Harris braves the hot room in an effort, he says to tame his “monkey mind.” Find out what he means in his Student Profile

What was your life like before Bikram Yoga?

Kind of boring! I used to do a lot of cardio and circuit training. I’ve always been in good physical health.

Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class …

Nine years ago, a friend of mine dragged me to an office building on Broadway and Arbutus. I went along thinking that it was going to be some sort of meditation retreat. Turns out I was way off. I’ve always been up for a challenge … but it was HOT, and only got hotter as the class went on. I hated the heat but, after the class was over, I felt like a million bucks.

What made you come back and try it again?

They were only offering a Saturday and Sunday classes at that time, so I came back the next weekend … with a gallon of water. I came back to prove that I could do Bikram Yoga. I guess you could say that it was my ego!

How often do you practise now?

I was doing three to four classes a week at the new Cambie Studio; then, life got really busy. Right now my practice is sporadic: once a week or, worse, once a month. I definitely feel the disadvantage of not coming regularly.

How has Bikram Yoga benefited you?

Bikram Yoga has increased my flexibility and tamed my “monkey mind.” Actually, the real benefits for me have been mental. I have always had a mind that never stops; it’s hard for me to turn off my thoughts. When I start struggling with the heat in class, my mind tells me that it’s way too hot and that I need to get out of the room. I have to keep going until those thoughts have passed, and that’s taught me that I do have control over my mind – in the hot room, and in life.

Any tips for newer students?

Come early, with lots of water, and find your spot in the room. If you’re new, don’t worry about mastering all of the postures. Get rid of your ego; it will kill your class.

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