“Sweat it all out and leave it all on the mat.”
I always say that all of the divine things in my life have a way of finding me instead of me finding them. The BikramYogaWorks studio was no different.
I stumbled across this life-changing studio at a time in my life when my entire world was beginning to transition. During that time I graduated from Delaware State University (DSU) in May 2017. Then, in August 2017, I enrolled in graduate school at The Howard University, School of Social Work.
However, even with all of the recent accomplishments and celebrations that were taking place I still found myself feeling emotionally depressed and mentally drained.
I was struggling financially and did not have a consistent and a reliable income.
On top of that, my mother had been recently diagnosed with emphysema. Her health began declining to the point that she required supplemental oxygen in order to help her breathe. She also required the assistance of a wheelchair to help her get around whenever she was outside. She was able to walk on her own, but walking long distances caused her to experience extreme shortness of breath.
In addition to processing my mothers health, I was also involved in a relationship that was beginning to become unhealthy and toxic and was not good for my overall wellbeing.
My spirit was in need of healing- and fast!
I could feel myself slipping deeper into depression and losing the light that I was fighting so hard to keep. I remember sitting in my room and a random urge came over me to look up nearby yoga studios. At first I tried to ignore the urge, but as we all know when something is meant to be, it will always find its way into your life.
I eventually gave in and started to look up different nearby yoga studios on Google. Many studios popped up; however, for some reason, only one studio stuck out to my spirit and caught my attention. The studio was Bikram Yoga Works in Riverdale, MD.
I remember walking into the Bikram Yoga Works studio on September 30, 2017 not knowing what to expect, what the class would entail, how hot the class would actually be, and if I would be able to do the postures.
If one knows anything about bikram yoga, then they know that the room is heated between 105-110 degrees, the class is 90 minutes long in duration, and the class consists of 26 asanas (postures) and 2 breathing exercises. The class is far from easy, but at the same time it is one of the most rewarding spiritual experiences, ever!
I completed my first ever class with one of the instructors name Kerry. She was amazing! At the end of my first class I was drenched in sweat!! I felt as if all that I was bottling up was being released from me with each drop of sweat that came from my body; I felt so light! I remember feeling so amazing after class; it was as if I was floating on cloud 9. My mood was better and my energy was more divine; all of the fogginess in my mind was starting to clear away and I felt more attuned with myself.
It did not take long before bikram yoga became my next addiction and I found myself in the hot room at least 3-4 times a week. I was hooked and I had no intention of stopping anytime soon. As time went on I also experienced bikram classes taught by Jeris, Leah, Ambiya, Kendra (also the owner), Felicia, and Lashone.
Each instructor brought his or her own energy of healing to the class and into my life. All of the instructors were so knowledgeable, patient, caring, passionate, and just overall amazing! They are all true healers in their own unique way! They each guided me through a 90-minute journey of sweating out and releasing all that no longer served me- mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I am truly and eternally grateful to each and every one of them; they have brought so much love, peace, light, and healing into my life! Namaste to them all!
Sadly, the cost of the classes became too expensive to maintain and before I knew it, I had taken almost a year away from the place that brought so much positive energy into my life!
The funny thing about life is that we will continue to repeat the same exact lesson until the Universe feels that we have taken away all that we were supposed to learn from it.
Fast forward to October 2019. By this time I had graduated with my masters degree from The Howard University, School of Social Work and I obtained my license to officially practice in the social work field. I had also obtained my first official career job working with youth and families in foster care and working part time at a mental health agency as a therapist…
However, once again, even with all of the good things that were happening, I was still dealing with challenges and barriers that were taking its toll on my mental and emotional health.
My mother’s health was still declining. At this point she lost her ability to breathe without the supplemental oxygen and she required it 24/7. Her health overall had declined severely since 2017. In addition to being diagnosed with Emphysema she was also diagnosed with Dementia. My mother, who is also my grandmother, (I discuss how this came to be in another blog) is my entire world!
Yet, I was finding myself in a position where I had to process the idea that she may not be here forever and eventually I will have to navigate through a reality where she will be physically gone. However, spiritually, I know whenever that time comes (no rush) she will always be with me- guiding me and protecting me.
I was also in a space where I was still finding myself and still discovering things about myself. The toxic and unhealthy relationship that I was in for over two years had recently ended. I was in the process of cleansing myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically of that relationship. At this point in time I was the biggest I had ever been in my life! I weighed a total of 217 pounds!
I decided that enough was enough and I set my intention in my journal and I spoke into existence that I would embark on a lifelong journey of wellness and inner peace. It was then that I set my goal and intention to lose a total of 70 pounds, which would bring my weight from 217 pounds to 147 pounds.
When I originally started my wellness journey I noticed that my biggest barrier was being consistent. At that time I had the goal of going to the gym, working out more, and developing healthier eating habits. I started out doing really well and then eventually, I fell off.
However, I refused to give up on my goal because I knew in my heart and in my spirit that I deserve to live a lifestyle of wellness, light and happiness.
On October 16, 2019, someway and somehow (perhaps through divine intervention) I found myself back in the hot room after a hiatus of almost a year!
It was a random and a spur of the moment decision to return to the Bikram Yoga Works studio. However, it was a decision that I believed forever changed and saved my life!
I was welcomed back into the studio with the same loving and vibrant energy that I fell in love with back in 2017. The instructors pushed me and challenged me, through their classes, to let go and release all of that weight and mental/emotional baggage!
In addition to the 90-minute bikram yoga classes, I also decided to try the hot pilates and bikram blend classes!
I was challenged to push through high intensity workouts in the hot pilates classes. I was taking classes with instructors such as Dr. O and Tyecia. Both teachers are truly amazing and they pushed me beyond limits that I did not even know existed. I am truly grateful for them both! I found myself taking the workouts from class and doing them at home, on my own.
Then… there is bikram blend; my new addiction! Bikram blend is a mixture of bikram yoga and hot vinyasa. The class is 75 minutes in duration. The vinyasa flows and the push-ups that are incorporated in the class make it an amazing, cardio- filled workout. The bikram blend class allows me to feel free and like nothing and no one in the world can stop me, especially when doing the vinyasa sequences! I always leave class feeling so renewed, so powerful, and so healed! Kerry teaches this class and she brings such healing energy that you cannot help but to feel lighter and to feel brighter after class is over!
This class actually opened me up to a new dream and a new vision that has been heavy on my spirit lately, which is to become a yoga teacher and have my own hot yoga studio one day in North Carolina.
I decided to sign up and become a karmic yogi at the Riverdale, MD location of Bikram Yoga Works to assist with the cost of the classes. By doing so I am able to take unlimited classes for FREE in exchange for volunteering a few hours a week at the studio. FREE classes?!?! Lol, sign me up!!
Being a karmic yogi at the studio is the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for because not only does it allow me to be able to afford the classes, but it also keeps me consistent on my journey of lifelong wellness.
I returned to Bikram Yoga Works on October 16, 2019 weighing 217 pounds. However…
The intention that I set in 2019 manifested itself into my reality and I lost a total of 70 pounds! I did what most people said I could not do! I would tell people of my goal to lose 70 pounds and most of them would tell me not to do it and that I would look really, really skinny…well thank God I chose to follow my own voice and to not listen to their voice!
“I honestly and truly owe the success of my weight loss to Bikram Yoga Works!”
They are true miracle workers! Of course I did other things in addition to taking the classes that contributed to my success such as changing my diet, changing my routine and changing my mindset. However, the majority of my success is attributed to this amazing and this powerful studio that has been such a divine blessing in my life!
I will always remember when one of the fellow yogis of the studio noticed the progress I was making and he told me: “don’t ever stop… just when you think you are finished, keep going!”
Now, more than ever, I realize the true validity of his statement. I understand that even though I have accomplished my goal, the real work of maintaining the weight had just started. However, one thing I know for certain is that I will always have the Bikram Yoga Works studio in my corner as a system of support and a place to go to for healing and an amazing and restorative workout!
I must admit that it feels so good to finally be able to look into the mirror and love the reflection that I see looking back at me! 🙂
Bikram Yoga Works saved my life because it has been my anti-depressant and my anti-anxiety medication, it has been my healer, and most of all, it has it has been my place to retreat and unload the burdens of life onto the mat and to leave them there!
Thank you Bikram Yoga Works! God bless you all- truly and abundantly! Asé and Namaste 🙂
We love to share your stories. It’s so important and does so much service to you as well as to others. THANK YOU for sharing your journey with us on how a committed practice has and continues to improve your health and wellness! If you are a current member and interested in sharing your story, we would love to hear from you. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and until then …see you on the mat!
INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED
BikramYogaWorks studios are independently owned and operated and each location was conceived with YOU in mind. Our intention is to provide you with an exceptional experience from the moment you walk into our studios until you leave our doors. Our state-of-the art facilities offer a friendly environment and several amenities for your comfort and convenience, including plenty of parking, spacious locker rooms and ample showers and a networking zone to meet fellow yogis and like-minded individuals. We also offer a range of classes to meet your needs including Bikram Yoga, Blend Yoga, Hot Pilates, Hot Vinyasa, Hot Barre and more! Wellness services include Cryotherapy (full body and localized), PEMF Therapy (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field), and Fascia Stretch Therapy (FST).