Never too late, never too old, never too sick, to begin again and start from scratch.
Eighteen months ago, Roger Dixon was recovering from back surgery to correct scoliosis; he had two rods and more than 20 screws put in his back. At 75 years of age, recovery was slow-slower than Roger wanted. "I did the usual rehab and physical therapy," Roger says, "but I needed more. I wanted more flexibility, more strength, and more stability."
Watching his father struggle to recover was difficult for Eric Dixon. "My dad is a very active man, who loves to get out in the yard and work. The surgery really set him back, and it was hard to see that happening."
Eric and his wife, Liz, are Bikram Yoga enthusiasts, and Eric felt like yoga might benefit his dad. After checking with Louis to make sure the necessary accommodations could be made, he talked to his dad about trying yoga. Roger was game. "I was willing to do anything that might help," he says.
Eric and Liz arranged for Louis to work one-on-one with Roger during the first class he attended. Louis had created a program specifically for him (called Roger's Reality Method), and Roger did his best. "I remember it was hot and I struggled to get through it," Roger recalls. "I couldn't have done it without Louis. But I kept going back, because I was willing to do anything to get better."
And he did. Within a week, Louis was updating the modified program to reflect Roger's improvement, and he has continued to update the program throughout the past six months. Roger recently completed the Slow and Steady Challenge; "I figured I needed the motivation of the challenge to keep going," he observes. "I'm not one who loves physical exercise. I love to play ball, but to just exercise...I've never loved that.
"I improved quickly early on," explains Roger. "My walk is much smoother, and my ability to bend down and pick things up is better. The improvement is more gradual now, but I am strengthening my back and legs."
Eric and Liz see a significant difference as well, and Eric loves that his dad has regained his mobility and is continuing to see improvements in strength, balance, and flexibility. "I believe yoga literally saved his life," says Liz. "It's been a miracle; Bikram Yoga has added quality and quantity to his life!"
Although his challenge is complete, Roger plans on continuing his practice two or three times a week. "I feel good after the workout," he says. "And it's definitely helped. And I enjoy the studio and the people there--I can't imagine anybody being more supportive or encouraging."
Of course, Joanne can't imagine the studio without Roger--and his family. "We have three generations of the Dixon family practice regularly, and we are so blessed to have them.
"Roger is a perfect example of Bikram's famous quote: Never too late, never too old, never too sick, to begin again and start from scratch. He started out slowly, but was completely committed right from the beginning. He has come so far in such a short amount of time. Roger is possibly the most delightful man I have ever known. He is warm and friendly and radiates positivity and grace. We are blessed at the studio by his presence."