November 2013 Student of the Month

Chuck Syms

syms What brought you to yoga practice?
Several years ago my trainer noticed that my lack of flexibility was interfering with my ability to progress and he recommended I give Bikram yoga a try. I did and I've been coming ever since. I have both congenital and acquired orthopedic issues, Bikram yoga has been incredibly important in improving my lack of flexibility, and it has done wonders for my squat too.
How often do you practice?
I try to get to Bikram 4-5 days a week and Crossfit 3 days a week. I was fortunate enough earlier this year to be able to practice daily April, May, June and into July before I had to leave town. It was great to get to really progress during that time.
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking your first class?
I have congenital spine and hip issues; my knees are problematic after decades of running.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
I have never ending demands on my time and attention at work, it seems I'm always going at 90 miles an hour! Bikram yoga lets me step away from that and concentrate on breathing and the postures and nothing else. I really look forward to that peace and miss it when I can't get to practice.
How has this practice changed your health and life?
I'm definitely more calm and my friends and kids say I'm "more chill." My flexibility has greatly improved. I sleep much better than I did before I started Bikram yoga. I'm in a great place in my life and Bikram yoga is a big part of that.
What is your favorite part of the yoga?
Triangle of course! Actually I love the community, everyone in the "hot room" giving their best effort, the amazing teachers pushing, encouraging us, showing us how to improve our practice, and especially after finishing the final savasana, another practice session "in the books." I really miss Bikram when I'm out of town. I've visited many other studios while traveling but it isn't the same as our studios here at home. Thanks to Lisa, Steve and all the great Bikram teachers, present and past for helping me with the life changing practice of Bikram yoga.