At the age of 18 I found myself in a wheelchair, the excruciating pain I was in made it unbearable to walk. After six months of attending doctor appointments, getting MRIs, CAT scans, blood tests, and using a wheelchair, crutches, and braces to help me walk, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The doctors I was seeing immediately put me on generous amounts of medication: painkillers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and sleeping agents. All of these medications combined helped to mask my symptoms for years while at the same time, produced various symptoms of their own. I was constipated, irritable, my short-term memory ceased to function, I developed medication-induced epilepsy, I was losing and gaining weight according to my current medications, and most importantly, I was suicidal. The pain was too much for me to handle and all the drugs only seemed to exacerbate the problem. I was desperate for a way to survive.
I started doing hot yoga when I was 21; my mom had done research on it and thought I should give it a try. At that point, I was willing to try anything. I truly struggled when I first started doing yoga, my medications made me extremely sensitive to the heat triggering my epilepsy and the exhaustive, agonizing nature of Fibromyalgia made every posture insufferable. Despite all of this, I kept going to yoga because every once and a while, I would not feel pain after class. One month in to my practice, I needed emergency surgery for unrelenting abdominal pain. As it turns out, I simply had endometriosis. I had to stop doing yoga after my surgery because I could not walk, let alone drive to the studio. And about a month after my surgery, my body started to reject the medications I had been feeding it for years. I was vomiting everything I ate, I ran a fever over 100 for days at a time, I was constantly experiencing muscle spasms and seizures; I honestly wanted to die.
My parents took me to go see my FM doctor in the summer of 2009 (I was still 21) and I begged my doctor with tears in my eyes to take me off ALL of my medications. Before I was ever diagnosed, I never even took ibuprofen!! I hardly ever took medicine my whole life and then suddenly, I lived off it. My doctor agreed to end all my medications, however, he was worried that I would not be able to cope with the pain. I had been researching FM for years now and I had an idea of what I would do regarding pain management.
For starters, I moved to Arizona to be in the dry heat, I regulated my sleeping habits, and changed my diet to a 75% raw diet. Adding to all this, I started doing hot yoga 7 days a week. It took me 6 months to withdrawal from all my medications completely and the side effects were not pretty, however, yoga helped me to deal with them. Hot yoga was my saving grace, it gave me a place to mediate, a place to heal, a place to relax, and it taught me to love my body for all that its given me. I am off all of my medications now, I no longer have any seizures, I do not end up in the hospital every time I get my period, and I no longer want to die to escape the pain. Doing yoga every day allows me to live my life as close to a "normal" person as possible and for that, I will be forever grateful.
To my dear Hot Yoga instructors,
I need to tell you how much you are changing my life. At 52, I have raised 8 children and had a career in healthcare for over 35 years. I have given my life to everyone around me with great joy. But I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be doing something just for me. I have always felt I am led where I am needed. I have been led to you because I needed something. Not only does your yoga feed my body it feeds my mind as well. 90 full minutes to focus on my body, meditate, thank God for my life, well you know.
I have always eaten good foods, always been very physical in my work place and always on the go. That hasn't kept the middle age weight from attacking. I also went back to school so the 10 pound college gain came at 50. I have always walked also but have only been able to maintain. It has been very discouraging to see the weight come on when there wasn't too much more I could do to loose it. I am not a taker of drugs or of fad diets etc. I have been with you for only 14 weeks and lost 24 pounds! I am even sleeping better which I have never done, even as a child. (Always thinking I was missing something).
I feel stronger. My body is tighter, firmer and thinner. My body functions better. My mind functions better. My soul functions better.
The heat allows ones body to adjust and flex with each position. The actual scripted routine of this yoga is what makes it so wonderful. You help me correct my moves, allow me to meditate on myself without worrying about the person next to me. As a person with learning disabilities this is a God send. It allows complete relaxation on the correct movements.
On the other hand, the diversity of each of you instructors as individuals keeps everything fresh and personable, Sam with his sense of humor, Linda the patient motivator of posture perfection, Sonny who is an inspiration in of herself. All of you surround us with peaceful, spiritual intuitiveness. These are the instructors I have had and am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the Hot Yoga Auburn family. You truly love and believe in what you are doing which comes across in the way you help us in our postures.
This is the best form of exercise I have experienced. I can tell you I will practice this for the rest of my life. I will share this with anyone willing to give it a chance. My greatest testimony to you is that 6 of my family members have joined me in practicing with you. It is a very emotional experience for me each time I practice. Sometimes I feel like we have just gotten started and it is already time to end.
Thank you for saving me,
Lucy Mac W.
I just completed the 60 day challenge! Every summer I tend to gain weight with vacations and barbecues. I rarely get to yoga or the gym either. This summer I put my gym membership on hold and committed myself to the 60 day challenge. I am so glad I did. Instead of gaining 10 lbs this summer, I lost 10 lbs and I didn't give up those barbecues. I can get back into my old clothes one size down. I shaved three strokes off my golf handicap. My practice is greatly improved. After three years of practicing, I finally touched my "forehead to the floor" and can "get my hips on the chair instead of the bar stool". This has been one of the healthiest summers of my life, mentally and physically.
I have been doing Hot Yoga for three months now and about a month ago I made a very interesting discovery. Twenty-five years ago I broke my left thumb in a skiing accident and have never been able to bend it more than half way. About a month ago as I was driving home from yoga I just happened to notice that I was moving my thumb a lot. I started to bend it more and realized that I now had full range of motion back in my thumb. After twenty-five years, and only two months of Hot Yoga I think that's pretty amazing. I've also noticed a huge increase in my over-all flexibility, improved digestion, and much fewer aches and pains.
I highly recommend Hot Yoga!
Yoga, Hot Yoga, will change your life. Practice just a few times and your body will gain flexibility and strength. Your mind will calm; no one and nothing will trouble you ever again. After 1 1/2 hours in the "hot room", you can handle anything. Your body will change, your sex drive will increase, and your immune system will improve. Your balance will be better, both physically and emotionally. These are just a few of the many benefits you will gain. Really, it's true! By way of examples: Soon after taking a few classes of hot yoga instruction, I misjudged my step and walked off a curb. Instead of falling and twisting or breaking an ankle or worse, I landed and held my balance. I know it was because of the yoga. One day arguing a case at court, an attorney for the other side was trying to push my buttons, but Bikram yoga had changed me; I was calm, strong and unfazed.
Try hot yoga, for twenty bucks you can go for two weeks; you've got nothing to lose, except for maybe a few pounds.
Very truly yours,
Larri Tonelli P.
Anxiety Anyone!!! Hot Yoga is the answer!
I started getting these spells when I could be sitting and then all the sudden I would have my heart racing, face flushed and hands tingling.
I look back and think it may have been stress of work not knowing if I would have a job in a few months or having to travel an hour and a half one way to get to work. This is where I would think about what could possibly be wrong with me.
Well in April of 2009 it all came to a head I had severe anxiety where l literally couldn't get out of bet for 3 days, cried, could feel my nerves all over my body and after 2 weeks I lost 10 pounds. I was put on depression medication and anti-anxiety pills. I couldn't even leave my house to grocery shop. It was affecting my work, I am in sales so I had to talk to people, my marriage and relationships with my friends. I loved the gym and being active and after a year I am just getting back.
Well in mid May 2009 my Mom decided I try hot yoga as she had heard great things for anxiety. To me a hot room at 105 didn't sound like the answer. Well it worked, it make me fell alive and after my first class I was on top of the world. At the end of May I took myself off my medication and tried 3 sessions of hypnosis in combination with the yoga and haven't looked back.
I am almost at my one year mark since I started my yoga journey and I am anxiety/panic free. I definitely get that anxious feeling sometimes, but I now know how to manage it better and instead of medication I turn to hot yoga as my medicine.
Many thanks to my Hot Yoga Auburn instructors,
I want to thank you and the team at Hot Yoga Auburn for everything you do. I am now addicted to my yoga practice and really feel it when I miss class.
I started taking classes in August of 2009. After four (4) months of practicing 4 to 5 times per week I can honestly say my life is forever changed. Here is just a short list of the benefits I have reaped from my practice:
• I have lost more than 60 pounds.
• My hips and knees are stronger and more flexible (I can wear high heels!!). The damage I have done to them over the years is healing.
• I am much calmer and less easily frazzled.
• My blood pressure is down.
• I am on a lower dose of Thyroid medication.
In addition to all of the above, I am just generally happier. My husband has noticed it and so have my kids. This is worth more than all of the above combined.
The last difference I have noticed is that my singing has improved, both my range and my breath control. This is very important to me as I have a small business singing at weddings, etc. With an improved range, I can increase my repertoire and add additional value to my customers.
I truly believe in the healing properties of my practice. Not only have I seen it in my knees and hips, but with my back. On Monday I injured my lower back at home. I decided to go to my class on Tuesday as planned, thinking that I would have to modify many positions in order to make it through. Not only was I able to perform every posture without modification (just not as deeply as usual), but my back felt BETTER after class. So I decided to come back to class later in the day. After taking my second class in a day, my back felt even better! After my class this morning my back feels normal. Three (3) classes in a 24 hour period healed my back. In the past I would have been in pain for at least a week.
Thank you again for helping to improve my life.
Just wanted to let you know that I had my yearly physical yesterday and my blood work came back with some good news. My good cholesterol (HDL) increased by 13 points...My doctor wanted to know what I was doing, and I told her Hot Yoga. I still have to work on decreasing my LDL (bad cholesterol), but that's a work in progress.
Regarding HDL levels (good cholesterol) here's some info from the Mayo Clinic:
HDL levels below 40 mg/dL result in an increased risk of coronary artery disease, even in people whose total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are normal. HDL levels between 40 and 60 mg/dL are considered "normal." However, HDL levels greater than 60 mg/dL may actually protect people from heart disease. Indeed, for several years, doctors have known that when it comes to HDL levels, the higher the better.
The "normal" reference range is between 40 - 59. My number is 87. I'm over the top because of Hot yoga....Thank you!
I would love to be able to inspire other students to continue their practice while dealing with rosacea. I was working at a very stressful job as a pharmacist and raising 4 very active children. At the age of 41, I suddenly developed painful breakouts on my face. In addition to being painful, it was also ugly, making it very uncomfortable to be out in public. I could not wear any makeup...I couldn't even wash my face or moisturize with any product. Everything seemed to make it worse. My exercise routine consisted of going to the gym and spinning and lifting weights. Everything in my life was fast, high stress. I went to the dermatologist for my skin and she diagnosed me with rosacea. She went on to tell me that no one knows what causes this problem and there really is no cure. It would be something I would deal with for the rest of my life. The best I could hope for would be to control the symptoms with oral and topical antibiotics. Being a pharmacist, I try to stay away from most medications. This was not what I wanted to hear. I took the antibiotics and the rosacea did go away. But I couldn't help thinking about what the drugs were doing to the rest of my body...and I was supposed to take these drugs for years? This just was not going to work for me. I went back to my doctor to ask for any other options. The only thing she could tell me was to reduce the stress in my life. OK. So I have a full-time, stressful job, 4 kids, 2 dogs...easier said than done! My husband reminded me that years ago, when I practiced Ashtanga yoga, I was a much calmer person. My practice kind of faded away due to time restraints and neck injuries, but I do remember being much calmer. I decided to try to get back into yoga. A local studio was offering a mix of hot and power yoga classes. I quickly noticed that, although horribly uncomfortable, the Hot Yoga series seemed to have a very strong effect on my mind and body. My face was on fire...it did not like hot yoga. I started to do some research and read that the Hot Yoga series would actually clear the toxins from my body. I felt that perhaps whatever was out of balance in my body, this mysterious "cause" that no one can define, could perhaps be corrected with the practice. My dermatologist, friends and family, even the lady at Whole Foods where I bought my face cream, totally disagreed with me. They all said, "How can being in a hot room where your pores are dilated be good for you?" My doctor actually said I would be doing more damage to my skin if I continued to practice. But something inside of me said this was going to help, so I pushed on. . I am happy to report that I have now been practicing hot yoga 5-6 days per week for 7 months. My rosacea is gone. I only flares up when I don't practice for 4 or 5 days. I can't even begin to list the many other benefits I have gained from the practice. So, I continue to practice and gain amazing benefits from this awesome practice.
I just wanted to say, thank you.
I have been practicing hot yoga for seven years. This past summer I suffered severe lower back spasms, something I've had before. This time, however, it was worse than any previous episode. I had spasms and extreme pain when going from sitting to standing and vice versa. When the sitting and standing became more manageable, I developed severe sciatic nerve pain in both legs, mostly my right leg. This I had never had before. With the sciatic pain, simply standing up was unbearably painful. The combination of lower back spasms and sciatic pain kept me away from practicing yoga for over four weeks. The only treatment I received duirng this time was a massage when the lower back spasms first occurred. I do not have medical insurance, so I saw no doctors, took no prescriptions. The first class I took after over a month of absence I could barely stand up. I spent the entire standing series lying down. I was able to do the floor series moderately well. I went to class four times per week for three weeks and by the end of the three weeks, I was again doing all 26 postures. In about four weeks, I was standing and walking completely free of lower back and sciatic pain. I have no doubt that if I had simply waited for all the pain to subside, I'd still be in my recliner at home in pain.
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 14 and my world quickly changed. In attempts to halt the progression of the disease I was sent to various specialists over several years for physical therapy, surgery, alternative therapies, new treatments, etc, but nothing seemed to help. The physical and emotional strain of RA is enormous and the thought of living the rest of my life in that type of pain was unbearable.
I never thought yoga was for me but two years ago, at the age of 27, I went to my first Bikram Yoga class and I was bitten by the bug immediately. Everyone at the studio was/is so nice and encouraging. I couldn't believe how quickly I felt results from class, both physically and mentally. My rheumatologist couldn't believe the results either! She reduced the doses of the harsh medications I take and has mentioned my results to other rheumatologists and encouraged other patients to attend a class. As proof of how much she believes in the benefits of Hot Yoga, just yesterday she wrote a note to my health insurance saying that Hot Yoga needs to be a part of my treatment for this chronic disease and that this should be covered under my medical care. I cannot say enough about how much Hot Yoga Auburn has done for me and I encourage any other person with chronic pain to give a class a try and not accept pain as a way of life.
My two week special ended today and I have been to yoga 10 times.....pretty impressive for me! And what have I received for my two weeks of torture in the heat tank? Physical changes to date are: I actually started to see my waist again, and even though the scale hasn't changed, clothes just fit better. And I love that I can get out of bed in the morning and sprint like a kid instead of taking tiny slow, hunched over steps like a 90 year old arthritic woman. While I doubted the value of Hot Yoga in any emotional sense, I (and those close to me) have noticed that I am much calmer, and clearer. They're hoping patience will come next. Some days I go in with an emotional headache, stomachache and general malaise and walk out feeling pretty darn good. Each class that I finish is a personal milestone. Me, 58 years old, inactive, and I'm doing this cardio bending stretching pulling in a room with a heat index of about 145 degrees. ME. I can do that.
But I can do that because of Sam Goldman. I could be lying on the floor gasping for breath while everyone else is in their standing postures, and Sam would say, "Good, Bonnie, rest if you need it. That's good. This is your class. Listen to your body. That's perfect." He's something else, that Sam. But the postures that I'm working hard on, he is right there saying "push, grab your knee, you can do it, maybe not today, maybe tomorrow" and then, go figure, I do it today. We need to clone Sam. He is without a doubt the most motivating person that has come into my life. You can tell he just loves what he does and wants everyone to feel the same. And so, with my two weeks up today, I signed on for 3 months. I should be pretty close to awesome by then!
I first waked into this studio 5 years ago; I'd never done yoga or even knew there were different kinds of yoga. I had never really done any type of regular exercise. I tried aerobics and the gym but it really wasn't for me. Then after my first class at Hot Yoga Auburn, much to my surprise, I was hooked. I have been an active member for these past 5 years and come anywhere from 3 to 6 days a week.
I have persistent disc, lower back problems since childhood and had been seeing a Chiropractor regularly. Since doing this yoga not only have I not needed to go to my Chiropractor in over 4 years my back has never felt better. Also, my posture, which was never very good, noticeable improved in a very short time.
I can't say enough about this yoga and the welcoming environment in this studio. This is a wonderful place to practice yoga and I plan on doing so for a long time to come.
I hope to see you in class.
Dear Sam, I wanted to send you a picture of my four beautiful blessings that I could not take care of without yoga.... whenever I start to loose it at home my husband always knows it has been a while since I've been.
Hot yoga is an amazing thing... I started doing it when I was six weeks postpartum with my oldest (now 6 1/2) and have not been able to stay away since! It is addicting. You never know what you are going to encounter in that heated room, once I realized I was pregnant (with my youngest, now 14 months). And I knew he was a boy in that yoga class... it was too soon to even do a pregnancy test.
Hot Yoga is so much for me: physically healing (I've lost over 100 pounds between the four pregnancies), balancing emotionally, but mostly it keeps me in connection with myself thus grounding me to be the best that I can be as a mother, nurse, teacher, wife, sister, daughter etc., etc!
Kate Paul O. CNM
I've been practicing Hot Yoga in Auburn studio over 4 years. I can honestly say that it's the best thing I've ever done. Prior to yoga, I've tried many different type of exercises and when I discovered yoga, that was it!
Not only I feel better mentally & physically, I've improved my life over all. In the beginning, yoga was part of my life...after 4 years, IT IS MY LIFE! I've also met the nicest group of people who are very supportive.
Besides all the health benefits hot yoga gives you, the most amazing fact is that every time after practice, you feel like 'Reborn.'...and that's not an overstatement."
I recently returned to hot yoga 4 weeks postpartum and feeling great. I started practicing hot yoga on and off for the past year before becoming pregnant with my second child. From the very first class, I knew it was the right type of exercise for me. I saw posture improvements right away. I even had to adjust my rearview mirror on the way home because I was sitting up taller! Each class is such a personal challenge, it's so great!
During my pregnancy I practiced 1-2 times a week, even through the summer heat. I was able to maintain a healthy weight, low blood pressure, and very little water retention, with all the sweating involved! Labor and delivery was very smooth for me. The Doctors and nurses were surprised at how quickly things were moving along. I delivered a healthy baby boy in a few hours, and was able to return home in 26 hours because I and the baby were doing so well! With t his beautiful fall weather, I was out walking 3 miles while pushing both boys in a stroller 3 days postpartum!
I owe my strength, endurance and quick healing all to Hot Yoga Auburn. Practicing this kind of yoga will be life long for me.
See you in class!
There is a great deal to say about the benefits of Hot Yoga, Sam Goldman's instruction, and the other instructors at Hot Yoga Auburn.
I arrived at Hot Yoga Auburn with a body that ached, difficulty concentrating, and a less than enthusiastic outlook on life. After three months, I can think straight, I can run, swim, and row anytime with no strain, and there is joy in my life. How did I accomplish this? All I did, and still do, is show up to Sam's yoga and breathe.
When I first started I often found myself simply standing, barely able to move. But I stuck with it and it was the yoga that provided the motivation not a self-help book or memories of a coach's speech. I was motivating myself through yoga and I didn't even have to think about it. That's a good deal.
The most interesting part? After several months of yoga, I benefit the most from the one posture I can do the least. To this day, I can complete 1/10th of a posture but every time I do it, my head becomes clearer and I gain more energy.
The last thing I could deal with was someone telling me what to do. Sam and the other instructors at Hot Yoga Auburn teach, guide and lead in a way that enables you to get it done your way while still doing the postures correctly.
Before Sam's yoga I would say, "Maybe it will work. It's doubtful. I don't know. Who cares?" Now, I say "Try it, you'll like it."
The Quest for Ultimate Fitness and the Perfect Body:
I know what you're thinking: "But Jason, you already HAVE the perfect body." I know I know. But hey, I've been working on it for three whole weeks now. That kind of commitment is bound to yeild some serious results.
You can, of course, join a gym. You can even sculp a pretty impressive physique with a pair of dumbells and a pullup bar. Resistance training is everywhere. Resistance training can be moving the couch from one side of the room to the other. If you're scoffing right now, drop down and give me 20, which is also resistance training. (If you refuse that's just resistance.)
When I'm feeling lazy, I go to the gym for some resistance training, for a refreshing $3.50 protein drink, and to glare at the big gooberheads hogging the double pulley machine.
But when I'm feeling good and tough and ready to bathe my musclebound torso in Jason Johnson's 54 dollars, I go to a little place in the Heritage Mall in Auburn, Mass called, simply, Hot Yoga Auburn. Talk about a workout! It's an hour and a half of strenuous yoga postures -- the same 26 yoga postures every time -- in a room heated to 100 degrees.
One time I just happened to meet Timmy Walsh there, who just happens to be pretty flexible and has pretty good balance, when he's not lying flat on his back groaning while everybody else is doing the postures cause he's feeling faint from low blood sugar or something like that. WhatEVER Timmy.
Any knuckehead can have six-pack abs and the big guns and bulging lats and shoulders to die for. But it's all external. Hot Yoga makes you fit from the inside out.
I try to bring other people, or maybe "drag" is the better word. I've brought Kelley and Vinny and they won't go anymore. They lack the necessary masochistic spirit. It's too much pain and suffering for the average person. And gym rats would rather take little catnaps between sets on a comfy Nautilus machine, or leisurly leaf through a magazine riding the stationary bike on level one.
Joe Yaskis went once. He said he was thinking: This isn't so bad; it's better than being in Iraq. Maybe what he said was: It's better than DYING in Iraq. I can't remember.
Hot Yoga Auburn. Anyone care to join me? Here's the schedule, and no I'm not getting any kickbacks.
Today I woke up and said, "I can't wait to go to yoga."
I have been practicing for a little over a month now and I feel wonderful mentally and physically. Hot Yoga is the first method of exercise I have found that takes care of me from the inside out. Have a bad back, go to hot yoga. Had a bad day, go to hot yoga.
I am currently overweight and have been most of my life. Every attempt I have made to get myself into shape has failed. I look at a bagel and I gain 10 pounds and then it takes a year to work it off on the treadmill. I have lost some pounds and feel stronger, but most importantly I have gained a deep appreciation for "my beautiful spine" which the teachers at Hot Yoga Auburn say. It makes me blush.
When I enter the studio, I feel that I am doing something extremely important for me. For my body and mind, whatever state they are in. I check everything at the door and for 90 minutes I am me sweating, breathing and stretching to my hearts content.
Hope to see everyone in class.
I have been working in fitness as a group exercise instructor and personal trainer for 16 years. I started doing hot yoga while living and working in San Francisco in the early 1990's. I learned then what a powerful tool this yoga could be to improve strength and flexibility as well as heal over use injuries as an athlete. I moved back to the east coast in 1991 to attend medical school and recently completed my residency in Anesthesiology. Hot yoga not only helped to heal a foot injury I obtained during my intern year (no doubt from being on my feet 100 hrs a week) but helped immensely with my stress level. In addition, I had two children during residency who are 3 and 1 years old. I did hot yoga 2-5 times a week during my pregnancies and believe it helped increase my energy level, and helped me to sleep better and feel better during both pregnancies and deliveries.
I recommend hot yoga to my step and spinning students and patients with all types of orthopedic injuries. I don't think that there is anyone who couldn't benefit by adding hot yoga to their life. I certainly have and continue to!
Eileen M. M.D.
I am 59 years old and recently had my annual eye exam by my eye surgeon. He said, "This is kind of odd. You need a weaker prescription." Then I told him about hot yoga and other testimonials about improved vision from practicing the yoga.