2013 Students of the Year

Marco and Tamera Chalaby

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Tamera Chalaby

What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice? Keeps you coming back?
It was actually Marco who introduced me to Bikram yoga almost 6 years ago. Initially, I practiced fairly inconsistently. However, after a short time, I was hooked and have worked ever since to make time to practice. It is the overall complete feeling I have at the end of each and every class that keeps me coming back.
How often do you practice? I try to practice 4-5 times per week. What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking your first class?
As with many other people, I have acquired some injured joints and tight muscles over the years. Probably from years of sports and running, my knees and hips seem to have especially been affected.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
When I first started practicing this yoga, the physical benefits were what I first noticed. However, after a short time, the mental and spiritual benefits became much more clear to me. I believe that Bikram yoga is unique in that it truly offers the whole package of working on mind, body, and spirit.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
As with many, our lives can be a bit hectic at times. Though our schedules are busy with our 3 lovely girls and our work, I believe this practice brings to us the patience, understanding, and mental clarity necessary to fully enjoy life, both individually and as a family.
What is your favorite part of Bikram yoga?
I have two favorites! I love this community here at BYSA that Lisa, Steve, and co. have created. We have had the opportunity to practice at many other studios during our travels, and what we have here is truly unique. In addition to being able to practice alongside friends, I love practicing with my husband, Marco.

Marco Chalaby

What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice? Keeps you coming back?
I, like a lot of amateur athletes--I was a cyclist--started yoga in order to stretch my lower back and legs, and I found out that I could be a better cyclist with less training. Now yoga is my form of exercise 99% of the time. With yoga, I always feel better after leaving the hot room. Yoga is also something you can never master, so there is always a drive to perfection, or to attain the unattainable.
How often do you practice?
I practice 5 times a week
What specific physical issues, if any did you have before taking your first class?
I had--and still have-- a lot of knee cartilage scarring from years of soccer and skiing and lower back strain.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
I think that one of the greatest benefits of yoga for me is that my wife, Tamara, and I can share this practice. It has brought peace and stability to our lives. It gives me a certain control over the mind and body that nothing else does, and this helps at work and in day-to-day life. Tamara and I, being pulmonologists and intensivists, face lots of stresses and real life and death situations in the ICU, and I can tell that I never lose my cool and patience.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
After a while, it just feels good to be in the hot room and pushing your body to its limits and discover new limits! Again, we love this yoga community, have formed friendships with a lot of people from yoga and teachers/staff, and it really does feel like a second family, a place you can always return to whether you're happy or sad. It is a great honor for us to receive this award. We love and feel very fortunate to be part of this yoga family.
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