Star Student: Laura

“The only bad class you’ll have is the one you did not show up for.”
~BYV Teachers  
BYV: How long have you been practicing Bikram yoga?
LAURA: “5 months”
BYV: Why did you start practicing?
LAURA: “I wanted to lose weight and become more flexible.”
BYV: Has that reason changed or evolved since first starting?
LAURA: “Yes I still want to become more flexible but I am no longer so concerned with weight loss.”
BYV: What inspired you to start taking class?
LAURA: “I love the idea of healing from the inside out.”
BYV: What benefits did you notice right away from practice?
LAURA: “I felt a sense of peace and self acceptance I have never felt.”
BYV: What long term benefits have you experienced?
LAURA: “After the first month my doctor took me off of my blood pressure medication.”
BYV: What is that motivates you to get your toes on the line as frequently as possible?
LAURA: “I know how fabulous I’m going to feel for the rest of the day!”
BYV: Have you used Bikram‘s Yoga as a form of therapy or rehabilitation?
LAURA: “For over 15 years I could not kneel without extreme pain, after 5 months of practice I can kneel without pain and no longer worry about having to have surgery.”
BYV: What is your favourite posture and why? 
LAURA: “Savasana … I love knowing so much healing is happening with my mind, body and spirit in this posture.”
BYV: What would you suggest to a new student looking to expand their practice? Were there things that have helped you along the way? 
LAURA: “Show up … be kind to yourself and don’t give up . And ask for help, the instructors are amazing!”
BYV: Have you ever felt like running out of the room? If so, what kept you from acting on it? 
LAURA: “Once. I calmed myself by practicing my breathing.”
BYV: What challenges have you completed? 
LAURA: “Coming 4-5 times a week!”
“The last 5 months have been amazing for me , I truly see so many changes happening inside and out. I always feel so welcome every time I walk through the doors, no judgment …. just support and kindness.”
 BYV: Laura, thank you so much for your time, and your yoga practice!! You truly are a STAR STUDENT!!

Star Student Kees

hella-kess-family-Kees 217I am not a “Star” because I live in a family with two Olympians and two almost Olympians.  Both my wife and oldest son are Olympic Swimmers and my youngest son and his wife participated in the 2000 Olympic Swimming Trials but didn’t make the Sydney Team by a hair’s breath.  Also, our 9 year old grandson scores half of all the goals in his soccer and lacrosse teams and can run 5 km in 20 minutes!  Hallo! My wife Hella is one of the fastest women swimmers of her age in the world ….  As you can surmise, that all results in me being the family underdog even though I won Silver Medals in my age-group in two different Masters Swimming World Championships.  No, I don’t feel I’m a Star.

I am just a 67 year old man who loves to be active, loves to be in nature, loves the social life that comes with doing things together with other people.  My body is worn out from sixty years of cycling, plus forty-five years of running, plus forty years of swimming, plus thirty years of cross country skiing and then 15 years of yoga.  Between 1981 and 2005 I competed in several triathlons and 10 km runs plus a marathon every single year.  At Provincial, National and World level.  After some, what? 170?, cumulative years of pursuing all these competitive sports, my muscles and joints ache. As the song of Leonard Cohen goes:
 “I ache in the places where I used to have fun …”
My wife  started Bikram already twenty years ago and after BYV started up she advised me to try it.  I am telling you my story because after starting bikram in December 2010 in Vernon, I felt 10 years younger. I could do things again that I couldn’t do anymore because of my ageing.  Especially the balancing on one leg and the first few floor positions.  I don’t feel a bikram student:  I AM a yogi!  Bikram is not the only thing I do but it is the glue that allows me to do all these other things.  To live life more fully.  I love our life in Vernon because of its people, its nature, its weather and the Bikram community.
Going to Bikram is part of my routine.  I like the atmosphere in the room – the feeling of being challenged.  I value and am thankful for what it does for me: making it easier to go about the rest of my daily life.
Thank you, Bikram Yoga Vernon.

Star Student: Aimee

BYV: how long have you been practicing Bikram yoga, did you start at BYV or somewhere else?

Aims: Its been six years I began my journey with Bikram yoga in Kelowna and then fell blissfully in love with BYV the second I walked thru the door five years ago!

BYV: What inspired you to begin taking class?

Aims: I found myself in a place where I had forgotten that perfect health was our natural state, I needed a practice that could help me realign with the healthiest, most vital aspects of myself in an environment where I could trust the teachers to guide me thorough healing safely . That way I could get busy reconnecting to my body in a loving way…no matter how painful that process may be!!

I had always been invested in health and yoga and when I looked in the mirror I felt hypocritical and disappointed in my body…not ground for healthy growth. I needed a practice that could guide me back to center and help me squeeze and wring and stretch the yucky stuff out so that there was room for the good stuff to shine through. At the time I had 2 babies one year apart in age so I couldn’t mess around, I had to go for the best, most efficient body/mind/spirit hit possible. I also had some pretty funky stuff going on with my body so I couldn’t compromise on the level of training the teacher had, I needed to trust that I wouldn’t further damage myself with my workout routine…Bikrams 26/2 was the only way to go.

BYV: What benefits did you notice right away from practicing?

Aims: A sense of victory every time I left the room, no matter how difficult the class. That sense of accomplishment and victorious juju has grown and shifted over the years to become an unshakeable sense of self respect…I mean who could ever NOT respect themselves after finishing that class!!

I also noticed immediately that my parenting and approach to life were benefiting greatly. Suddenly I didn’t feel like I was being controlled by the events around me and my reactions to them, the more I

practiced the better my emotional equilibrium and mindfulness became.

BYV: what long term benefits have you experienced?

Aims: My body, mind and spirit have all cultivated strength ,flexibility and presence with every passing year I spend as a devotee to this practice. I have healed and recovered in so many ways physically that I cannot even begin to list them here, they are “old stories” thanks to this practice and there are so many that it kind of blows me away…I must have felt SO awful all of the time!!

I now have the unshakeable belief that as long as I continue to “show up” that my body will continue to heal and my life will flourish in ways I can’t even yet imagine!

BYV: What motivates you to get your toes on the line as frequently as possible?

Aims: Everything is better when I do!! I mean EVERYTHING!!!

My art, my relationships, my level of gratitude, my meditation practice, the way I nourish myself and others, my whole world shifts into a brighter more delightful space when I get into the hot room as often as possible. And when I am lacking in motivation and trying to talk myself out of showing up I just imagine Bikram yelling “no choice!!” and then I can’t help but get my ace in there!!

BYV: Have you used Bikrams yoga as a form of therapy or rehabilitation?

Aims: Yes, absolutely. I use it to manage hashimotos thyroiditis and have successfully stopped taking daily medication for ADHD, hypothyroid and back pain. I am also in the process of losing 100lbs (a by-product of the hashimotos ) and love that even though I still have 75 lbs to go, I KNOW that I am strong and fit on the inside underneath the excess.

BYV: What is your favorite posture and why?

Aims: All of them…they are all like little teachers. Some are nasty and bossy like awkward pose, and others are blissful and loving like savasana. Either way, I feel like they ALL teach me something new about my body and life every time I hit the mat.

BYV: What would you suggest to a new student looking to expand their practice?

Aims: A few things, the first is to say “thank you” for everything that comes up in the room…every little pain and creak and all of the delicious good feelings too! The next is to ask for help…our teachers are outstanding and incredibly supportive, they see things we absolutely do not notice about ourselves…sometimes its as simple as them reminding you to “remember to breathe” or “activate your inner thigh” If you don’t want to ask for help then get your hands on either of Bikrams books, not only is he hysterical and passionate but the insights into posture details are supremely helpful.

BYV: Have you ever felt like running out of the room? If so, what kept you from acting on it?

Aims: YES!! Omg, I had NO idea how intensely strong my negative mind was until I started this practice!! How I avoid leaving the room is to actually listen to what my mind is telling me and 9times out of 10 it is positively nonsense!! When I realise that my mind is telling me that I have to leave or my “head will blow up” or “ I will die of exhaustion” it makes it way easier to have a little chuckle, take a deep breath and tell it to relax!!

Specific tools that have helped me NOT run are: mantras, visualizations, deep breathing, and honestly just looking around the room at all of the people who were courageous enough to just show up and try.

BYV: We would love to hear something personal about you and your yoga…

Aims: My yoga practice is the same as my relationship to art in so many ways!! Both are practices which teach new lessons every day (and NEVER the ones you expect them to be!), both require dedication, focus, determination and trust. On my mat or at the canvas I am only able to do what I can based on the skills I have cultivated through patience, presence, commitment and humility. And the only way to truly move forward is to put in the time, trust what you have been taught and surrender wholeheartedly to the process.

My experience in the hot room changed completely when I noticed these similarities. I was sprawled out like a starfish on my mat, sweating from places I didn’t know sweat came from (seriously, I had NO idea that our shins sweat until I tried putting my head on my knee!!) feeling SUPER sorry for myself when I thought “I wish I had the same attitude about yoga as I do about art…I would never just give up and sulk under ANY circumstances where I was creating…I would just step by step move through the suck until I mastered the skill”…and voila!! I had to stop trying to be a master and just devote myself to being a lifelong student, the exact same way I approach art. A humble student attitude to kill the ego trip and I was set!

Now I enter the hot room grateful. Grateful that I have legs to walk in on. Grateful for my SUPER patient teachers and their willingness to repeat the same thing every day so that I can remedy all that ails me!! Grateful for the community of people who gather silently in the hottest room in Vernon to sweat their tails off together!! Grateful for a practice that has rekindled my love for one of the oldest, most beautiful modalities of healing and all of the brilliant teachings and offerings that come with it. And grateful to the core for a home away from home where I cross paths with people, many of whom whose names I don’t even know, but for whom I have the utmost of respect….oh, and sometimes I get to color on the walls, which is like icing on the world’s most delicious cake!



Star Student: Meagan

Good day fellow yogis,

I began Bikram yoga about a year and a half ago.  I come because I looove yoga and I love to sweat!  It removes some of the stress and tension I’ve accumulated throughout the day so that when it’s all done I feel more peaceful.

“An inner calm, a better perspective on things, and more gratitude are some of the gifts I’ve received from the practice.”

I enjoy this specific yoga community because Dionne, and formerly Adam, have created a caring, welcoming space where we can all hang loose and be ourselves if we choose to.  I look forward to seeing the different teachers and hearing about how things are going.  I enjoy everyone’s uniqueness… such as how Dionne is now becoming less strict, Tannis helping me open my heart chakra with her adjustments, Diane telling us to let go, Adam telling us “just breathe and tell your body what to do” as well as the guest teacher’s “May the force be with you!” My favourite part about this practice is Disco yoga.  I am grateful to be part of this fun loving and caring community!


Star Student: Zabrina

“Dear body, I command you to serve me. In Health. In Living. Dear any old energies that are here – aspects or whatever – I divorce you. You are not me. I’m off on a new trail. What happened yesterday is you. I am that I am. It’s as simple as that.”

    ~Adamus St. Germain     

BYV: How long have you been practicing Bikram yoga, and did you start at BYV or somewhere else?

ZABRINA: “Just over one year now. BYV is the first and only place I have done Bikram yoga.” Read more

Star Student: Stephanie

Meet Stephanie Lowen…

“Life is like a disco. No matter how the music changes, you just keep on dancing.”

~From the movie: Jumping the Broom


BYV: How long have you been practicing Bikram yoga, and did you start at BYV or somewhere else?

STEPHANIE: I started here in Vernon and have been practicing since mid February of this year. Read more

Star Student: Kristy and Bill

Live Simply! Dream Big! Be Grateful! Give Love! Laugh Lot’s!

“We’ve been in Vernon for 33 years, both came together from Vancouver. We found jobs in Vernon  Bill set up a medical practice as a family practitioner and Kristy taught elementary school. We are both recently retired, however Bill continues to work part time in the walk in clinics. We are enjoying the freedom to travel!”         

BYV: How long have you been practicing Bikram yoga, and did you start at BYV or somewhere else? Read more

Star Student: Alison and Matt

“As parents of a 5 year old and 1 year old twins, as well as owning a business, we have made the time to alternate classes and get in the hot room at least 3 days per week each. Making that time has been one of the best things we have done for us and our children.”



BYV: How long have you been practicing Bikram yoga, and did you start at BYV or somewhere else?

Read more