Yogi of the Month: Derek Allman

IMG_3998.JPGI’ve been practicing hot yoga for just over 4 years. My wife, Mary Flanagan, convinced me to try it in the summer of 2009. I tried it once and felt uncomfortable and awkward, said it wasn’t for me. Not long after that I discovered I had high blood pressure from neck pain and discomfort resulting from being rear-ended. I declined BP medication. After a series of tests I also declined the offer to have one of my adrenal glands removed to lower my BP. By this time several months had passed and I had heard that yoga could lower BP. So in January 2010 back I came to hot yoga, and also began taking reishi. Within a couple of weeks BP was back down and actually better than what it was before the accident.
At the time little did I know that my life was taking a new direction. I started with TH and tried Moksha (union) and Yin but found TH worked best for me. Having been a runner for 37 years and then biked for 8 years I had lost a lot of flexibility. I found the poses difficult but with patience and encouragement from the wonderful instructors I slowly began to notice small improvements. I began to notice that my posture, breathing, focus, balance, and concentration were improving, not only in class but also outside of class. Being a teacher for 33 years I noticed the instructors’ inspiration, enthusiasm, humour and positive energy and have attempted to bring some of that same spirit into my teaching practice. As I became a “regular” I noticed what nice people were being attracted to the studio and that the positive energy wasn’t only in the studio, but was also in the change room, and waiting area. Thanks to the people that work at reception, the instructors, and fellow yogis for making the studio such a wonderful community. Thanks to my wife who got me started and practices with me on a regular basis and thanks to Elmira and Paul for opening the studio. Every day I look forward to the practice and the people. The entire experience has become therapy for the body, mind, soul and spirit.

The hardest part of practice is missing a day. The easiest part is getting to class.

If I was teaching the class I would tell new people, do what you can, stay in the class, lay out if you need to, have patience, ask the instructors questions after class.