What inspired you to compete?
In 2010 I met a teacher from Amsterdam who competed and made it seem like a great way to expand my practice. I’d never known about competing before and the concept was strange to me. But her quiet seriousness combined with her beautiful practice made it seem like a mystery to unlock, a potential to tap into through training for competition.
How long have you been practicing bikram…and how long have you been prepping for competition?
I’ve been practicing Bikram exclusively since 2009. My first competition was in January 2011. I went to training in April 2011. My second competition was in 2013.
What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself in the training process?
I can change my mind. Postures that were impossible one day seemed to materialize miraculously the next. Some of these postures happened through consistent grunt work, but many others seemed to happen by just relaxing my brain from its immediate “No, I can’t do that” response and just trying.
That has been the biggest lesson to apply to every aspect of my life. Trying to enter any challenge in my life with fresh eyes, a relaxed state and a willingness to work.
Would you do anything differently if you were to start again?
I consider myself lucky that I started training with strong mentors and examples around me. If I were to do it all over again I would have started meditation or relaxation exercises right away for preparing to get on stage.
I would tell anyone considering competition to really adopt a beginner’s attitude to the intermediate/advanced classes. It will seem “impossible” at first. But just give it time, keep coming, don’t push too hard all at once, drop your ego. The intermediate and advanced classes are a wonderful way to learn more about the beginners series which I still love with all my heart. Just try. It will change you.