Here's my story - I'll try to keep it short. I was born on the 27th day of June in 1977. Gasp- I know but here's the cool thing - if you practice Bikram Yoga regularly you can tell people your "real" age - they'll never believe you because you look that good.
I am an only child. My parents are the most amazing people. I could fill pages on this website about them. I'll keep it simple - they mean the world to me and Bikram Yoga St. Albert wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for their continued support and constant love. Sniff Sniff.
I have a dog - his name is Rusty. You will see him around the studio from time to time. He doesn't shed or bite. He's not a licker but he is a super cuddler. He hates veggies and grapes but is addicted to ice cream.
I LOVE spending time with my family and friends. I LOVE BIKRAM YOGA! I found Bikram Yoga 7 years ago. I was certified in March of 2004. I was lucky enough to be trained at Bikram Yoga Headquarters in Los Angeles, California. I drove my VW down to California with my friend Heather - and back to Canada with Heather (thanks Heather - those are some good memories). I lived at the Oakwood Apartments in Marina Del Ray, with my fellow teacher Jan Wilson. Jan and I are a little like night and day but I couldn't imagine my training any other way. Thanks Jan for being my first and only roomie. Teacher Training started on January 11, 2004 and ended on March 18, 2004 with Bikram personally handing me my Certified Bikram Teaching Certificate. I have been teaching since April of 2004. I tried to calculate how many classes I've taught and it's somewhere in the 3,000 + area.
I can't remember many of my first classes, them seem so long ago. I do remember going with my friend Kathy, wanting to leave, wondering how long the torture could possibly last and constantly looking at Kathy with pleading, sweaty eyes. It seemed like the class was four hours long, I was conserving my water because I was afraid to run out and the sweat, ohhh the sweat was driving me bananas. I left the class and thanked my teacher, Pernille, she told me to come back as soon as possible... "yeah right" is what I was thinking. But that night, I slept better than I had in months, the next day I was back for more. I just kept going back, I was amazed. Every class was different and I felt like a new person each time I left. My motivation changed, I was a much happier person, my clothes fit better, everything just seemed to start balancing.
It doesn't feel like I've been practicing for seven years because every class is different and I learn a little more about myself each time I go.
As a Teacher, my classes are filled with passion, compassion and good ol' tough love.
Bikram Yoga St. Albert started as a thought in my head, a place in my heart and now is un-folding before my eyes. As soon as the studio opened I knew I had to thank everyone, so thank you.
They say we all have a soul partner. I say we all find a soul space.
Welcome to mine.
I love the heat and the predictability of the postures. I also love the unpredictable way my body responds to the heat and the postures each class. No matter what, I love the feeling of bliss at the end of every class.
My sister dragged me to a 6:00 AM class with Julie. I was so tired and the room as so hot. I was completely asleep when Julie turned the lights on and told me to stand up on my mat. By the end of class, I was trying to figure out when the soonest I could come back was!
Sitting at work, wishing I was at yoga. It was during my 100 day challenge.
Acapulco, Mexico - Spring 2008
Standing Bow Pose
Forget everything you think you know. Just come with an open mind, open heart and breathe. Your life will change forever:)
"When can I sleep again?" Ha Ha HA - I'm a mom... I LOVE my sleep!
Don't let anyone steel your peace. If you let someone steel your peace, you are the loser. - Bikram
Anywhere with a beach, the hot sun, and those drinks with the little umbrella's:)
It works. It keeps working, whether 5 classes or a thousand and five classes.
Yes. It was with Jan Wilson. I wore running shorts (cotton) and a t-shirt. Toughest part was keeping arms over the head.
I was doing Bikram yoga - I was near the end of a 180 day challenge.
Acapulco, Mexico - Fall 2008
Just do it... don't think about doing it, it's easier than you think.
I don't know... let me think about it. Please hold.
Queen Charlotte Islands
I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear was gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
The joy of self-realization
Yes, I wore too much clothes and I couldn't survive passed Eagle, the third posture.
In my office, talking business on the phone, realizing at that moment, I need to change my life journey.
Las Vegas Spring 2010
Standing bow : breath, kick, stretch, and balancing on one foot
Smile, breath, calm
Who may inspire me today?
High school teacher
Self-realization is the ultimate destination of human life that any individual may carry throughout their life - Bikram
San Francisco - an electric, cultured, scenic city
Permence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement and impossibilities, it is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak
What's not to love? How every class is the same working your entire body, yet it can feel so different.
Yes! I hated it! I thought it was stupid because of the heat, and I just waited for it to end. I didn't come back for 6 months.
I just remember thinking - I need to do something for myself. That something is teacher training.
Las Vegas Fall 2009
Standing Bow Pulling Pose
Take it easy and come back soon.
What I have to do that day and should I roll over and go back to sleep.
You have to go through the bad to appreciate the good - Bikram
Hawaii of course and South Africa
Can you disappoint another to be true to yourself
Yoga is a journey mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I absolutely love teaching and learning about all the benefits of doing Bikram yoga, the gratification is endless.
Nov 4, 2008, I knew that I was in love
Palm Desert Spring 2009
I believe that each class is a new class, just like each day is a new day... receive it with open arms and an open heart and you'll be amazed.
no yoga no peace
know yoga know peace
It's hard, it challenges me, it works and I love the way I feel after a class! The hot room is my safe place; toes and heels together, feet on the line, look one point in the mirror, just you and me baby! I have learnt so many new things about myself from this practice and taken things I learnt in the hot room and carried them over to my life outside those doors. It relaxes my mind, taught me how to breathe for every moment, kept my physical body healthy, taught me how strong the body truly is, opened my heart, calmed my soul and allowed me to love myself inside and out. It has completely transformed me. I have heard hundreds of stories from students and teachers who have been healed or changed their lives from this incredible practice. But closer to my own heart, I've witnessed my mom cure the arthritis in her wrists and stabilize her blood pressure because of her dedication to this series.
Yes, in 2003, a friend called me and said "we are going to 'sauna yoga,' bring a mat, towel and water". I threw on my soccer shorts, a sports bra and a t-shirt, and went. I breathed through my mouth, guzzled my liter of water, fell out of every posture 17 times at least, took my t-shirt off half way through the class and began to wipe the sweat off my face and arms with it and by the end of class I had a pounding headache. I drank about four liters of water that night and went back the next day.
I was in the middle of reading Bikram's orange book and couldn't get enough of it. I called my Auntie Shirley and was talking to her about Bikram Yoga when she asked, "So when are you going to teaching training?" and the seed was planted.
Acapulco, Mexico. Fall 2008!
Standing Bow Pulling Pose!!!!! It is truly a love-hate relationship and I look forward to it every class.
Breathe, breathe, breathe through your nose, stay in the room and if you need to take a break just kneel down, drink lots of water and come back tomorrow.
Usually food; starting with breakfast, followed by what I will eat for the rest of the day.
I had the best grade two teacher and ever since then I wanted to be a teacher.
"Put yourself first and make the decisions that will make you happy" -My mom
"Every day you should wake up with a smile. If you don't, you need to change something" -Nonna Pina (Grandma S)
Italia, Italia, Italia!!! I throw a coin into the Fontana Di Trevi every time I go just to ensure I return back again. Call me superstitious but it has worked a few times already. My absolute favourite was Cinque Terra; the blue water, the gelato, the white sand, the hot sun, and the food. Need I say more?!?!?
It helps me be me
Yes, I loved how much you sweat
Looking at yoga retreats in Hawaii in an internet cafe in Chili
Hawaii Spring 2007
Standing Head to Knee
Let go of your distractions
Time to smile
CIA agent or a Solid Gold Dancer
Don't let anyone steal your peace or you are the loser - Bikram
Paris and Peru
Be the change you want to see -- Ghandi
I love that Bikram yoga is accessible to anyone who wants to try, will benefit everybody who gets in the room and is a proven, original hot yoga method that works. This practice isn't easy but the effort you put in is returned ten fold. You connect with yourself, you get to know yourself better and you grow as a person.
Barely, I think if you can remember your first class there is something wrong with you! I was in the tiny studio downtown and kept looking at the brick walls wondering if I slammed my body against it would I feel any better. I also thought everyone in the room was a lunatic. But I got over it, over myself and did go back!
I was walking into the studio in the middle of my first 30 day challenge and wanted to turn the light on and start teaching. That's when I thought "Hmmmm, I might actually need to look into this teaching thing" The rest is history.
I went to TT in Fall 07 in Hawaii with the lovely Miss Nikki. And Hawaii gets reactions like how lucky are you! Well if you have been to TT you know that you have very little time outside the yoga bubble so although I will never complain of the setting, I did live my own personal groundhog day over and over - wake up, look out the window at the sun and the surf (the same every single day), shed a tear and head down to the yoga dungeon to hide inside for 16 hours a day. I know, poor me, but in the moment I felt totally ripped off. Thank goodness for Nikki and our day off dates - dialogue, Subway, pineapple and any and every non-alcoholic drink we could get our hands on at the beach.
Standing bow - beauty + strength + focus + determination = good times!
Everyday is different, have no expectations and let go of your practice when you are done. Don't overthink what is happening, open your ears and your heart and you'll be fine. And don't blame me when you become addicted, it just happens! Oh and listen to your instructor, I promise we are there to help.
I wonder what Melissa Dechaine is up to today...
A dolphin trainer of course, what prairie girl doesn't want that dream job.
Put yourself in someone else's shoes and be kind to people - I've learned that you can never assume to understand everything going on with someone, you need to empathize and remember that we are all only human and there are many things that impact and complicate our worlds. Don't assume you know the whole story and be kind to people. And don't let your ego get the better of you - don't get too caught up in yourself or take yourself too seriously.
Hawaii, the Big Island. Maybe I was imprinted at training but I love Hawaii, I love the vibe, the environment, the beauty and the spirit.
"Just stop doing weird stuff in the room" Melissa Dechaine
There is nothing else in this world that makes me feel the way I feel after a Bikram Class. Since I started my practice in August of 2010, Bikram Yoga has taught me discipline, compassion, patience and awareness. No matter how crazy things may get in my life, the hot room is where I can reset and reinvent myself physically, mentally and spiritually.
I think everyone remembers their first Bikram class. I remember mine being very difficult but because I had a friend tell me what to expect from the class before hand I was mentally prepared for the ensuing "torture chamber". As fatigued as I was after class, I felt an immediate connection to the practice that I had to experience again as soon as possible. I signed up for a 30-day challenge shortly after and have never looked back.
The day I decided to go to Teacher Training, I had just finished a morning practice at my home studio where I had been discussing Teacher Training with some of the teachers at the studio. I was peppering them with lots of questions to figure out if it was something that I wanted to do. I realize in hindsight, I had already made the decision in my heart several months before. The rest is history.
I knew I had to share this incredible practice with others and made the decision to attend Teacher Training in Spring 2011 in Los Angeles.
My favourite posture is Standing Head to Knee (Dandayamana-Janushirasana). I can't describe the feeling of confidence I feel when I successfully hold both sets of that posture.
There are 2 things I would tell you as a new student. 1. Try the right way. 2. The practice is about you and your body, not the posture.
I'm a bit of list maker by nature so usually the first thing I think about is what is going to be on my "To Do" list for the day. My Bikram practice is usually somewhere at the top.
I was a bit all over the map with what I wanted to be when I was little but I would say the top 3 things where: singer / pop star, dancer and chef.
The best advice I've received was from a friend about 20 years ago, they said, "There are only 2 things you have control over in your life, your breath and your mind. Everything else doesn't matter and you should not waste your energy. If you focus on those 2 things you'll find success and fulfillment" I didn't realize the true wisdom of those words until I started my Bikram practice.
I fell in love with London, England when I was there in 2008. The history and the energy of that city are like no other place I've been. I hope to go back there soon to teach Bikram yoga and catch up with friends.
"Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around" Sofia from the movie Vanilla Sky.
I don't always love it. Sometimes I really, really DON'T love it. But what I do know for sure is when I get in that hot room, it is the absolutely best possible thing I can do to honour my body, my mind, and my spirit.
Absolutely! I was visiting my BFF Linzar in Ottawa for my 50th birthday. I had overheard a woman talking about Bikram Yoga at a crystal bowl meditation in Barrhead. After listening to her description of the yoga, I thought "Hmmm, I like that you do the same postures every class, and I love the tropics. I want to try this." I convinced Linzar to come with me to the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre for a class. It truly was love at first sweat!! It was hard, and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, but I felt great after!
I'm not sure. I remember talking to my niece about going to training. When I did decide to go, I actually had no intention of teaching afterwards. I was going so I could practice 2 classes a day for 9 weeks to "fix" my suddenly-30-lbs-overweight-menopausal body!! TMI?
Las Vegas - Fall 2009
Triangle, believe it or not! I have a love/hate relationship with the posture. I have been practicing for 5 years, and it has only been in the past six months where realization has blossomed in my brain(!) and I actually "get" what I am supposed to be achieving in the posture!!
Always drink plenty of water before and after (but very little or none during) class. And don't wipe! Wiping makes you hotter! I love telling students that.
Where am I supposed to be today?
"Complete the circle. Teach one class." Craig Villani
I love, love, love Italy! Like my beautiful niece, I also am a believer in the power of the Fontana Di Trevi. I will return:)
"Never "should" on yourself." - Louise L. Hay
As a student of Bikram Yoga St. Albert you are lucky enough to have some of the coolest Teachers around. Don't let them scare you - they're all a bunch of softies. Bikram Yoga isn't easy which is why it's important to be instructed by a Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher.
To become certified, Bikram Yoga St. Albert teachers spend nine weeks in Teacher Training learning the Bikram Dialgoue and practicing twice a day - that's right - twice a day. It's a gruelling, life changing, roller coaster of ride but so worth it in the end.
Bikram Yoga Teacher Training program is the most exciting, hard-working, intensive, effective, amusing and glamorous Yoga class in the world!
Spend nine weeks immersed in an in-depth study of Bikram Yoga with Yoga Masters Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury and their staff of senior teachers. The course, leading to a certificate of completion, will introduce you to the basic knowledge needed to begin teaching this powerful healing yoga.
The course covers asana, anatomy, therapeutic applications and health benefits of Yoga, nutrition, philosophy of Yoga, Bikram's Posture Clinic, and the Bikram Yoga dialogue. Through dedicated practice and study of the 26 postures, you will expand your knowledge of the Bikram Method and prepare yourself to teach it.