“The little victories are addictive,” says Autumn Cypres, 49, who first came to Bikram Yoga Richmond in July 2014. “The first time you can grab your foot for Standing Head to Knee pose, the first time your right toe goes all the way around your left calf for Eagle pose.”And then: “The first time you can do a backbend against the wall and touch the floor.”(Editor’s note: None of the above victories should be considered “little.”)“I was very intimidated my first two months,” says Autumn. “I am not an athlete. I am not thin, I am not coordinated, and I have horrible balance. I could not bear to look at myself in the mirror.”And then there were the yogis in the back row practicing their advanced poses and preparing for competition.“I felt like I did not deserve to be there,” Autumn says.Then she made a discovery: “Even the most gifted students struggle. That was a huge surprise! And they are so humble and encouraging to me.”The lesson: “It does not really matter what I look like in class. What matters is that I am trying. And for 90 minutes I don’t think about all the other very stressful things in my day.”Autumn is a professor of educational leadership at VCU and also chairs that department. “It’s like having a job and going to school—I always have homework.”She will be leaving Richmond for a new position in New York City, as Research Professor at St. John’s University, where her job and homework will be about expanding research and preparing school leaders.Meantime, she says, “I am always thinking, worrying, or writing in my mind. Yoga has helped me to learn to relax, and turn my mind to something else, like locking my knee.”A regular in the 5:30 a.m. classes, since January, Autumn’s also been working on Peacock pose. She became inspired after seeing it demonstrated by a 70-year-old yogi in North Carolina.“He had on a denim work shirt and blue jeans. He was lecturing about stress reduction. When someone in the audience said they did not understand what he meant by Peacock, he just bent down, put his arms down and then levitated.”That’s when she decided she wanted to master the pose.“When I started,” she says, “I couldn’t do a pushup. I was not even able to lift my head. Now I can balance for about half a minute with my legs bent. I am shocked my arms are so strong.”“It’s challenging to tell a colleague or friend how profound a moment can really be when you overcome your own doubts and hold a pose for the entire duration of the dialog. It’s difficult to explain the joy of being able to lift your legs up one-quarter of an inch higher in locust. But it is a joy.”
Last day! This one feels short! I don’t know about you guys, but I haven’t been feeling as great as usual. I will say that each cleanse is a little different, depending on how your body is cycling while on the cleanse. If you don’t feel fantastic and wonderful on the cleanse, don’t worry. You are still getting benefits just by making the attempt. Some of you may want to add a day or two to your cleanse and that is fine. We have plenty of juice stocked at the studios this week that you can pick up for Thursday and Friday.
The specialty juice today is carrot/apple/ginger. This is an excellent anti-inflammatory as well as good for your respiratory system. Carrots regenerate the cells of the lungs, while apple remove histamine. Ginger kills unwanted bacteria and breaks down congestion and acid build up. Also carrots are good for the eyesight. They might even give you a natural tan (drinking lots of carrot juice might turn your skin an orange color….cool!). So drink up!
Even after this cleanse, I hope you all see the health benefits to drinking juice daily. Juice and smoothies make up at least half of my regular diet. You may find that after the cleanse you will continue to cravee more plant and liquid foods and not require so much food to feel sustained.
I hope you have a great day three!!!!
Check out this blog post about drug and alcohol addiction and how yoga can help with recovery. It’s never to late to learn to forgive and love yourself and start from scratch once again.
Lilly Tripp says she’s always been on the lookout for the best exercise routine. “You should see my garage. I’ve spent a small fortune on exercise equipment. Some worked; others are not worth anything.”“I was an infomercial junkie,” she admits. But Bikram yoga cured her.In fact, Lilly first discovered yoga while channel surfing. “I came across a yoga class and decided to do the poses, and within a few minutes I was sweating. The instructor didn’t talk about breathing or the benefits of each pose, but I was intrigued by how easily and quickly I started to sweat. So I Googled hot yoga and came across the Bikram Yoga Richmond website.”Lilly says at first her goal was just to lose some weight, which she accomplished, losing about nine pounds in three months. “But now I want to do more than that. I want to get healthier as I age and lose weight.”Born in Munich in 1957, Lilly was was a year old when the family moved back to Mississippi, where her mother grew up. “My grandfather had a farm, which I loved,” Lilly says. “You couldn’t keep us in the house. I’m the oldest of three girls, and we are close in age, so we were always together. We have a lot of cousins as well. We went fishing in the pond, worked in the family garden, played in sawdust, had rotten apple battles, rode horses, donkeys and pigs. Our imagination was endless.”Her childhood continued to be an adventure. “I relate my years of growth by my years in school,”Lilly says. Fourth grade was spent in St. Louis. “I remember the Golden Arch to the West was just finished.” Her fifth- and sixth-grade years were spent in Memphis, which she recalls was both frightening—she was there when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated—and entertaining: “We went to see Elvis’s mansion.” In seventh grade the family was living in a small town in Pennsylvania, where Lilly’s stepfather was a forest ranger.“We lived at the bottom of a mountain with a creek across the road. We would burn a tire on the iced over creek and ice skate. We had all kinds of wildlife in our yard, bears and deer mostly. Loved that place.”Eighth grade found the family in Richmond, the year that busing was initiated. “I was an honor roll student and had perfect attendance until we moved to Richmond,” Lilly recalls. “It was such a shock be thrown into this situation. But I survived and have had a pretty successful life since then.”Over the years, she’s worked in customer service, marketing, accounting, business administration and sales. “I’m what is called old school in that I have a good work ethic and will do whatever is needed to get the job done, sometimes to a fault. I’ve put my job before my family occasionally, but I realized quickly what I was doing and had to step back. I guess my vocation is to make sure I could support myself and my girls without having to depend on anyone, which I did.”Lilly has two daughters, seven grandchildren, one stepdaughter and one stepson. She and her husband, Mike, have recently decided to purchase bikes and explore the new trail along Route 5 between Richmond and Williamsburg.“I feel really blessed and am so grateful to be so healthy.” For this she adds, “Thank you, yoga family.”“I keep coming back because I realize that my yoga is my release. My mind is free for 90 minutes and for some time afterward. I feel euphoric for hours. I’ve never had that feeling from any other practice.”Best of all, Lilly says, are the yogi friends she’s found. “I love the camaraderie. And it’s more fun to practice yoga with a group than in front of the TV.”