Alexander II

 

What haven’t I broken might be easier, but then you would miss the gory details. So I’ll dispense with the time frame, I will mention that as bad as my injuries seemed at the time, I really would not want to trade them in. With each one I was able to reflect a little on my life- before and after. My point: pain is the best teacher educator.
Starting at the bottom right side, I have literally crushed the majority of bones in my right foot. The damage was so bad that the prognosis was walking cane or worse. There are pins in my big, second and third toes (in two toes all the way to the tip) several bones on the top of my foot were so badly crushed the doctors had to shave bone from my hip to try to rebuild / replace them.  Right ankle was broken in several places, requiring a pin to just hold it together. My right knee was also broken and repaired with a pin and hinge screw.
From birth, my right leg turned out so my right foot, in a natural stance would be perpendicular to my left foot when I stood heel to heel. The doctors were unaware of the defect when they set my leg.
My right forearm- both bones suffered compound fractures which just means, at the time, they broke with such force they came through the skin. They required plates and screws, I’ll leave out the flesh stuff and other run of the mill injuries like broken/fractured ribs, collar bone, face (orbital) and skull.
Let’s see- left leg. I broke both my tibia and fibula near the ankle- more screws. And in order for the surgery to happen they had to operate on my left knee and insert a rod (by clearing space and drilling hole in knee) through the bone all the way to just shy of the ankle. I couldn’t tolerate pain medication at all and took none.
As you might imagine i needed a lot of rehab but I got none because I had no insurance- no physical therapy, no chiropractor- until Bikram Yoga. I stared Bikram several years after my bones had knitted together full of scar tissue that had solidified- not to mention how the muscle had developed. I was living with what I had become accustomed to in terms of my range of motion. Obviously, I have a high tolerance for pain, so thinking back, I just did what I needed to do.
There have been too many positive things about Bikram Yoga to mention them all so I will just try to describe my right foot and ankle then and now.
I’m sure you can relate or imagine the sensation of walking barefoot across a gravel surface, Well, in the beginning that was the way my bones felt pressing through my skin inside and against surfaces. After a time but before yoga-my foot felt strong at peek times of the day but in the evenings many times in the mornings there would be a deep ace to the bone. Enough to make me hesitate to put my foot down and put weight on my foot and ankle. As you might imagine, in the beginning of my yoga practice there were many postures that challenged/pained me, quickly helping me to realize where i was week and inflexible. you think you can’t get your butt to the floor(fixed firm), get all the way up on your toes, lock your knees? Was there pain? Do you think any of us have any true grasp of our potential? Well take it from me we have ‘NO IDEA’. We think the room is hot? We tell ourselves some silly stuff. One baby step at a time almost seven years of baby steps- When do you think my foot and ankle will be healed? It’s taken a while but when i’m in class regularly (4-5times a week) I can’t tell which foot/ankle I broke. Traction- like Bikram says “a natural human traction”- are the words that come to mind- like each bone has it’s own brace (muscle/memory) and it does.
But when my record gets caught in a groove and I just get used to the same old sound and four days of no practice turns into seven days, my teacher (pain) will reappear to remind me that I dont have to listen to the same song over and over again, expecting to hear something different. And you know, the hesitation/fear (memory of the past) to put my foot down returns and the soreness can intensify with each day away from yoga. When I return to the practice, get back into my body, use it to pull my mind back to NOW, I start remembering/feeling how good it can be! Continuously working hard in class will get rid of all the stuff we don’t need.

Alexander

I found my body lying on my daughters four-post bed. I awoke in New Albany just two days after my horrific demise on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. I was jumped by a group of awful thugs (some five in number), who left me for dead on the side of the road.

The incident rendered me unable to walk independently, and with sever nerve damage up & down the left side of my body. I will spare you the details of the carnage, though there is a wonderful story I can relate about the experience. I will just say however that I am living proof of being reborn.

As I watched my body being dragged to the side of the road in a helpless heap of skin and bone, I called unto Jesus Christ & Babaj for help, and they sent me an Angel. My daughter Ayanna arrived. The soon to be director of Bikram Yoga College Of India Southern Indiana in New Albany.

The mugging left me with cracked ribs & a mouth full of loosened teeth. Ayanna took me to nursing homes, and private hospitals both here and abroad, but I was in deep shock so i cannot remember all the details, and several cat scans later I found myself convulsing in her home. My left arm, eye, ear drum, and nasal sinus cavity were severally affected, and it took me a few days to realize that I could not move the toes on my left foot.

My teacher & guide snatched me from the jaws of certain physical death, after training at the feet of Bikram Choudury that year, and beginning her life’s purpose blossoming under his guidance & direction.

I became one of the first students of this, her dynamic program along with my son, Alexander II, who designed & furnished our present studio. We awaited her triumphant return. Some five years have passed now, and along with them most of my physical, spiritual, and psychological problems. I am younger now than I’ve ever been before, with energy to burn.

I can jump & dance & carry-on, and my visual & creative powers have increased ten fold. Testimony to this fact are the works which hang at the yoga studio. I thank you all for supporting me with every pranic breath I take, for breath is the active belief in the moment: within it lies eternity.

Melissa

I came to Bikram Yoga in 2012 as an alternative to significant amounts of cardio-based exercise. At the time, it was running, but I had been a biker, a swimmer, a group fitness fanatic, etc. All of this had left my body feeling stiff and inflexible while my mind was stressed. I had also been dealing with some neck pain. I hoped that yoga would help relieve all of this, and got so much more! In my just over 3 years of practice, I have learned to enjoy all the benefits of yoga, mental, spiritual, and yes, physical. There is no other workout like it to make you feel more powerful when you leave and not drained. Yoga is my oasis in a busy world, where there are no cell phones allowed and we don’t even talk with classmates in the class space. It forces you to focus on yourself and where you are at that moment.

I did practice throughout my first pregnancy, up to two weeks before giving birth, and started back about a month after giving birth. I credit Bikram Yoga with assisting me in my preparation and ability to have a 100% natural childbirth, not to mention a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

I would encourage everyone of any ability level to get active with Bikram Yoga – I encouraged my own parents to get started, and both my Dad and I have completed the 30 day yoga Challenge and my Mom completed 60 days! Thank you for the gift of health Bikram Yoga Indiana!

Jordona

Considering that this week is Thanksgiving, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that you are why I am most grateful for this year. At this time last year, I was in emotional & physical agony every waking moment; I woke up in misery, spent the day in misery & went to bed in misery. Some days I couldn’t even get out of bed in misery, and given that I used to be an extremely active individual who love to be on the move, this was soul crushing. And even though the rational part of me knew that I was surrounded by blessings, I was utterly numb to everything but fear & pain & despair & some days,I felt so hopeless that I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep going. Some days, I came awfully close to calling it quits.

Because of you-your wisdom, your patience, your compassion, your humor and your encouragement and because of the wonder that is Bikram Yoga, I am in a place now where not only can I recognize & feel thankful for my many blessings, but I an beginning to feel moments of real joy again. It is no longer so difficult to get out of bed, and I am now having frequent good days during which I am feeling like my old self. I no longer spend every moment in fear, Ive been able to return to my art work & my music, and I’ve even been able to start being more active, walking longer distances and once again being able to keep up with the yard work! and while I’m not healed yet, I finally have hope that one day I will be.

I couldn’t have done this without you…

From the bottom of my heart, & with every fiber of my being, Thank You!!

Namaste.

Mike

I would like to thank  Ayanna and Bikram Yoga for making me feel the best I have in decades.

I have rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis and this Bikram yoga has helped me alto.

My core strength and flexibility have greatly increased.

Thank You

Tom

First of all, I won’t win any awards for my yoga postures—unless they give one for “best in savasana,” but all joking aside,  I would like to acknowledge the debt I owe to Bikram yoga.  Since coming to Bikram Yoga in New Albany ten years ago last month, I have been on a journey to good health ever since. This particular style of yoga has freed me from years of sciatic pain.

When I was 20 years old, I injured my back doing the same farm work I had been doing since I was a kid, but this particular injury put me on the road to frequent pain that plagued me for 24 years.  I would alternate between my back being in so-so condition and debilitating pain that would lay me up for several days, two or three times a year.  Several years before I began my yoga, I had a terrible back event, one of my“episodes” as I called them, that left me with neuropraxia in my left leg, a numbness that made tasks as simple as going down the stairs dangerous.  Over the years, muscles on the right side of my body were overdeveloped due to compensating for the pain.  My colleagues at work always knew when I was having a flare-up as a result of my limping around bent to the left. Realizing that things were only getting worse as I was aging, I went to a neurologist who ordered an MRI and informed me that my spine was “healthy,” but that I had serious sciatic problems.  It wasn’t until several years after that that on the recommendation of a friend that I consulted osteopath Dr. Daniel Kantz, who examined me and looked over my MRI films.  Dr. Kantz recommended Bikram yoga to me telling me that he practiced it too, and knew of its benefits from his own experience. It wasn’t until several months later that I bit the bullet and went to yoga for the first time.  Ten years later, this is the single best piece of medical advice I’ve received from a physician, so thank you, Dr. Kantz.

Ten years later, I’m free of my back problems, but it took about two years of my back and core seeking realignment to get there.  I can’t say that I never have aches and pains, but I no longer suffer debilitating back pain as I once did.  I simply feel good when I do my yoga faithfully, every other day, and when I allow my sedentary job or excuses to get in the way of going regularly, the old aches, stiffness, and weakness creep back in.  When I go back to my yoga routine, I realize how bad I feel physically when I don’t keep up with it.  When I practice my yoga, I have the strength and endurance to do the kind of work I have to do outside, like cutting and splitting firewood and hoeing a big garden.

Unlike typical western exercise, with which I am very familiar, Bikram yoga will strengthen you without without shortening your muscles (making you prone to injury) and grinding your joints to an arthritic pulp.  But what is even more important, it will teach you to listen to your body.  The pain in my back used to scare me and create a negative feedback loop for fear of debilitating back episodes, which would only help trigger them, but Bikram yoga enables me to distinguish between the kinds of pain that signal growth and strength and pain that says “this is all you should do today.”  Since conventional repetitive motion exercise doesn’t enable us to feel those differences, we don’t really get the chance to experience the body-mind growth that yoga provides.   Because we live in our bodies, we are subject to pain from time to time, but it doesn’t have to control us. Bikram yoga helps you regain that kind of psychological freedom.

Because we don’t find Bikram yoga in every town in America, I feel fortunate that I live only about  five miles from this studio in New Albany, and I also feel lucky that it is run by award-winning instructors—Ayanna and Glen Brown and Alex King—who themselves are dedicated to the craft of teaching and walking the walk of yoga. Because they are all super fit from practicing Bikram yoga faithfully, they are able guide their clients with the wisdom of experience.

When I get up in the morning and know that all of my loved ones are well, and that I am well, it is a good day, and Bikram yoga is a part of that gratitude.