October 2013 Student of the Month

Annette Hodges-Brothers

hodges Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am Annette Hodges-Brothers, my parent’s eldest daughter, the oldest sibling to my brother and three sisters, the wife and partner to Howard, the mom to 4 awesome sons (Aaron, George, Robert and Marcell) and the grandmother to Cameron Brothers. I am a life long learner; and have made a career in working with families and children. When I am not involved with family or work, I enjoy listening to music, dancing, theatre/movies, reading, walking, gardening and cooking. I live a farm and city life.
What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice?
I had practiced Hatha yoga for 1 year while in college years ago, then heard about Bikram yoga 5 years ago. I had a well-established walking plan at that time. Then my younger sons started college in San Antonio and my job required that I work several days a week here. I lost the discipline of walking regularly. I joined a local gym. I was no longer motivated to exercise alone and considered group exercise. I explored Bikram yoga and decided to join January 2, 2012.
How often do you practice?
Ideally, I practice 5 to 6 days a week to maintain a disciplined practice with some opportunity for recovery and family life.
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking you first class?
Other than carrying extra weight, I have been blessed to enjoy good health. I am very aware that I am at the time in life to begin experiencing health issues. This was one of the reasons I sought a regular exercise plan that would allow me to remain healthy and help me manage my weight. In addition, my children will all likely have their children and my grandchildren later in their lives and mine. I want to remain healthy and active for as long as I can so that I can enjoy them and my future grandchildren.
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
There are so many! First, I no longer curse in traffic! I love to start my day with yoga. I feel great afterwards and I can handle most of the challenges of the day with less stress and anxiety. I now have more flexibility and I am rebuilding strength. My sleep has improved and my skin is less dry. The only negative I have experienced is I sweat so much in the hot room, that hair color that use to last 2 months is now left on the mat within 1 week. I am getting used to my gray hair.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
Besides those mentioned earlier, my annual medical exam results have astonished my family doctor. In the past I carried my stress in my shoulders and back and would use massage for relief. I have found yoga to be a form of self-massage and stress relief.
What is your favorite part of Bikram yoga?
I prefer the floor postures (especially camel) over the standing-series due to my balance challenges. I enjoy practice with my peers. We have supported one another through 60-day challenges, challenging postures and life events. The instructors and staff are awesome. Each has their own wisdom to offer us and most have found some way to encourage my developing practice. I am grateful to Lisa and Steve for providing this wonder resource with varied locations and times that meet my every need! My favorite part of Bikram yoga is the last Savasana--that’s when I feel awesome!