Lareen Mellor used to run marathons until Crohn's disease slowed her down; along with Crohn's, she also suffered from chronic back pain and arthritis in her shoulder. Exercising was important to her, but she couldn't find any exercise that didn't make her existing health problems worse.
Until she tried Bikram Yoga.
"My niece from California first told me about it when she came to visit," Lareen says. "She wanted to find a studio, and I told her I'd go with her. We went to one class together. I had just had surgery, so could hardly do any of the poses, but I stayed
stayed the whole class and liked the way I felt. I had finally found an invigorating workout that cleared my mind, tired my body, and didn't increase my health problems."
In fact, after a year, Lareen feels better than she's felt for a long time. Her back pain has disappeared, her arthritis isn't acting up, and she's sharing Bikram Yoga with anyone and everyone who will listen.
"I tell everyone about Bikram," she says. "When people have problems, I tell them Bikram will solve those problems. And it almost always does!"
Lareen is the first official yogi at Brick Canvas to complete the Slow and Steady Challenge, attending yoga classes three times a week for six months. "I was actually doing that before they announced the challenge," Lareen notes, "so for me it was a no-brainer to sign up. I was already committed to that approach."
It turned out to be a little more difficult than Lareen expected, however; she and her husband travel quite often for both work and pleasure. In the past six months, they've been to Africa, Georgia, Wyoming, and Florida. Lareen attended classes at other studios when she could and doubled up classes here at Brick Canvas when she needed to.
"Going consistently several times a week is the only way to go," she says. "I can tell when I miss a class or two--I start hurting again, and I just don't feel as good. I think I'll always do the slow and steady thing; I just can't imagine my life without Bikram."
And Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas can't imagine life without Lareen. "She's a wonderful and dedicated student," says Joanne. "She has many friends and family members who come here because of her; she is always encouraging people to come. She also makes friends at the studio and is an important part of our Brick Canvas community."
Congratulations, Lareen, on reaching your Slow and Steady Challenge goal!