Bri Bernal

Bri graduated from the Bikram Yoga College of India Teacher Training in Thailand Fall 2016. Bri has been selected as one of our Students of the Month and has been a Yoga Sport Athlete on our Island Yoga Team for the Florida Regional where her score qualified her to participate in the USA YOGA nationals in New York in 2015, and again the following year in 2016 in Wyoming. During her NY experience, after she competed in a pre-qualifier round she placed 10th in the semi-finals and then 10th in the finals at the USA YOGA championships that was phenomenal. In Wyoming, Bri went through the prequalifying round and came out 1st and made the Top Ten again. During the final round she placed FIRST and is the 2016 USA YOGA Champion! This was her SECOND year competing and she did great demonstrating the dedication she has to her Yoga practice. During the summer of 2016 we helped fundraise her trip for the International Yoga Championships held in Italy where Bri was the Bronze winner of the event placing 3rd. We are very proud of all of her accomplishments and to have her as a Teacher.

briAfter your first Bikram class what was your first impression?
Holy S*** that was intense! LOL. I loved every moment, even though I felt as though my head was going to explode from the intense heat.

 What keeps bringing you back?
Every class I am able to see my improvements and the wonderful feeling it gives me to practice and focus on myself. The wonderful family I have grown to know at Bikram Yoga on the Island, the encouragement, and the push from the instructors to strive to be better than the last practice keeps me coming back. Not only that, but the way my body feels and looks after practicing is indescribable.

What are some of the benefits and changes you've seen in yourself?
My body is more limber, I am able to move a lot easier without getting tired so easily, I am much stronger not only physically but mentally as well, and most of all my confidence level and determination has grown tremendously, in a good way of course!

What is your favorite posture in the series and why?
My favorite posture would have to be standing bow pose, Dandayamana- Dhanurasana because I love a good challenge, and the opening of the chest, and the good pull in the butt. This pose makes me stronger in both my butt and my standing leg, using my "tiger" eye concentration.

What is your greatest challenge about the yoga? Yourself?
My greatest challenge about Bikram yoga is the heat. Each class is different and each instructor is different, making the room super hot/humid one day, and the next could be perfect. In myself, my greatest challenge is I am my hardest critic. I strive for perfection, I just am constantly reminding my mind and body that things take time and practice, and I am getting better each class.

What advice can you give to a 1st timer after they complete the class?
My advice to a beginner would be to keep pushing and striving for improvement. You'll be surprised how far you really can push your body when you mind is set to go there; it may not be easy but it is worth it after class and throughout your day. Remember to breathe, stay in the room, and laugh at yourself every once in a while because not only will you live longer, it will help you to relax and enjoy the practice.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I want to add that HOTI is an amazing group of people. I can connect so well with each individual and always feel welcome and blessed to be a part of the family. Yoga is my life and the only way I live, and it warms my soul to be able to share my love of practice with all of you! Namastè. Peace. Love. Happiness.