How Bikram helped me adjust to NYC

I started Bikram Hot Yoga in New York, after graduating from Brown. New York is a very exciting city full of new people and opportunities. However, as those who’ve lived in the city may empathize, it is also a tough and crazy city to settle in, especially after living in a peaceful city like Providence. It can be very easy to lose balance in life, and get caught up in a lot of things - new things, bars, “it”places, new bosses, stressful environment, expensive clothes, etc.

One of the things a Brown Alum I met through a Brown NY meet-up told me was to keep on looking after yourself, especially at a young age, as we are used to keep pushing ourselves with not enough rest time. She was kind enough to share with me her story of a break-down after years of hard core workaholic life in NY, and encouraged me to find a balanced way of living and a means to release stress.

That’s when, amongst other things, I started Bikram Yoga with my then roommate in NY from Brown. Bikram Yoga was very challenging at first, especially after years of not working out constantly. However, because of its intensity and the focus required in sessions, it provided me with a time when I would be able to not think about anything at all. Being submerged in a city like NY can be overwhelming, especially even if one doesn’t realize it oneself, but having a peaceful time sweating and communicating with your body makes you realize how exhausted you’ve been mentally, and how badly you needed this mental break from everything.

This is just one of the many ways I tried to provide myself with an outlet for stress (others include dance classes, cooking with my roommate; a friend of mine from Carnegie Mellon and I took an acting class for fun), and I think that no matter what you choose, the most important thing is to keep remembering that you should not only be nice to friends, co-workers, and others around you, but most importantly, to yourself. As cliche as it is, I believe there can never be too much of an emphasis on the value of self-care and self-love, and I hope others also try to remember this crucial fact in life and take care after oneself.
— Brown alum '11, Korean, Fashionista