For years I would drive by The Bikram Yoga Takoma Park studio wishing to try it out. I finally got to try out a Bikram yoga studio in Columbia MD. I loved it but I couldn’t continue because it wasn’t in my budget. When I started researching Bikram Yoga I truly believed it could help me gain more flexibility and strengthen my body as a whole. A part of me was still nervous I would injure myself or my hips would give out. I allowed that myth to play in my head and never went back to continue the practice. On this journey of training for the Olympics I’ve had to overcome many obstacles including seven Hip surgeries, alcohol and pain pill abuse, and still have more to overcome! The most recent obstacle was letting everything go and seeing how I would live let alone train. It’s actually been the most wonderful experience because of the support I have been given.
In Jan 2017, I went to the NBC 4 Health Expo and noticed the Bikram Yoga booth. The instructors I met there had the most amazing energy and I thought wow I would love to be a part of that community. Next, I recently became a Takoma Park resident and discovered I’m just minutes away from the Takoma Park studio. I began thinking yes now how can I experience Bikram Yoga or Hot Pilates? Later that week, I saw a post on Bikram Yoga’s Facebook page that stated that they were offering work study opportunities in exchange for Free Classes. I felt compelled to reach out to them and share my story in hopes of a partnership of investing in me to see how Bikram Yoga could help my journey. I decided to reach out and had a meeting with the owner/instructor Kendra Blackett-Dibinga. Kendra and her husband Omekongo both have amazing spirits. Along with an inspiring cast of yogis and staff, they have created awesome events to bring the community together with the power and influence of their studios.
“They agreed to work with me and so began my journey with Bikram Yoga on February 17, 2017 where I attended my first Hot Pilates class with Omekongo.”
The energy in that class was breathtaking and not to mention they served us refreshments afterwards. I immediately saw how Hot Pilates was going to strengthen my hips, which allows me to be faster in the water. Two days later, I tried Bikram Hot Yoga. It challenged me mentally and physically but when I was done I felt reborn.
Since day one, I’ve had so much success, results & gains in my physique. My hips have become more flexible, my core and stability muscles have been strengthened, which has improved my skills in the water dramatically. All of my fellow yogis produce exciting energy which helps me push even further. I’m so blessed to be a part of this stunning fitness community. I have seen so many changes in myself since starting with Bikram Yoga. I have learned to appreciate every posture because each posture helps open up my entire body and has helped me recover from my other workouts. The breathing exercises have also assisted me with staying relaxed in the water.
In April, I attended USMS National Championships and performed very well against other world class swimmers. I saw how much further I came mentally and physically, since starting in February. I tried an experiment before Nationals. I added more yoga and Pilates and less swimming. My results, I felt more relaxed while racing then I ever had before. For my next race, I will continue with Yoga and Pilates and add more swimming to see if I can maximize my results even more. I would encourage everyone to try out Bikram Hot Yoga and Hot Pilates, it can help everyone in more ways then one. I am so grateful to be apart of this Bikram yoga family.
If you’re inspired by my story and journey to 2020, you can visit my fundraising page here,
Thanks for the opportunity to share my experience.