With a background in both yoga and fitness, I see similarities between yoga postures and fitness exercises. Although yoga hasn’t always been my go-too method of physical practice, I used to live at the gym, and I love running— always wanting my workout to feel, well, like a “workout.” For years, my fitness routine was based around exercises I had done during training for various sports I played. At the time, yoga just looked like stretching — a practice meant for people who were laid back and who didn’t want to sweat, something I wasn’t too interested in during my other fitness pursuits… in fact I would usually sneak out of an aerobics class during the cool down stretching phase!

Then I was introduced to Bikram’s Method in Melbourne, and it was during this time that I finally developed a love for the practice. It not only challenged my body but: inspired me from the inside out. I left my first Bikram Yoga class intrigued by the incredible connection I felt within myself, recognizing the layers in my body where I was holding onto stress, tension and emotions. This being so, I started to religiously show up to class, and no longer for just the workout (although it was physically challenging), but the practice also seemed to center me, and give me a sense of inner strength and focus. Since then I have never looked back. My journey took me to Teacher Training, and then to owning my own studio.

Today, and especially here in Christchurch, there are more choices than ever for ways to get fit and stretch your body.

For me, integrating the Bikram Method into my health and fitness routine has been tremendously healing on many levels, helping to keep me physically fit as well as grounded. I feel stronger and realize better body awareness and balance. I always walk away knowing I have targeted every part of my physical body. 

For those of you who are athletes or fitness enthusiasts, a Bikram practice can help develop better performance and focus, the ability to breathe through and conquer a tougher posture, developing willpower and self-control, is a valuable lesson to learn on your mat, which is why so many fitness and sporting teams around the world integrate Bikram’s Method into their training programs today.

Having taught now for nearly a decade, my belief in the benefits of Bikram’s Method of Yoga has grown. No matter who you are, or what your lifestyle goals may be, incorporating this age-old practice into your fitness and health regime provides an opportunity to build a powerful connection between body, mind and breath, with focus on bringing careful awareness to how you are working out… to sweat mindfully in a challenging and transformative way, which helps you to really feel the benefits from any work you’re putting in… to heal, release and find strength. The point is to make you leave feeling like you have done something amazing for yourself. The same voice that says 'give up' can also be trained to say 'keep going'… encouraging us to train our minds as well as our bodies – because balance is not something you find... but, it is something we can work to create. 

- Kate Lillian Burford - 

Come join me for a class at Victoria Street Health Club... spots are limited so tell your girlfriends, boyfriend, your mum + whoever else you think could benefit and book a class!…

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