Born and raised in Dallas, TX. I started practicing Bikram Yoga in May 2005. Bikram Yoga is one the best things I have ever done for myself. It has truly changed my life. Mentally, it has given me more peace with myself and the world around me; physically, it has taught me my body could do things I never dreamed it could do.

I haven't always been very healthy. Diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at a young age (which affected the majority of the left side of my body), I spent years in and out of the hospital trying to rehabilitate and strengthen my joints and muscles. After a major knee surgery, I taught myself how to deal with the discomfort and move on. As a result, my physical activities were limited and I was consistently taking pain medication. Then, at the age of thirteen, quite unexpectedly, I had a heart attack. The causes are unknown, but most likely a side effect of arthritis medication; regardless, it made a tremendous impact.

One day I decided to explore forms of exercise to regain control of my health. After a long journey, I discovered Bikram Yoga. I simply expected a physical workout- I found much more than that. I have transformed. I no longer suffer constant pain. I've lost 50 pounds and developed lean muscle mass. I can contort my body into positions I never thought possible. I have gained a peace of mind I previously never knew existed. I have transcended many limitations within myself – mentally, physically and emotionally. I am accomplishing things I once thought impossible.

Taking my practice to the next level, I began to compete in the Asana Championships. After four years of hard work, in 2009 I placed first in the US and second in the world - now current 2 time National Champion. I have learned to focus on the tasks at hand and live in peace with myself and the world around me. To me this is the gift of yoga. The gift which I have the responsibility to share for the rest of my life.

I teach full time and enjoy travel, philosophy, and playing classical guitar.

Click here to visit the Joseph Encinia website.


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