December 2012 Student of the Month

Ben Johnson

JohnsonPlease tell us a little about yourself.
I have a fun and rewarding job working for the city that has adventure and the ability to help others. I'm lucky enough to be the primary caregiver of my two awesome kids. Cliché and goofy, but they are my pride and joy.
What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice?
I love to exercise and try new things. I met a yogini and they mentioned how much they enjoyed it and how it helped with running (which I love to do as well). Had to try it for myself. Did the trial membership and was hooked. It is an awesome 'tool' in my fitness bag of tricks.
How often do you practice?
I work 24 hours on and 48 off. I try and practice on my days off, as long as I can wrangle something for my kids to do. Usually come to class while they are at school.
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking you first class?
I injured my back with work a while back and some degenerative spine issues as well (old man)! Comes and goes, but I have to stay on top of it. Since I have been with BYSA it is much better and easier to keep in check.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
Prior to trying Bikram, I had been 'playing' (I amuse myself) with my breath. Controlling it while running, just breathing through my nose, pushing myself right to the edge of where I might need to mouth breathe, but still go hard. Coming to class has improved that and taken it to another level. Strength and endurance has been enhanced as well. Sure we all feel puny sometimes and can take it 'easy' (still tough to do that), but it's fun to try and push. Anything worth doing is worth doing as well as we can.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
My health has always been pretty decent but now I am SO much more rounded. There is a certain peace that comes that I enjoy. We all need 'me' time...Put the world on hold...Focus on the now, on us.
What is your favorite part of Bikram yoga?
Bikram is funny. In a way (as we all know), it's always the same. I love to glean little nuggets of knowledge that each teacher gives out (except for Carlos, I’m still working through his accent. ;) ) They are all different and all have a sort of different pacing and delivery. I enjoy that…the sameness and comfort that comes with that and yet new as well. It's cool to focus on the dialogue and pick up on adjustments or thoughts that have been too hard to try or too hard for my puny brain to process, while continuing to push.