Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 35: Inspiration

First watch this all the way through (seriously, the two final poses will blow your mind):

Joseph Encinia, international yoga champion for 2011.

Amazing, right?

Now, read this:

Born and raised here in Dallas, TX. I started practicing Bikram Yoga in May 2005. Bikram Yoga is one the best things I have ever done for myself. It has truly changed my life. Mentally, it has given me more peace with myself and the world around me; physically, it has taught me my body could do things I never dreamed it could do.

I haven't always been very healthy; now, in large part due to Bikram Yoga, I am in the best shape I have ever been. Diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at a young age (which affected the majority of the left side of my body), I spent years in and out of Scottish Rite and Children's Hospital trying to rehabilitate and strengthen my joints and muscles. After a major knee surgery, I taught myself how to deal with the discomfort and move on. As a result, my physical activities were limited and I was consistently taking pain medication. Then, at the age of thirteen, quite unexpectedly, I had a heart attack. I was not the only one surprised--family and friends were caught off guard as well. The causes are unknown, but most likely hereditary; regardless, it made a tremendous impact, and I've explored many forms of exercise since to regain control of my health.

One day I decided to explore forms of exercise to regain control of my health. After a long journey, I discovered Bikram Yoga. I simply expected a physical workout. I found much more than that. I have transformed. I no longer suffer constant pain. I've lost weight and developed lean muscle mass. I can contort my body into positions I never thought possible. I have gained a peace of mind I previously never knew existed. I have transcended many limitations within myself – mentally, physically and emotionally. I am accomplishing things I once thought impossible.

I've learned to accept responsibility for making changes in my life. Bikram Yoga has taught me to look at challenges in front of me, smile and meet them head on. I have learned to focus on the tasks at hand and live in peace with myself and the world around me. To me this is the gift of yoga. The gift which I have the responsibility to share for the rest of my life.

(From Encinia's Facebook bio)

Certainly keeps me going.

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