For the first Chikum interview, I decided to chat with the woman who inspires me the most, my Mom. Please meet Jenya. 🙂
Chikum: Where are you from and how young are you?
Jenya : Born in Dallas, Texas over fifty-six years ago.
C: How long have you been practicing yoga and why did you start Bikram’s?
J: About three years ago on March 4th(get it?…MARCH FORTH), I decided buy a year’s membership after trying a “gift” pass. I had an accident about 8 years previous and, to my surprise, my FIRST Bikram’s class gave me instant relief to chronic neck pain. I went back for more and by March, spoke with my doctor about trying to come off the medication I had been using to control pain, replacing it with yoga. Within a year, and ever since, I only take the occasional aspirin. Yoga costs less than my twelve pills per day and it is helping me control pain without the side effects.
C: So we hear you are on a 90 day challenge! How incredible! What keeps you coming back into the hot room day after day?
J: Where I practice, Bikram Yoga Vernon, they had an Olympic Challenge for summer. 60 times in 90 days = Bronze, 75 times = Silver, and 90 times = GOLD. 56 this year, born in 1956, I consider this “a GOLDEN year” so I’m honoring that by trying for a “GOLD Medal”. I keep coming back because I know this is a good habit to have and it makes a huge difference in my health and attitude. What benefits have you received from keeping a daily yoga practice and how has that affected your life? I am forced to watch what I eat and to drink more water to prepare for time in the hot room. The practice helps me feel strong and helps my joints feel more flexible. I live with the satisfaction of knowing that “for ten Bikram seconds”, I, too, can rock just as awesome a Balancing Stick as the NHL star or celebrity sweating on the mat next to me.
C: What’s your secret to staying so young and beautiful?
J: I feel young as my body is working with my mind at least 90 minutes a day. It helps me to focus and makes me feel cleansed as the sweat just pours out of me. All the toxins, just flow away, leaving me with a rejuvenated glow. I once had some ladies stop me in Costco to ask me why I looked like I was “glowing”… endorphins do that for you. At the end of class, I’m almost giggly. A smile always makes people look more beautiful.
C: Chikum, the word, was inspired by Bikram that describe’s his excitement for yoga and life. What word would you use or create to describe you’re excitement for life?
C: We’ve noticed you’re a talented Artist and Singer. What inspires you to create?
J: Just about any sounds mixed together make a melody to me. The ladies at the massage bungalow outside my room in Thailand made a beautiful tune with their chirping, “Sawadee kha. Have a nice day!”, and the tapping of their soft hands on skin gave me the beat. I listen and the inspiration just comes. When I draw or paint, I work entirely in silence, allowing my logical brain to take a break. Creativity is always waiting to reward me. I’m a third generation artist and second generation song writer and feel blessed with such a rich heritage.
C: If you could travel to any place on Earth right now, where would you go?
J: Dallas, Texas. Family and friends are due a visit.
C: One thing you could not live without.
J: Hugs. Of course, not right after a yoga class.
C: What is your favourite quote?
J: I believe it’s fom Katherine Hepburn, “Impossible is not a word…it actually says, “I’m possible”.
C: Thank you Jenya, I mean Mom ;). ❤