Discovering Bikram Yoga at her local studio has brought huge physical and mental health benefits for Chloe Mountfield
- NAME: Chloe Mountfield
- AGE: 31
- OCCUPATION: Freelance social media marketing consultant
- YOGA YEARS: 1.5 years
Why did you start yoga
Our local studio, The Sweatbox, Worthing, opened in May 2021, as lockdown restrictions began to ease. I had always been a keen runner, mainly for my mental health, but I was constantly plagued with injury and in quite a physical job at the time. So I was frequently operating with chronic pain and unable to run for extended periods as a result of my injuries and pain levels – and so I went along with a friend a few days after the studio opened. I wanted to try something new, but had no idea what and so I gave Bikram Yoga a go – and I've never looked back since that first day. I have since increased my practice to a minimum of three times a week.
How has yoga changed your life?
In ways I could never have imagined, both mentally and physically. I suffer with a knee condition, and also hip dysplasia, and had been told by medical professionals I would need surgery on both areas. but since committing to the practice, surgery is no longer in my prognosis. I am consistently injury-free as a result of the adaptations my teacher has supported me in making, as well as all the incredible health benefits the practice holds.
Similarly, I was storing and holding on to a great deal of unresolved trauma mentally, and experiencing daily battles in my head. I was a socially awkward, closed-off introvert when I started yoga. I am now kinder to myself, I am confident, and have made new friends as a result of my practice. I still suffer with my mental health on occasion but the lessons and teaching I have received have enabled me to shift my mindset and I am much more in control and operating with much healthier and beneficial habits as a result.
Best yoga moment
Practicing Bikram in a New York City studio to kickstart #sweatboxontour – a fun idea of a few of us students had to try and practice Bikram in each country we visited on holiday...or, failing that, to photograph some postures on our travels and check in with our community back at home!
Favourite yoga haunts?
The Sweat Box, Worthing: my local studio and the place that started my yoga journey and literally transformed my life. The owner, Lesley, is the most incredible teacher I have ever met – her passion, dedication, commitment, energy and genuine love and compassion for her students is unrivalled and is the reason so many of us have fallen in love with the practice since she opened the studio. It is the only Bikram Yoga studio in Sussex, making it such an incredible community to be part of.
I was such a cynic before I discovered Bikram Yoga. I had no interest in 'doing the work' – or even that I needed to in order to live a happier and fuller life. So I would just urge people to try it; so many more people should be experiencing the same life-changing transformation as I have.
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.