Ottawa Commercial Photographer – Bikram Yoga – JVL PhotographyJVL Photography

Ottawa Commercial Photographer – Bikram Yoga

I absolutely love shooting comprehensive campaign work for my clients. As a commercial photographer, working on images from the very inception of the concept is where I like to be. I was thrilled to receive a call from Claire at Bikram Yoga Ottawa to revamp her images for their new website and other potential ad material. She wanted to work with her current line of instructors, and she wanted the images to be bold and colourful. Perfect; those are right up my photographic alley.

Most Yoga studios wide open with lots and lots of mirrors everywhere, mirrors can be a logistical nightmare if you’re planning to light and shoot the photographs on location. I also envisioned a very-straight on look, consistent, so that we wouldn’t be altering the set for every single shot. Bikram is on the third floor of an old office building in downtown Ottawa with lovely large windows facing West. The early morning light would be easy to blend with a flash exposure, while creating a lovely reflective cityscape as a background; giving these images a sense of place beyond just *any* yoga studio. I thought the windows would be my key to an easier shoot too, no mirrors to Photoshop me and my gear out of every time, no need to shoot it as a composite, just interchange every instructor and run them through their poses. I was kinda wrong…

See all that stuff on the wall? Yeah, I had to Photoshop that out. And since I chose to not shoot the series as a composite (read: on a plain background then moving the subjects into the static studio background), I had to edit the wall, the lights, the distracting elements in the background for EVERY. One. Nineteen photos. That’s my bad. Two different approaches, I chose to take one that ended up being more difficult. The benefit is that we do have variance in the backgrounds. The perspective always changes based on the best angle of view for the pose, and the final series is each one unique.

The extra space on the images will help with various website layouts, creating a good amount of custom commercial “stock” photography for Bikram to use on various pages, banners, and in print advertisements. I’m very pleased with the results, and the final product is a collaborative effort like all commercial photography. The client and I were able to come up with a great vision for the final product, she spent the extra time and money on a more unique photographic setup, as well as details like makeup by Natalie Peachy, pedicures and manicures: you’d be amazed at how much better a person feels in front of the camera after that kind of pampering. Thanks to Cole for assisting on this job, since there was no parking in the building, we had to lug our gear up and across Bank Street.

What is Bikram yoga? 26 Pure Bikram Yoga Asanas and Its Benefits

Yoga is one of the exercises that help in keeping body healthy, fit and free from most of the health issues. Yoga is followed in India from ancient times and practiced by most of the famous people to maintain their fitness. It is done completely with hands or legs and there is no requirement of any equipment unlike the gym or any other exercises. Each posture of pure Bikram Yoga is having several benefits. And if anyone is suffering from any specific problem then they will be able to get it cured by doing it for the mentioned period of time.

There are several yoga gurus in India training pure Bikram yoga at various centers. Yoga is getting popular mostly in the western countries these days who are wishing to maintain good health. These instructors follow and teach their students all the yoga asanas that are required for maintaining a healthy body.

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga is not something a specific type or form of yoga. But it is the traditional yoga in the revised form practiced by one of the experienced yoga gurus with the name Bikram Choudhary. This pure Bikram Yoga is designed from the original Hath Yoga and is known as hot yoga since 1970’s. This specially designed classes of yoga have many better health benefits and due to which it has been accepted by most of the western countries. All over the globe Bikram Yoga got popularized and at present there are near about 1500 hot yoga studios. And these studios are maintained only by the certified pure Bikram Yoga instructors. Pure Bikram Yoga practitioners include famous personalities and celebrities across the world.

Bikram and Hatha Yoga

Bikram Yoga is a revised form of the traditional hath yoga with lots of variations in it over the traditional ones. Pure Bikram yoga is in the following way and differs from all others.

Bikram Yoga Benefits

Bikram Yoga is offering lots of benefits that are essential to survive a happy life. Let’s have a look at the benefits of doing Bikram Yoga poses.

Pure Bikram Yoga Poses

26 poses and 2 breathing exercises of Bikram yoga are dealt with warming, stretching of muscles, ligaments along with tendons to get the health benefits. There are 26 postures of Bikram yoga we are going to discuss in detail along with its benefits.

1. Standing Deep Breathing (Pranayama)

The set of pure Bikram yoga poses starts with the Pranayama which is a breathing exercise in the standing position.

Stand with your feet grounded interlace your fingers place the knuckles of those interlaced fingers firmly beneath your chin.

Simultaneously as you inhale slowly raise your elbows like wings on either side of your head while resisting with your fingers. Lower your chin into the lowermost part of you.

Elbows should be at their peak at full inhale. The goal is to eventually elevate your elbows until your forearms meet your ears. Do not bend forward only lower your chin in a fluid movement open your mouth and release your exhalation slowly and steadily from your mouth for a long gown of six.

While simultaneously dropping your head backwards your elbows touch at the exact end of the exhale. Most people only use 10% of their lungs never allowing them to reach the maximum intended capacity which was intended.

This exercise brings the lungs to their full capacity increases circulation to the whole body and prepares the muscles for activation. During your exhalation bring your arms wrists and elbows forward meeting in front of your face, drop your arms naturally to your sides.

All the issues related to breathing gets repaired such as Bronchitis, shortness of breath along with emphysema. It also helps in providing oxygen all over the body at the same time improvises focus on ay work that is being performed.

2. Half Moon Pose (ArthaChandrasana)

Stretch your arms overhead sideways interlocking your fingers and making a tight grip without bending your arms or legs.

Slowly bend directly to your right as much as possible keep your entire body facing forward. Keep your arms straight and simultaneously push your hips directly to the left feel the pull along the entire left side of your body.

Look at your Halfmoon reflection in the mirror from the side your body is in a straight line. Stretch a little bit more and stay there for 10 seconds.

Slowly come up to center position while keeping your arms overhead. Lift your torso to the ceiling while keeping your arms straight and pressed against your ears palms flat and thumbs locked holding tight.

Bend slowly to your left as much as possible while pushing your hips to the right come slowly back to center position and straighten your arms overhead. Lift your torso up out of your hips inhale and hold your breath and slowly drop your head back as much as possible.

Bend arms and body backward while keeping your arms straight. Push forward more and bend backwards more and your weight should be on your heels. Slowly come up to center position keeping your arms over your head palms together and thumbs crossed.

Then forward from the hips all in one piece from glutes to fingertips. When you no longer can keep your legs straight completely relaxed bending your knees as well as reaching around your legs grabbing hold of your heels with your hands and allowing your four fingers and thumbs to touch the floor.

Bend your elbows and press the inner forearms completely against the back of your calves. The goal is eventually to touch your elbows together behind your knees. Stretch your body towards the floor while touching your stomach to your thigh muscles chest on the knees and face below the knees. Straighten your legs as much as possible concentrating on your exhalation as you breathe while lifting your hips toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for six breath cycles. Release your heels and come up slowly. now lower your arms slowly to your sides.

3. Awkward Pose (Utkatasana)

Stand with your feet apart more than six inches with your heels and toes square like an H.  Do not allow your knees to track past your big toes. Raise your arms in front of you so they are parallel to the floor with palms facing down keeping all muscles engaged and tight.

Stand up on your toes like a ballerina with your knees apart six inches. Sit until the backs of your thighs are parallel to the floor as if you were sitting in a chair.

It is okay if you cannot come completely down and instead try to come halfway down. Focus on one point in the room keeping total concentration with that spot.

Slowly come up continuing to keep hands and arms parallel to the floor and allow your arms to meet your side’s while slowly lowering your feet completely to the floor

4. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Stand with feet together and raise your arms overhead swing your arms down and allow your right arm to wrap around the left crossing at the elbow.

Twist your right hand towards your face and around the left forearm bend your knees about six inches until you feel a healthy pull and transfer your weight to your left leg while lifting your right leg high bringing it over the left thigh and wrapping around your calf and foot totally.

Once your leg is wrapped sink down even deeper onto the standing leg.

Uncross arms and legs and reverse posture to the left then raise arms overhead and back down to your sides.

5. Standing Head to Knee Pose (Dandayamana Janu sirsasana)

Slowly lift your right leg and interlock your fingers in front of you hinge down from the hips to allow your interlocked fingers to grasp firmly beneath your foot about one inch from the base of your toes with your thumbs resting on the tops of your toes.

Straighten your leg completely and keep your thigh muscles tight. Now pull the ball of your foot and your toes towards you bending your elbow straight down toward the floor.

Use your strength to pull more on the toes with your hands push more forward with the heel. Slowly straighten up and pull your knee towards your chest before allowing your right foot down.

Then pick up your left foot and lock your standing leg and reverse the pose holding it for 10 seconds. The pose helps develop concentration patience and determination.

Physically it tightens the abdominal and thigh muscles improves the flexibility of the sciatic nerve and strengthens the tendons and biceps of the thigh muscles and hamstrings in the legs.

Then slowly straighten up and allow your arms to fall back at your sides.

6. Standing Bow Pulling Pose (Dandayamana Danurasana)

Lift your right arm from your side and allow your palm space up with your arm outstretched.

Bend your right knee and lift your right foot backward and upward placing your foot into your cupped hand.

Raise your left arm in front of your fingers together and pointing forward.

Lovell your hips squarely forward with the raised in ease moving directly to the floor. Roll forward like a wheel until your abdomen is parallel to the floor. While at the same time 20 toes and kicking your right foot upward and backward with all your sweet.

Allow your leg to come slowly back downwards while allowing your hand to slowly come to your side as well repeat with the left side.

7. Balancing stick Pose (Tuladandasana)

Reach your hands above your head and allow your right leg to come forward about three feet with level and squared hips. While hinging from the waist and pivoting forward on your hip joints and raising your left leg behind you until your entire body is parallel to the floor.

Step back to Center with feet together and arms still outstretched over your head.

Repeat on other side of the body and release your arms back down to your sides standing

8. Standing separate leg stretching pose (Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana)

Lift your arms overhead take a big step to the right about three to four feet allow your arms to come down hinge forward from your hips putting your weight onto your heels.

And sliding your arms down the back side of your legs to grip the backs of your ankles firmly near the heel with your thumbs on the outside of the feet.

Slowly straighten up and raise your arms back parallel and bring your right foot back to center. Raise your arms to meet back overhead and allow them to fall back down to your sides

9. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Raise your arms to meet overhead and then allow them to fall parallel to the floor. While simultaneously taking a step to your left with your left leg push your hips and stomach forward.

Keep your left knee strong and flexed while turning your right foot and leg directly to the right bending your right knee while keeping your spine straight.

Keeping your arms straight bend your torso directly to the right while placing your elbow in front of the right knee and the fingertips against the big toe.

Look up at the ceiling fingers together and palm facing forward straighten your right leg back to standing and turn your right foot forward with your arms still extended sideways.

Turn your left foot and leg to the left while keeping your right foot facing forward. Straighten the left leg and turn body and foot to the front then move your right leg back to center.

This is the only posture in the world that improves every muscle joint tendon and internal organ in the body it revitalizes nerves mains and tendons.

10. Standing separate leg Forehead to Knee Pose (Dandayamana Vibhaktapada Janu Sirsasana)

Elevate your arms to have your palms meet overhead.

With your right leg take a big step sideways also turning your hips torso face and arms overhead directly to the right.

Keeping both legs straight then forward from your hips and touch your chin to your chest.

Straighten up still facing to the right and reverse the pose to the left

11. Tree Pose (Tadasana)

With your feet together fix your gaze upon one spot in the room. Reach down and take a hold of your right foot to meet the top of your left thigh with the sole facing the ceiling.

Straighten your spine and tighten your buttocks force the bent knee downward and have your palms meet in front of your chest.

Gently lower your right leg to the floor and relax it. Refix your gaze and pick up the left foot continuing the pose on the other side.

12. Toe stand (Padangustasana)

Exactly isn’t Tree Pose shift your weight to your left leg and lift your right foot up onto your left thigh. Place your hands in front of your breastbone palm to palm bending from the lower spine reach forward with both hands to the floor.

Supporting yourself with your fingers sink down slowly the rest of the way on the ball of your left foot until your right buttock is sitting on your left heel.

Once you are down with your legs still crossed over your left side move your hands to your side sitting on your heel and balancing yourself on the bottom.

Stand up slowly by putting both hands in front of you. Or she left me backward until its strength and come up the same way you went down.

Lower your right foot and shake the leg to relax it.

Raise the left foot onto your right thigh and repeat the toast end on the left side

13. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Spread your towels on the floor and lie flat on your back. You should never live with your feet toward the front of the room.

Arms should be at your sides with palms facing upward feet relaxed and flopping.

Breathe normally and completely relax for two minutes.

Corpse pose return circulation to normal and teaches complete relaxation

14. Wind Removing Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

From where you lie in Savasana, bend your right knee towards your chest interlacing your fingers of both hands and taking hold of the raised leg two inches below the knee.

Keep your elbows close to your body and shoulders relaxed on the floor. Pull your knee to your chest with your foot relaxed. Lower the right leg and both arms to the floor and then bend the left knee and reverse the pose. Then lower the left leg and both arms to the floor.

Lift both knees up to the chest and clasp your arms around them just under the knees and hug them tightly hands grasping opposite elbows.

Keeping your shoulders on the floor pull your knees down to the chest as much as possible. And lower your chin to your chest and force your hips downward until your tailbone touches the floor. Lower both legs and arms to the floor

15. Bikram Yoga Sit Up (PadaHasthasana)

Lie down on your back with your toes flexed upwards towards the ceiling and bring both arms overhead and cross your thumbs.

Promptly dive forward while you exhale and reach for your toes keeping your legs on the floor.

16. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Lie down on your towel on your stomach with your legs and feet together all the muscles in your legs and buttocks are tight like rocks.

Look up at the ceiling using your spine strength to lift yourself and raise your torso off the floor only to your bellybutton.

Arch your back as much as possible with head and torso still only using your spinal strength. Slowly lower out of your torso and turn your face to one side.

17. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

Lie on your towel on your stomach with your chin on the towel. Put your arms under your body with elbows turned upward against your abdomen raise the right leg straight upward to a 45-degree angle.

The toe of your right leg should be pointed slowly lower your right leg to the floor while still keeping your arms under your body. Lift your left leg straight up and hold with the toe pointing.

Slowly lower the left leg and tilt your head down so that your lips touch your towel. With arms in the same position and legs, straight toes pointed take a deep breath and raise both legs and hips simultaneously off of the floor.

Lower both legs slowly with control and pull your arms out from underneath your body and relax them at your side’s the palms up and turn your face to one side.

18. Full Locust Pose (PoornaSalabhasana)

Lying on your towel on your stomach stretch your arms out to the sides with your palms facing down.

Put your chin on the towel and your knees legs and feet together on a deep inhalation all in one movement look up at the ceiling and raise your arms head chest torso and legs up and off the floor.

Slowly come down and turn your head to one side with your arms relaxed at your sides.

19. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Lie on your stomach on the towel then your knees and bring your feet towards your buttocks. Grasping the instep firmly about two inches below your pointed toes.

On a deep inhalation look up at the ceiling while lifting your thighs and upper body off of the floor. Kick backwards against your hands while lifting the legs even higher off of the floor.

Roll your bodyweight farther forward the higher that you kick. Lower your torso and leg slowly and turn your head to the side

20. Fixed Firm Pose (SuptaVajrasana)

Move your feet apart only the width of your hips. Place your hands behind you on your feet.  Bend your right elbow down to the floor behind you. And then bend your left elbow to the floor so that your torso is leaning backward supported by the elbows.

Raise your arms overhead opposite hands grabbing opposite elbows with both arms flat on the floor.

Tuck your chin downward towards your chest and completely relax. Come up slowly using elbows and hands for support and rest your hands on the tops of your thighs.

21. Half Tortoise Pose (ArdhaKurmasana)

Kneel down Japanese-style at the front of your mat. Raise your arms up over your head sideways with your palms together. The arms touching your ears then slowly forward on your lower spine in a straight line from the tailbone to your fingertips.

Stretching your spine forward and emphasize this deep exhalation. Stretch your arms forward as much as possible then touch your forehead to the mat with your chin away from your chest.

Totally relax your back and shoulders come up exactly as you went down slowly in one solid piece keep your hips touching your heels and back is straight lower the arms down sideways.

22. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Stand up on your knees on your mat. Knees and feet six inches apart. Put your hands on the back of your hips with your fingers pointing toward the floor.

Keeping your hands on your hips drop your head back completely. Bring your right hand down and take a firm hold of your right heel thumb on the outside and fingers pointing downward.

Then bring your left hand down and take hold of your left heel thumb outside again and fingers pointing inward. Simultaneously arc your torso backward .you should feel it in the small of your back come up slowly the way that you went down.

Right hand to the right hip and left hand back to the left hip to help you to straighten.

23. Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)

Kneel on your mat Japanese style reach around and grasp your heels so that your thumbs are on the outside and you are cradling your heels in your palms.

Lower your chin to your chest with emphasis on your exhalation and curl your torso slowly and tightly forward. Until your forehead touches your knees and the top of your head touches the floor.

Lift your hips into the air rolling your body forward like a wheel if there is a gap between the forehead and knees walk the knees forward until they touch the forehead rather than reaching for the knees with the forehead.

Very slowly uncurl back up to your kneeling position an exact reversal of the way that you came into this posture.

24. Head to knee pose and stretching pose (Janushirsasna with Paschimottanasana)

Sit on the floor and stretch your right leg to the right. Bend your left knee raise your arms overhead sideways and with your arms and head together stretch down over the straight right leg.

Take hold of your right foot with both hands and fingers tightly interlocked under the toes and the thumbs crossed on the tops of the toes.

Pull back the toes towards you as much as possible. Come up slowly and reverse the pose on the left side. This is a pulling exercise and slowly bend your elbow straight down toward the floor.

Tuck your chin to your chest and touch your forehead to your knee. If your knee is bent try to push it down with your forehead. Come up and extend both legs straight out in front of you. Take hold of your big toes with the first two fingers of each hand.

Pull the toes towards you as much as possible. With the emphasis on exhalation and without bending your knees touch your elbows to the floor and touch stomach chest and face to your legs.

Your goal is to pull your heels off of the floor and touch your forehead to your toes come up slowly and allow your hands to rest at your side.

25. Spine Twisting Pose (ArdhaMatsyendrasana)

Bend your left leg so that your knee is on the floor and your left heel is touching the side of your right buttock. Bend your right knee and bring your right leg over the left leg.

Putting your right foot down just to the left of your left knee. Bring your left arm to the right and over your right knee. Press the elbow of that arm back against the right knee in between the left knee and the right ankle.

Grasping the kneecap firmly with your palm. Turn your head to the right and twist your face shoulders and the whole torso to the right unwind.

Reverse legs and arms and do the pose to the left side now.

Spine twisting pose is the only exercise that twists the spine from top to bottom at the same time. It increases circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves veins and tissues. It improves spinal elasticity and flexibility in addition to the flexibility of the hip joint.

26. Blowing in Firm (Kapalabhathi)

Kneeled down Japanese-style with your spine very straight and hands resting on. Begin to blow your breath vigorously through your lips as though blowing out a candle.

Concentrate on your exhalations pull in your stomach and firmly and then immediately relax in your stomach and contracted firmly with the next exhalation.

Repeat this 60 times slowly and rhythmically giving each exhalation one count.

Watch Bikram Yoga Video:

All the above are the set of 26 poses in Pure Bikram Yoga, which helps in maintaining a balanced health from the head to toe by circulating blood as well as oxygen to entire body parts.

7 Bikram Yoga Benefits That Will Change Your Life Forever

Bikram yoga is essentially the same 26 posture so every time you go into the room which is also set at 105 degrees you’ll do these pure Bikram yoga 26 postures. So one of the things that are really nice about this is, of course, you have the chance to do it over and over again. And to really track your progress and that’s one of the things that people really love about Bikram yoga benefits. It’s like well when I started I could barely touch my toes and now I can see that my hands are on the ground. So it’s a great measuring stick for your own personal progress in a set of poses. But the other thing the flipside about that is you might get bored of doing those same poses over and over again.

Bikram yoga benefits
The other thing is it’s also really hot and this is kind of an issue that’s been on the table in the yoga community for a long time. It’s a little bit controversial some people say oh it’s fantastic it’s a lovely way to detox and it also improves your range of motion increases your flexibility. Then there are people on the other side of that argument that say you know what that’s not safe. Since it’s normally not 105 degrees out and about really the only heat that we should create should be coming from inside.

So take with that what you will Bikram is something that I like to do every now and then because I think it’s a great detox. It’s lovely to just sweat that much in an hour and a half you’ll definitely come out of the room feeling like you’re much lighter.

Bikram Yoga Benefits

Bikram yoga also is known as hot yoga is wildly popular yoga craze. Bikram yoga can transform your body and improve your health and change your life forever.

Flexibility

It improves the flexibility of your body because in every posture you get to stretch muscles and other body parts. This is also called hot yoga as the heat involved in this yoga helps to loosen muscles and joints, and it allows you to stretch beyond your limits.

Detoxification

Bikram yoga helps the body to cleanses itself through the respiratory and circulatory system. Due to the elevated humidity and room temperature, Bikram yoga accelerates the process after all toxins are released through the skin when you sweat. A study in 2011 found that many toxic elements are excreted through the skin. Healthier skin dirt and grit that build up in the pores are released when you sweat.

Bikram Yoga weight loss

The Bikram yoga program focuses on cardiovascular activity and strength building which contribute a great deal to weight loss. It is estimated that a single session of Bikram Yoga which is normally around 90 minutes burns about 716 calories every time. Combined with the proper dieting plan you might be surprised by your weight.

Cardiovascular Health

Yoga is a great way to get a cardio workout with a low chance of injury. The Bikram yoga helps with cardiovascular health by resting cholesterol and heart rates, retarding the growth of atherosclerosis and blood pressure. The meditation done during breathing exercises helped to stabilize the lining of the blood vessels in the endothelium. Meditation also helps lower stress hormones and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Cardiovascular HealthLifts your Mood

Studies show that regular yoga exercise boosts mood and lowers rates of depression exercise and sweating release endorphins that give you a euphoric feeling known sometimes as a runner’s high.

General physical preparedness

One of the benefits of Bikram yoga is that it increases general physical preparedness (GPP). Scientific research says that it improves your immunity, fitness levels recovery time strength and metabolism.

Stress relief and mental concentration

The Bikram focuses on mindfulness calm breathing and staying in the present. The positive feelings developed during while doing yoga are fulfilling and refreshing. They also help in improving social prosperity and create a sense of belonging around. This helps with symptoms of depression, , sleep disorders, and attention deficit.

Bikram yoga also is known as hot yoga, changes your body by bringing a multitude of health benefits including improvement and flexibility, increase cardio capacity and physical strength.

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Tips for A Great First Bikram Yoga Class

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Tips for A Great First Bikram Yoga Class

Everyone remembers his or her first Bikram Yoga class! And for good reason! It can be overwhelming, unfamiliar and a bit scary! But don’t be disheartened. Follow these easy tips to make sure your first class is as positive an experience as possible. And don’t be discouraged if it is tough. It should be tough! For many of us, it is the first time we have worked so deeply into our bodies. Plus, it’s 105 degrees in there!

Please don’t be scared off! You can read about my first class here. It was challenging, yet inspiring, and I am so grateful for it, because it led me to this wonderful practice that I have now enjoyed for five years. Here are my tips for a great first Bikram Yoga Class. Enjoy!

HOTM’s Tips For A Great First Bikram Yoga Class

  1. Hydrate in advance: Drink plenty of water the day before class, particularly the night before class. It takes a while for your body to absorb the water so binge drinking right before class won’t work. Plus, it will leave a puddle of water in your stomach that doesn’t feel so good during class.
  1. Bring a bottle of water with you: Or buy one at the studio. There is no drinking in class for the first 25 minutes, but after that, you will enjoy having water to drink during class. Limit your drinking to between postures for the benefit of your fellow yogis.
  1. Wear sweat-wicking workout clothes: You don’t have to look like a pro your first day, but sweat-wicking clothing will keep you more comfortable with all the sweat. Keep in mind, your clothes will be soaking wet by the end of class. Cotton is a problem since it absorbs the sweat and can weigh you down.
  1. Don’t eat a big meal for two hours prior to class: The last thing you need is a lot of food sitting in your stomach during class. A light nibble is ok if the timing just works out that way, but keep it light – toast or a granola bar.
  1. Don’t use hand cream before class: OK, I know this sounds like a crazy one, but you will thank me. Hand cream will make your hands slippery and that will make it harder to maintain a good grip during the postures.
  1. Don’t expect too much of yourself: The class will be hard, so don’t expect to come out of the gate as a pro, no matter your fitness level. Exercising in the heat is a new experience. And most people will not have sweat this much before. Be willing to try your best and take it as it comes.
  1. Set up in a cooler spot in the room: Each Bikram Yoga room has its own unique heat profile. Don’t be shy about asking the teacher to point out a cooler spot for your first day. You won’t regret it.
  1. Set up in the back so you can watch other yogis: Bikram Yoga teachers do not demonstrate postures, so it will be helpful to have some more experienced yogis in front of you to use as a visual guide.
  1. Bring an open mind: Some parts of the class may be outside your comfort zone, but bring an open mind to it. I personally found the opening breathing exercise to be a bit strange for at least 6 months, but I stuck with it, and now I really enjoy that part of the warmup. Listen with an open mind to the dialogue and to any specific guidance you get from the teacher. S/he is there because s/he loves practicing Bikram Yoga, and wants you to have a good experience.
  1. Have fun! Hey, it’s just yoga. Make sure you enjoy the experience and try to keep it all in perspective. Sit down on the mat and take a break if you need to. No big deal. Who knows, maybe five years from now you will be writing your own tips for a great first Bikram Yoga class on your Bikram Yoga blog. I certainly did not expect to be doing this when I first walked into the hot room…

Fellow yogis, what tips do you have for a great first class?

 

 

8 Useful Tips To Consider Before Doing Hot Bikram Yoga!

What Is Bikram Yoga

Have you ever heard of hot Bikram yoga?

In case you’re not familiar with it, here is a little history of Bikram hot yoga.

The founder of Bikram yoga is Bikram Choudhury, born in Calcutta, India in 1944, and was a yoga champion in his youth.

In 1970’s, Choudhury founded the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California, to teach his method, which soon became one of the most popular styles of yoga asana practiced in the West.

His yoga method is a set series of 26 postures, including two pranayama exercises, where each one is performed twice in a single 90-minute class. 

Wondering what is hot yoga?

Hot yoga is done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

What does it do for your body?

Its vigorous yoga session at high temperature makes the body become very warm and induces heavy sweating. 

What To Expect When Doing Hot Bikram Yoga

First, you need to find a Bikram studio which have to follow its standards which are very detailed. 

The studios must:

  • Have carpet flooring
  • Have mirrors on the front wall
  • Have bright lighting
  • Have no music playing during the class
  • Last 90 minutes
  • Consist of a specific beginning yoga sequence including two breathing exercises and 26 poses
  • Be taught by Bikram-certified instructors

Any class is being properly monitored, and no one will be pressured to push over personal limits.

This is important because working out in a hot and humid room if not properly managed, can lead to heat-related illness and be fatal.

In case you are peculiar about it and you want to give it a try, this is what you should know before you start:

1.It Can Be Smelly

Can you imagine what happens when 25-30 people are having hot Bikram yoga session?

They all sweat heavily and bad smell is almost inevitable. 

In time, you might get used to the smell as you are longer in the room, but it never completely goes away.

Be prepared not to be shocked by it. The smell may bring back some memories to your childhood school locker rooms after having a gym class :) 

2.It Surely Will Be Hot

As it is a hot yoga class, you need to dress accordingly.

Women usually wear yoga gear such as booty shorts and a sports bra, while guys are usually shirtless and in athletic shorts.

It’s important to note that if you don’t like the heat or sweating, you probably won’t like Bikram yoga at all.

It definitely isn’t for everyone.

3.Take Food And Water Supplies With You

Before starting hot Bikram yoga class, it is incredibly important to hydrate well, but it’s also important to bring some water into the studio.

You surely don’t want to faint at your yoga session.

During class there are breaks to take some water, but you can take voluntarily your own break in order to hydrate.

Why it is necessary?

Because of the significant amount of sweat, you should make an effort to drink several ounces of water at least every 10-15 minutes.

After class, you must replenish your fluids again, therefore, refill your water bottle or have another one on hand, so you can drink up when you feel the urge for it.

Don’t get surprised if you find yourself hungry after class.

It is a good idea to pack up some light snack – possibly an apple and some string cheese, or a single-serve portion of humus and pretzels.

A good mix of proteins and carbs will help you sustain hunger until you have your meal.

4.Bring Along Clothes To Change After The Session

All Bikram yoga studios are required to have showers according their standards, and if you prefer to shower right after class, it’s always an option to consider.

But, if you prefer to shower at home, it’s better to bring some clothes so you can change.

Surely you do not want to drive home while wearing wet clothes as you’ve  just crawled out of a pool.

5.Take A Break If You Need To

If you are a beginner doing hot Bikram yoga, eventually you’ll want to make a break whether for re-hydrating , or just to relax a bit, as it is really hot in there.

You should know that while being hot, you may experience sensations of dizziness.

Sit down, take some water and relax.

Note that as a beginner, you may find yourself not capable of doing every pose in the session, so don’t worry about it.

You will learn.

6.You’ll Have To Stay In The Room 

Even if you choose to relax as the heat have exhausted you, you’ll have to stay in the room.

Why?

Because staying in the room and acclimatizing to the heat is an important part of Bikram yoga.

The heat itself helps loosen you up to increase the flexibility of your muscles and do the assanas properly.

7.Beginner Friendly Poses

The poses are beginner friendly and all 26-pose series are taken from Hatha Yoga.

There are also more advanced versions of each pose, but initially the all are beginner friendly and appropriate for people of different wide-ranging flexibility.

Do the ones you feel you can.

8.Either You’ll Like It – Either You Will Not

It’s simple as that. You may hate the heat and experience a general discomfort.

Experiencing extreme heat, activity and persistently increasing dehydration, will increase your heart rate, challenge your breathing and push you over your normal range of motion.

It may take a lot of mental concentration to focus on proper form, while trying not to think about the general discomfort you are feeling. 

Surprisingly, you may want to come back after your hot Bikram yoga class ended.

11 Health Benefits Of Hot Bikram Yoga 

1.Detoxification

The main reason why people prefer Bikram yoga instead of conventional yoga is detoxification.

In Bikram yoga with heated room condition, you will be easily getting sweaty. Well, it is actually the main purpose of Bikram yoga, heavy sweating.

It will help you flush out all toxins in your body throughout skin.

Furthermore, sweating could be really healthy especially for those who don’t have time to exercise, while in conventional yoga not everyone will experience heavy sweating.

2.Warmed Muscles

Warming up in all kind of sports is necessary, and yoga is not an exception to it, although yoga postures mostly do not reflect any danger for muscles.

The purpose of warming up is to relax muscles before doing any yoga postures in order to minimize possible injuries.

In Bikram yoga, the heated room condition becomes an advantage because the temperature will contribute in warming up muscles, so it will be a bit safer to do yoga postures.

3.Stimulating Heart Rate

If you have a rapid heart rate, it is not always as bad as you think it is, and of course, as long as you understand your current health condition.

If you are currently having a heart condition, perhaps it would be wise to consult your doctor about your plan of doing Bikram yoga.

However, if you are most certain you could handle it – then, you are welcome to a class.

By stimulating your heart rate, you will challenge your body to work harder, and you’ll feel like running, when in fact you are not leaving your mat.

Besides, it is very beneficial to stimulate your metabolism as well.

4.Strength Development

The unique thing about yoga is that you will find immense capabilities of your body you never knew exist.

In hot Bikram yoga, you can test your own limits and be surprised at the end.

But, don’t overstretch and don’t force yourself too much.

Instead, develop muscle strength step by step until you reach your limits.

5.Improved Flexibility

Yoga practice makes you flexible and maintain your health. 

Compared to conventional yoga, Bikram yoga practiced in heated room condition will provide more flexibility due to warmed up muscles, making it more possible to do postures.

However, important thing to note is that you SHOULD NOT force yourself.

Once your body feels uncomfortable – relax for a while before you start again.

6.Better Breathing

Breathing is an essential factor in yoga.

However, in Bikram yoga, you will get more challenged to do it and it is the heat we are talking about.

It surely isn’t easy to breathe normally while you are doing yoga postures in heated yoga studio room, and that’s why you need to learn and adapt with the heat.

7.Heavy Sweat – Relaxed Body

Hot Bikram yoga will force you to be in heavy sweaty condition, and will make you see a new level of relaxation. 

However, there are people who prefer yoga instead of other sports just to avoid dealing with sweat, and in such case most certainly Bikram yoga isn’t for that kind of people.

8.Better Mental Focus

Yoga essence is all about improving mental focus.

While practicing, you are trying to focus on your muscle stretch, while also keeping in charge of control of your breathing as well.

Yes, yoga is like doing multi tasking at the same time, and in hot Bikram yoga there is one more challenge you should deal with – the heat.

Bikram yoga is by far more challenging than regular yoga.

You need to put up with the heat, body postures and breathing at the same time, and also pay attention of your body needs due to heavy sweating.

It is quite challenging but definitely worth to try.

10.Sweating Is Good

Sweat will always give you a good feeling because you’ll know you have flushed out all those built up toxins.

Of course your sweat may be smelly and sticky sometimes, but the feeling after the session will surprise you.

Getting heavy sweat once in a while will make you enjoy more your warm bath, often followed by a very good and deep sleep.

You will wake up in the morning all freshen up with new energy flow and clearer mind.

The sweat has flushed away all toxins and just by knowing it, will make you feel like having a whole brand new personality.

11.Better Lifestyle

The purpose of yoga is giving you a better life.

As it is considered as a healthy lifestyle, it also means having a better life. Yoga is making your life meaningful.

During yoga, you are in position to learn more about your body, your self, your mind, your body and your life.

That’s the real point of yoga.

It allows you to enjoy all the benefits of doing it by having clearer mind, better shape and of course healthier body.

5 Side Effects Of Practicing Birkam Yoga

Bikram yoga is not without risk.

However, as long as you are following the rules and do not force yourself too much, you will be fine, just do Bikram yoga wisely.

1.Tendency To Overstretch

It is always wise to follow instructions from your yoga instructor in order to avoid any tendency of overstretching, as it could be dangerous for yourself and could cause serious injuries.

2.Heat Distraction

Additional heat makes it difficult to stay focus while you are in heat condition. That’s why intensive training and discipline is required if you want to “survive” Bikram yoga.

3.Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can be dangerous.

Recognize your limits and don’t force yourself too much. Once you feel a bit dizzy due to heat exhaustion, don’t force yourself too much.

Just stay focus, breath deeply and try to deal with the heat.

However, if it still not working for you, get some rest before continuing the session.

4.Dehydration

Dehydration can’t be avoided when you are doing Bikram yoga.

Sweat will easily come out from your body due to heated room and yoga postures, and that’s why you need to stay hydrated before you enter the class.

As if you are not, you may experience dizziness and dehydration that could pose a danger to your body.

5.Heatstroke

If hot Bikram yoga class is led by professional and certified instructor, you will not experience such thing, but still, take this into consideration.

Heat stroke could be dangerous for your health and surely you don’t want experience it while in yoga class.

Tips Before Enrolling To A Hot Bikram Yoga Class

There are few final tips to consider before starting Birkam yoga practice.

  • Keep hydrated
  • Learn how to handle the heat
  • Don’t be late on class – prepare on time
  • Don’t overstreach
  • Avoid using towel (feel the sweat)
  • Wear comfy and light clothes
  • Don’t practice with empty stomach nor full too much

Recommendations For Starters

Well, if you are new in the yoga world, probably you should think twice whether you want to enter hot Bikram yoga class.

Conventional yoga is not an easy thing to do for starters, and you’ll need some time to build flexibility, and to learn to focus and control your breathing at the same time.

If you can’t learn all those things in heated room, you will feel stressed out and you will not enjoy the whole process.

It is not the point of yoga, and just by forcing yourself to follow the trend – you will not get all the benefits yoga offers.

At the end, it is actually a matter of choice, whether you prefer conventional yoga, or you prefer more challenges found in Bikram yoga practice.

Either you’ll love it – either you’ll hate it.

Yet, it’s worth to try!

Source :

1. “Benefits of Bikram Yoga”

2. verywell “How hot is hot yoga”

3.Hotyogasaratoga via YouTube

4.Fair Articles via YouTube

The post 8 Useful Tips To Consider Before Doing Hot Bikram Yoga! appeared first on 1body1health.

Diary of a Yogini: Mary Jarvis on the early days of Bikram Yoga |

 

Senior Bikram Yoga Teacher and owner of Global Yoga San Fransisco joins OMB with a story of practicing with Bikram in the early days of Bikram Yoga. Find out more about Mary by clicking here

I started practicing what is now called “Bikram Yoga” over 24 years ago. It was not “BIKRAM YOGA” back then. It WAS yoga. When asked about it by friends and acquaintances, I would say, “yoga is 26 postures,practiced twice in a 90 minute class,in a heated room …There is no exercise in the world that makes me feel as great as I do when I practice this yoga…Yoga kicks running and weightlifting’s ass…”

“Bikram?!??…what’s a Bikram?!??”

Bikram is my teacher from Calcutta,India. His guru told him to come to America to ‘Heal the bodies and lives of the people of The West’ with his yoga. He has a school in San Francisco and Beverly Hills”.

Mary Jarvis in Standing Bow-Pulling Pose

“WHAT!!!….the room is heated??!!?”….yep…that freak out statement has been going on for a long time.

When I first started practicing, there were no Hand Towels in the room. There were no water bottles in the room. The Yoga Mat companies didn’t even exist.

We used to cut open large black garbage bags and put them under our towels to try and keep the sweat off the rug….which was a failure, by the way. When you stepped out into a triangle you would slide or surf on the carpet. We did use baby crib liner mats for awhile….still not very long but no surfing.

I bought yoga mats for my school in 1996 and it was a big deal . We could choose dark ugly blue or dark ugly green for colors. They were NOT to be used for a prop. It was only to keep the sweat off the carpet. I still hold true to that even today.

When taking class….YOU DID NOT MOVE !

Hold still in the posture….

Hold still NOT in the posture.

If you moved around in class, Bikram would kick you out. He wouldn’t even tell you why.

So I left in shock, not knowing what I did and bummed because that yoga made me feel so good.

After a few days I went back afraid…Had to go though…

Bikram looked at me and said,”WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?”

…”uhhh…you kicked me out??”

“Only for THAT DAY!” “Don’t ever leave again”

So I kept my eyes way wide open when I took class after that …I was looking for anything that would indicate getting kicked out.

And then it happened….a girl in front of me wiped her face after a Triangle Set.

Bikram saw it and faster than I can type, “GET OUT!!!”, she moved.

AH HAHH! SHE MOVED!…..you cannot move in class!…that must have been what I did.

Don’t move in class….Good to know.

I was standing still after a posture one time and bug flew up my nose. I did not go after it. I was not going to move. He was dead by that time anyway and All Bugs are Edible! Pure protein…number one survival rule (besides pee on a cut or gash).

The discipline in the Yoga Room was amazing. The energy was so high. The concentration and focus of the students…I do not even have a good English word to describe it.

I sometimes get nostalgic for those years. I miss those yoga classes…

Hand towels, yoga gloves, “yoga paws”, five bottles of frozen water surrounding all the yoga mats….the running in and out of the class, laying down….pink drinks,orange drinks,green drinks…”neutronium” blue drinks!……

If you come to my school,you will see very few water bottles in the room. Most of the time, the people who have them are Drop-In students from other schools or new students who read somewhere that they should bring water.

I admit that I have a couple of regular practicing students that drink in class. It is a little embarassing to me that they do. I am NOT going to yell at them or anyone for that matter…I just take note of who does and who doesn’t. I do not like it, though!

None of my teachers are ever allowed to drink water while taking or teaching class. Somebody has to hold the high vision! I love it when visiting teachers come to my school…it’s our Yoga Family. They can come for free but they may not drink water or use hand towels in class and they have to stand in the last back row of the yoga room and learn humility.

Three of my students just practiced 8 yoga classes in one day! They never sat down in any of the classes and they never drank water in any of them either. They looked fantastic. They glowed for 15 and 1/2 hours of yoga! To Rebecca Rankin, J-Wong, and Frossie ‘the Aussie’, I say CONGRATULATIONS.

They know how to breathe through their nose and slow their breathing down in Asana and in relaxation after Asana.

They feel neither heat nor cold in the yoga room. They are out of emotional prison in their minds, hearts and energy souls.

I know that my students and I have the best life in the orange room.