September 2012 Student of the Month

Pattie Hersey

patty-h Please tell us a little about yourself.
I have been married to my best friend, Sean, for 12 years. We have rescued 3 spoiled rotten dogs that behave like children! I am the office manager for a dermatologist in the medical center. Outside of yoga, I enjoy cooking, scrapbooking, playing tennis, wine, reading and playing with the dogs.
What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice?
A friend invited me to try it with her for the first time. I have to admit I was rather skeptical but went anyway. I found my first class to be rather difficult and almost didn't go back. A short time after class I had such a huge burst of energy that decided to stick out the introductory offer and here I am 4 years later!
How often do you practice?
I try to practice 4-5 times a week although work and traffic have been known to get in the way. If I miss more than a couple of days in a row my body is sure to remind me I must make time to go to yoga.
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking you first class?
Prior to yoga, I was having significant neck pain three to four times a week almost every week. I was seeing a chiropractor two to three times a month, receiving therapy, massages and using the hot tub, which were all having minimal or short term impact. Since I have been practicing yoga I have seen a rather substantial decrease in my neck pain. Now I only go to the chiropractor about once a quarter!
What are the greatest benefits of your practice?
There are so many wonder benefits! When I first started practicing I had almost zero flexibility. Now I can touch my toes and get pretty far in to most postures. It has also significantly improved my tennis game. Yoga has improved my movement and balance and I find myself more accepting when I don't hit my shot technically correct to get ready for the next ball instead of giving up on the point.
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
Yoga has done so much for my neck that it has allowed me to spend more time doing the things I enjoy instead of coping with the pain. Emotionally it has made me a much more patient person in all aspects of my life including my commute to work. Yoga has also drastically reduced my allergies.
What is your favorite part of Bikram yoga? Gosh what is there not to love?
I love the hot room and the way the heat makes me feel. I loved the sense of accomplishment I felt when I finally got in to the full expression of camel after 3 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and 1 day! I greatly appreciate the way all the instructors encourage, energize and coach me to become a better yogi. I thoroughly enjoy Spanish class and I don't even speak the language. I know the important words like change and come up but otherwise I am force to give up control and seem to have some of my best classes. Lastly, but so importantly not least, I am so grateful to be in class with such a supportive and helpful group of yogis!