Paul’s Yoga Journey


I am going to write an emotional filled statement about my journey with OHYP and to say I have had a bumpy and truly interesting life for the last 3 or so years is an understatement. I am diagnosed with and suffer from PTSD, Emotional & Behavioural Disorders, Major Depressive Disorder, Significant Osteoarthritis in both feet and ankles, both knees, hip, all spine, shoulders, wrists and hands.

July 3, 2017 I was diagnosed as morbidly obese at 147.5 kilos (at my maximum average) at a height of 183cm. My medication included a cocktail of the nasty addictive pain killers and assortment of many other medications.

July 17, 2017 I made a commitment to myself, I went to my first OHYP Class.

I practice 7 days: typically the 9:30 am classes as this starts my day with a balance of physical, mental and spiritual exercises that strengthens my body, increases my flexibility and calms my mind. Each day is another part of the journey learning something new about Yoga and most importantly about my body and mind.

Mar 6, 2020 I was still diagnosed as morbidly obese at 127.5 kilos (at my maximum average) at a height of 183cm. Sept 27, 2020 I am average weight of 95 Kilos, (over a 4 week period). That is a loss of 52.5 kilos. My doctors tell me the equivalent of removing 213 kilos from my joints.

My journey with the OHYP Yoga family has proved to be a life changing commitment.

The first thing I remember Nick saying was to “leave your ego at the door” and for me with such a huge and strong ego this was a confronting statement – however it works. Step by step, process-by-process, there has been a smoothing out of the path I now follow.

There is a consistent positivity and group energy from the OHYP Yoga family in each class. The positive guidance by Binny and her teachers provides a reassurance that no matter how long I have been practising or the qualifications I have, I know that when I need guiding it’s provided which encourages me to come yet again and again. Each class is structured about being a beginner growing in so many ways physical, mental and spiritually. There are also advanced classes and skills classes.What changed besides me, simply the universe got sick and tired of asking and inferring, it got three very important people to tackle me into a ball of sweat 90 minutes a day, that being Etsuko, Binny and Nick.

My personal Doctor would not recommend any style of Yoga at all, basically saying it would lessen my quality of life and possibly shorten it. This position changed on Jun 2, 2020. I have a Fit Bit watch and its app on my phone with which I was able to tract my progress, sleep, exercise, heart rate (Peak, Cardio and Fat burn), Steps, hourly activity, daily weight movement and hydration. I was able to show clinically the benefits of practising Hot Yoga. I was my own guinea pig. It works. I now have a recommendation from my Doctor stating “This is to confirm that Mr Paul Shinn is benefitting from daily Bikram yoga sessions with weight loss, pain relief and improving mental health. I support his continued use of these yoga sessions”. My Podiatrist has provided a similar reference.

Make no mistake, the first class I attended was “the worst class ever”. Ten minutes in and I was lying down for the next 80 minutes, still sweating. Each class got better, sometimes I will sit out a posture which is due to me listening to my body, however this is very irregular.

We all make choices and commitments through our life I am so glad I made this choice and commitment with the OHYP Yoga Family.