–by Ann Chrapkiewicz
21 months into the pandemic, it is time for me to speak up. Well over 50% of Bikram Yoga studios in the U.S. have closed since spring 2020, and that wave of closures is not over. I have been doing everything I can to not be one of those who close, and I will continue to do everything I can. But at this point a broader base of support is required, and I am asking YOU to be a part of this.
We are so happy to welcome Angela Moulin Sinclair to Bikram Yoga Capital Area! Her passion for this yoga as well as her nearly two decades of experience make her such a wonderful and positive part of our yoga community.
Angela and I first met at a Mary Jarvis Lake Michigan Shapeshifting retreat in the summer of 2018, but our shared history goes back to many similar experiences in the early 2000s at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training (at La Cienega Headquarters, Los Angeles).
Just over three years ago, Michigan State University Assistant Football Coach Ron Burton started practicing Bikram Yoga with us. Since then, he has been telling every coach and athlete he knows about this practice, encouraging them to come to class, and bringing his kids to class whenever they are in town.
They call each other “coach”, so if you ever hear Ann say that in class, you know who she is talking to!
Meet Briona Jones, 29, doctoral candidate in English at Michigan State University and former Division I basketball player.
Briona’s story is so moving and her reflections so articulate, we decided to share them in multiple blog posts! Here is Part I, which focuses mostly on the physical benefits Briona has created with her practice.
I was born with rickets, so as a child I was able to walk, but I wasn’t able to run.
At BYCA we have a very strong youth program, with many youth attending weekly now for several years! You can read about some of our long-term regular youth practitioners here.
At the same time, we have a lot of parents who would like their kids to take up yoga, but who feel stuck. Lately I had a few people ask me directly ,”How do I get my kids to do yoga?”
Framing “Yoga” Differently
In over 15 years of practice, I have found that the answer lies almost entirely found in how the parent views yoga, how the parent speaks about yoga, and how the parent uses yoga.
Meet Melissa, 40, of Williamston, Michigan! Melissa started practicing with us at Bikram Yoga Capital Area in March of 2014 and to date has practiced over 725 classes! Melissa wrote this super thoughtful blog as part of 2017’s Spring Yoga Buddy Challenge. I am so grateful for Melissa’s insights, her quiet strength and presence at the yoga school, her patience with my backlog of stories needing to be shared (!), and her wonderful writing.
by Marini Lee, Ph.D.
I’ve been practicing bikram yoga for almost 12 years now. According to the Western world (and my recovering internal body critic), I should look differently. I should be thin by now!!!! Shouldn’t I?
Well, I’m not.
First of all, being and/or getting “thin” is not (nor should be) the goal of yoga. Yoga means “union.” It is my understanding that this union is about optimal health – mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Meet Sarah Cook, 34, of St. John’s, Michigan. Sarah started practicing Bikram Yoga with us in the spring of 2014, upon a recommendation from her sister. As of this writing, Sarah has practiced exactly 365 classes! Sarah has had some exciting updates recently, but her whole history of benefits is very diverse, and quite exciting!
“Before I started yoga, I had gotten a bone bruise (near-fracture) close to my knee, and after 4 weeks on crutches, I was supposed to do physical therapy.
Meet John, who started practicing Bikram Yoga with us in December 2013, at age 68. Just prior to beginning Bikram Yoga, he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
Against the advice of his physician, he started coming to class 4-5 times per week.
In only 3 months of this new routine, his health dramatically improved. Here are the official numbers from his diagnostic tests:
BEFORE (Fall 2013):
1) resting blood pressure (with medication): 135/85
2) resting heart rate: mid 90s
3) fasting glucose: above normal range
AFTER (April 2014):
1) resting blood pressure: 115/68
2) resting heart rate: high 60s
3) non-fasting glucose: normal
4) chronic kidney disease: COMPLETELY GONE!!!