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Robin McMillen

June 2013

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I was raised in the small, quiet town of Phoenix, NY. I moved to Hannibal, NY (an even smaller and quieter town) in 1987 and still reside there today. I am an accountant by day and a yogi by night!

What brought you to the Bikram yoga practice?

My exercise passion was kickboxing daily. Due to my deteriorating spine and arthritis throughout my body, my doctor sternly cautioned me to stop kickboxing and find something else that had less impact on my joints. I began to practice traditional yoga and found it satisfying spiritually but not challenging enough physically. I began to research different types of yoga. I discovered Bikram Yoga through my research and found there was a Bikram studio in Oswego, NY (right in my back yard). Bikram Yoga seemed to be quite challenging so I thought I would attend one class to check it out. The one class left me wanting more. Little did I realize this discover would change my life.

How often do you practice?

In the beginning of my practice I made a commitment to practice daily. My first class proved my mind and body would not allow me to practice the 26 postures correctly. I was determined to learn the postures as quickly as possible, so I could reap the benefits and be as good as the person next to me. I quickly learned that my body would not allow this accelerated learning process to occur and that competing with the person on the mat next to me was not a healthy approach. Bikram Yoga practice requires patience, super listening skills, and a bull dog determination. I began to realize that this is my yoga and some days would be better than others. I have leveled my practice to 4-5 times 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?

I thought my physical limitations would be a handy cap to my practice. I have arthritis throughout my body,  especially in my spine, which can be very painful at times. I am on pain and anti-inflammatory medication. My right ankle was broken in 2012 which involved surgery to place a plate and 12 screws in my ankle so I could walk. The surgery left me with limited movement in my foot and ankle. I have been on my yoga journey since March 2013 and my arthritis in almost non-existent and my ankle is moving in directions I would never thought possible. My ultimate goal is be less dependent on medications for pain management.

What are the greatest benefits of your practice? How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?

The greatest benefits of my practice is my physical and emotional changes to my life. My body contour is changing. I am losing weight and finally fitting into clothes I haven't worn in a couple of years. My mobility has certainly increased and my pain level is manageable. I also can handle the hot humid temperatures. I am able to handle stress better and I am more forgiving and tolerant to those things I can not change.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I have a list of favorite parts of Oswego Bikram Yoga. The first is the wonderful teachers; Sandy, Deb, EunSeong, Judy, and Marina. I would not be where I am today without these 5 awesome mentors. From the turn of the door knob I was welcomed, unjudged, encouraged, and challenged. My fellow yogi's have been a huge inspiration to me also. I love watching myself and everyone transform like a flower petal blooming. The studio and atmosphere of the surroundings is surreal. There is so much positive energy inside you almost forget the rest of the world exists.

I encourage everyone to come along on this 90 minute moving meditation journey. I guarantee you will not regret your decision to become a fellow Bikram Yogi! 


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