When BYCF opened in 2011, Erika Narducci was winning her battle against breast cancer. Diagnosed for the first time in 2006, when she was in her mid-thirties, Erika fought cancer again in 2010. She underwent a double mastectomy, chemo, radiation, more chemo and then full reconstructive surgery.
As soon as she was able–in May 2011–Erika began her Bikram practice. She hasn’t looked back since.
Narducci says yoga helped her get back into life.
‘Everything was about doctors, doctors, doctors. And then it was OVER.’
Yoga helped her manage the emotions associated with recovery…and to focus on something positive. Erika, who practices three times a week, loves the tranquility that comes along with consistent practice.
‘I’m so focused that I couldn’t even tell you who else is in the room. If the class is full or empty. When my hair is a mess or I don’t like the outfit I’m wearing, I remind myself of that.’
Narducci’s practice has come a long way. After her first class with Carolyn, Erika remembers thinking to herself that ‘it wasn’t so bad.’ After that initial class, things seemed to go downhill for a while. The more she practiced, the more Narducci realized she couldn’t yet do a lot of things. That realization ‘made me want to come more,’ she says. Erika had a lot of scar tissue and limitations when she started. The spine-strengthening postures were particularly uncomfortable because they required her to lift her arms and stretch her chest. All of that pain has disappeared over time.
Erika’s favorite posture is Fixed Firm. She says she is always sad it’s over. If there were a World Record for Fixed Firm posture, Erika would earn it!
Occasionally, Erika’s daughter Amelia practices, too. Both mother and daughter are active participants in BYCF’s dance classes and community days. ‘I like having a daughter who loves the practice as much as I do…and who wants to hang out and do stuff with me.’
BYCF really is like a family, she says. It’s been fun to get to know everybody…and to run into yoga friends around town…and at Dinner A Fare, where Erika works part time.
What would Erika tell new students?
‘I think people are intimidated by the heat. The heat becomes a nonissue. It feels so good afterwards, that you just don’t care. It will CHANGE your life.’