My brother Brad brought me to my first Bikram Yoga class back in 2001. I had been running and working out with a trainer for quite a while. Brad said “Jill you need to come to yoga with me, the running and lifting is too much. You will love this yoga.” Like most people I was a little nervous about the heat. Now, it’s impossible to make it too hot for me. I immediately fell in love with how the yoga made me feel both physically and mentally..a real game changer.
My first Inferno Hot Pilates (IHP) class was in 2016. I had been looking for something (both for myself and for my clients) that would complement Bikram Yoga. I had specific requirements: 1) A practice that had a strong history and lineage 2) Demonstrated or documented health benefits and 3) Something to build strength more quickly, because strength is so important to a safe yoga practice and a healthy body. I remembered my Pilates practice from when I was practicing classical ballet and then right away Inferno Hot Pilates went on my radar…hot and pilates? A match made in heaven.
I attended Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in 2003 and Inferno Hot Pilates training in April 2016. At present, I am working toward my 500-hour Pilates Certification. I just love everything about teaching, and I have done it most of my adult life (yoga, pilates, kindergarteners, managers and leaders). I love seeing the “light” come on for others, seeing others become aware – really aware – of how amazing they are, seeing their strength, determination and compassion. This is what sustains me and inspires me to keep improving. And as my interests change, my teaching evolves. Later in life, when we start to get injuries or feel a little “older,” I became fascinated by how the human body works and how to keep it healthy longer and as we age.
I usually practice Bikram 5 to 6 times a week and IHP 1 or 2 times a week. There are so many mental and physical benefits to both practices for me. I manage my autoimmune disease (excess inflammation in the body) with my practice and clean eating. I am also much more calm and attentive when I practice on a regular basis.
The universal challenge for everyone is time. I am at the studio every day and still it can be challenging to take the time for myself. I have to keep reminding myself that I have more for others if I take the time for myself. These practices really sustain me and keep me energized and healthy. We have to make an investment in ourselves: the most important person in your life is YOU. Take care of yourself so you have more for others.
I like to tell my clients: “Start easy, go slow, be consistent. You have the rest of your life to practice.”