Bikram Yoga

What exactly is Bikram Yoga? When most people think of yoga, images of chanting and people maneuvering into seemingly impossible positions come to mind. This is NOT Hot Yoga. Bikram Yoga is a series of beginner yoga postures that become an energetic form of exercise. The series of postures will help you align your body for optimum health. Bikram Yoga is NOT just for the fantastically flexible. In fact, if you are not flexible, if you cannot touch your toes, or perhaps cannot even see your toes, you are a perfect candidate. There are benefits in this series for everyone; whether you are athletic or cannot touch your toes. Bikram Yoga class consists of 26-postures and two breathing exercises done in a heated room. It is a "beginning class" in the sense that there are no advanced postures that might cause injury. The "beginning postures" are, in actuality, the most physically and mentally demanding. However, students at all levels of practice will be able to perform them to some degree. One does not "do yoga". One "practices yoga". If it is your first time or your hundredth, the benefits are obtained in the correct attempt. Bikram Yoga instructors emphasize performing each posture correctly, while maintaining the highest degree of safety. The sequence of the postures is critical. Each new pose is preparation for the next. Each action will have its opposite. Every part of the body will be utilized -- from skin to bone, and fingertips to toes. Each pose is performed in precise order, and to the best of one's ability. Students learn to steadily place new demands upon themselves, working harder yet more calmly, and gaining focus with each succeeding class. Physical exertion and relaxation are most effective when performed in tandem. Controlled breathing [pranayama] and intense concentration maximize the results. Bikram Yoga is based upon the principles of Hatha Yoga: "active postures" [asanas] provide an intensely concentrated exercising of the body, after which "rest poses" [savasanas] allow freshly oxygenated blood to circulate through the muscles, joints, internal organs, and endocrine system. Bikram Yoga offers no instant gratification, nor will it magically change the world around one. Yoga is a science, with a history of more than 5000 years. Unrivalled as a means of improving health and muscle tone, reducing stress, and creating peace of mind, one's rewards are commensurate with one's effort. Patience and determination are the only requirements. The HOT YOGA ROOM is hot by design. Be prepared to work hard, to make demands upon yourself, and to sweat. Though yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach, hydrate well before each class, and bring bottled water. Sticky-mats and towels are necessary for floor poses. Lycra active-wear is preferable for both women and men.
The following are but a few of the benefits enjoyed by the millions of people around the globe who regularly practice yoga: Increases flexibility, strength, and vitality Improves body image, and self-esteem Decreases stress, and alleviation of pain Regulates blood pressure Improves mobility of the spinal column Calms nervous system, and increases your sense of well-being Enhances endocrine function and balances metabolism Why do yoga in a heated room? If you think about it, it makes sense. Any exercise program focuses on warming up our bodies before vigorous activity. The temperature of the yoga room is similar to our body's own temperature. This accelerates improvement in many of the benefits of your yoga practice. Regular exercisers recognize that peak performance occurs when fully warmed up and your body generates heat from the inside radiating out and into your muscles. After experimenting with different levels of heat and moisture, we have found that the increased moisture in the air is more likely to make you sweat, rather than the absolute temperature. Experts agree that the optimal humidity when considering lung function for protection against colds, flu and other respiratory problems is around 60-70%. Enjoy the sweat! It is doing you so much good on many different levels! Our room is thermostatically controlled so the temperature never gets too high and in dry conditions we use humidifiers to ensure correct humidity. The heat has many benefits ... The heat means we can get into postures more deeply and effectively - plus the benefits of the postures come quickly. Like thousands before you, you will find that practicing yoga in the warm room creates a satisfying and almost addictive feeling of achievement. Your body burns fat more effectively. Fat may be redistributed and burned as energy during the class. It is common to lose inches of shape in a very short time The heat produces a fluid-like stretch allowing for greater range of movement in joints, muscles, ligaments and other supporting structures of the body Capillaries dilate in the heat; more effectively oxygenating the tissues, muscles, glands and organs and helping in the removal of waste products Your peripheral circulation improves due to enhanced perfusion of your extremities Your metabolism speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids You benefit from a strengthening of willpower, self control, concentration and determination in this challenging environment Your cardiovascular system gets a thorough workout Your muscles and connective tissue become more elastic and allow for greater flexibility with less chance of injury and improved resolution of injury Sweating promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin - which is the body's largest eliminating organ Just as when your body raises its temperature to fight infection, the raised temperature in the room will assist in improving T-cell function and the proper functioning of your immune system Your nervous system function is greatly improved and messages are carried more efficiently to and from your brain and spinal cord Metabolism improves in your digestive system and in the body's cells (that is food in the gut and nutrients in the cells)
Reduces stress Increases vitality, energy, relaxation Increases blood circulation Keeps joints juicy, increases muscle strength around joints to support under pressure Improves strength and flexibility which reduces the risk of injury, or re-injury Improves immune system (i.e. getting sick less often, if at all) Can reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases (e.g. arthritis and thyroid disorders) A sense of well being that spreads into your daily life Is this your first exposure to Bikram Yoga? Let's answer your questions.
Ask yourself the following questions: Do I need to lose weight? Am I stressed out? Do I get tension headaches? Is my cholesterol level too high? Do I have an injury that just doesn't seem to heal? When I play weekend sports, am I in pain at the end of the day? Do I have trouble sleeping? Has my Doctor told me I need to get some form of exercise? Do I have back pain? Would I like to improve my surfing? Golf game? Do I lack energy? Do I tire easily? Would I like to be able to play with my kids/grandkids more? Do I travel frequently? Do I sit at a computer for long periods of time? Do I have carpal tunnel syndrome? Do I feel tension and stress in my back, shoulders or neck? If you answered "YES" to any of the above, then Bikram Yoga is for you. Bikram Yoga is different from most typical forms of yoga. We don't try to bend you into a pretzel or chant. We are more interested in burning away excess baggage that weighs down your body and mind than burning incense. Bikram Yoga is for everyone - it is a real life, practical style of yoga accessible to everyone from any background. Some people assume that yoga is passive and definitely not a workout that creates physical transformation. But we are anything but sedate. Bikram Yoga is a dynamic and energetic form of exercise that sculpts, hones and tones every muscle in your body. Regardless of what physical shape you are in or what limitations you believe that you have, you can definitely do this. A principle of the class is that one can learn to steadily make new demands of oneself to work harder, deeper, yet calmer. Bikram Yoga is purposefully challenging so that you can move from where you are right now to a new threshold of where you want to be. We're not interested in contortions. Our focus is on real life flexibility, strength, stability. When should I arrive & what do I need to bring with me? First time students need to register 15 minutes prior to class. Please be on time!
Proper attire: wear something light, comfortable, and fitted such as: sport bra, shorts or any other light clothing. Avoid sweats, long pants, heavy t-shirts, as we heat the room. Empty stomach - don't eat anything heavy 2-3 hours before class Be properly hydrated - drink 2-3 liters of water throughout the day Be prepared to sweat and have a great time!
Hot Yoga works like magic. It works because it is simple and right in line with how your body is designed to move and operate. It trains your body for real life, bending, stretching, lifting, reaching, and twisting, so you can move through everyday with more ease, agility power and grace. In traditional fitness we tend to break down the components of strength, flexibility, stamina and cardio training into their own level of importance but in Hot Yoga we blend all the key ingredients together in one session. The health benefits are multi layered. We sculpt the external body and go beyond the external to balance all internal body systems. Hot Yoga works where so many other fitness and weight loss systems have failed because the results are more immediate. From your first session you tingle from head to toe, your blood is flowing, your mind is clearer, you are full of breath and you fell alive. Once you get a small taste of these results, you will want to keep going. Is Bikram Yoga a cardiovascular workout? ... and will I lose weight? No matter what your fitness level, you will find Bikram Yoga very challenging. Each posture combines flexibility, strength and balance to work your whole body from your bones to your skin. With persistence, patience, and dedication, you can lose inches, and develop muscle tone and strength that might never come from other forms of exercise. Most people experience weight loss because as you are losing fat and building muscle mass. What you will see is a general slimming all over: your clothes fit better, your posture is better, your skin will GLOW!
For good results, we encourage a regular practice of 3 times per week minimum. For life-changing results, 4 or more times per week.
The heat combined with the Bikram sequence of the postures is what makes Hot Yoga so special. The room is intentionally heated to build and maintain a liquid quality to you movements by warm muscles, which allows you to protect your body from injury. Your body is like cold glass, if you warm it up you can form it, bend it and shape it with more ease. The "healing heat" of Bikram Yoga happens when breathing, movement and heat come together. Also, heat helps you sweat and sweat is one of the most important mechanisms of natural healing, since it enables the body to release toxins, metabolic debris and excess fluid. Your skin is the largest elimination organ in your body, so the more you sweat the more toxins you release. Bikram Yoga is not just about working muscles. You are massaging deep tissues, glands, organs as well. As you work deep within your body, you may start to release "poisons" or "toxins" that have been stored there a long time. Sweating helps flush toxins from your body, giving you a wonderful glow from head to toe.
Didn't know you had a muscle there? Congratulations, you have utilized 100% of your body. You are on the way to regaining your birthright: using your body in the full range of motion that it was designed for. Muscle soreness is a build-up of lactic acid. What's the best way to get rid of the lactic acid? Stretching. It may seem impossible to imagine that coming back for more will help, but it is THE BEST way to relieve the soreness. If you wait too long to come back, then you will be starting all over again.
Cool down Drink plenty of water Talk with your instructor Come back the next day, even if you're sore
Drink plenty of water after class and the entire day before you come to class. How much is enough? This is going to vary on a person by person basis. Typically a good formula is to take your body weight and divide by 2. This is how many ounces of water you should consume daily. Here's an example: 140 lb/2 = 70 oz. 64 oz make a half gallon. Seem like a lot? Remember our bodies are mostly water. Being fully hydrated helps take pressure off of organs to do their jobs and helps flush the body and keep it running smoothly. The most typical excuse for not drinking water is the increased visits to the restroom. Your body will adjust to the increased water intake. You may also find benefits of decreased body odor, smoother skin, and shinier hair.