The Bikram Yoga Chelmsford community is filled with welcoming, dedicated yogis. We all share the same practice, but everyone’s path is a little different, and we have so much to learn from one another. Every month we choose a new BYC student to interview and honor with the title of BYC Hotshot. We hope you enjoy these “behind the scenes” glimpses into the yoga practices of your fellow students!!
This month’s BYC Hotshot is Mike Zwolinski. If you practiced during the September 30-day challenge, you probably took a class with Mike at some point. He has impressed us with his steady dedication to his practice and the calm, positive attitude he brings to the studio.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live nearby in Westford, and I’ve been doing different types of yoga for more than 17 years.
When did you start practicing Bikram yoga?
I started practicing Bikram yoga about 5 years ago.
What do you remember about your first Bikram yoga class?
I like hot classes and was used to hot power yoga, so the heat wasn’t an issue. The postures were a little different than what I was used to, so that was the biggest change for me.
What keeps you coming to class?
I enjoy the heat and the workout you get, and it is a great stress reliever.
What benefits and changes have you seen from your practice?
Primarily strength and flexibility that comes from a regular practice.
Has anything surprised you about your practice?
It is surprising sometimes when you realize you can go deeper into a posture than you could before – that any limitations were just mental ones.
How has this yoga affected your life outside the hot room?
The flexibility and agility that comes from practicing yoga benefits you in everything you do. There are many things I do without even thinking about it, that other people my age wouldn’t think about doing (climbing tall ladders, lifting heavy objects). So many people I know have back problems, and I think I haven’t had any issues because of my yoga practice.
What is your most challenging posture? Why?
The third part of Locust pose (lifting two legs) is always challenging for me. Some days I can do it well, and others I just can’t.
Do you have a favorite posture? What do you like about it?
I like the Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose, since it comes fairly easily to me.
What is one tip you would give to a new student at Bikram Yoga Chelmsford?
Set a routine and stick with it, even if it’s just one or two classes per week. While you will feel better right away, you’ll really start to see the benefits in a few months.
What other activities do you enjoy when you’re not practicing?
I enjoy hiking, kayaking, woodworking, and restoring old houses.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I’ve practiced at a lot of studios and enjoy visiting different Bikram studios when I travel. While some other studios are larger or have fancy new facilities, Chelmsford has a great sense of community, which I really appreciate.
Thanks so much, Mike! See you in the hot room!