My name is Bernadette Fagan-Regan and I am 45 years of age. I am a former college basketball player with many injuries. I have had 6 knee surgeries, including 3 ACL repairs and I’ve had my hip resurfaced. After my hip surgery I became depressed about my physical state, fearing I would never really be able to work out like I wanted to. My repaired left hip was significantly better post-surgery but extremely tight, my knees ached going up and down stairs, my right hip was stiff after years of compensating and I had gained weight.
My sister in law invited me to attend a Bikram yoga class in June of 2013. I was very nervous but up for the challenge. I knew I had to do something different because the gym caused me nothing but frustration. After my first class I remember thinking, there is NO WAY I can do this. I could not bend my knees in Japanese style AT ALL, I could not balance on one leg while locking my knee, I could not bend backwards, I could not breath with my mouth closed for 90 minutes and I thought the room was insanely hot. I continued to attend classes whenever I could and the benefits started to be become apparent. I began feeling better all over top to bottom. My skin improved, my waist began shrinking , my stomach changed immediately, my spine felt better, my joint stiffness decreased, my knee pain is completely gone and I began sleeping like a baby. The medical benefits are simply immeasurable. I am confident that I will not sustain another joint replacement the rest of my life if I continue with this type of yoga.
My advice to anyone who is considering trying this is to just show up. The folks at the studio will embrace you with open arms, other yogis will guide you and encourage you. I often hear people say “others will look at me, the room is too hot, it is too long.” Trust me, no one is looking at you because we are just happy you showed up. Yes the room is hot but keep in mind the temperature allows you to prepare your body for all the medical benefits you deserve. YES, drink lots of water to prepare. YES, you can lay down and not do any poses until you adjust to the heat. It will take at least 5 classes before you adjust but you must keep attending and you will be amazed by the results. Eventually the time commitment will not be an issue because you finally realize I AM WORTH IT.
The studio here is a family. We enjoy sharing our journeys to healthy living so please just show up – “you are never too old, you are never too fat, never too poor to start killing yourself for 90 minutes instead of 90 years of physical misery!”