January 2015 Student of the Month

Catherine Dang

Catherine Dang Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am MIT (made in Taiwan) and went to Tennessee for graduate school with a major in food microbiology. I came to SA after graduate school, have worked in health science center in research for twenty some years. My husband has been very supportive with my yoga exercise since I won't have time after him and no time for shopping :o) he has checked on me daily to see if I’ve gone. My two girls whom are MIT (made in Texas) have been very supportive too.
What brought you to the yoga practice?
My sister Christine has encouraged me to do Bikram yoga ever since she has seen the continuous benefits from her husband Raymond whom has done this practice over two years. Christine, I am so glad that I have taken one of his many advices. Raymond, thank you for taking me to do yoga with you while I was in Seattle.
How often do you practice?
I take an average five times a week. The past 18 months, I have practiced 5:45am on the weekdays. Rufus, my dog-son hasn’t been too happy since he needs to wake up early too. :o)
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking you first class?
I suffered from sinus infections, I had weight control issues, I am a cancer survivor, and had frozen shoulder after cancer surgery. I also have Sjogrene's syndrome, which causes dried mouth and dried eyes. I had a stiff neck and shoulder due to sitting in front of the computer too long. Sleep light; seldom sweat which caused heat exhaustion very easily in the summer.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
I no longer have a problem with sweating. I haven't gotten heat exhaustion in the summer, I am no longer afraid walking under the sun. I now have less sinus infections; the hot room has reduced the congestion issue. The humidity has helped dried eyes issue. Weight under certain level of control (if I could control ice cream addiction, believe weight control could be even better :o). Bikram yoga almost equal to physical therapy, physical therapy would focus on particular health issue, Bikram yoga works on every part of body, is the best preventive care.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
I take less medications and I get 90 minutes just for myself. I wish ladies could do this before being burned out by multiple roles.
What is your favorite part of the yoga?
I have never done any exercise in my whole life except taking a walk; the pace of walk wouldn’t even kill an ant. I am not a morning person; I never imagined I would wake up before 5 am. Of course, I struggle with is all the time, especially in the winter icy morning. But I never regret it when I walk out the studio.