For over 10 years Robert Biernacki has been a loyal and dedicated practitioner at the Bikram Yoga Studio. As the owner and manager of Waterquest Landscaping, he regularly experiences the benefits that breathing and focus can have as he faces the challenges of running a small business. This is part of his yoga story…
So why am I so impressed with Bikram yoga?
When I started I was not able to do everything but, it was a beginner’s class — the idea is to do what you can. That was ten years ago. I’m still not able to do all the postures correctly, but rarely do many classes go by that I don’t improve one posture or another. That’s what I like about yoga, there is always the opportunity to improve. A bad yoga day is better than a no yoga day…
My first “ah-ha” moment with yoga came after about a year and a half of classes. Some friends wanted to go on a Sunday morning bike ride, about 50 miles. I won’t bore you with the details of the ride, but we did ride all the way up Tramway. And we did ride 47 miles that day. I had not ridden a bike in 3 years, but I kept up with everyone and got through the ride. I was a little concerned about being sore the next day, so I went to the 3PM class, just to stretch. What a great plan, I wasn’t even sore the next day, WOW! A 47-mile bike ride went off without a hitch and my only prep was yoga (which most people don’t think has a cardio aspect, haha).
Recently I spent two days skiing very aggressively with some friends. When I came back the question was: get a massage, or go to yoga? The massage sounded better but, being a creature of habit, there I was at the afternoon Bikram class. I expected to go and enjoy the heat and the stretching but as fate would have it, somewhere during the first breathing exercise I got energized…bam! I had a great class. Many times I’ve gone to class reluctantly thinking,
“OK, I’ll just go, enjoy the stretching and the heat (yes, the heat!), and relax.”
I get there, put my mat in my normal spot (front and center), and then just lay there and relax before class. I used to go to class early and stretch, now it seems I prefer to just go and have 10 minutes to clear my mind. When the teacher comes in I stand up, getting ready for the breathing exercise, and then begin. There’s something about the warm-up that gets you going; good warm-up, good class. So the realization is that even when I don’t think I have the energy to go to class, the secret is to just go. It will be good, or maybe even great.
So, I guess I love yoga. I go most days that I don’t have a conflict that I can’t control.