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April student of the month: James Dean

13.04.2012 Alex Rees

Congratulations to our April student of the month, James Dean. James is a new student who’s doing amazingly well and is already seeing the benefits of regular practice. He turned to Hot Bikram Yoga to help him complete the Sahara Desert Race and, as someone who’s spent his life living with asthma, will be running in aid of Asthma UK.

Below, James shares his reasons for taking on such a huge challenge and how HBY helps.

“I was diagnosed with asthma when I was just three years old so, although I’m only too familiar with how it can affect your life, it’s also made me aware that you don’t have to be defined by your medical condition. I used to look at runners, especially those decked out in fluorescent running tights, and think they were crazy. But now I understand what drives them to explore what their bodies are capable of".

“It may be hard to believe, especially when you’re pushing through a headwind with all your muscles screaming to pull in at the next pub, but if you give running a chance - if you surrender to the rhythm of your feet caressing the pavement with each stride - you start to appreciate that your body wants to do it".

“In fact it’s so addictive that I’ve decided to take on the Sahara Desert Race in October. At 250km over seven days it’s not for the faint-hearted but, although I’m far from being an athlete, I read about similar events and wondered what I could achieve".

“To help with training I signed up for HBY a couple of months ago and go two – three times a week. My main reason was to get used to exercising in the heat, but I’ve discovered it offers so much more. It’s a great chance to stretch out tired muscles and aching joints. I feel refreshed after each session, ready to tackle the endless training runs and gym sessions again".

“Most important, though, is the mental aspect. Some days I breeze through class. My body feels loose and my balance is spot on. Those days the challenge is to push my body further in each posture. On other days, however, it’s a challenge just to stay in the room".

“One of the most important bits of advice came from Richard Caveney: ‘You don’t come here to find your strengths; you come here to find your weaknesses’. I’ve discovered a lot of my weakness is mental, and completing the race will test my mental strength more than anything I’ve ever done".

“I’ve still got a long way to go, but combining HBY with other training has certainly put me on the right path.”

I’m sure you’ll join us in wishing James the very best for his training and the race itself. You can sponsor him through JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving.