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Kim McNelisStudio Owner. Teaches Bikram Hot Yoga 90, Pilates, Yin, Body Wheel Therapy

I started doing yoga when I was a young child. My mom introduced it to me when she bought me a little book about yoga. My best friend and I would look at the various yoga poses and try to do them.

I mainly did Vinyasa yoga for years at various health clubs. I first discovered Bikram Yoga in April 2012 and loved it because the room was hot. It reminded me of my sweaty dojo where I trained for my First-Degree Black Belt.

After my dad passed away in July 2014, that August I realized I reached my highest weight ever. My clothes were getting tight and I refused to buy one size bigger. I heard about the Texas free day of yoga coming up the following week. I went to the class and officially started Bikram yoga 9/1/2014. My teachers challenged me to do as many classes as I could in my first 30 days at the studio. I did 15 days in my first month and removed 10 pounds. When my membership was up, they asked me if I would like to continue. I told them “I could not imagine being told I couldn’t do class the next day”. I just had to sign up.

Once I got going, I would practice a minimum of 2 to 3 times per week. At that time, all the classes were 90 minutes long.

In late 2016, I had been experiencing some back pain and I found out I had a level 6 bulge in my lower spine. I refused to do shots or surgery and opted to continue my yoga practice. I couldn’t do many of the poses and sit-ups were not possible at the time. I worked on patience and focused on what I could do.

I started going 6 to 7 times per week. Within 3 weeks I was able to do 4 of the sit ups. A couple of weeks later, I was doing all the sit ups.

One month later, my husband passed away on March 5, 2018. Prayer, yoga, and the support of my friends and cats, has gotten me through the most difficult times in my life. To date, I’ve removed over 65 pounds since I started yoga in 2014. I never say that I “lost” the weight. “Things you lose, you want to find. I do not want to ever find those 65 pounds again!”

Whatever you do, be committed to what you choose. In my experience, not only did the yoga help me build physical and mental strength, it also helped me clean up my diet. I am now a happy vegan; and thanks to the many amazing alternatives I discovered I never feel deprived. I want that for everyone who walks thru our doors. May you be blessed and find healing on your journey with us. Love & Light, and of course lots of kittens!