with me.
When I started Bikram in January, I was simply looking for a new form of exercise that could help with some minor backpain and overall toning. While I have always felt relaxed in other yoga classes, I was never able to carry that calmness into other areas of my life. I did not believe that yoga could have an impact outside of the actual class. Bikram has changed that. I already feel an unexpected sense of peace and balance. I was also suprised how ninety minutes of staring at my body could have such a positive effect on my self-image. Bikram has shown me that I cannot achieve my physical goals unless my mind is focused and clear. I have learned to love myself, forgive myself, and I look forward to seeing what my mind and body can do as one.
Thank you Ruzica, for the gentle encouragement and welcoming words. I've only just begun!
Since the challenges of the first 30 day memories had faded
When the second came close I became quite elated
I’m made it through the first one quite pleased
The second one should just be a breeze!
Not having practiced from the first one to the second
I soon found out that my body was not contented
Having started day one by doing a double
I thought to myself…I might be in trouble!
However, as things have a way of working out
It became a bit easier and without a doubt
I found myself once again craving the heat
And to bend and to balance without claiming defeat.
And now I’m approaching the inevitable end
My concentration and determination in full form again
I’ve succeeded and reached the end of my mission
So Ruzica, what’s this about a competition?