Bikram / Hot Yoga: What Not To Wear

I did mention in an earlier post what to wear (and not wear) in Bikram. Less is better. Here are a couple of outfits regularly seen in a Bikram class and some I wore that I liked and did not like. The down side of wearing shorts comes during the floor work. When pulling the knees into the chest, wrapping arms around the knees and grabbing elbows with opposite hands, the slippery-ness of the sweat makes it hard to grip your skin. A towel does come in handy and I used a large regular size bath towel over my mat and a smaller light weight, absorbent, fast drying hand size towel to wipe away the sweat. Very handy.  I also used the smaller towel over my skin for grip in several poses.

Example of Bikram Yoga Clothing

Continue reading

Bikram / Hot Yoga Part V: Final Answer

In Savasana. Photo: Tarnalberry on Flickr

I received some literature my first day of class in Bikram’s.  My thoughts about it…

“General Hints to Assist in the Postures”

  1. When you are in the final position of the posture remember to let go and relax into any pain you might be experiencing – just like when you have a legwax! I’m not making the connection here…help me out.
  2. Say positive affirmations to yourself whilst doing the postures – this really changes the energy. I’m thinking positive affirmations whilst resisting the urge to run like a bat out of hell into a cooler room.
  3. Feel what is happening to your body in the postures. Don’t focus on the heat because you won’t feel anything else. Continue reading

Bikram / Hot Yoga Part IV: Losing Weight

I had a thought while in class today (one of many)… “Bikram would be a great way for wrestlers to lose a couple of pounds of water weight in a short period of time.” I’ll bet that method has been explored. If you or someone you know has taken Bikram to shed water weight please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about your experience. Now the more important question is…can you lose pounds of fat?

Yes! You will sweat! Photo: Life

This is a question I get on a weekly basis…CAN I LOSE WEIGHT DOING YOGA? Of course, like any form of exercise, any yoga class you do is going to help your metabolism by strengthening the muscles of the body. If you eat to FUEL the body in a healthy way your body will respond by shedding unwanted pounds. Your body wants to be in homeostasis (a state of dynamic balance). What you eat and think greatly determines how that equilibrium plays out. The focus and mind set in yoga is on the beauty and movement of the physical body, the connection you have with self and God, and your mental and emotional clarity. Continue reading

Bikram / Hot Yoga Part III: Staying Power

Day 2:

On the way to Bikram

My head is clearer today. I drank a whopping quart of water before getting into my car. Yes, I would suggest you hydrate well BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER class. I also downed 16 ounces of one of my famous breakfast smoothies (my kids call it the monster green drink). Crammed with a variety of fruit, Kefir, spinach, protein, and whatever else I can find, it packs some punch and promises to boost my staying power this morning. It’s Saturday. I am ready for the Bikram sauna. Continue reading

Bikram / Hot Yoga Part II: My First Class

So, what are the Bikram Yoga postures? Can I do them as a beginner?

What can I expect at my first class?

What do I bring and how do I prepare?

The Bikram Yoga postures are a set sequence of twenty six poses total. Each pose is performed twice during the 90 minute class period, including two Pranayama (breathing) exercises, one done at the beginning and one done at the end of class.

My Experience…

Day 1: I made it to the studio! This is no small feat for me. The web site states “please arrive 20 minutes early if you are new to Bikram”. If you know me you know that this WOULD BE the hardest part of class…arriving EARLY! I did it and I am feeling confident. Eighty percent of success is showing up. Continue reading

Bikram / Hot Yoga Part I: Background

Why am I writing about Bikram Yoga? I don’t teach it and we don’t offer it through the Yoga Coach…but we DO offer HOT yoga and I have more than a few clients who are curious about it and on occasion I am asked what I think about Bikram Yoga. So…I decided to take on Bikram Yoga classes twice a week for 4 weeks to get an idea of what it is in comparison to our HOT yoga. I’ll blog my experiences so you’ll know what to expect.  But first, some background.

About me…

On a Hike

I’ve been a fitness enthusiast since high school (too many years ago), taught aerobics and danced in the eighties and 90’s, been a runner, hiker and biker through the years too (still am). You could say I’m a fitness junkie. I’ve been a yoga instructor since the year 2000. My initial 200 hour training in 2001 was in Power Yoga with Dana Baptiste. I have also trained many hours in Anusara, Ashtanga, Restorative, as well as others. I keep up on my stuff. I teach 6 – 8 classes of yoga a week and operate an on-site Corporate Yoga business as well as co-own Lifted Life Yoga Center. It doesn’t make me an expert by a long shot, but I’m not the new kid on the block either. I’ve never done a full Bikram class at a Bikram yoga studio until now. Continue reading

Breaking News

For the past 10 years I’ve been involved in the process of building yoga in the community. First, through teaching for my mentor and friend D’ana Baptiste and secondly, buying her company, Alpine Yoga back in 2004. And more recently, expanding the studio with my biz partner Julie Branham in 2008 to form Lifted Life Yoga Center. It has been a wild, sometimes frustrating, amazingly rewarding ride during the past 7 years. So, it is with much excitement, some fear, and a lot of faith that I am stepping out of the role of studio owner to make time to pursue some business dreams and goals that I have long been planning. As all good things must come to an end, so too do new opportunities spring up in their stead. Continue reading

Most Generous – Asteya

Asteya – one of the five Yamas (wise characteristics) of the eight limbs of yoga as defined by Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras. It’s translation: non stealing. But what does that mean?

Nischala Joy Devi lends a feminine view to the definition and practice of Asteya in her book “The Secret Power of Yoga: A woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras”, wherein she characterizes asteya as “honesty,” “generosity,” or “integrity.”

Aadil Palkhivala offers ways to practice Asteya in asana practice. Asteya, or “not stealing,” refers to the stealing that grows from believing we cannot create what we need. We steal because we misperceive the universe as lacking abundance or we think that there is not enough for everyone and that we will not receive in proportion to our giving. Because of this, asteya does not only consist of “not stealing,” but also of rooting out the subconscious beliefs of lack and scarcity that cause greed and hoarding in all their various manifestations. Continue reading

Lila – Pastime, Sport or Play

The possibilities are limitless this month! Our theme for May is Lila (pronounce lee-la) which literally means “pastime”, “sport” or “play”.

I remember as a kid living in Ohio that summer rain showers meant you donned a swimsuit and went outside to play! We played in the streets where the water would collect up past our knees and we could float down the gutters touching the ground with only our hands letting our feet trail behind. OK – not very sanitary – but who cared anyway…not me! I was PLAYING and having FUN and SPORT in the RAIN!! When is the last time you played like a kid…no agenda, no expectation, no reason, just for FUN? There is something to be said about spontaneity. It spurs our creative side and gives us a rest from the mundane. It sets the mood to explore and discover with child like play from the heart! Continue reading