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Completed 5 classes in 10 days of Bikram Yoga

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Ellen, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, I am going to finally post a success story, though I do it with some trepidation. Every time in the past that I have even thought I might be ready to post a success story, my TMS re-emerged or the symptom imperative threw something new at me. However, I think that was because in the past I have thought of success in terms of "recovery" from TMS, and my unconscious brain decided to challenge that concept. So this time I am avoiding the "R" word, and instead writing about a recent accomplishment that I never would have even attempted, much less completed, a little over a year ago when I first learned about TMS.

    I just completed five classes of Bikram Yoga in ten days. So why is this such an accomplishment? Well, Bikram Yoga is hard. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it is also referred to as hot yoga, because the 90 minute class is done in a room that is heated to 104 degrees F. The idea is that the heat makes you more limber and flexible and so it is easier to do the 26 challenging asanas (poses), each done twice, that make up each class. But the heat also makes you sweat like crazy, which is said to promote detoxing and to increase the cardio-vascular workout as well.

    So I'll say it again--Bikram Yoga is hard. And I am (was) in pretty bad shape as a result of not having done much physically for the past decade or more. A little over a year ago I was on my 20th year of having chronic pain (diagnosed as fibromyalgia) and had been taking the maximum dose of tramadol for pain for 15 years. I was having almost daily migraine headaches (which started when I was four years old), and had been taking a beta blocker daily to prevent headaches for 18 years. (I also had many other symptoms too numerous to list here.) After learning about TMS and beginning to use TMS healing techniques, it took about 9 months for the migraines to go away completely, and about a year for the last bit of chronic pain to leave. I have been completely off of the tramadol for a year, and completely off of the beta blocker for four months. I still have a few other TMS equivalents that I am working on getting rid of, but all of the chronic pain has been gone for months.

    I first heard about Bikram Yoga before I learned about TMS, and at the time I thought that there was no way I would ever be able to do that. The heat and the exertion would trigger a migraine and set off a flare-up of fibromyalgia that would leave me in bed for days, if not weeks. Well, I am happy to say that none of that has happened. I am sore the day after class, but it is the normal pain from using muscles I haven't used in a long time, and it goes away by the next day. And I am able to go back and do it again--as often as I want.

    I'm not necessarily recommending Bikram Yoga, as it's clearly not for everyone. But I do feel that yoga is an excellent mindbody exercise--or moving meditation as it is sometimes referred to. Going to class each time has challenged my mind as much as my body. I've had to overcome years of conditioning and seeing myself as a person too disabled to do such a thing. During class I usually notice a tremor in my left hand that has been there since stopping the beta blocker, and I have to not let it distract me and lead me in to old thinking that there is something wrong with my body--something wrong with me. And yoga requires keeping my ego (and perfectionist tendencies) in check, as it is always wanting to compare me with others to see how I measure up. Right now I am often the least competent person in the class, but that is OK because I know how far I have come by just showing up and trying.

    Yes, this feels like a success story. It feels like freedom. And it is hard at times, but so worth it. Hang in there everyone. If I can do this, anyone can. You can.
    Laudisco, Raj s, JanAtheCPA and 7 others like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    That is terrific, Ellen, I'm so happy for you! It's great to hear that you are doing better and achieving some important goals. Thanks for sharing.
    Ellen likes this.
  3. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wonderful news Ellen! Woody Allen once said "eighty percent of success is just showing up". I think it take a lot of courage to even walk inside that door - I've contemplated Bikram many times but chickened out! You've inspired me now. Well done!
    North Star and Ellen like this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Ellen. Congrats on showing up and doing the Bikram yoga.
    That took some courage. You've got plenty of it.
    North Star, Forest and Ellen like this.
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is so awesome Ellen, Hooray you have done it. :) The migraines was the last to go for me so you have done a powerful work with yourself. THe Yoga sounds awesome, I first remember hearing about hot yoga from a member here on the forum, I'm sure it is very gratifying. I know you are a success, don't fear standing up and shouting you are healed. By losing that fear it will carry you home, and if another imperative sinks in then treat it the way you have all the others -- soon you will have no more of them except maybe the little aches and pains you might have had before you ever developed tms. Not fearing to say your healed and then carrying through with that decision is your right and you have done it. Bless you my friend. I would love to hear from you on the call in next week if your up to it -- till then have a blast in yoga class, :):)
    North Star and Ellen like this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, everyone, for the support and encouragement.

    I just completed my 7th Bikram Yoga class--but who's counting? I think I'm hooked. Today's class was the first time my brain didn't say at some point, "It's too hot in here! Get the hell out of this room! Now!" My fight/flight response is quieting down so I can focus on the yoga.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen, I can identify so much with your story…the years of pain….the fibro…headaches…it just delights me down to my tippy toes to hear of your successes! BRAVO!!!dancea

    When we get settled into our new digs in Arizona next month, I am going to look for a yoga class. I had tried a few classes here but the environment was less than welcoming and I didn't stick with it. Not sure I could dig the hot portion though. If I'm going to be around that sort of heat, I'd rather be pulling cookies out of the oven. hahaha

    I am so very happy for you!
    Ellen and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  8. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Congratulations, Ellen, I am so happy for you!!!
    Ellen likes this.
  9. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Wow that is truly amazing! Bikram Yoga is not the easiest to do especially in all that heat so well done Ellen. So pleased for you. May you accomplish even more & wish you continued success.

    You've come long way Baby!! dancea

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
    Ellen likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Doing any exercise or yoga when it's hot is no fun. So it's great, Ellen, that you are doing the Bikram yoga despite the heat.
    I'm sure deep breathing helps. And at least when the session is over, drink plenty of water.
    Ellen likes this.
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yay Yay Yay Yay Yay, Ellen! And you are 100% right - Recovery is a life-long process with TMS. Getting ON with your new active life IS recovery, no matter what symptoms crop up - because your relationship with TMS and its symptoms is now totally different.

    This is what it's all about.

    Ellen likes this.
  12. speedysel

    speedysel Peer Supporter

    Are you crazy .... it feels like a success story....BECAUSE IT IS!! Wow....to do such sessions of yoga...my dream at the moment. I can´t even do the easiest of yoga poses YET. You have achieved so much and given me the positive direction I certainly need today. Thanks for posting your story.

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