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“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yoga achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.”


Svatmarama Hatha





Fiona – BYJ Student (Aug-11)


All my life I have exercised, not because I have to but because I want to. Rain, hail or shine, winter or summer I will walk and swim during summer. I always thought that this was adequate exercise for me and I was reasonably healthy as a result of my regime. 


As the years go by and our bodies age regular exercise is still good for one but it is not enough. A practice where the entire body as well as the mind is exercised is the ultimate. I had always wanted to practice yoga and on a few occasions had attended classes at either the school where I teach or at the local community centre. I enjoyed this but found it a bit boring, so as a result did not continue. 


I was aware however, of the importance of an activity or exercise that was going to benefit my entire body, more than from walking and swimming. My daughter, Shannon returned home one evening looking amazing but very red in the face. She proceeded to tell me about a class of hot yoga that she had attended, called Bikram Yoga. She talked me into coming with her. That first class passed in a blur of trying to listen, follow what the front row of practitioners were doing but by the end of the class I was well and truly hooked. I had not only survived the 90 minutes but had given each posture a try and I loved it.


From then on my poor husband Colin would listen to Shan and I expounding the virtues of Bikram. Initially I had started going for the exercise, but as time went by I noticed subtle changes in my body. I never had very good balance and this was a concern, especially as one ages but now my balance has improved. For years I had experienced lower back pain as well as carpal tunnel pain in both my wrists. This pain was so bad especially during winter often keeping me awake at night. This issue disappeared after a few months of practicing Bikram.


When I first started Bikram there was only the one studio in Perth and being a good 40 minutes drive from where I lived I was only able to attend once a week. Once Jo opened her studio I was able to attend three times a week, as it was so much closer to home. With practicing more frequently I began to notice even more changes, my weight that I had battled with for most of my life; as I suffer from thyroid problems, began to stabalise. My energy levels improved and I think the best of all was my state of mind. I tend to be a very stressed person and both friends and colleagues were now commenting on the fact that I appeared to be a much calmer person. 


I still had not let up on my poor long suffering husband. I was feeling so amazing that I wanted him to experience first hand what I was always talking about. Eventually I talked him into coming with me. Colin was very dubious about his first class, he hates heat, but he persevered and stayed in the room for the full 90 minutes. He was even more nervous about his second class because as Col said this time he knew what he was in for. But he continued to attend and soon became just as hooked as me. It is so great that we attend together, not only do we have a common interest but we also encourage each other.


Suzanne (BYJ Student)


Hi my name is Suzanne and I would like to share with you my testimonial on how Bikram yoga has changed my life and the incredible journey I am on at the moment. 


For most of my life I have suffered with Asthma however was not diagnosed until my early teens. It was while I was exercising one day that my asthma symptoms had got worse (I felt like a fish out of water and gasping for air) this was triggered by respiratory infections. I found that I was finding it very hard to swallow and this included a tightness and shortness of breath and a wheezing sensation that just scared the hell out of me, I was taken to the doctors and was diagnosed with asthma. I was told that I had to use my inhaler twice daily, for the rest of my life. It was hard for me at first to remember to take my medication every day I was feeling really bad every time I was using my asthma medication, at one point I had to take 3 different asthma medications in one day. I was told that this would help me breathe better and help me get through the day. I also had to be careful in what kind of exercises I could do, and whenever I felt that my breathing problems were about to start I would have to take a puff of my inhaler and hope that it would not get worse. I also found that the cold air would also make my asthma worse so when winter came I would always be back at the doctors and hating every minute. I was sick for weeks trying to get in control of my breathing. 


When I fell pregnant with my second child being in my mid 30s I had the worst asthma attract I have ever had and I ended up at King Edward hospital where I spent most of my pregnancy due to the fact that my son wanted to come early and that I was not only trying to breathe for me but I had to breathe for both of us. I had my son at 28 weeks, he was fighting for his life due to the fact that he was a premature baby. He also had trouble with breathing when he arrived into this world, and we were both in hospital for about 2 months. I am happy to say that my 6 year old son's asthma is under control and it is not as bad as mine. 


As I got older I just wanted to find a simple way to reduce my asthma attracts. I have tried just about every treatment but found that nothing was really working for me. Then one day I was driving past the Joondalup Bikram yoga studio, I felt that I should give this a go, I told my family that I was going to try this new hot yoga and they thought I was mad. My first day I was a little scared but I felt that I had to do this and I went into my first class not really knowing much about yoga. Within the first half hour I felt my breathing problems starting and I was ready to walk out but with the help of Jo she kept me in the room for the full 90 minutes and to focus on my breathing, I started to feel a lot better and realized that this was not so bad at all. 


I have been doing bikram yoga now for over 3 months and my breathing has improved almost 100% . I have not use my asthma medication for a few weeks now, and when I feel an asthma attack coming on either at work or home I just focus on my breath that Jo and her wonderful team of trained yoga instructors have taught me, I feel that my lungs have had a new lease on life and are getting stronger every day. I have found that doing the 90 min class is my time to just focus on mysellf and my breathing, also getting my fitness back to a level that I can be happy within myself. I feel calmer and at peace within myself then I have ever felt in my life and I have more energy to run around and play with my son without getting out of breath. So my new journey of life has begun, so a VERY BIG THANK YOU to JO and her wonderful team and to Mr Bikram for helping me improve my breathing.


Dee Riley (Bikram Yogi for Life)


If you had told me 3 months ago that doing a 90 minute Bikram Yoga class would change my life I would have raised my eyebrows at you and told you 'yer right in my dreams' 


The ironical thing is that it does and has changed my life. 


I was prepared for, no actually I was looking forward to, the heat & sweat when I attended my first class, what I wasn't prepared for was being told to 'Focus and look at yourself in the mirror'. OMG I almost left the room then and there. I have suffered from self image problems for the majority of my life, at 46 that's a long time, so you can imagine how 'out of my comfort zone' I felt. Thankfully I am a person who doesn't give up easily and persevered through the class. I then made a vow to myself that I would start to really look and acknowledge myself for the amazing person I am. 


I look back now at the person I was and am amazed to see just how far I have come. I remember my initial reaction to some of the postures and was sure that I was never going to be able to complete them, infact I couldn't even kneel properly in my first class. I am doing postures I never dreamed I would able to do and feel a huge part of this was being able to attend the Posture Clinic in August. 


I have not experienced two classes that are the same, each class has it's own challenges and of course rewards when you realise it is only fear that is holding us back. 


Thank you Bikram Yoga for improving my life so dramatically.



30 Day Challenge


Kathryn (BYJ Student)


November's 30-Day Challenge has been an excellent and enriching experience. I initially had doubts I could commit to thirty days. Being an 'All or Nothing' person if there was anything I could foresee stopping me from giving 100% I wouldn't even start. This was my first personal hurdle to overcome, stop thinking, predicting and justifying. Live in the now. If something came up later on then I'd deal with it then.After a week of thinking it over I knew there was no way I wasn't going to be part of the challenge. 


I'm at the studio four times a week what's an extra three days! My boss was very supportive and didn't mind my skipping out twenty minutes early on Wednesday and Friday so I could arrive at the 6pm unhurried. My house isn't as clean as usual, the washing machine is on everyday (Only to wash yoga kit!), I spent most of my Sunday's cooking in preparation for the week ahead to save time and catching up on everything else that got put aside. It has been worth it.I did get sore after week two. My lower back was so stiff I could hardly bend forward let alone back bend. I naturally carry a lot of tension in my shoulders so they were screaming too. A couple of massages and lashings of deep heat sorted this out. I started using Ultra Muscleze two weeks before the challenge began which I feel definitely helped. My hamstrings weren't as tight as I expected them to be and I didn't get cramp. Daily doses of Nuun's and Essential Electrolytes capsules were also part of the program. The pain I had in my lower back eased off and in the final week I could actually back bend further than I ever have. 


I noticed in other places where I had pain or soreness once this lifted I had major breakthroughs in related postures.I can safely say that every class was different. The morning classes I felt lighter but a lot stiffer. The evening classes I could stretch further and had a few breakthroughs but I lacked concentration. Some classes I felt low on energy and contemplated moving back out of the front row. I decided against this, as that would give me an excuse to slack off. However in one class I did bail out of the second part of awkward a few seconds early and the people behind me all followed. I felt very guilty for this I should have held out and followed the dialogue! This has made me really focus on the words in the dialogue and not anticipate the directions. Again another lesson in staying present learnt.Overall I feel my practice has improved and I feel stronger. My greatest breakthrough has been in toe stand on the right. I can hold the full expression and lift up half an inch for about two seconds. (Not every class but more often!) I've eliminated water drinking during class. I do so much better in standing head to knee and standing bow pulling without water sloshing around and zapping my energy. When I did falter and drink (end of standing series) I usually regretted it when I felt sick afterwards. 


Outside of the yoga bubble I've learnt what aspects of my life can be put on hold, what does need doing immediately and what really doesn't matter at all. One of the best parts of the challenge has been the social aspect. You really get to know the faces/people you've seen occasionally when you see them every day. Sharing this experience with a great group of people has been fantastic.Here I am, thirty consecutive days of Bikram yoga, no missed days, no make up doubles, stayed front row but moved around the line out of my favourite spot, no knees taken but slightly poorer financially from my ever expanding 'Challenge Yoga Wardrobe.' Mission #1 complete, bring on the next challenge! Thanks to all the instructors, fellow challengers and the other yogi's who weren't on the challenge but have been a very supportive cheer squad! 




Carl Logan – 30 Day Challenge March 2012


On the 30th of January 2012 I signed up for the 30 challenge that was due to start in two days. As I hand over my credit card, I'm thinking to myself "What exactly am I getting myself in for here? Can I juggle this practice around work? Will my washing machine survive?" I bit the bullet and punched in my pin knowing that my determination would be tested in the coming weeks. Before I expand on my journey during the 30 days, it is important I fill you in on the reason behind starting Bikram Yoga.


Prior to starting Bikram Yoga over twelve months ago, I could not reach anywhere near my toes and my back was recovering from microdisectoctomy surgery (a bulging disc in my spine was aggravating the sciatic nerve)...I started thinking my body should be in better shape and hence, with great trepidation, I entered the studio for the first time in December 2010. I still remember my first class and teacher, Karen. Although I almost died from dehydration, Karen's smile and enthusiasm was contagious...and with a single goal of touching my toes firmly implanted in my mind, I was hooked.


I am glad to say I could touch my toes before starting the 30 day challenge, so there were other reasons behind signing up for this craziness. Sure, I needed to work on my general fitness and the postures themselves, but the prime reason was to prove to myself "Yes, I can do this! I can go day after day for 30 days!" After the first week, I noted the importance of electrolytes and you may have seen me drop a 'Hydralyte' dissolvable tablet in my water bottle prior to class. I also found I could stretch further in the sitting head-to-knee and hold standing bow pulling pose slightly longer. I will admit, there were times during the second and third week when I felt like stopping, especially when I had to make up missed days with doubles. I had to keep thinking of my former inflexible self and how disappointed in myself I would be if I were to stop. "OK Carl, grab that water bottle and towel...lets go!" I still had to work on eagle pose and standing head-to-knee. In fact, there were a number of poses that needed work.


My last class today was with Jo. She had been supportive and encouraging during the four weeks and gave me some vital advice in the third week- "breathe!" I had a tendancy to hold my breath during difficult postures which sent my heart rate through the roof. I realised any physical improvements I made during the 30 days were secondary to changes in my attitude. I know where I need to improve and have the determination to do so.


Peta Mounsey – 30 Day Challenge


First I’ll start by saying I have never done any kind of physical challenge like this in my life.  I’ve always enjoyed being active and fit, but as a mother of 5 young kids it was never an option to take the time out of my busy life to commit to such a challenge.But as my youngest (twins) were just about 2 when the challenge came up, I felt it was the perfect time to focus on something I wanted to do for myself, and I have never had such a strong feeling that I was meant to do something.  I was excited and nervous! 


So day 1 came up and every day I diligently made the time to go to class, scheduling my life and my family’s life around the class timetable.  After 7 days I was feeling it, sore muscles, aches and pains all over!  Around the 14th day, it all became normal, I was used to feeling sore and stretched all over and it didn’t bother me, I enjoyed it!! 


Soon after however, my neck and right shoulder were becoming more achey each day until day 19 where I felt that the “achiness” had turned into an “injury”.  I let it limit me so that I would not attempt any postures with the head tilted back.  Then…after speaking to Anna and Lee on separate occasions, I attempted these postures and was amazed that I could push past the pain a little and go fully into these postures, and after a few days it actually healed my injury!!  I was on a high, totally amazed at what we can achieve and how healing this yoga can be.  I felt a change within on day 19, I felt vibrant, positive and strong, and I never wanted this challenge to end.  Every day up til then I was focussing on making it to day 30 so I could complete the challenge, now day 30 wasn’t even in my mind, yoga was a part of my daily life because I wanted it to be.  People were starting to compliment me on how I looked, even people who didn’t know I was doing the challenge.  About a third of the way through the challenge I could see that my postures were improving, I was becoming stronger and more flexible, I was really pleased with my efforts in each and every class.  Day 20 I attempted a toe stand, hands were in prayer, I was a bit shaky, but held it for a few seconds!!  This was something I had always watched other people do in total amazement, not something I ever thought I could do.   The next day (with encouragement from Emma!) I put my head down to my knee in the standing head to knee pose – another first!  Day 26 my doctor told me I was anaemic and probably had been for months.  I had been tired and put it down to the yoga wearing me out, however it was obvious now as there were definitely signs.  There were days I was so fatigued and sleepy, but every time I walked into the hot room I was able to focus and forget about my tiredness, and apart from 1 or 2 classes, I was happy with the effort and energy I put into (and received from) each class.  


Day 1 after the challenge, it felt weird not to putting on my yoga clothes today!  I feel lost!  I even practiced my standing head to toe at home! 


After my first ever class Anna asked me how I felt, and I told her I don’t know if I loved it or hated it.  I worked it out after my second class. It’s now four months later and I am passionate about bikram yoga.  I think about it when I’m not there.  I will do it forever.  The challenge has made me stronger, it healed my injury, it helped me with my symptoms of anaemia, it made me more focussed on my general health and diet, it’s made me a more patient and better mum to my kids - it has made me a better person.I will never forget the overwhelming feeling after finishing my last class, like a wave of emotion and pride washing over me which I never expected!!  I am so grateful to all the teachers who are so encouraging and inspiring.  I will see you all soon in the hot room!


Melissa Vella – 30 Day Challenge


 I was turning 31 in February 2012 and I felt that I needed to make a change in my life, challenge myself and give back to my body!  I was not a practicing yogi - had only done my introductory sessions a year prior - so the challenge was certainly going to be a BIG one for me.  I discussed the commitment with my husband and friends, as the 30 day challenge is more of a life change than you can imagine - juggling social events, deadlines, work commitments... But - nothing was going to deter me! 


The first week was tough, but then I hit a "high" and was loving the fact that I was able to do a little more in the postures - small "wins" that I couldn't do the previous day.  Then in the midst of feeling so motivated...I hit a brick wall!  They say it's about 10 days in, but I honestly thought I was not going to make it and a few times did contemplate giving up.  I foound having one rest day really helped to get me back on track!


And with those bad feelings, came the good ones - the end of another class, the feeling of achievement and overall vitality - enough to motivate me to come again tomorrow. 


The changes I could see and feel in my body was another motivating factor - whilst I was not only losing a few kg's, my shape was changing daily!  I could see it and I could feel it! 


And so...the end of the challenge came and I realised what I loved about the challenge and about Bikram - why I am now addicted:


- The overall body workout and toning you achieve

- The feeling of achievement with every class

- The 90 minutes that you are away from the world - no mobile phones, no talking, no stress - just being in the moment and being YOU! Thanks to the varied teachers - for their different techniques and personalities and for their support throughout the challenge!


Bikram - I'll be back! 




Eva Tombak – 30 Day Challenge


30 day challenge is not something very special for me. Last 15 years I was doing sports practically every day –– aerobics classes, weight lifting, swimming, running. Sports activity helped me to stay fit, but it gave up to my depressions and sickness. The feeling of unhappiness was permanent, it was following me from my teens. All my life I was struggling against that feeling, trying to escape, to run away. I made desperate moves to help to myself, but nothing worked. Even marriage. Even children. Even my rocketing carŠµer as journalist and publisher. As I approached my 50 I had 25 years of successful marriage, three beautiful kids, 20 years in publishing business running my own up-market glossy women’smagazine andediting COSMOPOLITAN in Lithuania. For thousands of my readers and hundreds of my friends I was a super woman, absolutely successful and undeniably happy. But I wasn’t. I felt sick, depressed and unsafe. It seemed to me I was living not my life, a life of somebody else, some stranger. 


I decided to make one additional move. I persuaded my husband to change everything, first of all –– the country. I dreamed about Australia from my boring childhood, I fancied that the most happy people in the world live here. Now I’m being here over 5 months, since the beginning of last october. It was on the 26 of January, the Australia day, when I bitterly admitted that escape has nothing to do with happiness. Distance is just another illusion. Happiness is always here, inside us, we merely have to awake it by creating a harmony of mind, body and spirit. 


In 5 months I’ve spent in Australia my old thyroid problem became so apparent due to constant stress and dissatisfaction that I realized I have no more time to wait, it’s now or never. I used to read a lot about Bikram Yoga before, but I had never had a chance to try it’s benefits, as in my country (Lithuania) we don’t have a single bikram yoga studio. 


The internet search brought a promising result: the nearest Bikram Yoga studio turned out to be located in Joondalup. I started my challenge from the very first day. In 30 days I have done 29 singles, 5 doubles and had one day off. It was a love from the very first sight. It calmed me much stronger and longer than any my running session before. Suddenly it became clear what I was after for my entire life. Calm steadiness of senses. Yoga is a wisdom of life, it helps us to understand themselves, it returns us to the life we left behind in the wast search of something better. 


My Chinese doctor was surprised that in three weeks my thyroid problem improved extraordinary. I told him I’m doing bikram yoga and he praised my choice. 


My challenge only just started. 30 days are over, but I continue to attend bikram yoga classes every day. Now I have a goal. A new passion. I want to become bikram yoga teacher and to open my own studio in Lithuania. Now I understand why I’m here, why I came to Australia. It’s my long way in understanding myself. Finally I’ve got it! 


Yoga is a way to freedom. It strengthens will, integrates body with mind and soul. It puts the end to the endless questions why I’m here, what is my mission of being in this world, in this particular body.I strongly believe that by constant practicing of yoga, we can cure ourselves and break free from fear, anguish, pain, stress. Bye bye loneliness, hello happiness!


Alfred Heng – 30 Day Challenge


“You’ve got to be crazy!  Why would anyone in their right mind, want to torture themselves in a room heated to 40C?”  That was my response to Grace when she told me about Bikram Yoga just over two years ago.  Grace had been practicing for a couple of weeks when she first mentioned it.  I thought the heat from the Hot Room was getting to her and she was becoming a little loony. 


Fast forward about 20 months later – Tracey my wife, decides that she would like to give Bikram Yoga a go, she practices yoga in various forms but wanted to get a little more structure in the practice sessions, then what she did on her own at home. When she returned from the first class, she mentioned that she was a little giddy and that the session was a little more intense then she expected, but she already pencilled the next session on the calendar – another loony. 


Over the last 24 months or so I had been indulging in all things that I thought tasted yummy.  The first tell tale sign was the tummy, which was never small to start with.  It suddenly without any consent, decided to expand even more.  This caused a problem with my clothes - they started to complain I was stretching them and then worse still they later accused me of abandoning and no longer wearing them, in favour of some larger sized outfits.  The next tell tale was that I was starting to feel tired and everything that I did took more effort.  I began feeling the weight and thought to myself, I will do something about it, after our yearend holiday in Bali (just an excuse so that I could indulge some more while we were away). 


Something however, happened in Bali.  It was hot and it was humid.  No correction, it was very hot and very humid.  While Tracey was at yoga up in Ubud, I went for walks around town.  We would meet back at the hotel and I would be soaking wet from perspiration, but after a few days of this, I realized that I was beginning to feel better, Tracey said something about detoxing – hmmmmmmm……………. 


She then went on to say “if perspiring makes you feel better, maybe you should try Bikram Yoga, it’s guaranteed to make you sweat and detox more”.  When we got back to Perth, I Googled up Bikram Joondalup, just down the road from where we live.  They have a 10 day unlimited pass for $20.00, so the next Monday, I followed Tracey down for a trial session.  At reception, where I purchased the 10 day pass, I announced that I had not practiced yoga before and Megan told me “Not to worry, Bikram is for all levels from beginners up.  All I had to do was stay in the room for the whole 90 minute session”.   I figured that’s easy, “no sweat” I can do that. 


A few things became evident during my first session.  


The thermostat was broken, it was not 40C, it was about 180C and a chicken would be well and truly roasted by the end of the session.  The instructor was an auctioneer in her last job.  She barked instructions so fast during the session that I didn’t understand a thing, but I half expected someone to shout “SOLD!”  The other thing that had me totally confused was, there was no key hole, combination tumbler or electronic key pad anywhere near my knees.  I could not understand why she was so worried about locking them.  Wasn’t like someone was going to steal them or anything.  Then there were the poses, some I could more or less do (more of the less then the more, mind you) and for some, I must have misunderstood the instructions that I heard.  Megan wanted me to bend down and grab my ankles from behind with my arms behind my calves, with my fingers pointing in the same direction as my toes, so that my pinkies touched each other.  Yeah right!  I was sure no one could do that, but when I peeked around the room, I was shocked, but inspired to see so many participants that could! 


After attempting the Camel pose, Megan said “if you feel giddy or nauseous, not to worry, that’s normal”.  I could not understand what was normal about feeling giddy or nauseous, especially when I was sure I wasn’t pregnant.  At that moment I wanted to leave the room but she said “only a few more poses to go” so I decided to stick it out -figured that if I didn’t die, I could at least say I lasted the whole 90 minutes! Well I did lasted the whole session, I was light headed, but I did feel better, lighter on my feet and was already wondering if I should just give it another go.  I did and then I attended another and another and before I knew it, I had done 8 sessions in 10 days. 


On the 8th day, I saw the board up for the 30 Day Challenge and I said to myself, “Why not?”  I was already starting to feel better, I stood up straighter, some of my aches started to go away and I was now able to touch my toes! YES!  Hadn’t done that in years and I figured that if attending 8 sessions would allow me to touch my toes, I started wondering what I would be able to do at the end of 30. 


During the challenge I was lucky enough to have made several new friends and had nearly all the instructors lead a class.  They all have their individual styles and personalities.  They really made an effort to address each participant by name in one class or another and they all had the same goal for us.  I started to understand better what they were trying to get me to achieve.   At this stage it wasn’t the perfect pose, but the commitment to attempt it the best I could, that is the key to getting the benefit from Bikram Yoga, so a big Thank You to Jo and her team. 


As I progressed in the 30 Day Challenge, I noticed that the heat during the day or the cold in the evenings or early mornings when the wind was blowing didn’t bother me as much as it used to, maybe my circulation has improved.  My belt is pulled in one more hole, all the perspiration has help me detox and unclog my pores, Tracey keeps commenting how much smoother my skin is, my ham strings which were really tight have started to stretch a bit more and are not as sore as when I first started but the biggest bonus so far though is my blood pressure has dropped!   That alone has convinced me to continue attending the sessions. 


No I still cant do any of the head to knee poses, or interlock my fingers and put them under my feet or grab my ankles from behind with my pinkies touching, but with each session, I notice in one pose or another, I am able to reach just a bit further then I was able to before.  I have a long way to go, but now, with the help of Bikram Yoga, I am determined to get there.


Kat G's 30 Day Challenge Feb 2011


I have now accepted that I am completely obsessed with Bikram Yoga, I have joined the brainwashed. For the simple reason this yoga works. It works for me and I believe it can work to heal anyone of physical or mental afflictions. It leaves me energized, happy and often so exhausted that I can hardly speak. I only wish I'd found it sooner. After the first 30 day challenge there was a noticeable difference to my practice, it took me to a new level. There was no doubt in my mind this time round that I couldn't do it again. I knew this challenge would be different from the first and I was looking forward to making the comparison. 


I don't have a deeply moving or tear jerking story behind the reason I took the challenge a second time. It bothers me a little that I don't, I feel I need one. My main reason for taking the challenge this time, which I only revealed to Jo very recently and is still very much under wraps, is that I am considering going to Teacher Training. I decided I needed to test myself with daily practice in preparation for the grueling nine week schedule. I wanted to submerge myself in the Bikram bubble and soak up all the knowledge I could get. I'm a compulsive learner, I crave knowledge and always need something new to focus on. I don't like rut's, I don't do safe, if I get too comfortable I need to make myself uncomfortable again (even though I get freaked out at the thought!). Challenges are perfect for me. 


To add something different to this challenge I decided to blog the experience as a daily diary. At first I was unsure whether to share it with the world as it would be a very personal account. Did I want to let people into my mind? I let go and let them in. I have been overwhelmed how many people have embraced my ramblings and the positive feedback has blown me away. One friend in the UK was so inspired she decided to take her own 30 day challenge after not even practicing for a year. It made me realize that if I can reach out to people by writing about Bikram Yoga, then teaching it and physically helping people change their life might well be the right path for me. My 'considering going to BYTT' has definitely turned into 'I need to go and as soon as possible.' The intention has now been set, it will happen this year. 


I am a very dedicated person. If I agree to do something then I do it properly and to the end. A thirty day challenge is a huge commitment and I planned to stick to it and follow the rules. In my own mind I decided to fully benefit from the challenge I needed to complete the full thirty days consecutively just like the first challenge, no days off. I succeeded in this task but I will admit I may have become reclusive to those outside my immediate family. Luckily people came to visit me instead which took the pressure off. I even did an extra class just for fun. I set a mini challenge within the challenge to get out of my comfort zone spot in the studio and move around the room. I always tended to go in the same two or three spots so I forced myself to shift. I actually quite enjoyed being back in the back row, no pressure to lead people, I could just be. It was a challenge to deal with the distractions other people bring and the blocked views. I kept reminding myself in a room of 400 trainees I may never see the mirror for nine weeks. 


Overall I found this second challenge a lot easier. I knew what to expect and could organise my life outside of yoga easier. I had formed a routine last time so I simply picked it up again. Having the Friday morning early class helped so it meant only leaving work early on a Wednesday. I cruised the first two weeks, I felt strong and felt my body had picked up where it left off on the last challenge. I didn't experience any of the pains or cramps like I did the first time. I was stiff at the start of each class but this passed quickly after the first four postures. I hit a road block towards the end of week three. I wasn't going anywhere, I may have started going backwards in some postures. I did get annoyed with myself which I know I shouldn't but deep down I did want to have a breakthrough. Mainly I wanted to feel like I was good enough to go to training. Towards the last few days I did get frustrated with everything else in my life, food, washing, cleaning and work. I wished it would disappear so I could fully submerge myself in Bikram and finish on a high. But that would never happen so it was a case of sucking it up and just doing it. 


I did finish the challenge on a high. Class 31, day 30 was excellent. I think the high energy of the group lifted the mood and gave me that final boost. I've made some new friends and expanded my circle further than the usual regulars I talk to. Challenges are a great way to bring people together as we all share a common goal. Looking back on my blog posts I realise now as long as I have the passion for this yoga it doesn't matter if my postures aren't world champion standard. We never stop learning and there is so much more to learn. My new aim is to share this knowledge and help people to achieve their goals through this fantastic practice.


Michelle's 30 Day Bikram Journey


 I first joined Bikram to strengthen my lower back and lose some weight.  I hadn't exercised in 4 months so I was desperate to do something that would help me achieve these goals without putting too much strain on back.  After my first class I joined up for the 30 day challenge I was determined to fast tracking my results and get myself into good routine right from the start. 


Not only am I now well on my way to achieving my desired goals I have made some wonderful friends along the way.  I have really enjoyed sharing my fellow yogis aches, pains and triumphs, I know each and every one of us has reached our little milestones through out the challenge. 


Most importantly I had learnt more about myself!!  With every drop of sweat in my eyes, ears and up my nose I have learnt that I need to stay more in the moment and enjoy the journey.  I have managed to apply this inside and outside the yoga room, I am currently in process of a career change so this advice has not only impacted on my yoga practice but on my work life. 


I would like to thank the staff, teachers and my fellow yogis for all their support and guidance throughout my journey.  I look forward to (one day at a time) building my physical and mental strength and growing my friendships. 


Lock your knees, lock your knees, lock your knees, lock your knees 




Lisa - 30 Day Challenge February 2011


 I saw the email come through at home promoting the 30 Day Challenge and I thought….Should I? Could I? 


Over the next few days I kept coming back to the possibility of giving the challenge a go. It wouldn't leave me alone! 


Hubby and I sat down and discussed how we could make it work. 


We were juggling his job, my part-time job, surf club commitments, hubby's cycling and most importantly our 3 year old daughter. The extra classes that started on 17th January made it workable. 


I wanted to see what physical and mental improvements I could achieve. My daughter didn't sleep well until she was 12 months old and although she is sleeping fine now, I feel I have lost the ability to sleep properly. One year up with a baby followed by two years of sleeplessness = torture (far worse then Bikram's Torture Chamber). 


I am working with a Naturopath to support my Thyroid and Adrenal System. I believe it was Adrenaline that kept me going during my daughter's first year and it's still running overtime. Obviously the 'throat choking" postures are important to me. 


Since my daughter was born I hadn't exercised nearly as much as I should have or nearly as much as I wanted to. I was in a vicious cycle…too tired to exercise but so desperately needed it. Doing Bikram Yoga I get to strengthen, stretch and detox, not to mention improving circulation, the heart muscle and all of those other wonderful things going on inside. I love coming to class…doing the 30 Day Challenge got me addicted. It made me realise no matter how tired I may be, I can still get through class! 


After day three or so, I did think to myself "Gee I have to do another 27 in a row" 


I would like to thank the staff, teachers and my fellow yogis for all their support and guidance throughout my journey.  I look forward to (one day at a time) building my physical and mental strength and growing my friendships. 


But I soon learnt to take it a day at a time, posture at a time. From then on it went really quickly, until about day 25. I was struggling with my right hamstring/inner thigh area. I may have over stretched it in Triangle Pose. I am still trying to stretch out this tightness. 


I have terribly inflexible hamstrings and my spine and hips aren't much better. 


Not only am I now well on my way to achieving my desired goals I have made some wonderful friends along the way.  I have really enjoyed sharing my fellow yogis aches, pains and triumphs, I know each and every one of us has reached our little milestones through out the challenge. 


Most importantly I had learnt more about myself!!  With every drop of sweat in my eyes, ears and up my nose I have learnt that I need to stay more in the moment and enjoy the journey.  I have managed to apply this inside and outside the yoga room, I am currently in process of a career change so this advice has not only impacted on my yoga practice but on my work life. 


I definitely saw improvements in these areas and this alone is enough to get me back into the Yoga room as much as possible. I need to be patient, this is something that has been with me forever, I can't expect to turn it around overnight.


I found the best way to get through the Challenge for me was to pace myself and do 1 class per day, I didn't want to rely on doubles or make-ups. I did miss one class, my daughter's 4th birthday, and only just squeezed in two classes in one day, on Day 29 of the Challenge!! 


After my last class, I arrived home to a cheering husband and daughter. Hubby cheering because he was proud of my efforts and my little girl cheering because she thought Yoga had finished forever, bless her. 


I have to say it was a team effort, support from other challengers, students, instructors and my family got me there. I am so happy to have Bikram Yoga in Joondalup. 


Oh I nearly forgot the most important thing! I am sleeping better, looking forward to continued improvement


Carolyn (BYJ Student)


When the 30 Day Challenge was advertised I was still in my 10 day introductory period. I thought 'why not give it a go,' and so I signed up. Then I started to question myself – how could I commit to 30 days straight Bikram Yoga? Well, the first week went well. In the second week I got a cold – Liz said that the Challenge would bring out all sorts of things. So I coughed and spluttered my way through the next 7 days. Then I spoke to Sarah and said I was very frustrated with the balancing sequence – she said that frustration was one of the emotions that would come to the surface. 


During this time, friends and family kept complimenting me on how well I looked. 


The third week started and I felt fresh and ready to go. The few times I felt that I wouldn't cope, I just used my Bengal Tiger Strength, and was able to carry on. 


Anyway, Day 30 has come and I really feel good about my own journey over the last month. I am looking forward to my class with great anticipation, knowing that I will have completed the challenge, and the benefits I have gained are tremendous. 


What am I going to do tomorrow – no, not rest – I am going to do another class. 


Thanks for the opportunity to challenge mind and body – I was one of the lucky ones who came out a winner! 




Britt Stokke – Successful 30 day challenger!


Why did I sign up to do the 30 day challenge? 


Short story:I needed to feel stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. 


Short answer: Yes, I feel stronger. 


Long story: (I promise not to write a book ) 


On the 7th of December last year, my beautiful, inspiring and loving mother past away suddenly and unexpectedly. She was 53 years old. She was a best friend to myself, my sister and two brothers. My parents were still very much in love. They had celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary only months before. Our mother was a truly amazing woman, who I had never imagined I would have to live without. She was happy, healthy and loved life. On December the 7th, she woke up feeling a little unwell and died five minutes later in my dad's arms. The grief that followed has been heartbreaking. 


To say that this year has been the hardest year of my life would be an understatement. Trying to get on with life and support my family has been a constant struggle everyday. Because everyday I miss her more. 


With the approaching first anniversary of my mother's death, I have been suffering with bad dreams, insomnia and overbearing anxiety. I have been going through the motions but not really having a good grip on my life. I needed to start feeling better. physically, mentally and emotionally. I read about Bikram yoga and thought maybe it could be my answer. 


Long answer: Bikram yoga is addictive After 30 days I feel changes in my poses, am more flexible and have a quiet determination and will to improve. I am also addicted to coconut water. 

Some days have been hard. Finding the time has been difficult. I have arranged my life around yoga, which I have found is a lot different than fitting a class into my life. I have enjoyed having a goal. 


The 30 day challenge came at a perfect time for me. This month I have definitely felt more calm, focused and more myself in a long time. I come to yoga and it's only about me. I love that my mind has 90 min of peace. I love that my body is feeling stronger and more limber than it has in years. I feel like I have more control over my emotions and I am sleeping most nights. I don't know how I would have coped with this month without my yoga. 


I don't know how I would have coped with this month without my yoga. 


I feel like Bikram yoga will help heal me. 


Thank you to all the lovely and talented instructors at Joondalup. You are encouraging, inspiring and have a wonderful energy.


Pauline (BYJ Student)


Hi my name is Pauline Lyon and I have just completed the 30 day challenge!!! This is something I never thought I would enter into as I have been going to Bikram yoga for four months doing 3-4 classes a week and thoroughly enjoy it but the challenges just weren't for me (only crazy young mad enthusiasts do that). With a little persuasion from Sarah (one of the instructors) I decided to give it ago and low and behold I DID IT "OMG" I feel as tight as a drum, in some places being tight is good but not so good in my calf muscles and my other aching bits...though in saying this I have lost a fair bit around the waist and my butt is definitely a lot tighter. I am one of the older challengers with a body that's definitely not bendy, I have a sway back, tennis elbow which used to ache madly and sciatica, my posture has definitely improved , the tennis elbow doesn't give me grief anymore and my sciatica is something I am still dealing with but has improved tremendously through my yoga classes. I still have problems with some of the postures but I don't expect miracles over night. 


I have come so far since I first started and couldn't even hug my knees to my chest and have my back anywhere near the ground! Each time I do a class I try and remember all the positive affirmations the instructors give us such as the mat is a magic carpet and everyday is a different ride and in full locust pose I'm on a plane and where is my body going to take me today...listen to the little things your instructors say because when they are talking us through the postures instead of blocking them out just wondering " how much longer are you going to torture me in this pose" they really can help you and I admit it I have days where my body is screaming to stop- get your mind to take control and listen to all the little adjustments they tell you to do so you can finesse your posture and go where you haven't been before- it's a wild ride but oh so worth it!! I have really enjoyed the challenge ,yes I definitely have had off days ( never too good when you have partied too hard the night before) and days when I am as stiff as a board...other than that I have had so much fun getting to know so many wonderful people and its truly inspiring listening to everyone else's aches and pains and sharing our journey of our 30 day challenge...well I am now a self confessed Bikram yogi nutter, as this is something else I didn't think you would catch me doing (writing a testimonial-Jo did bribe us with a pressie) I am starting to worry I am in some kind of cult but if I am it must be a good one as I'm definitely in a better place!!


Janette (BYJ Admin Guru)


Having established a regular practice I thought "go for it what's a couple of extra classes a week!" 


Ummm, soon discovered that the couple of additional classes had a greater impact on me than I imagined . My daily routine was definitely interrupted but thankfully my tolerance and patience toward others improved. 


So began the tempestuous love affair with the washing machine and hair ties, wet hair, wet clothes, nuuns and coconut water, and leaving dinners In the fridge for Owen! 


Old injuries resurfaced, hamstrings decided to shrink,about 6 inches in my mind, Yoga took over our lives for 30 days again. During all this my mind was at peace, in and out of the hot box. 


Issues outside of the room came and went, this time without me losing my cool, the plot and my patience. Looking back now the challenge supported me through a turbulent time and helped me be encouraging, supportive and most of all loving to the one who needed it the most. 


I would also like to say that I have completed 30 day challenges before and never have I felt such a collective of mutual support for one another. We all did our best everyday and encouraged all around us, even those not participating in the event were infected by the positivity and commitment of the group. 


Thank you for sharing



60 Day Challenge


My Journey from Birth to Bikram: A 60-day challenge


Despite my previous (Ashtanga) yoga practice, when I stepped into Bikram Yoga Joondalup (BYJ) on Australia day 2011, I considered myself a 'newbie'. Largely due to having a body and mind that was still recovering from giving birth to my son via c-section ten weeks earlier. Nevertheless, it only took one class to know I was hooked and that this was exactly what I had been looking for. 


Two weeks after my first class (and with 63 days left of maternity leave), I decided it would be the perfect time to give the 60-day challenge a go. What better way to get my post-baby body and mind back into shape than immersing myself in Bikram yoga!? 


Little did I know that one of the biggest challenges on my 60-day journey was to be the psychological barrier known as 'mother-guilt'. Having to ask others for help with child-care so that I could go to yoga 6-times a week was difficult for me – as someone who prides herself on being independent. Not only were the logistics difficult, but the mental barrier of convincing myself that it was ok for me to take time away from the kids, husband and housework to practice my yoga. 


Despite my professional life in the field of perinatal mental health (i.e., researching mental illness during pregnancy and the postnatal period), and having struggled personally after the birth of my first child, the 'guilt trip' was hard to avoid. However, with the knowledge that the most important thing a new mum can do for her family's well-being is look after herself, thankfully it was a challenge I was able to meet. 


As someone who has always been fairly fit the physical benefits I have experienced since beginning Bikram yoga have blown me away… 


I had gained 20kg during my pregnancy and although I had lost most of this fairly quickly through diet and daily power-walking/running, I had been feeling tired and weak as a result of this fairly rigorous regime coupled with the sleep deprivation of caring for a new-born. I enjoy running but the down-side is that it depletes you energy stores quite significantly and is quite hard on a post-baby body! Bikram yoga provided a wonderful solution to all of these issues: replenishing my energy and healing my sore muscles and joints, and causing me to re-assess my diet and make healthier choices. Unable to do a sit-up when I started (due to pregnancy and c-section) my core strength has also been renewed, and as a result my back pain and headaches gone. 


But wait, there's more... 


During my first pregnancy I was hospitalised with bronchitis and pneumonia, and my respiratory system had not been the same since. I could not speak a full sentence or take a deep breath without wheezing and coughing. My GP had tried in vain to find the cause and alleviate the symptoms and so I was awaiting a respiratory specialist appointment when I started Bikram. Within a couple of weeks I noted improvements in my breathing and within a month the wheezing and coughing had stopped altogether. I cancelled the specialist appointment. Bikram yoga had taught me how to breathe – slowly and deeply, with mindfulness. 


Now, 2-weeks after completing the 60-day challenge and back at work, I am endeavouring to get to BYJ at least 3-times a week. My 90-minute yoga practice has become an invaluable way for me to step-away from being the 'mother', 'wife', 'daughter', and 'researcher' and reconnect with my Self. 


As someone who sets herself very high standards, with a tendency to experience anxiety and subsequently exert a high need for control, I often find myself getting caught up in the minutiae of daily life and suffering from high levels of stress. It is largely due to these personality traits, and a desire to understand and manage them more effectively, that I chose to study psychology. However, a couple of Bachelor degrees, a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) later, I still found I had a long way to go on my journey of learning and healing. Realising that western science did not have all the answers, I began studying and practicing yoga. 


Yoga has been an important way for me to calm my mind, practice being present, and re-balance my life for almost 10-years, but until coming to BYJ my yoga practice was often sporadic, with months of intense daily practice followed periods of no practice at all. Bikram yoga has come into my life at a time when not only did I really need it, but I was ready to embrace it fully and commit to my practice on a regular basis. As a result, I am healthier and there is more peace and happiness in my life than ever before.


Amanda’ The Michelin Lady' Joondalup 60 Day Challenger


Transformation of the Michelin Lady… a 60 Day Challengers experience... 


I get back from a Six Week Camping trip - quite an exhilarating experience of sitting on ones butt all day, setting up a camp trailer in the evening, eating and drinking around the campfire and generally enjoying a different idyllic location each evening. So, I guess it shouldn't have come at any surprise when I finally jumped on the scales when I got home, and there was a wailing of sirens and flashings of red lights, signaling that I had tipped my BMI over into 'Obese' status. 




Never one to fall in the face of adversity, I was introduced to Bikram Yoga and I quickly signed up on the 10 Day Introduction… and there I am, facing the full walled mirror, being told to focus on yourself & breathe. I look at myself and at all the rolls and folds of the many many years of Macca's & KFC indulgences, looking like the female version of the 'Michelin Man'... That's when I laughingly called myself 'The Michelin Lady'. 




Now, just going back a bit… I have to be honest and say I was a gym goer, not too regular though… 2 monthly stints of dragging myself outta bed way too early in the morning, flogging myself on the Cardio Machines, exhausting myself doing weights and falling back into bed when I got home because of intense energy deprivation. For 3 years I punished my body doing this nauseating routine and the results were a yoyo effect of rapid weight loss, rapid weight gain (always more than when I started). It was all that I knew… oh and the Starvation Diets… heh heh… now that's another story! 




The Challenge … Not 6 days into the 10 day introduction, that I decided I quite enjoyed this 'Bikram Yoga', I was feeling confident, I was feeling energetic, I was feeling I needed a REAL challenge … so with both feet I jumped into the deep end and I decided to do the 60 Day Challenge would be the way to go for me. 




The Peace… So there I am, I would go into the Yoga Room feeling in need of confidence, energy and an overwhelming ache to escape the outside world to be with myself and to be challenged… I do the 90 minutes of twisting, breathing, postulating, breathing, groaning, breathing, stumbling, breathing, sweating, breathing, sweating, breathing, locking knees, breathing, sweating some more and breathing. I leave the Yoga Room with an almighty feeling of being wholly energized, robust in confidence and having totally defeated the challenge of staying in the heated room for 90 minutes, sweat soaked and still breathing. I was an island in a sea of intense energy, and I survived. Peace reigned through every pore, energizing my mind and body. 




The Pain... Not an easy journey by any means, yet it is one of the most rewarding journeys I have undertaken. Each week I would suffer what could have been a crippling ailment…my neck stiffened up, my elbow sprained, my knees gave out, my hamstring pulled, my ankle twisted, my nose blocked up (which is a real pain when you have to undertake 90 minutes of breathing in and out of your nose), along with numerous other aches and pains which befell me in the first 6 weeks. I persevered, breathing my way through the aches, easing my way through the pains, challenging myself to survive another class, all the while without realising I was strengthening my brain, strengthening my inner being, and strengthening my integrity. My mind meditated my body to heal itself and to be at peace, to not fight against the outside forces I was putting it under and eventually to just let go… Power of the Mind Healing. 




The Disappointment... absolutely amazing, in the first 2 weeks of yoga I lost 2kgs on the scales, I was ecstatic (as you can imagine), that was it, I was hooked, come hell or high water nothing was going to keep me from this workout that lasted a full 90 mines, left me feeling full of energy and not exhausted…AND actually had REAL Weight Loss Results!!! 5 weeks of yoga and I had lost no more… Disappointed. I could definitely see the changes in my body… the Michelin Tyres were melting away, I had muscle tone in my legs and arms and my clothes were just that little bit less fitted. Yet I still had this feeling of being jilted, duped, conned and disappointed. Here I was, half way through the 60 Day Challenge having all these resentful feelings then one evening after class I realised, my integrity was being challenged. Was I going to let the 'Scales' get the better of me? What the scales were perceiving and what was actual were two totally different stories. I chose to throw the scales away and measure my success on my happiness and pride at the positive changes that I saw and felt. I've never looked back… Integrity Restored. 




The Reward... I can see daylight through my legs. WOW, I put my knees and feet together and there is a definite gap there. My inside thighs hadn't really been able to see daylight for absolute years… the constant chaffing, gone. The lumps of cellulite… well, definitely reduced. Is that 'Toned Muscle' I can see in my thighs… no way!. I love it, and the constant smile on my face is testament to this. 




athe The Reward... OMG... I gotta waist. I've never had a waist. Not even in my slimmer, size 10, 20 something days. Never!!!. Yet, there it is, between the lower rib bone and the hip bone… distinct. I don't even need to suck in the stomach to see it. I no longer have to wear the wide elasticized belt with oversized buckle to create a sort waist… It's there for all the world to see… if only for me to appreciate. I gotta waist. 




The Reward... Lock your knee, lock your knee, lock…your…knee. I can stand on one leg, other leg locked out in front, hands interlaced 3 inches below my toes, toes pulled toward my face, elbows down toward my calf muscle and my forehead on my knee and breathe all at the same time. I haven't actually found a use for this pose in real life yet, but hey… I can do it! 




The Transformation... Some go into a challenge with a plan in mind. Some go into a challenge with an outcome to achieve. Most all go into a challenge with goal in mind. To me, my ultimate goal was definitely weight loss, I pictured in my mind the gorgeous 'Elle The Body' lookalike staring back at me from that mirror before summer begun this year. I mean, that wasn't too far fetched… was it? Ok, to be honest, the Elle Lookalike has still a little work to do. The Michelin Ladies tyres are disappearing, surprisingly fast, and are being replaced with a more toned, feminine, and healthy former me. It's not summer yet anyhow! I am no longer disappointed, I threw the scales away and I've dropped 2 dress sizes... I am pretty secure that I have definitely achieved the goal I set out to achieve. 


The surprising thing is the UNEXPECTED outcomes are the MOST REWARDING.


Integrity… in the face of adversity. I shall overcome. 

Peace…the realm of peace energizes me and those around me. 

Strength…the power of the mind heals from within 

Challenge…energy from within emanates from your soul, nourishing and hydrating those around you… energy which revitalizes and invigorates. Self … you are an island that you need to nurture, love and be patient with. Acceptance… you are who you are… acceptance of you to you & you to others 


The only way out… is through 

Love… Happiness…Peace




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