This amazing and inspiring interview features Kevin Miller, a yoga student at our Troy location, who has discovered for himself the healing power of Bikram Yoga. Kevin... we LOVE having you practice with us, and thank you SO MUCH so sharing your story with our community!
~ Ian & Jenny and the Detroit Bikram Team
What are the top benefits that you get from Bikram yoga in your life?
"Before I started doing Bikram Yoga I could never find anything to help with my back problems. I was always sore, stiff, and felt like I was 20 years older than I really was. After doing Bikram Yoga for a few weeks, I felt better. I was more flexible. I wasn’t as sore as I had been and when I walked out of class each night I felt great. I really did. You have this sense of accomplishment when you walk out of the studio and, for me, it carries over to the next morning."
Please share some background about yourself...
"My name is Kevin Miller, I am 38 years old. I’m married to my best friend and love of my life Sarah Miller. We have two daughters, Giada who is three years old and Fiona who is nine months old. I have been in the healthcare field for the last 19 years and currently own Optimum Plus Home Care, a home health care agency in Southfield. We provide nurses, physical therapists, and home health aides to homebound patients around the metro Detroit area."
How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga? How often do you practice?
"I have been doing Bikram Yoga since April of 2015 and currently go five days a week, taking Wednesday and Sunday off. Originally, I attended on just Tuesdays and Thursdays. After a year, I challenged myself to go five days a week and have been doing so since May of 2016."
What inspired you to start Bikram Yoga?
"I have had six back surgeries, L5/S1 vertebras and have been known as the guy with the bad back my whole life. I had become very limited in what I could do. I didn’t like it and I knew I had to do something to make my quality of life better. I was happy in life but physically I couldn’t hold my newborn daughter for more than 10 minutes and that was eating me up inside. I wanted to get better for my wife and my kids and most importantly, myself.
A friend had mentioned he was doing Bikram Yoga and I asked him if I could tag along.I had always thought of yoga as something that wasn’t for me. I have to admit that I thought it was just some stretches and funny poses. To say I was wrong was an understatement! I fell in love with Bikram Yoga after the first session and haven’t looked back. I tell everyone I can about the benefits that I have felt and see in my own body. I encourage people to just give it a shot."
How were your first few classes?
"I will be honest, it was rough. In the beginning I struggled on all the poses. I listened to the teachers and took my share of breaks. That was what my body was telling me to do. The one thing I never did was leave the room. I told myself that if I could get through the class no matter how many poses I did, I would consider it a successful class. As the classes went on, I noticed little by little that I was able to do more and more without taking a break and sitting down. Eventually I got to the point where I was doing everything and was just trying to master the pose to the best of my ability."
What have you noticed in your health and in your life resulting from this yoga?
"Yoga is the best thing I have ever done for my health and my life without question. As I said before I have had six back surgeries. My spine was fused at L5/S1 when I was 20 but really since the age of nine, I can remember going to physical therapy for my back. The years after my surgeries I got depressed. I had just accepted the fact that I was going to always be in serious pain the rest of my life. I basically just learned to live my life a certain way that would minimize the pain as much as I could. I lived off of medication and just took it one day at a time. I knew I needed to do more to help myself but I didn’t have the energy or the ability to do anything.
When I took my first Bikram Yoga class it was like my first kiss… I was that excited. I finally found something that I could do that made me feel better both mentally and physically. It’s been two years and I have reduced the amount of medication I am taking which has made both me and my family happy. They can see the difference in me. My wife actually encourages me to go every night which I know is difficult on her with two young kids at home. Sometimes I feel guilty leaving every night knowing I could be at home helping with the kids but in the long run this is the best thing for me and she knows it. I have told her how much it means to me but let me take this chance to say thanks babe, I love you!"
Do you do other forms of yoga, training, sports, athletics? Do you notice a difference in these areas of your life?
"Not really. As much as I say that I am feeling better, I still have a bad back with some serious hardware inside of me. I try to take what comes to me and enjoy it. I have appreciated Bikram Yoga and what it has given to me so much. I am a different person since I started and right now I am not looking to push my luck. Down the road who knows… maybe I will take up some other sports but for right now I will stick with Bikram Yoga."
What is your most memorable experience in a yoga class?
"I had a long night before, my daughter was up sick, a long day at work, my back was hurting and I knew I just needed to get to yoga. As I was driving to yoga with my friend Kris, I was thinking how am I going to get through this class? I was so tired. I got to class a few minutes early and laid down on my mat and shut my eyes “for just a second.” Next thing I knew the class was over! I slept through the entire class! I could not believe it.
Krysia, the instructor, came up to me after and said “I saw you sleeping and figured you had a long night and figured you needed the rest.” As they say in class, listen to your body. Well my body said to sleep and I did! To say that was my most memorable experience is an understatement."
Do you have any advice or wisdom or encouragement to share with beginning yoga students?
"Just try it. If you don’t try you will never know. Don’t just go once. Do it for 30 days and then another 30 days and then you will be hooked. If it can help someone with six back surgeries that has had pain almost his entire life, it can help you. We go through so much in our days and keep so much inside. A lot of times it helps you get right with yourself. You walk out of class feeling refreshed, feeling like you just helped yourself and a lot of times we don’t do that in our day.
We always try to help other people when a lot of times we are the ones who could use the help. I can’t say enough about Bikram Yoga and will forever be thankful to myself for giving it a try."
THANK YOU KEVIN FOR YOUR INSPIRATION!!
~ Ian & Jenny and the Detroit Bikram Team
Share YOUR Yoga Story...
We'd love to hear what YOU get from your yoga practice! Help us inspire the community and give courage to people out there who want to try this yoga. Email email@example.com with your answer to these 2 simple questions...
1) Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
2) What are the Top 3 Benefits you get in your life?