Kelly D.

At 25 I found myself (very) slowly recovering from hip surgery. I first tried Bikram yoga several months after the surgery when I was still experiencing lots of pain, in physical therapy and having cortisone shots. The postures that I struggled with the most were eagle, triangle, toe stand, and wind removing pose but I felt like they were doing something.

I didn’t stick with the yoga at first due to conflicts with my work schedule, and I spend another 1.5 years in and out of physical therapy and getting additional cortisone shots. When I started regularly practicing about 4 years ago, I was still having frequent bouts of pain, very limited in physical activity other than swimming, and would go through phases where I continued to limp. Since I have been doing the yoga regularly my hip has improved dramatically. The level of pain that I experience is much less in intensity and flare ups have really shortened in duration. I can also participate in most activities or sports with the exception of running as long as I am doing the yoga also. Since I now compete and often demonstrate in front of others, people often ask me if I have always been so flexible. They seem disappointed when I say “yes”. I’ve always been flexible, but what I haven’t always been able to do is simple things like walk properly and make it through the day without fighting pain. For me this benefit is so much cooler than having dramatic before and after pictures.

Bikram Yoga is the perfect way to heal your body as long as you are patient and honest with yourself about your current abilities. Especially at first I was very careful not to push in the postures that I felt hip pain. Really focusing on the form of the posture and doing it correctly is important. It is definitely helpful to have instructors show you the proper form in the posture. Don’t make modifications to the posture, just don’t go into them as deeply. Let each instructor know that you have had a recent surgery, that way they won’t push you to go past your current limitations.