Amputee Unfazed by 60-Day Yoga Challenge

Friday, June 12, 2015 | 3:24 pm

The 60-Day Challenge is one of Bikram Yoga Pasadena’s key projects encouraging students to push their limits and marvel at how yoga can change their bodies from the inside out. It started last March 1st and ended on April 30th.

“This is our 13th year. It’s quite an experience that people don’t normally take on, and there’s really a variety of people who join,” says Val Sklar Robinson, Bikram Yoga Pasadena owner and instructor. Included in the challenge were a mother of seven, a retired police captain, a member of LA Bomb Squad, and an amputee.

“I have a woman who is an amputee just below her hips. She is really missing almost completely one of her legs,” says Robinson.

The student was born with a congenital abnormality called Proximal Femoral Focal deficiency, which resulted in her amputation.

“She did a personal best challenge and she did yoga every day for about the first two weeks and then work got in the way. But she came to my 60-day challenge and once again, [I saw] that she’s just a very strong-minded, amazing woman.”

The student recently explained her experience, starting by saying, “’When you’re missing almost a complete leg, you feel very vulnerable in that room.”

“As an amputee in a yoga class, it was intimidating for me at first because I felt so on display and vulnerable.  But after a while, I realized that the only relationship I had in that room was with myself—and that everyone—no matter what his or her body looked like, how flexible or inflexible or model perfect—was doing the best that they could.”

“I fed off that energy as I then realized that both the teacher and students were a part of a very special support system,” she continues.  “It was an empowering thought.  For me, instead of being a place to focus on how different I appeared, the room became a very nurturing environment. I then began to focus on how I could allow my body to do the poses.”

During the 60 days of the challenge, Robinson witnessed the extraordinary determination and courage displayed by her students, particularly those who at first felt disadvantaged by their conditions.

If these stories have inspired you, we encourage you to try just one class—you might just realize that you have it within yourself to make a positive change, too!

Bikram Yoga Pasadena is located at 2089 E. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 304­9642 or visit


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