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Katie Stout

March 2013

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I was born in Reedsburg, WI to two awesome parents (one of them another illustrious Yogi of the Month!) who always encouraged me to do my best, even if it wasn't perfect. That encouragement helped me accomplish a lot in life I thought I never could, including becoming an English teacher online and at SUNY, an organic farmer/veggie slinger for Grindstone Farm, both of which I love, and living off-the-grid with my handsome husband, three cats, and six chickens in a tipi half the year, which I also love, but perhaps my parents not so, the chickens don't live in the tipi with us.

What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice?

My amazing family introduced me to this yoga. My cousin Derek, who a lot of you had the pleasure to know when he taught here in Oswego last year, encouraged my sister and me quite a few years ago to try out this cracked idea of doing yoga in 105 degree room. He kept telling us
how great it was, and that Madonna did it! My sister Sarah got hooked immediately and went straight to teacher training, but my first experience with the yoga was a trial. After my first class, I thought "thank God that's over so I never have to do it again," even though I felt amazing after a 3-hour nap following class. I came back to the yoga a couple years later after a back injury and much encouragement from my sister to try to use the yoga to fix the injury; the yoga relieved my pain almost immediately, and amazingly realigned my back and kept it that way. After that astonishment, I got hooked too.

How often do you practice?

I usually practice 3-4 days a week.

What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking your first class? What changes have you seen/felt in your body- overall physical and general well- being?

Like I mentioned, I had a back injury from too much bending over and lifting while farming. The yoga fixed it. I realized that if I can come at least 2-3 times a week, I have absolutely no physical pain—and I'm pretty clumsy, so I've broken myself a few times. I have no pain. It's unreal. Even the arthritis I was developing from a twice broken wrist is gone, as long as I continue my regular practice.

What are the greatest benefits of your practice?

Even better than not having pain is realizing how free I am to develop my body's and my mind's capabilities. This yoga has opened my eyes to the fact that I'm more than the body that carries me around, but I can use my body as a tool to accomplish just about anything I imagine, especially if I keep this sack of bones well-maintained. More than anything, my amazing teachers—Sandy, Judy, Eun Seong, Deb, Sachiko, Wendy, Maggie, Derek, Sarah...the list goes on...have helped me see beauty in both failure and success, and to realize my own power of
determination and personal forgiveness.

How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?

I couldn't imagine life without Bikram yoga anymore. My health is great. I don't get as angry about little stuff anymore. Plus I can eat lots of cheese and donuts and still fit into my clothes.

What is your favorite part about Bikram Yoga Oswego?

Everything. That new orange coconut water is pretty awesome too.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

To everyone I've endlessly harassed about trying out a class, just do it already. You've got nothing to lose. And to everyone who has come just once, try it one more time. You'll feel so good afterward. I promise :)

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