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Examining the Impacts of Regular Bikram Yoga Practice on Health, Stress and Anxiety Essay

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EXAMINING THE IMPACTS OF REGULAR BIKRAM YOGA PRACTICE ON HEALTH, STRESS AND ANXIETY By DiAnne Garza Email: dianne. [email protected] com Final Version Submitted to Dr. Luz Romay in partial fulfillment of the requirements for class Organizational Research and Assessment, ORGD 6330 December 7, 2011 Executive Summary Bikram yoga was developed thirty years ago by Bikram Choudhury, a renowned Hatha Yoga Master. It is a specific yoga practice that is carried out in 105? F at 40% humidity for 90 minutes.

Some studies and practitioners have suggested that Bikram yoga practice has positive impacts on physical health as well as decreasing stress and anxiety. There were certain inclusion criteria for participation in this study. Age was not an exclusion and participants ranged in age from 18 to over 60 years of age. This study sought to interview active students of Bikram yoga who have been practicing consistently for at least the last eight weeks, at a minimum of three times per week.

Students meeting the requirements at the Bikram yoga studios in San Antonio were invited to complete the survey instrument from November 16 through November 26, 2011. Seventy-five students responded to the survey. The results indicated that there are significant positive results from regularly practicing Bikram yoga. Since Bikram yoga encourages students to hold poses in a “hot” room it increases heart rate and acts as a cardiovascular exercise without the high impact normally associated with cardio exercises.

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The results of the survey instrument yielded over 50% of respondents reporting an answer of “somewhat better” for all of the questions, indicating that most respondents see a benefit in their practice. Additionally, stress and anxiety decreased with over 80% of respondents reporting somewhat to much less anxious and stressed. Improvements to physical fitness were observed with over 90% reporting improved physical fitness and improvement to flexibility and balance. There was a decrease in weight with 51% reporting a weight loss and 49% reporting that they ate somewhat less.

Therefore, Bikram yoga should be considered by the medical community as the first option for improving physical fitness including overall strength, balance, flexibility and decreasing weight. Introduction to the study Background of the Problem The main topic of this research was to determine the effect, if any, of Bikram Yoga on perceived stress and its impact on physical fitness. Bikram Choudhury developed this yoga thirty years. Choudhury was born in Calcutta and he began studying yoga at the age of four.

By the time he was 14 he had won the National India Yoga Contest and there he remained undefeated for the next three years (Choudhury, 2007). Choudhury went on to weight lifting and eventually set a world record for weight lifting in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. As he continued his weight lifting practice he experienced a serious knee injury and was told by doctors he would never walk again. This led Choudhury back to his original yoga teacher to once again pursue yoga. Through regular practice he became completely healed and established what is now known as Bikram yoga.

Although an exact number of Bikram yoga studio locations could not be identified, studios can be found in Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Spain, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Italy, Austria, France, and Germany as well as all over the United States including Texas with three studios in San Antonio (“Studio Map View”, 2011). The main purpose of this study was to assess the post perceived stress levels of Bikram yoga students who have been regularly attending for at least eight weeks and at least three times per week.

The study also intended to asses the impacts of practice on physical fitness level and general health of these students after regular practice. The topic of this research was to determine if Bikram yoga helps one manage anxiety and stress better and if it actually decreased perceived stress after a session. The Problem People experience stress from various aspects in their lives, at different levels and intensities. This stress contributes to feelings of anxiety as well as overall physical wellbeing.

Additionally, many people have injuries, weakened muscles, experiences of shortness of breath during high cardiovascular activities, and many other ailments that prevent them from doing regular exercise. There is a form of yoga called Bikram Yoga that does not require high cardiovascular activity, yet it produces the same effects as if it did. The problem statement was: Does a regular practice of Bikram Yoga decrease stress and anxiety for people with uncomfortable levels of stress and anxiety as well as improve physical fitness? Purpose

The purpose of this research was to examine how people who practice Bikram yoga perceive its impact on decreasing their level of stress and increase physical fitness. It helped determine if regular practice of a 90 minute Bikram yoga session at least three times per week experienced in 105? F temperature with 40% humidity was beneficial or detrimental to the body. Initial Research Questions This initial plan included three research questions that represented the main objectives of the study. The three questions were: 1. What changes can one expect to see in their body as a result of regular and consistent Bikram yoga practice? . Does regular Bikram yoga practice significantly decrease weight? 3. How has perceived stress level been impacted or changed by regular and consistent Bikram yoga practice? Organizational Access The organization that was used for the study was Bikram Yoga – San Antonio. There are three studios in San Antonio of which the researcher had access to. At the end of each class email addresses were collected for those interested in participating in the survey and that met the requirements. Students received the study via email from SurveyMonkey. com.

Schedule of the Process The high level timeline was: • November 13, 2011Completion of survey • November 16 – 23, 2011Distribution of survey • November 27, 2011Analysis of survey Assumptions There were two main assumptions in the study. First that the Bikram yoga studios in San Antonio would continue classes and the room would remain at 105? F and at 40% humidity. It was also assumed that participants responding to the survey were honest in meeting the requirements. Limitation The scope of the study was limited to students practicing in the San Antonio locations.

Additionally, the medical condition and fitness level of those students participating in the study could not be determined in this study. Definitions Asana Defined as a physical posture. A yoga session is composed of various standing, seated, and lying asanas; Bikram yoga is a series of 26 asanas. Bikram Yoga A specific series of yoga asanas assembled by Bikram Choudhury (2007). A Bikram session is comprised of a series of 26 postures including two breathing exercise, requiring 90 minutes to complete, and takes place in a temperature-controlled room (approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit, 40% humidity).

Perceived Stress The degree to which situations in one’s life are appraised as stressful. Psychological stress has been defined as the extent to which persons perceive (appraise) that their demands exceed their ability to cope. Physical Fitness The participants’ level of general fitness (a state of health and well-being), and specific fitness (a task-oriented definition based on the ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations). Sanskrit The classical language of India and Hinduism. Yoga Literally means ‘to yoke’, to join mind and body.

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that couples physical postures with conscious attention to breathing, and meditative practice. Review of the preliminary research To understand what was already known about the impacts of Bikram yoga on physical health a literature review was conducted on three current journal articles. The first article was entitled Yoga Effects on Stress and Health and was written by Dr. Tiffany Fields in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Dr. Fields conducted a research effort on the effects of yoga poses on a human being with regard to many factors.

Many existing empirically-based research efforts and studies were utilized to reach the conclusions in this research effort. Psychological conditions were examined including anxiety and depression, cardiovascular fitness and physiological levels. This included the effects on heart rate, blood pressure, weight loss and muscle strength. Dr. Fields cited several studies that yielded an enhanced mindfulness and a reduction in job stress. People who attended only two weekly 90 minute yoga sessions experienced a noted decrease in stress, anxiety, fatigue, depression, head and back pain with an increase in well-being.

The effects of the yoga were found to be immediate, following only one session. At the end of one year of yoga cholesterol was reduced by 23% compared to 4% for those in standard treatment. A decrease in anginal episodes was observed in addition to decreased body weight. Surgeries were less frequently required in the group who practiced yoga. In each and every condition yoga was found to be of some benefit in varying degrees, but always noticeable. The physical effects were also reviewed which consisted of weight loss, balance and flexibility and leg strength.

This study suggested that regular yoga practice can have amazing impacts on the human body and can also be considered a part of a prescription plan for various ailments. Regular yoga practice can help alleviate various forms of pain and symptoms of disease as well as feeling ill at ease. A Review of Yoga Programs for Four Leading Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases was the second article reviewed written by K. Yang found in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This research effort focused on four major risk factors in the human body that most contribute to chronic diseases and yoga’s impact on affecting those risk factors.

Since there are four common medical conditions that lead to chronic disease in the United States the study sought to identify if yoga would help mitigate those conditions. The four risk factors noted are weight, blood glucose level, blood pressure and cholesterol level. The research included a review of thirty-two articles published between 1980 and April 2007 that were related to yoga and the four risk factors. The practice of yoga yielded an overall improvement in every one of the four risk factors. The improvement increased over time; as the yoga practice continued on a consistent basis the risk factors would measurably decrease.

Of all of the articles and studies reviewed by Yang they all show that, “yoga has beneficial effects on body weight, BP, blood glucose level and cholesterol level. ” (2007, pg. 489). Yang proposed that because of these benefits yoga intervention programs should be developed as a means to combat the four factors contributing to disease in the United States. Incorporating yoga into one’s lifestyle and as a part of a medical prescription plan can help one live a healthier life for a longer period of time. The treatment of chronic disease should take the benefits of yoga practice into consideration.

The final article reviewed was An Examination of the Effectiveness of an 8-week Bikram Yoga Program on Mindfulness, Perceived Stress, and Physical Fitness conducted by Zoe Louise Hewett at Boise State University in 2010. Ms. Hewett set out to monitor participants in an eight week Bikram yoga practice to understand the impact of the practice on mindfulness, perceived stress and physical fitness. The participant’s consisted of fifty one men and women between the ages of 20-54 years. The students had to attend three Bikram yoga sessions per week, however they were encouraged to attend five.

The results were measured two weeks into the study and again within one week of completion of the program. In the three areas of focus, that is mindfulness, perceived stress and physical fitness, all were improved by regular Bikram yoga attendance. This study revealed that Bikram yoga can improve one’s body in as little as eight weeks with a regular practice of only three times per week. Bikram yoga has been proven to positively affect psychological and physical health. Furthermore, regular Bikram yoga practice can measurably improve one’s physical fitness in the matter of eight weeks with an attendance of three times per week.

Method of research The participants were from the Bikram yoga – San Antonio locations. To collect the data email addresses were collected from students after each class to disseminate the instrument via SurveyMonkey. com and the survey was also posted on the Facebook page of the Bikram Yoga – San Antonio studio. Within one day there were over 60 respondents so the response rate was more than double what was hoped for. Once 75 respondents completed the survey it was closed. The data captured on SurveyMonkey. com with regard to Bikram yoga was transcribed into Microsoft Office Excel version 2003.

This application was used to capture all of the survey questions with their respective responses and optional comments as they were entered by the respondents. Furthermore, Microsoft Office Word version 2003 was utilized to analyze the open-ended response to the last question on the survey. This allowed an easy way to highlight key words in each open ended response and classify them into various categories. Survey results The total number of responses was 75 total, 60 female (80%) and 15 male (20%). The age group of respondents ranged from 20 & under to 60 and above.

The respondents have been practicing Bikram yoga for varying time frames. |1. Gender |  |Percent |Count | |  |Female |80 |60 | |  |Male |20 |15 | |  |  | 100 |75 | |2.

Age Group |  |  |  | |  |20 & under |2. 7 |2 | |  |21 – 29 |22. 7 |17 | |  |30 – 40 |45. |34 | |  |41 – 50 |18. 7 |14 | |  |51 – 60 |6. 7 |5 | |  |60 & above |4 |3 | |  |  |100. 1 |75 | |3.

Number of months/years practicing  | |  |1 – 3 months |16 |12 | |  |4 – 9 months |12 |9 | |  |9 – 12 months |12 |9 | |  |1 – 3 years |30. |23 | |  |3 – 5 years |13. 3 |10 | |  |Greater than 5 years |16 |12 | |  | |100 |75 | Figure 1 – Gender, Age & Length of Time Practicing Fifty percent or more respondents reported an answer of “somewhat better” for all of the questions, indicating that most respondents see a benefit in their practice. 4. Has your stress level changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? | |  |Much less stressed |58. 7 |44 | |  |Somewhat less stressed |34. 7 |26 | |  |  |93. |70 | |  |  |  |  | |5. Has your anxiety level changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? | |  |Much less instances of anxiety |49. 30% |37 | |  |Somewhat less instances of anxiety |33. 0% |25 | |  |  |82. 60% |62 | |  |  |  |  | |6. Has your physical fitness changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? | |  |Somewhat more physically fit |45. 0% |34 | |  |Much more physically fit |46. 70% |35 | |  |  |92. 00% |69 | |  |  |  |  | |7.

Has your flexibility and balance changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? | |  | |Much better |Somewhat better | |  |Flexibility |66. 7% (50) |29. 3% (22) | |  |Balance |50. 7% (38) |40. % (30) | |  |  |  |  | |  |  |  |  | |8. Has your weight changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? | |  |Weight is not more or less since starting |28. 0% |21 | | |Bikram yoga | | | |  |Weight has somewhat decreased |50. 70% |38 | |  |  |78. 70% |59 | |  |  |  |  | |9.

Have your eating habits changed as a result of practicing |  |  |  | |Bikram yoga? | | | | |  |Eating habits have not changed at all |32. 00% |24 | |  |Eat somewhat less |49. 30% |37 | |  |  |81. 0% |61 | Figure 2 – Improvement Indicators The first theme noted was stress and anxiety decreased with over 80% of respondents reporting somewhat to much less anxious and stressed. [pic] Figure 3 – Stress & Anxiety Level Improvements The second theme noted was an improvement to physical fitness with over 90% reporting improved physical fitness and improvement to flexibility and balance. [pic]Figure 4 – Physical Fitness Improvements The third theme was a decrease in weight with 51% reporting a weight loss and 49% reporting that they ate somewhat less. [pic]

Figure 5 – Weight Loss & Eating Improvements The final theme is an overall feeling of improvement as indicated by responses to the last open-ended question. Participants reported a deep sense of physical and mental calmness after yoga sessions and feeling less stressed overall. A deeper understanding of oneself and awareness of strengths along with feelings of happiness was also reported. The last question in the survey was, “What is the best or worst thing that has happened to you as a result of your Bikram Yoga practice? ” All seventy-five responses were copied into Word.

The responses were analyzed for general tone and themes as recommended by Church & Waclawski (p. 198). The first category, “healthier” is related to responses indicating a general healthier body while “major health benefit” is strictly related to responses indicated a major medical improvement. These open ended responses include cures of insomnia, elimination of back pain, spine pain relief that surgery did not cure, complete healing of injuries, sciatica healing, neck pain removal that a chiropractor could never heal and others that were beyond the simple idea of being healthier. Please refer to the Appendix for a list of all open ended responses). The break down of responses was as follows: [pic] Figure 6 – Open Ended Responses by Category Conclusions and recommendations Results from the literature review and survey responses suggest that using yoga as a solution for medical issues, weight loss and overall feelings of well being and as a medical intervention is worthy of further research. Based on the results presented from the survey the following is a summary of the conclusions reached: 1. Practicing Bikram yoga yields many medical benefits that provide visible improvements. 2.

Literature reviews combined with the survey indicate that practicing Bikram yoga can reverse negative medical diagnosis in many areas including physical, mental and alleviate serious conditions such as heart disease risk factors. 3. Bikram yoga can be a non-invasive holistic approach to curing dis-ease. Based on the above, a series of recommendations are offered: 1. A psychological context of the impacts of practicing Bikram yoga should be conducted. Investigate any parallels of slower, regulated breathing combined with increased mindfulness and a gentle physical exercise and focus with a more consistent relaxed state of mind. 2.

Conduct a study to see if values change after a year of Bikram practice. Shifts in values may lead to a more relaxed and accepting state of mind. 3. Develop a series of intervention programs using Bikram yoga for specific problems or symptoms. Plan of Action Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years to improve physical and emotional well-being. Empirical research on yoga has been going on for quite some time as revealed by the literature reviews. The literature reviews and the survey results point to yoga being a benefit on many levels to include physiological and physical. Due to these results the plan of action is: 1. To develop a prescription plan for the San Antonio medical community that includes Bikram yoga practice. Development of protocols should be conducted with medical doctors and practitioners along with Bikram yoga studio owners and advanced practitioners of Bikram yoga. 2. ) Conduct a pilot on a select number of candidates identified from the medical community and execute the prescription plan. Conduct analysis on the pilot to validate prescription plan’s effectiveness. 3. ) Develop various protocols based on results from the pilot for analysis and prescriptions should be developed for those symptoms related to balance and lexibility, stress and anxiety, depression as well as the need for weight loss. The results of this study have practical implications worthy of further research. This study has implications that the benefits of using Bikram yoga as a mind and body based exercise program are evident, and future research is essential for a more in depth medical understanding and appreciation for this form of yoga. References Bikram Yoga and Bikram’s amazing story. (n. d. ). http://www. bikram-yoga-noosa-australia. com/WhatisBikramsBeginnerYoga. htm. Retrieved October 28, 2011, from http://www. bikram-yoga-noosa-australia. om/WhatisBikramsBeginnerYoga. htm Choudhury, B. (2007). Bikram Yoga. New York, NY: Harper Collins. Church, Allan H. , ; Waclawski, Janine. (1998). Designing and Using Organizational Surveys: A Seven-Step Process. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Studio Map View. (n. d. ). Bikram’s Yoga College of India. Retrieved October 29, 2011. Dale, Kathleen. , & Fox, Marilyn L. , (2008). Leadership Style and Organizational Commitment: Mediating Effect of Role Stress. Journal of Management Issues. (pp. 1-18). Retrieved January 29, 2009 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_hb6703/is_1_20/ai_n29422403 Field, T. 2011). Yoga clinical research review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 17(1), 8. doi:10. 1016/j. ctcp. 2010. 09. 007 Retrieved from http://www. ctcpjournal. com/article/S1744-3881(10)00079-4/fulltext Fiorito, Jack. Bozeman, Dennis P. , Young, Angela. & Meurs, James A. , (2007). Organizational Commitment, Human Resource Practices, and Organizational Characteristics. Journal of Managerial Issues. (pp. 1-14). Retrieved January 29, 2009 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_hb6703/is_2_19/ai_n29358398/pg_1? tag=content;col1 Hewett, Zoe Louise, “An Examination of the Effectiveness of an 8-week

Bikram Yoga Program on Mindfulness, Perceived Stress, and Physical Fitness” (2010). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. Paper 112. http://scholarworks. boisestate. edu/td/112 Park, Yang-Kyu, Lee, Chul-In, Kabist, Rudiger. (2008, July 1). “Human Needs as Predictors for Organizational Commitment and Job Involvement. ” Management Review. (pp. 1-18) Retrieved January 29, 2009 from http://www. allbusiness. com/labor-employment/worker-categories-women-workers/11729925-1. html Yang, K. (2007). A Review of Yoga Programs for Four Leading Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases.

Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4(4), 4. doi:10. 1093/ecam/nem154 Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC2176145/ Appendix A Survey Questions & Response Options 1. Select your gender. 2. Select your age group. 3. Select number of months/years practicing. 4. Has your stress level changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? 5. Has your anxiety level changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? 6. Has your physical fitness changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? 7. Has your flexibility and balance changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? . Has your weight changed since you have been practicing Bikram yoga? 9. Have your eating habits changed as a result of practicing Bikram yoga? 10. What is the best or worst thing that has happened to you as a result of your Bikram Yoga practice? Response Options Gender options: Female and Male Age group options: 1. 20 & under 2. 21 – 29 3. 30 – 40 4. 41 – 50 5. 51 – 60 6. 60 & above Number of months/years practicing options: 1. 1 – 3 months 2. 4 – 9 months 3. 9 – 12 months 4. 1 – 3 years 5. 3 – 5 years 6. Greater than 5 years Stress level changes since practicing Bikram yoga: 1.

Much less stressed 2. Somewhat less stressed 3. Neither more or less stressed 4. Somewhat more stressed 5. Much more stressed Changes to anxiety level since practicing Bikram yoga options: 1. Much less instances of anxiety 2. Somewhat less instances of anxiety 3. Neither more or less instances of anxiety 4. Somewhat more instances of anxiety 5. Much more instances of anxiety Changes to physical fitness since practicing Bikram yoga options: 1. Much less physically fit 2. Somewhat less physically fit 3. Neither more or less physically fit 4. Somewhat more physically fit 5. Much more physically fit

Changes to flexibility and balance since practicing Bikram yoga options: The following are options across rows: 1. Flexibility 2. Balance The following are options across columns: 1. Much better 2. Somewhat better 3. Neither better nor worse 4. Somewhat worse 5. Much more worse Changes to weight since practicing Bikram yoga options: 1. Weight has significantly increased 2. Weight has somewhat increased 3. Weight is not more or less since starting Bikram yoga 4. Weight has somewhat decreased 5. Weight has significantly decreased Changes to eating habits as a result of practicing Bikram yoga options: . Eat much more 2. Eat somewhat more 3. Eating habits have not changed at all 4. Eat somewhat less 5. Eat much less The final question, “What is the best or worst thing that has happened to you as a result of your Bikram Yoga practice? ” has an open ended form box for a response. Additionally, questions five through nine have an optional 50 character form field for a comment. Responder may only select one in each question. All questions have required responses. Appendix B The Bikram Yoga Sequence & Asana Names [pic] Figure 7 – The Bikram Yoga Sequence Appendix C Photos [pic]

Figure 8 – Bikram Choudhury, born on February 10, 1946 Students are in Pose 13: Savasana [pic] Figure 9 – Pose 16: Bhujangasana [pic] Figure 10 – Pose 17: Salabhasana Appendix D Screen shot of Facebook invite for the survey [pic] Appendix E Open-ended responses |10. What is the best or worst thing that has happened to you as a result of your Bikram Yoga practice? | |Category |Response | |Healthier |Worst thing is when I miss a class or am unable to attend for some other reasons/obligations. | |Best thing Well, to be completely honest, Bikram has been the abolute best thing that could’ve | | |ever happened to me. I was going down a really bad path, and i have to say i feel that Bikram | | |has truly saved me life. Of course, I have to thank my God for that. But anyway, I hope this | | |helps. Best of luck! | |Healthier |New experience in total body workout, see that there is something better than traditional gym | | |rat, sweat like never before… ll good stuff. | |Mental improvement |Getting out there and trying something new and loving it! It has given me the confidence to try | | |new experiences | |Mental improvement |I learned about how my body responds to stress. I am a medical student and on the weeks where we| | |have testing blocks I found that I am generally unhealthy (lack of sleep, eat little and make | | |poor choices with food, and I allow stress and fear to be main motivators).

These are all things| | |I learned about myself through my yoga. My ability to focus and balance declines and I am | | |overall an unhappy person. Life will always bring time of intense stress; however, our bodies | | |deserve our best regardless of the situation. Bikram opened my eyes to this stress habit and I | | |am beginning to make healthier choices during moments of heavy stress. | |Mental improvement |Best thing is that I have a new passion in my life.

I cannot imagine my life without my | | |practice. | |Happier |Happiness and Peace | |Weight loss |Although I have always been taught the importance of water, I have never embraced and felt the | | |need for it as much as I have since practicing Bikram. I think that is a reason for some | | |weightloss, of course in addition to the torture chamber! | |Healthier |Feeling great overall! |Major health benefit |Hope, that my life was not over because of debilitating pain in spine due to degenerative disk | | |disease, that is now mostly gone. Hope that even after cervical spine surgery, I can stay fit | | |and and continue to practice and improve my practice as long as I live. Joy, appreciation for | | |life and health every day with a consistent practice. | |Mental improvement |Improved attitude. | |Happier |Realize what is really important in life. |Healthier |Fewer injuries running. Toned body. More patient. Realization that pain is temporary and makes | | |me stronger. I can do anything for one minute. | |Healthier |Bikram has become a practice I look forward to all day. I know I can leave my stress at the door| | |and will feel amazing when I leave. Bikram has given me much more energy and is forcing me to | | |hydrate my body. Loving this new way of life. | |Mental improvement |I notice that I am more disciplined. |Major health benefit |I suffer from migraine headaches 3-4 times a week. So long as I practice Bikram Yoga at least 3 | | |times a week I am completely headache free. It helps lower my stress and let my mind release the| | |tension of work. | |Major health benefit |I have been able to successfully get off of both anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. I| | |was on a slew of medication for about 4 years due to severe panic attacks and depression. |Weight loss |Besides the weight loss, it would have to be that I do focus more on my breath and focusing on | | |how my body reacts to different situations. | |Happier |I feel so much better and energized after a session and I just have this glow that makes me so | | |much happier after a class! | |Healthier |The best thing is being able to focus on myself for 90 minutes and to push myself to new limits. | | |And, the teachers and students are exceptional.

I have learned to love the heat too! | |Major health benefit |it has healed my neck better than any chiropractor has been able | |Happier |Best thing is the way I treat my students thanks to Yoga… they deserve that…. :). | |Happier |Better peace of mind. Good Too much time away from family. Worst | |Mental improvement |I feel amazing in the hot room, which has increased my confidence outside the room.

The worst | | |thing- I have developed an addiction 🙂 | |Major health benefit |My back is stronger overall, but I seem to frequently be working through some ache, pain, or | | |injury. Could just be my age…. | |Healthier |Has vastly improved my life. | |Major health benefit |Since starting 5 yrs ago, I have gone from 5’7″, 167 lbs to 136 lbs! I no longer have sciatica. | | |Old sports injuries have healed.

Flexibility has improved. Overall health has improved. I eat | | |way better than I ever have. I stopped drinking alcohol. I feel great and have more confidence | | |that I did before Bikram. | |Weight loss |best thing is that i have lost 15lbs….. i LOVE my body now | |Mental improvement |Best thing. Met some wonderful people and my daughter and I have a common challenge | |Mental improvement |Best is more ability to clear my mind and just do it. |Mental improvement |I love the me time I get. I love the challenge of facing myself in the mirror for 90 mins. When | | |is the last time you watched your body move for 90 mins? It is empowering, amazing, and allows | | |me to love my body. My only regret is that I didn’t find it sooner. | |Healthier |I’ve practiced yoga for a long time and bikram yoga has changed my yoga practice tremendously | |Healthier |The muscle toning in my legs and arms is very visible. |Mental improvement |Finished the 60 day challenge which was super gratifying. A nice goal to work towards and | | |achieve. | |Major health benefit |I began to practice Bikram yoga to rehabilitate my ankle. After 6 months my ankle was healed. I | | |am intrigued by Bikram yoga, as a biochemistry major you can imagine the amount of research I | | |have done on Bikram yoga. I would like to know what you find. [email protected] om | |Bad reaction |I got CA MRSA – superbug staph infection! | |Major health benefit |Almost complete elimination of back pain that I have suffered for approximately two decades. | |Healthier |The best thing is that is a great stress reliever and awesome facial moisturizer! | |Mental improvement |Best- friends, connections with the Bikram family. Worst- must carve out time for Bikram, or | | |else…. I’m grumpy!!! | |Spiritual improvement |Through yoga, I started to reconnect with my spiritual nature. |Healthier |The best thing is that I feel hopeful that I can be healthier and more comfortable in my body. | |Major health benefit |My runs of A-fib have stopped. | |Healthier |Energy up, stress down! | |Major health benefit |improved range of motion in arthritic joints. better balance and focus. Too many benefits to | | |list! | |Major health benefit |I have insomnia. Meds are the only things that, prior to Bikram, helped me fall asleep.

After | | |the 8:15pm Bikram class, I crash and am out for at least 8 hours. | |Mental improvement |Just an overall better outlook and feeling positive about daily occurrences | |Healthier |I feel amazing practicing bikram yoga. My body feels cleansed | |Mental improvement |I have become addicted… but to a good thing. I feel better, am in great shape, and am a much | | |happier and patient person because of Bikram. |Mental improvement |I like who I am becoming | |Spiritual improvement |I’m addicted to Bikram Yoga. It has been a Permanant Part of my life. The best thing that has | | |happened to me is, My Meditation has elevated to a deeply spiritual level&I crave this Yoga. I | | |can’t miss a class. | |Mental improvement |My self confidence is improving. |Mental improvement |I like to tell people “I got me back”, bikram Yoga was introduced to me at a time when I pulled | | |myself out of a controlling ; very unhealthy relationship. My sense of independence ; security | | |was wiped out. As a result I stressed over every little thing because I was made to believe I | | |couldn’t do anything without “him”. Bikram Yoga is a blessing because slowly I’ve been able to | | |let go of fear, stress, misery ; depression.

In short… I found my smile! Thanks to BYSA! | |Healthier |The BEST thing that happens from practicing Bikram Yoga is how much more AMAZING you feel and | | |enjoy life even better! | |Weight loss |Weightloss | |Healthier |It has contributed to improved attention to multiple aspects of fitness with overall gains | | |resulting. | |Healthier |Keeps me in great shape!! |Major health benefit |I got off of blood pressure medication after 3 months of practice. | |Mental improvement |Peace in mind, strength, balance, focus. | |Mental improvement |Best thing that happened is that I learned more self control. | |Weight loss |when I stop, I tend to gain weight and stress. | |Healthier |I flinally found my type of exersice since I stopped dancing ballet at 20 years, I? m 37 now | |Healthier |The best thing is that overall I feel better and stronger. |Mental improvement |I pay a lot more attention to what my body is telling me in all situations. | |Major health benefit |I am able to bend my knee better than in months prior. Also, the yoga has forced me to drink | | |more water throughout the day. | |Mental improvement |my self image and confidence has increased so much. this has spread to other areas of my life | | |and made so many things improve. i’m amazed daily at the positive effects of this yoga. | |Healthier |I am more physically confident. |Major health benefit |Everything changes!!!! My back pain has gone away, it provides me discipline when spending $, it| | |allows me to quiet the mind & sleep better, my joints start yelling at me when I don’t go, my | | |core stands straighter, my shoulders are more defined, I am able to open my back ; shoulders | | |more than ever before, it took away soreness after I ran a 1/2 marathon last year plus it was | | |the only way I trained for it, it keeps away sickness such as colds… s that enough reasons? It| | |keeps my life happy ; balanced. | |Mental improvement |Feel younger | |Mental improvement |I’ve noticed myself becoming more confident in poses creating better posture. I can feel a major| | |difference in how my posture has strengthened. | |Mental improvement |It makes me feel strong.

When I get through a class I feel like I did something good for myself | | |which in turn allows me to be better for others. | |Happier |I feel healthier and happier than ever when I maintain a regular practice! | |Healthier |Im more flexible and I fell awesome. | |Healthier |Best-Not worrying about swimsuit season Worst-I sweat really easily.

Even my shins sweat. | |Happier |I found happiness | |Happier |Feel better | |Mental improvement |Feel less stressed |

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