Diary of a Yogi: The difference a teacher can make

by Amber Klahm

To all those that seek healing…

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.BKS Iyengar

My journey of twenty six postures began with my mind set on one goal: to find peace. I searched for a release from anger, depression and anxiety in all the wrong places. I wanted something that was going to challenge me physically and mentally and give me a sense of spiritual balance. Finally that search lead me to Bikram Yoga.

Whether it be a small change or a dramatic effect, we have all felt the hand of healing through this yoga. The yoga brings us to state of peace and enlightenment. But that journey cannot be realized without the help of passionate instructors who know the yoga the best.

Photo: Bennie Shapiro

Along each yogi’s journey we hit a block -sometimes after few weeks or after few years- that makes us question whether Bikram Yoga is really the path we should be following. My block came just a few months into practice. I hit rock bottom. Relationship problems, financial hardships and health scares left me wondering if this yoga could going to give me the strength to hold myself up. I wanted release from my frustrations, fears and excuses. I wanted to let go of all that was holding me back.

Amber's Instructor Frank in Rabbit Pose. Photo: Ron Sombilon

That was when Frank came into my life.

It’s not everyday that someone can come into your life and make a profound impact. But through his guidance, I was able to heal myself and move toward the peace I was searching for.

There are many instructors who will help a student find prescence, focus, energy, and conscious meditation. But from the beginning Frank did more. He helped me find the passion to love and accept myself and the faith to push past the barriers that kept me captive for so long.

I endured aches like I never felt before, but I knew this was a part of the healing process. For the first time I began to enjoy my blood coarsing through my veins when reaching new depths in my practise. His voice became the voice in my head. Stern, refreshing, discipline kept me motivated and helped release my frusterations in a room that welcomed tolerable cruelty.

It took sometime for all his teaching to sink in.

Frank taught me that breath is the key to maintaing a balanced practise. He to taught me to laugh especially when we don’t want to. To remind myself that each day is another way to stretch the boundaries of my body and my mind.

He taught me that standing head-to-knee is not a privledged accomplishment, but takes real discipline and work. Because of him, I understand many keys to maintaining this posture: discpline, breath, focus. And now, just before my head touches my knee I exhale and zone out, not focusing on the balance or the kick, just the moment.

The most challenging and valueable lesson was to believe that I could exceed my own limitations. That I could push through obstacles and still stay grounded and balanced to the reasons why I started this yoga to begin with.

A few months ago, I completed a 150 day challenge. And Frank helped me get there. He never let me feel self doubt, he stood beside me while I took myslef to new depths in my practise, and took the time to help me find what I was made of.

I thank Frank for showing me what I didn’t think I possessed. For inspiring a band of yogis and yoginnis who are still motivated and driven after he has left the studio. He has helped us overcome some the hardest hurdles on a journey that continues to open new doors.


Amber Klahm is Bikram yogini and blogger based in Langley, British Columbia. She has finished a 150-day yoga challenge at Bikram Yoga Langely and writes for her blog Amber’s Bikram Diary.



Filed under Daily Feature, Diary of a Yogi, Guest Blog

3 responses to “Diary of a Yogi: The difference a teacher can make

  1. Kria Miller Paxton

    Thank you so much for sharing. I totally relate to your story. I absolutely LOVE Bikram yoga, especially the discipline!

  2. Wow. I do hope you share this with Frank. It is a sweet and honest tribute to both your practice and his tutelage.

  3. Beautiful post! I am a huge advocate for awesome teachers making a difference in our lives and our practice. Finding ones that are inspiring, compassionate but also firm is quite the challenge. You are a lucky student and it’s great to hear your gratitude here in this post. Love it!


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