14 Dec Personal Accounts of How Hot Yoga Helped Two People Take Control of Their Lives
(Originally featured in the ‘Daily Record’, 4 Jan ‘18)
“I would never have considered yoga but I would have tried anything to help my recovery. I am so glad I did it.”– Terence Tevens
Every day normal people doing amazing, sometimes heroic things. Sadly there are many more untold stories of everyday people struggling thought life. When even one person is able to turn a negative aspect of their life around and build a positive outlook and survive its as big of a story as any heroics. Here is the story of Terence and Lou, from different backgrounds who each took a curveball in life using Bikram Yoga to build a positive spin for a successful, on-going recovery.
Terence Teven struggled with heroin addiction for 20 years – losing his health, confidence and dignity. But the Scot kicked his drug abuse 18 months ago and has since turned his life around with the help of a special kind of yoga loved by sports stars and celebrities around the world.
Terence, 55, from Stirling, took up Bikram yoga on the suggestion of instructor Lou Prendergast, who found it helped her to recover from a life-threatening illness.
He said: “I would never have considered yoga but I would have tried anything to help my recovery. I am so glad I did it.”
Terence had been clean for a couple of months and was depressed, with heroin leaving him physically and mentally wrecked. He had lost everything and for a while he was homeless on the streets. He said: “Heroin had virtually destroyed my life. I was completely broken. I could barely walk, I ate very little and my self-esteem had gone. I was ashamed and destitute.”
Terence gave up the drug with help from Narcotics Anonymous, and the Salvation Army and Bikram yoga became his new passion. “When I first went to the class, my head was down and I couldn’t even make eye contact but then I stood up straight for the first time in years. It gave me an inner confidence. I want people to know that you can recover from long-term drug abuse and yoga can be beneficial in recovery. It has done so much for me.”
Terence is now one of Lou’s students in her new Bikram yoga studio in Glasgow.
She holds classes for everyone from fitness fanatics to tradesmen. And she also hopes to run special sessions for anyone like Terence who want a happier, healthier life. Sportsmen and celebrities including Ryan Giggs, Andy Murray, David Beckham, Lady Gaga and Madonna, are huge fans of the classes which last 90 minutes and are held in temperatures of up to 42C (108F).
Tennis ace Murray has said: “Until you do it, you can’t comment on how difficult it is. It’s tough.”
Lou is a mum of two and a grandmother of three. Seven years of practising Bikram yoga may be why she looks so youthful at 50. She only became a teacher after suffering serious illness. Lou has lupus, an autoimmune condition, which sees the immune system attack and inflame healthy cells, tissue and organs…