Beverly Cochran, 53, antiques dealer
First Bikram yoga class: Oct. 12, 2007
“I took my first class and never looked back!”
In a nutshell, what is your life story?
“I was born in Richmond, grew up and have lived here most of my life,” Beverly says. “As a child, I spent most of my summers at my grandparents’ cottage on the Rappahannock River. My grandfather, who was a botanist, instilled in me the love of nature.”
Beverly graduated from Henrico High School and then attended Braxton Business School in Richmond. She went on to work at Hunton & Williams as a legal secretary for 10 years. She and her husband, Tim, were married in 1985. That year Tim began a career at Altria that has lasted for almost 30 years.
Their first son, Logan, was born in 1989. A year later, Beverly left Hunton & Williams to focus more on family. In 1991, the family moved to Westport, Conn., as Tim’s job took him to New York City. Their second son, Preston, was born in Connecticut in 1994. After a couple of additional moves–to Plano, Tex., and then back to Connecticut–the Cochrans returned to to Richmond in 1999.
Logan is now in law school in Texas. Preston, a songwriter, is in Nashville, studying music and making albums. In 2000, Beverly started her antique business, Camellia & Co., which is located at the West End Antiques Mall.
How did you first learn about Bikram yoga?
“I just saw it at the West End Studio and decided to try it,” says Beverly. “I remember thinking that it was truly the hardest thing that I had ever done – right up there with childbirth! However, I also remember specifically feeling afterward that my eyesight seemed clearer and colors appeared much brighter. I felt more tuned in to my surroundings. Needless to say, I was immediately hooked.”
Not long after joining BYR, Beverly’s mother and husband were diagnosed with cancer. Both underwent surgeries and treatment. “Yoga became my place to come and clear my mind” during those difficult times, Beverly says. Thankfully, both mother and husband are cancer free and doing well.
Beverly describes herself as a “creature of habit.” “I love that the Bikram yoga poses are always the same,” she says. “I continue to find them extremely challenging and feel there is always something to learn in every class.”
What do you do when you’re not doing yoga?
After relocating back to Richmond, Beverly and Tim “stumbled upon a little cottage of our own on the Rappahannock River.” They love spending as much time as possible there. “I always wanted our boys to have the same wonderful experience that I did as a child,” Beverly says.
Camellia and Co. is a labor of love for Beverly. Collecting antiques has been a lifelong hobby, a passion she shares with her mother. “Hunting for treasures keeps me busy,” she says.
Beverly also loves flowers and gardening. She says she inherited her passion from her grandfather, who was a seed analyst for the state of Virginia and grew over 500 varieties of daffodils.
How has Bikram yoga changed your life?
Recently Beverly was diagnosed with frozen shoulder, a condition she attributes to changes in body chemistry. “The worst thing I did was to lay off yoga for a few weeks!” she says. “My body is not happy if I do not attend on a regular basis.” Even if you are injured, she says, it helps to come in and do the yoga. You have to learn where your threshold of pain is.
“Yoga is something that I love, not just for the physical aspect of it, but what it has done for me mentally and emotionally,” Beverly says. “I consider myself a very happy and grounded person, but Bikram makes me even more so. As crazy as it sounds, some how it reaches your soul and changes your life. Eventually, layers peel away and nothing but the ‘true you’ appears.”