I am an ear, nose and throat physician
practicing in Sussex County. I am an Adult-Onset Diabetic. The phrase, “Physician, heal thyself” now has more significance than ever before.
I love to eat, and for the past ten years have had difficulty controlling my blood sugar. I have the misfortune of inheriting the diabetic gene from both parents. Despite watching my diet carefully, I was on three medications. I joined a gym, and used every piece of equipment and every service offered, including sessions with a personal trainer, all to no avail. So I began a regimen of walking the dogs every morning. This activity provided some benefit but the results were not long lasting. In a matter of just two days, a heavy patient schedule or inclement weather could derail any progress I might have made.
The goal for diabetics is to keep the Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) below 100. The best I could do was lower my FBS to the 110-120 range. At that time, my Hemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of long-term diabetes control, was over 7. The goal there is to keep it between 6 & 7, non-diabetics are below 6. At this point my doctor was telling me there was no doubt I was headed toward Insulin.
Enter my daughter Alexandra with an invitation (or maybe a dare!) to join her for a session of Bikram Yoga. It was just before the New Year of 2008, and I knew I had to do something. Alex had just started practicing Bikram Yoga, and was quite vocal about the benefits she felt. She said it was a terrific stress reliever,
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- noting that the sessions made her feel good and put her in a better mood. I had not done yoga previously and, frankly, I thought the prospect of doing yoga (or any activity) in a 110 degree room was just nuts.....!!
I vividly remember my first class. I thought having a heart attack would far outweigh diabetes as the cause of my demise. I thought my good friend, a cardiologist, would kill me for starting this without a stress test! Somehow though I survived and am now hooked! I take a minimum of three to four classes per week. My office staff has noticed such a change (yes, I am much easier “to deal with”) that they make every effort to ensure I get off early enough to get to class before the door locks!
Here’s the best news any diabetic could hear! After just one month of Bikram Yoga, I noted my FBS was below 100! After the first few months I began to notice that my FBS stayed relatively the same even though I might have missed several yoga sessions within the week. This caveat is as dramatic as it is important. However, I thought this might be a fluke so I began a daily monitoring throughout this past year. My doctor and I also noted a gradual decrease in my Hemoglobin A1C. Presently, my FBS runs between 89-90 and the latest A1C reading was 6! I still have to take my three pills but now I can enjoy a good meal with an occasional “cheat” without paying a price. My goal is to get off as many of the pills as I can although I know I won’t be able to get off of them completely.
Bikram Yoga has also evened out my moods made me an easier person to live with. I find I don’t let the small things get to me as much as they used to.
For those of you just starting out, persevere. The benefits are there for you. I have been prescribing it for my stressed out patients as well. The secret is to carve out the time from your too busy and hectic lives. If you do, the benefits and pleasures of ninety minutes of sweat and heat will be yours as well.
My yoga journey has just begun . . . see you in the studio! . . . [Warren G.]
Like many other males
(and you all know who you are), I used to chuckle at the idea of yoga being my main source of fitness. After spending my life playing soccer, baseball, running (including completing a marathon), and biking, I also chuckled when a friend of mine convinced me to try Bikram Yoga. I wish I had kept in touch with my friend because I can't thank her enough. I am a Bikram Yoga addict, and even search for Bikram studios when I am away on business trips in other cities. Bikram Yoga has totally transformed my body and mind! . . .
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- . . . I work in a very stressful job, but I find that things that used to upset me no longer do. People who work for me tell me how much more calm I have been over the last couple years. An instructor even told me that I look 10 years younger than when I started doing Bikram Yoga!
Last summer, I pinched my sciatic nerve resulting in intense pain in my left thigh. After resting my back/leg for 5 weeks (which in itself was a challenge), I was undecided whether to continue yoga or not. Well, like falling off a horse, I came right back to class after getting the thumbs up from my doctor. After a month of practicing Bikram regularly, I had no pain whatsoever, and I believe that Bikram Yoga has made the total difference in strengthening my back and leg.
So give it a try...try out one of the intro packages. It will be the best money you’ll ever spend! Make sure you try it more than once...come at least 3 times during that intro time. You WILL notice how awesome of a workout this is, and you WILL notice the difference in your body. It IS going to be hot... expect it, accept it, and just deal with it.
Hope to see you in class! I'll be the guy in the front of the room with sweat pouring out of me.
One last thing . . . remember to breathe . . . [ Jim J.]
I turned 72 last August
, and have been married for 49 years. I am the Mother of 3 and Grandmother of 5. I am now happily retired. I had 2 professions during my adult life, being a full-time Mom and a real estate agent for 18 years in the Morristown area. Two great professions!! Now, I love being retired, being a grandmother and traveling as much as possible.
My daughter introduced me to Yoga 6 years ago. I had never done any other yoga before. Once I started, I never stopped. I try to practice 3 times a week. All daughters and sons who are reading this should encourage your Moms and Dads to try it out. I have never done anything for myself that has been as beneficial to my health and body as Bikram Yoga. It is a challenge. It is not easy. But the benefits are amazing. It truly does make me feel years younger. I feel every day I do yoga, it is one more day added to my life . . .
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- . . . Bikram Yoga has helped me with my golf game (which is my #2 favorite thing to do), tennis, and biking. My husband and I have done many bicycling trips with Elderhostel in Europe and are looking forward to our next trip in September in Germany/Austria.
Bikram Yoga of Cedar Knows is like a home to me. It's a place that makes me feel very special . . . [Judy B.]
I signed up out of curiosity
for the most part, and since I had never tried any type of yoga I was clueless about what to expect. As a 41 year-old woman I went from having very active social lifestyle to becoming someone with no energy to do much of anything … basically I had become a couch potato.
My first class was a huge eye opener!! My biggest challenge was the hot temperature and inability to breath. I didn’t sweat, just got very hot and dizzy. I left feeling exhausted, but knowing I would come back again. I realized very quickly that Bikram Yoga was and is a winner! It’s a great cardiovascular workout, improves balance, strength, flexibility, and also provides immeasurable mental benefits.
After only three days of practicing, I decided to sign up for the 30-Day Challenge. The support that I received from everyone at the studio was more than I could have ever imagined Bikram Yoga has definitely changed my body and mind. I feel stronger physically and emotionally, and that amazes me every day! My very first class was almost four months ago, and I’ve already seen tremendous improvements in all areas of my life! The weight came off too … about 20 pounds of it! . . .
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- . . . I have a long way to go to perfect the postures, but I’m working on it slowly and steadily. I have a totally open mind and am ready to work hard. I attend class consistently, practicing at least four times a week. The possibility of me one day looking good wearing one of those fancy yoga outfits is extremely motivating!!
I don’t know what took me so long to try Bikram Yoga. Everyone whom I’ve ever met who practiced Bikram Yoga always raved about the benefits, especially my closest girlfriend Anette who practices in New York City. I’m grateful to her as well as all the BYCK teachers who are fantastic and have helped me improve my yoga practice through their guidance, support, encouragement and caring.
My advice to others is to not hesitate … just go for it and do it! Stop with the excuses why today is not a good day to start changing your life for the better. Once you start your practice, you will notice the benefits immediately. When I first began my practice, someone said to me “Aim for progress, don’t worry about perfection.” I pass on the same advice: be positive and always do the best your body will allow you … one day at a time. You will have good days and bad days, but don’t give up. You will be surrounded by this community that really cares for you . . . [Janina S.]
I love this yoga because it gives me time for myself with my busy schedule, (2 growing girls, husband, busy job in Information Technology) a great escape from the daily rat race. I don’t think about problems or my ‘to do’ list when I am in class. I focus on my body and my breath. I've noticed I fall asleep easier and wake up feeling fully rested and restored ready to take on the new day. It is physical therapy for the entire body. I am more focused, calm and I can get my work done in lesser time than I used to. I found flexibility and energy. I feel good from the inside out. I used to have backaches all the time and had frequent headaches, not anymore.
One thing I've learned is that when I try to practice the postures the right way, my body begins to change and improve after every class.
I aim to practice at least 6 days/week, and recently practiced 103 days in a row . . . This is just the beginning . . . [Vaishali A.]