Deeper Thoughts with Chuck Buchanan

West Coast Sweat-blog-chuckHi Chuck. You have been a regular here for years! When was your first class and what brought you to West Coast Sweat?

I believe September, 2003, I had been diagnosed with clinical depression and did not want to take the medication prescribed. My doctor recommended yoga. I took a few Hatha classes and someone recommended I try Bikram. I never looked back.

What was your experience and why did you come back for the second?

The first class was very tough. I wanted to get up and leave, but I took the advice and stayed in the room; however, I was not going to come back. The teacher (Monica) talked to me after and spent time asking why I was there. She was very open and talked about the benefits if I really wanted change in my life. I’ll never forget her. I made a small step after and signed up for 10 classes. Monica got me through the first 10 classes and more.

What have you learned about your body that you didn’t know or surprised you?

That I could become so flexible and be so focused for my age, and the changes would continue. (After all I’m 77 years young.)

What would you like to still discover?

My practice is different every class, from my physical stamina to my mental focus. I’m looking forward to learning more about myself, discovering something new every class. It’s been an amazing journey, and a lifetime commitment.

Greatest benefit physically and/or emotionally?

Physically, the weight loss. I was 225 at the start, and now maintaining 170/175. My arthritis would be a lot worse in my hands, feet, and knees if not for my practice. I’m sure of that. The emotional benefits cannot be measured. I’m more focused, non judgmental, and have learned to use my breath in everyday situations. My blood pressure is that of someone 40 years younger.

That’s amazing. Do you have an “easy” posture?

I keep trying to find some. At this point I don’t think there are any easy postures!

Most challenging posture and why?

Camel. Getting into that final back bend is still tough. It requires a lot of mental focus and concentration to get into it right and stay in it. It also opens your body and mind to know that the class is ending and a new day is about to start.

Can you finish this sentence?

I practice Bikram Yoga so I…

can be the best person I can be, taking care of my body and mind and being connected to my feelings and emotions.

I truly believe this Yoga has saved my life, and I can’t thank enough all the great teachers I have met along the way that have helped me. There are 3 in particular (I think they know who they are); however, all the yogis teaching at West Coast Sweat are very, very good. Namaste!


There are 2 comments

  1. Monica paisner

    Hi chuck,
    It’s Monica!! Maggie sent me this awesome interview! I’m so happy to hear you are doing well. I live in Portland Oregon now and just read this after teaching a class here. You were always so very kind to me and I had always wished you and my dad became friends. I wish you all the best and keep up the great work!

  2. Daal

    Dear Chuck, so glad to practice with you. What a lovely post, Rosa – your interviews are a gift, allowing us to know our fellow travelers better 🙂

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