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Kristen Skinner

April 2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself - where you were born, where you grew up, career, hobbies, interests, etc. 

I was born in Oswego, New York and have lived here my whole life. It is hard to believe in just a few months I will be heading to New York City for college! I will be majoring in Journalism and Graphic Design at Fordham University, and I hope to find a yoga studio to take classes at and eventually become a certified yoga instructor. I love doing yoga, dancing, creating art, playing with my dog, and spending time with my family.

What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice? Where did you first learn about Bikram yoga? 

My “Yoga Mom”, as I call her, Judy Osetek, brought me to the Bikram yoga practice in 2013. I had just started becoming more curious about yoga, but I really did not know much about Bikram yoga. I went in to my first class expecting it to be like a regular yoga practice with a bit more heat, and I ended up being very surprised as to how difficult it was! But I also felt both peaceful and revitalized, and that is what got me more interested in the practice, and what brought me back for more.

How often do you practice? 

I used to try to do at least three Bikram yoga classes per week, but now I pretty much do it every day! I love yoga so much and I feel so much better both mentally and physically after each class. My body craves yoga, so I try to do it as much as I can. On the days when I have to miss Bikram, I make sure to do at least some kind of yoga at home.  

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? 

I have been fortunate enough, knock-on-wood, to not have any physical issues prior to taking my first class of Bikram yoga, but Bikram yoga has certainly made numerous positive changes in my life both mentally and physically. I have improved my flexibility and balance tremendously since I started my practice, and my mind has become stronger, too. My focus and determination on the mat has helped me to keep this mindset in my daily life as well. 

What are the greatest benefits of your practice?

One major reason that I love yoga so much is that it gives me the opportunity to let go. It seems like such a simple thing, but it can be difficult to do in our daily lives that at times become chaotic and stressful. But when I come to my yoga mat, in the toasty hot yoga room, and I come into deep and beautiful postures like camel pose, it just feels so amazing. We do not judge each other at Bikram Yoga, but we all have this positive energy in the studio, and it radiates, as we lift each other up. 

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

Bikram yoga has taught me what it means to be mindful of both myself and others. I have become more mindful of my well-being and what foods I put in my body. I became vegan in 2015, and I think my Bikram yoga influenced some of the reasons I made this decision. Bikram yoga has also helped me to get through many challenges in my life. High school has not been an easy road for me, and I do not know that I could have gotten through these last few years without my yoga practice. It is truly amazing how significantly a bad day can be turned around through the powers of yoga. Yoga has taught me to be grateful for all I have in the present moment, and to see the good in all situations. Some days can seem so hard, but when we take the time to pause and take a deep breath, we realize how wonderful this life really is, and I have learned much of this from yoga.

What is your favorite part of Bikram Yoga Oswego?

I love EVERYTHING about Oswego Bikram yoga! I love the heat, our foot massages on the days we have small classes, the beautiful music classes, the days we sweat so much it seems like we are in a rainforest, the amazing postures, the cold wash-cloths infused with essential oils at the end of class, the beautiful light-up stars that hang from the ceiling, but most importantly I LOVE our yoga family. Judy, Sandy, Julie, and all the yoga students who come to our studio make each class even more worthwhile. Everyone is so inspiring and give me the motivation and positive energy that I need both in and out of class. Coming to Oswego Bikram yoga feels like coming to my second home.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I can’t say enough about the benefits of Bikram yoga, or about our wonderful studio. Yoga is for everyone and I would be lost without it. I am so grateful for Bikram Yoga Oswego and for this practice that is truly a gift.

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