In 2004 I was diagnosed with Seminoma Cancer. A massive tumor had spread to my left kidney, lungs and had managed to wrap itself around my aeorta. This is the same cancer that Lance Armstrong had. Needless to say, I was reading all of his books he had written about his cancer journey. By the grace of God and the wisdom of my oncologist, I, like Lance Armstrong, survived. In the process of my treatment I had twenty-five chemo sessions - five days of treatment in a five-week protocol with two weeks of surgery in between each five days of chemo. I finished my chemo and then underwent surgery to remove the source of the cancer. To this day I have a residue tumor on my left kidney that is benign, with no signs of any active cancerous cells in my body. I am what the word "cured" describes, but my physical body was a wasteland of toxic residue.
I share that story to say that I was a prime candidate for detoxification. I was a walking chemo laboratory. My wife Linda had been doing Yoga for several years and had been doing Bikram Yoga for a year. She encouraged me to start Bikram Yoga and stated that we could do it together. I agreed and went to my first Bikram Yoga class twenty months ago. My first class was amazing; I was totally exhausted. I was completely physically depleted and could hardly speak a word at the conclusion of that first class. Dan was my instructor and his parting words to me were, "Bob, that's all you have to learn. Nothing new from here on out". Those words still ring in my mind some twenty months later as I learn something new at every class I take. Each class is a "lesson" about myself and the power of the human will to continue and complete the class. It is a lesson on the beauty of Yoga and what it accomplishes in the human form and structure, both physically and mentally.
From my first class with Dan I knew this form of body conditioning was for me and that this would be my new "Gym Time". Yoga has changed me. My body and mind have new disciplines. I've purged much of the chemo chemicals from my body and rebuilt my core and muscle structure. I take each class with a passion to complete each pose with enthusiasm and tranquility. My septic and contaminated body has responded well to the rigors and solitude that Yoga requires and with the benefits of the prolonged heat of "Hot Yoga" I have felt the release of toxins that held me a prisoner detained in my own septic toxic anatomy.
I have new friends and an appreciation for my instructors who have guided and encouraged me to stay the course and perfect the art of Yoga. My health is at the center of why I do Bikram Yoga. The rewards of a strong physical core, new flexibility and a focused mind have encouraged me to maintain and preserve the benefits of Yoga. I am a rehabilitated cancer survivor and a more active person due to the rewards of Yoga. Thanks to all the staff at the Bikram Yoga Tri-City studio. They are always encouraging, while modeling the values of fitness, health and professionalism that make them such great instructors.