November 2012 Student of the Month

Carlos Bracamonte

Bracamonte Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am Carlos Bracamonte, originally from Sierra Vista, Arizona. My parents and 3 siblings currently live in Arizona. As an Air Force veteran I had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and Middle East. Germany was the most enjoyable place to be stationed. I presently work as an IT Manager for the Department of Defense. I have been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2008. During my off time I like to golf, travel and go mountain bike riding.
What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice?
I never thought I would find myself practicing yoga, Hatha Yoga for that matter. It was not my intention to make Bikram a regular part of my life. I wanted to try something out of the norm, other than running or weight training. Friends who participated in some variation of yoga told me the benefits of yoga. So I thought I’d give it a try and 4 years later here I am.
How often do you practice?
I practice 3 to 4 days a week. I have yet to try the 60-day challenge; one day I will get the courage :-)
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking you first class?
Running several marathons and weight lifting resulted in knee and lower back pain. I was looking for something less stressful, specifically to my knees and lower back. Additionally, I’m not the most limber person and thought yoga would improve my flexibility.
What are the greatest benefits of you practice?
Since my practice, I do not have any knee or lower back pain. It seems my endurance level has increased when I run long distances. My flexibility has improved, although I still have some difficulty with Standing Head to Knee. I am slowly getting there.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
My diet has improved, I am more conscious of what I eat; most importantly my cholesterol level has decreased. The practice maintains my stress level and I am able to have restful sleep.
What is your favorite part of Bikram yoga?
Feeling relaxed, refreshed and energized after class. I spend 8 to 10 hours a day behind a computer, so finishing off the day with a yoga class is great. I feel more at ease when I come home.