Front row fear

pclinic head to knee cropped

So I want to talk about the fear of the front row. And what the front row represents for me. I remember in my very first class being asked (encouragingly) to set myself up towards the back so I could copy people in front and avoid any pressure being in the front row. This seemed, to me, logical and so I set up 3 rows back. I then spent the whole of my first class watching the front in awe and deciding that I would never, ever be good enough to practice right up in front of the mirror. About


You hear it all the time in class: “focus one point in the mirror”. And sometimes: “don’t even blink your eyes”. These words may sound a little strange to you, maybe even silly, but I love these words. These words changed my life. My name is Anni. I’ve been teaching at Bikram Yoga Montreal for a few years now, and many of you have already heard my story. I first came to Bikram yoga about 8 years ago, broken. Or at least, almost broken, on my way towards a complete breakdown.   I was stressed out, extremely anxious, and a severe

You can lead a horse to water…


A friend of mine has been suffering from a pretty painful injury for the past few months. I’ve managed not to preach the yoga gospel at her about it, and just tried to be supportive and empathetic while quietly continuing my daily practice, in the hopes that she would one day ask about it. That day finally came. She posted on facebook the other day saying that she wished there was a yoga class for inflexible people with injuries, and my immediate reaction was “OMG YES”. Other people beat me to it, and explained that if the instructor is legit,


So school is back in session, and as happens every year, this means a sudden influx of fresh young faces coming into our studios for the first time. Some of them will have practiced at studios in the cities where they’re from, but a lot of them are complete beginners. It can be frustrating sometimes to have easily a third of the class be made up of first-timers, but with a little extra care, the experience can be much smoother for everyone. Herewith, a field guide to helping our yoga frosh feel at home: DO: Remember that newcomers to Montreal

Home away from home: Bikram Yoga Burlington

I love the side door - so much nicer than your usual emergency exit

I know Burlington is a small college town. Like every other Montrealer, I’ve been there a million times, and grew up doing the cross-border diaper run back when everything was much cheaper in the US, so I assumed it would be easy to find my way to the Bikram studio there. In a way, it definitely was, but when I arrived at the place where the studio should have been, there was a floor covering store instead. Turns out the studio was around back (across from a really neat little art supply store), and I just have a knack for

“This class is like a holdup – just do what I say and nobody gets hurt”

“It’s all there in the dialogue – that’s all most people should ever need.” One of our teachers said that to me the other day, and it got me thinking. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten or asked for any corrections, and it’s also been a while that I feel like my practice is stronger is many ways even if I’m not going as deep as I used to, and then I realized: The difference is that I’m not thinking about it any more. I’m not analyzing my practice, I’m not looking at each step of each posture as

What’d I do?

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A very strange thing happened to me the other day: I was in class, on my mat, doing my thing like everyone else, and actually doing it better than I normally do (by which I mean not falling on my ass like a drunk penguin 17 times in the first set alone). The person in front of me was not so lucky, and despite/because of * the tremendous effort they put in, they fell out about halfway through. Now, we talk a lot about not being a distraction to other people when they’re in postures (or savasana), and that’s all

If we talked to our friends that way…


I’ve always thought of our studios as judgment-free spaces, where people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities are welcome and the only real rule is that everyone works at their own level and respects what their body is telling them on a day-to-day basis. That belief has made it much easier to start from scratch a few times, to walk into the studio after a lengthy absence, strip down to nearly nothing, and go sweat my ass off in front of a mirror in a room full of people, and to keep doing that day after day no matter how

The devil is in the details

I practice every day. Sometimes I miss a day, because life happens, but other times I’ll do a double, also because life happens, so it evens out to “I practice every day”. The benefits of a daily practice are numerous, as so many other blogs will tell you, and just when I think I know them all I go and stumble across more, or discover that some of the ones I’d previously been skeptical of (like having fewer, if any, post-surgical pain or complications) are actually kind of valid. That said, though, one of the things that’s usually listed as

0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds – A play in one act

So much better than Gatorade.

Scene: A generic hospital room on a hot summer morning, 2013. A nurse is standing over a patient while orderlies and other nurses wheel assorted things in and out, taking various measurements of the patient’s state of being: Nurse: So, you know you won’t be able to drive a car after this operation, right? Patient: Well, I don’t drive, so that’s not a big deal. Nurse: I don’t understand… Patient: I don’t drive, at all. Nurse: But how did you get here? Patient: On a bixi. Nurse: Oh. Well, you won’t be able to drive a car this afternoon. Patient:

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