On Christmas eve 1994, I was rear-ended while driving home from college to spend Christmas with my family. The accident herniated a disc in my low back (L5/S1) and exposed a pre-existing neck problem (os odontoideum). The pain in my low back lasted for 6 months, even though I attended physical therapy regularly and had a few rounds of cortisone shots.
In April of 1996, I had surgery on my neck to fuse the top two vertebrae together, as the doctors said that I was a trauma risk in the event of another accident. This led to all sorts of other problems. I was in a neck brace for 6 months which caused me to lose most of my upper body strength. Ultimately, I was disabled for 18 months, doing rehab and waiting to find out if the bones had healed together.
In July of 1998, I reinjured my back doing sit-ups with a water polo team I was coaching. I did more physical therapy and had more cortisone shots. Again, it was to no avail. A friend of mine encouraged me, for months, to try Bikram yoga to relieve the pain in my back. From my perspective, I couldn’t see how sitting around saying “ohm” would help my back, so I endured another seven months of pain before I gave it a shot.
In February 1999, I had my first Bikram Yoga class on a Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning when I woke up, I had no pain in my back. It was miraculous. I absolutely hated the heat and I couldn’t breathe, but my back didn’t hurt, so I kept going. I knew it was good for me, even if I couldn’t stand it. The pain in my back came back to a small degree, but then worked itself out completely within six months.
In the spring of 2003 (after four years of practice), I went through Bikram yoga teacher training. A year later, I purchased Bikram Yoga, La Canada.
Throughout my first pregnancy, I maintained a regular Bikram Yoga practice of 5 days/week. Previously, I had been told by more than one physician that with my back problems, I would be bedridden for the last trimester of my pregnancy. That never happened. In fact, I took my last yoga class at 4pm on Thursday and gave birth to my first child on Friday morning, with less than 8 hours of labor and no pain medications. I maintained a regular practice through my second pregnancy as well.
Nested against the mountains of La Canada, Bikram Studio is located on Foothill Blvd. We are right across from TJ Maxx and Vons sharing retail space with a popular sushi and frozen yogurt store in the area. Parking spaces are available in the lot and on side streets.
The studio has both men and women changing rooms and showers. The yoga studio is equipped with a clean, relatively new carpet and overhead fans and lighting.
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