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Jaya Narayana

Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Plymouth, Minnesota, moved to Dallas when I was 12, and was living here in Dallas on and off until 2011, when I moved to Denver, Colorado.

How long have you been practicing Bikram Yoga and what prompted you to take your first Bikram Yoga class?
I took my first class in July of 2008. An old friend urged me to try it. I had been experiencing severe lower back pain since 2001, and I was desperately searching for a solution. At that point, any form of exercise I tried left me bedridden for weeks at a time.

Why did you become an instructor and what aspects of Bikram Yoga have had the greatest effect on you?
I became an instructor because I wanted to share with others what Bikram yoga has given me. Bikram yoga got me through debilitating back pain, 2 major surgeries and continues to improve my life each day I practice. It’s true what Bikram says — without a healthy spine, your life is over. Life without pain is an indescribable privilege. Yoga gave me the gift of life.

What do you like to do when you are not in the yoga room?
I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, swimming, disc golf, movies, exploring, and spending time with my friends, family, and my pug, Teddy.

What is your favorite pose in the Bikram series and why?
I love all of the backward bends. My favorite is Bow Pose. The feeling of opening up the front side of my body while backward bending against gravity leaves me with a sense of elation once the posture is finished, and my back feels amaaaaazing.

What advice would you give to any new student?
Stay strong, and be patient with your body. Each moment in the yoga room is another opportunity to improve your body, calm your mind, and change your life.