Our Students, Their Journey
So many seek this greater Truth in the heavens, but it lies much closer than the clouds. It is within us and can be found by anyone on the Inward Journey. B.K.S. Iyengar
"I have been experiencing sleeping issue for a long period of time, so I was wondering if practicing yoga could help. One day, when I heard about Red Tree Hot Yoga from my neighbor, I wanted to have a try just for curiosity at the beginning. However, after a few classes, I started to feel the differences physically and psychologically. Then I decided, committed and succeeded in practicing almost every day now. Now, I am very happy to see the improvement both at work or at home in terms of concentration, focus and flexibility. Most importantly, my sleeping quality has been improved. And I seem to regret that I should have started yoga years ago. Better late than never! Thanks for the instructors at Red Tree Hot Yoga and for your friendly, proactive environment."
"Ever since my first class, Standing Head to Knee has always intrigued me! I’ve always felt strong throughout its execution and my development within the posture has been easy for me to see and feel. But for the last couple of years, I found myself coming up on a plateau - not quite moving past a certain point, feeling the same challenges each time without being able to work through them, and finding myself craving a deeper experience that seemed just out of reach. After a car accident last summer, I was forced to take a step back and build each posture again with care and attention. By not striving so hard, I was able to focus on creating and maintaining strength in a way that deepened my foundation. This has helped me to work through my plateau (incrementally!) and to again feel excited about one of my favourite postures! My head still has not touched my knee.. a reliable reminder that perfection is never the goal!"
"Bikram yoga has given me the strength to care for the elderly, my parents, and the young, my students. As a primary caregiver to my mother and father who are ninety-five and ninety-seven respectively, I needed to find ways to care for myself as well. I turned to Bikram yoga through the suggestion of a friend and over time discovered its power. It gave me the physical strength to help my parents with their physical challenges. I became better able to help with their wheelchairs and walkers. It allowed me to discretely support them in their daily activities and their daily lives. They have been able to move through these later years in dignity. I believe that Bikram yoga has indirectly given greater quality of life to my parents. My Bikram yoga experience has rewarded me with resilience in life.
Bikram yoga has allowed me to develop freedom of movement and flexibility incrementally over the years. As an elementary music and dance teacher this freedom made me a better teacher and for my parents a better caregiver. I am able to worry less and enjoy the beauty of the elderly and the young; those special moments that can pass without notice and yet are so profoundly life changing. Bikram yoga challenges the body spiritually, physically and emotionally. It has, and will continue to, bring about life changes. I am stronger in mind and spirit from taking Bikram yoga classes regularly."
"Strength and balance are moving to the forefront of my practice now that I am finally able to recruit the proper muscles. In turn, this shift is allowing maintaining that restless child of ours called mind from wandering too much. Today I feel that my practice is taking a different path."
“Balance. It’s one of the things I work towards in every practice. It is a challenge to find that perfect equilibrium physically, but I’m also amazed at how it applies to my whole life. I (almost always) allow myself to leave those busy thoughts at the door to the studio and focus on finding that calm and stability. It’s a skill that I continue to learn from great teachers. I’m surprised how it changes from day to day, practice to practice and I recognize how necessary it is for overall health. I’m so lucky to have found a place where I can apply myself to something so important.”
"My very first Bikram class was 10 years ago back in Beijing, China. It was the first Bikram studio in China in a lady's club. Yoga just started to become popular at that time there, I had completely no understanding of yoga and what's the different between yoga types. I fell in love with it after only couple of classes and practiced almost every day for 6 months. Then I came all the way to Montreal by myself, and started University to study psychology. It was a stressful and precious time for me, I had to learn how to live alone in a foreign country and to study a new subject in second language. So I stopped practice for years to focus on my new life. But I had never forgotten Bikram yoga, I tried several different types of yoga and pilates but they didn't give me the "in love" feelings. About three years ago, I moved to Toronto and started graduate school, and I found the perfect studio to restart my practice again.
Since I came from a strong Buddhism background and yoga is a major practice method for Buddhism and Hinduism. I can connect to the concepts that yoga can help to find inner peace, connect the mind and body to the nature and the universe. But I'm not there yet, I think it more like a self-practice, to connect myself to my mind, it's the process that only myself can understand. I feel grateful that I have found Bikram yoga, and have the feeling of improving my understand of self and mind through my practice. It gave me the determination for not just yoga, but for every other aspect of my life. It also gave me the skill to eliminate the extra stimulations in my daily environments, to staying and feeling more of the present. More importantly, I'm thankful that it's a life long journey."
“One of the things that first struck me when I started my practise, about five years ago, was the collective choreography of the class, a roomful of people each with individual practices, in synchronized movement. It's often like being part of a peloton of cyclists, or a flock of birds. In Dawn's classes, there's a heightened sense of physical awareness; sometimes we pause to focus on a specific pose or one person's practice, or she introduces adjustments or new information that takes us to a new place in our bodies and in our practises. As an instructor, she has an exceptional presence and awareness and this enables her to respond to her students with grace and precision."
A Bikram student since 1998, I have experienced unquestionable growth and continue to grow today through my students. To witness their changes on the mat makes me happy, and to document their growth is an opportunity to celebrate their powerful and inspiring stories with the world. Enjoy!
Dawn Quiacos, Photographer and Bikram Yoga Teacher