There’s Power in Being Fake: A recap of our Live It to Love It Challenge 2016
In today’s Insta-world, it’s easy to be turned off by the fake. A quick scroll through your favorite photo-filled app can leave you feeling inadequate, as picture after picture of “perfection” is revealed. It’s no wonder “fake” can so easily cut to the quick. But, believe it or not, fake can work to your advantage. Make you stronger. Transform your life. Say what?! It’s true, and the Live It to Love It Challenge is proof.
This summer-long challenge has been all about faking it until you make it. No. Better yet. It’s about faking it until you BECOME it. Sure, it may feel artificial at first. “Who am I kidding? I don’t belong here. I am not this.” This challenge is about pushing through those doubts, sticking your chest out, holding your head high, and doing it anyway. Before long, you’ll silence those thoughts and no longer feel like an imposter. By faking it, you’ll retrain your thinking, revealing your full potential—you DO belong and ARE this. It’s a powerful transformation, and one our Live It to Love It Challenge participants have experienced first hand.
In the September Brick Canvas newsletter, The Insider, some of our amazing challenge participants were featured. We want to piggyback on that so you can get to know even more about your fellow yogis. Their stories are inspiring and motivating. Help us celebrate their successes as we take a look at Bikram Yoga and Hot Pilates from the student perspective.
Charlie has always struggled with his weight. When he first started Bikram Yoga, he weighed 235 pounds. His size made doing some of the yoga poses difficult and he admits fearing what others would think. “I felt like the fat guy in the room,” he said. “But the teachers were so welcoming and committed to the idea that it’s just about you being better with you.” That welcoming spirit helped Charlie fake it through. It wasn’t long before he was participating three times a week. Today, he’s down to… drumroll… 190 pounds!
“Always listen first.”
This is Charlie’s quote for the Live It to Love It challenge. No, don’t listen to that self doubt or inner critic. Instead, listen to your heart and your surroundings. It is that welcoming spirit that helps Charlie accomplish so much and work through difficulties. Sure, there are days when the doubt can be loud and obnoxious. Come to the studio, channel your inner strength, and see if you aren’t more in tune with the truth—the universal wisdom telling you you’ve got this.
As part of his wellness transformation, Charlie makes it a priority to exercise six times a week. In addition to his three days at our studio, he also bikes. He can often be found pedaling up steep canyon roads, which is no easy task. Since adding yoga and pilates, Charlie has noticed a drastic improvement in his breathing. Instead of panting as he climbs those hills, his breathing remains calm and controlled. Not a benefit he anticipated, but one he knows comes from his yoga practice. From biking to Bikram Yoga and Hot Pilates, he’s loved the overall transformation he’s experienced physically and mentally.
Words of Wisdom from Charlie
Charlie’s Live It to Love It Challenge quote is about listening—“always listen first.” He has these wise words to add, “It’s important to listen to what the universe is telling us before we act. Failure to do so can result in unintended and possibly unfortunate consequences.” Charlie finds great strength in this mentality, as well as the serenity prayer. Here’s an excerpt from that prayer. You can read the full prayer here.
A Message to Joanne from Charlie
“Bikram Yoga is an amazing program—a lifelong one. I’ll be buried in the Savasana pose. There’s nothing like the feeling of calm yoga creates. Two years ago, I couldn’t grab my ankles in the Rabbit pose. The day I reached them, I thought I’d jump out of my skin. It’s those little victories, those little wins… They mean so much! I can now almost touch my forehead to my knees. Talk about a night-and-day transformation! I owe so much of this to you and your teachers. You’re so welcoming and committed to the idea that it’s just about you being better with you. And I am better with me as a result. Thank you!”
Greg spends his days helping others deal with struggles associated with addiction. As rewarding as helping others can be, it’s also overwhelming and heavy. Greg is compassionate and can’t help but carry the weight of what he hears and experiences with him. He loves his work but was desperate for a release. That’s when he built up the courage to give Bikram Yoga a try. Was he immediately confident? No. Even though he went into it with an active lifestyle already in place, Greg felt unsure and insecure. You know what? He went anyway, and he continued to go throughout the Live It to Love It Challenge.
“Fight like a dragon.”
And that’s just what Greg does. He pushes. When things heat up, yoga has trained him to remain calm and push through. This inner peace carries over into all he does, including how he helps others find their own calm even in difficult times. The meaning behind “Namaste,” a gesture exchanged at the end of each yoga session, has become the mantra Greg lives by. It’s about honoring the divine in every soul and seeing equality and light in all. As much as the physical aspects of Bikram Yoga and Hot Pilates have helped Greg, he finds as much strength from the peaceful mindset they provide.
Bikram Yoga has taught Greg to be more aware of his body, all the way down to the chemical reactions taking place in his brain as he makes choices. Such a deep level of self understanding has made it easier for Greg to make good, healthy choices and provide his body with what it needs. Being this in tune is something all can achieve, which is pretty powerful and motivating.
Words of Wisdom
“Be still through the difficult. It’s all about breath. Breathe in light, love, and gratitude. Let out pain and hurt,” says Greg. Allowing something as natural as breathing to be used as a tool and a place of strength is remarkable. No matter the struggle you may face, it’s a way to power through and find light at the end of the tunnel.
A Note to Joanne from Greg
“I love the way you run Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas. It’s one of the nicest facilities I’ve been in. You know how to keep us motivated and excited. Making the trip to the studio does take added time, but I do it anyway because it’s when I feel at my best. Thank you to you and your team for keeping me motivated and excited to make this an important part of my life.”
Jody just celebrated her 40th birthday. Happy birthday, sweet soul! Just three years ago, she wasn’t sure if she’d see such a milestone. Life as she knew it came to a screeching halt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, it was all about surviving as she underwent chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.
“Stay strong & survive!”
Rebuilding her strength after such an ordeal was a tremendous process. It was the word “challenge” that made the difference for Jody. Not one to back down, she took a Bikram Yoga challenge in January that got her back into the swing of things. Was it difficult? You bet! But she pushed on, faking it on the harder days, and taking the challenge by the horns. Jody recently approached and completed the Live It to Love It Challenge with the same tenacity. With each Hot Pilates and Bikram Yoga session, she feels stronger and more ready to not only face her difficult job in law enforcement (which she loves!) but also life in general. Jody has undergone a transformation. At three years (almost to the day) since she was diagnosed, she has gone past survive to truly thrive. What an inspiration!
Jody says she participates in Hot Pilates and Bikram Yoga more for the mental release than anything. Being a Utah police officer, she is sometimes in the midst of some pretty terrible situations. She makes it a priority to go to Bikram Yoga or Hot Pilates at least three times a week to help keep her head level and her focus sharp.
Words of Wisdom
Jody is the first to say it can sound cliche to say YOLO - you only live once - but it’s true. Nobody is guaranteed any set amount of time. Her life changing experience with cancer made this painfully clear and changed her perspective greatly. Don’t wait for a life altering event to shock you into really living.
The time is now. Another on-point tidbit Jody has to share comes from actually being in the hot room: “I love the heat. There’s just something about the hot room. Just sweat. It feels so good to just sweat!” We love this! It does feel good. We couldn’t agree more.
A Note from Jody to Joanne
“A huge credit to Joanne for creating an amazing studio. Every instructor she has is fantastic, and the space is so inviting. The hot room is beautiful. The view is beautiful. I enjoy going. You and your staff have so much to do with that.”
A BIT ABOUT JOANNE
Just like Jody, Charlie, and Greg, Joanne has experienced incredible physical and mental benefits from practicing Bikram Yoga. But as wonderful as these things are, there’s something even more remarkable about her position as Bikram Yoga’s owner and an instructor—the connection to the people! She knows each of her students personally. And they each have remarkable stories to tell. She’s inspired by every person that sets foot in her studio. The connection is real and wonderful. For Joanne, it really does come down to Namaste—a mutual respect between the instructor and her students. She ends each class with the following:
"I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. A place of truth, light, love, and integrity. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me...together we are ONE.
FAKED IT, MADE IT, BECAME IT
Charlie, Greg, and Jody are shining examples of loving what they live. It’s a love that has transformed them. Sure, it took some faking at first—a word that’s so often frowned upon. But being fake allowed them to discover their true potential. You have that same dragon waiting to thrive within you. All you have to do is listen to your body, quiet the inner critic, and push yourself.
YOUR TURN TO LIVE, LOVE & BECOME
No need to go it alone. Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas is here to help you become It—whole, strong, and balanced. There are ongoing challenges all the time. Call to sign up for one today (801.407.8640).
While you’re at it, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to be the first to hear of future challenges. We’re here to Live It and Love It right along with you! Namaste.