Name: Sandra EspinozaOccupation: Operations Director/Jewelry DesignerFrom: Los AngelesWhen you started practicing Bikram Yoga: On and off since 2012, consistently since July 2017Favorite Posture: Camel, I feel the strongest and most focused in this posture.Why I practice: Bikram Yoga has always been the only physical activity that takes me out of my head and keeps me focused in the present.I had been in a deep depression for the last 3 years; trying to cope with the loss of my daughter who was prematurely born at 6 months. I felt as if my body, my heart and my mind didn’t coexist. Each had a mind of their own and it didn’t matter what I did (or didn’t do) I couldn’t get them to be on the same page.My body was a wreck after an emergency C-section, and another second trimester loss. I couldn’t do much physically, not that I had the energy to do anything. I finally started to feel fed up with being exhausted all the time and decided to start being physically active again.I had kept an eye on Bikram Yoga South Pasadena, since it had been my favorite studio to practice. When they announced an unlimited 3 month special I didn’t give myself the option to think about it and bought it. I also didn’t give myself a chance to think things through and just started showing up to class. It took everything in me to drive myself to the first class. At the beginning; I was not able to do most of the poses, simply lifting my leg for “Standing head to knee” pose was the hardest thing to do. I was also having a hard time turning off my thoughts and focusing. I heard, saw and smelled everything around me. I was annoyed by everyone, but mostly; I was annoyed and disappointed in my body which had failed me so many times in the past three years.Slowly, as I kept coming back to class, the room started to quiet down, my thoughts started to clear and my body grew progressively strong. At one point I realized that I didn’t know who was next to me in class, or how long the teacher was holding the poses, or even how hot the room had been. I started to feel the mind, body and heart connection once again; I started to feel alive. My husband and friends noticed the change in my mood and demeanor right away.I am happy to say that I am finally out of my depression, thanks to Bikram Yoga (also talk therapy, family support and lots of reading) I completed my first 30 day challenge in December and I am so grateful to my body for being so strong and for carrying me through those hard years. I am also grateful that I have found a studio where I feel safe and happy to practice.I will continue to explore my practice and see where it takes me, for now I'm just happy to show up each day and give my body the opportunity to feel loved and appreciated.
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