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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Move Your Mat

by Leigha Hall

When I went to class on Saturday, I noticed I was becoming too attached to one particular spot in the room. Let me tell you, this is an amazing spot. It is situated between two fans. When we get to savasana, and the instructor turns the fans up, it is glorious.

I don’t think people are on to my spot as it usually seems available. In the last couple of weeks I have been snatching it up left and right and enjoying the heck out of it. So last night I realized I needed to let it go. Not forever – just a little bit.

You might ask why I would want to move. If I have a spot that I think is great, and it is available to me when I arrive, why purposefully take a different one?

One of the main reasons for taking a different spot is to practice non-attachment or, as Rick Hanson says in his book Just One Thing, “Aspire without attachment.” One importance aspect of being attached to something is the craving we experience for it. Hanson compares attachment to aspiration by explaining that, “Aspiration is about liking, while attachment is about wanting.” Liking, he says, is not a problem. When we start to crave and want something is when the suffering begins.

So do I like this little spot of heaven in the yoga room? Yes, I do. Do I crave it? Do I want it? Yes, I do. I started to find that I was hoping it would be available when I arrived because I wanted it. This spot was getting in the way of my practice. How? If I got it then I settled in to a routine. My brain thinks, “Yep. Got my spot. This will be a great class.” But who knows what kind of class it will really be and what I will experience? The wanting and getting of the spot causes my brain to disengage some with my practice, and I become less curious as to what class will be like. I think I know what class will be like because of the spot I am in.

On the flip side, if I wanted my spot and arrived to find someone in it then I would have to go find what my brain considered to be a less suitable spot. Now I am experiencing suffering. Not any kind of horrible suffering, but still suffering that my mind has fabricated for me to experience. I am likely to think my class will be less than optimal because I am not in my spot. That’s just silly. I’ll just have whatever kind of class I have in whatever spot I am in.

So Saturday night, before I went to bed, I decided I had to move my mat for the Sunday class. I decided I would not set up anywhere near my favorite spot. I had to make a clean break, and so I went and set up in the swamp – the hottest part of the room.

I held up my end of the bargain, and it was not that bad. Yes, I did sweat a lot. Yes, it was hot. There is no fan action over in the swamp. It wasn’t crowded over there, and I had plenty of space. And, I liked it. It was a great experience to be in a whole other area. My brain didn’t fall into any routine-traps (that I caught). I just listened to the instructor and went with it. It was great. The other wonderful thing about the swamp is the lack of fans. I’ve said this before, but when I’m not able to feel the fans I don’t think about them. It doesn’t matter to me if they are on or not because it’s not going to help my situation any that I can tell. When I am anywhere near a fan I tend to get a bit obsessive about if they are on or not or if they are going to be turned up higher. That clouds my mind and gets in the way of listening and practicing – basically being in the moment.

Where will I set up for Monday’s class? I don’t know. That should usually be my answer. I shouldn’t be able to tell you where I am putting my mat because I should not be attached to a spot in the room.

Where will you set up for your next class? Will you move your mat?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


This is one of our dedicated students Kiersten. One of her fitness goals has been to be able to do the splits. After a year of doing Bikram yoga at least 4-5 times a week, she was able to reach her goal with her new flexibility! Whether your goal is to be able to reach around and grab your ankles from behind, bring your forehead to your knee, or hold that standing bow pose for more than 5 seconds, it can happen one day with a little dedication to set aside those 90 minutes a few times a week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Whole Planet Foundation

Here at Bikram Yoga SLC, we are proud to be in support of poverty alleviation. We are pleased to announce that beginning this Saturday, and every 4th Saturday of the month thereafter, from the 10am class we will be donating $1 of each member's fees toward the Whole Planet Foundation.

If you would like to help impoverished women have better lives for themselves and their children, you can give a much appreciated a tax-deductible monetary donation in any amount by clicking on this link:

Whole Planet Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market. Microcredit (small loans) empowers very poor women living in communities that supply Whole Foods Market stores with their product to use their own energy and creativity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Through Whole Planet Foundation, small loans – usually $300 or less and with no collateral or contract – provide entrepreneurial women with an opportunity to create or expand a home-based business to change their own lives.

Vijayakumari is a microcredit client of Grameen India. With her first loan she was able to make her own loom and with her second, she bought additional supplies to expand her business. Her dream is to be able to pay for her daughter's marriage.

Salome, left, is a microcredit client of MicroLoan Foundation in Malawi. She is a 32 year old mother of six children, four of which are hers and four of which are AIDs orphans she’s adopted. She lives in a one room hut in a rural area, many miles from the nearest town. In the past Salome struggled to feed, clothe and care for her children, and herself. With her microcredit loan her yield per acre has quadrupled, she has been able to purchase fundamental farming tools, she can afford to send all six children to secondary school and she is equipped with essential farming and business skills.

Nagamma is a microcredit client in Kerala, India, where Whole Foods Market sources cashews. She is 55 years old and on her second loan. Her first loan of $100 was to start a tea shop and her second loan of $160 is to raise goats and chickens. Now her husband is working in the tea shop but her son is still a day laborer. Nagamma’s hope is to see her family in better condition in the future. She heard about the opportunities of microcredit from other members in her village.

Roselene is a microcredit client of WPF partner Fonkoze in Haiti where Whole Foods Market sources mangoes. Roselene is 57 years old with 9 children ranging from 12 to 35, and a total of 10 grandchildren. Roselene was a victim of the hurricanes and storms that ravaged Haiti in 2008, and with the help of Fonkoze, was able to restart her business and rebuild her life. In the 2010 earthquake, Roselene again lost everything. “I had some things at my home, and I have my Fonkoze bank account. I am starting again with the little merchandize I have left.” She lives in the tent city, where she has restarted her business again with the assistance of Fonkoze. “My Fonkoze credit agent came to see me a couple of days after the quake, I knew he had lost his home as well, but he was there reassuring me that we will make it.” That, she said is also a big reason she will not give up. Roselene will put her business and life back in place. She finds strength because she knows she is a “member of a group of women who have been given second chances, but with Fonkoze, we keep getting these chances whenever we think all is lost.”

Women who can't get loans from banks because they don't have credit, have a re-payment of 97%. This money gets recycled as a new loan over and over again. Above is a group of borrowers getting ready to repay their loans in Malawi.

Looking forward to seeing lots of your smiling faces in class this Saturday at 10am!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stunning Photo Essay

by Barbora Simek (text) and Caitlin Hicks (photos)

Photographer and yogini Caitlin Hicks is a fourth-year photography student at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). The images below are a part of her final project in which she photographs yogis of Bikram Yoga Toronto. “I felt it was important to get into the yoga environment in order to create images that capture the true idea and emotion of this practice. Perspiration is a main component, cleansing the body of toxins from the inside out. I felt that shooting in the hot room would be the best and most practical way to capture all the components together.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Are you tired of straightening your towel during class, or resisting the urge to do so? Are you having a hard time turning on your mat for the three standing postures? We've just received a big order of Skidless Yogitoes Towels for those of you who are tired of having a bunched up towel under your feet. And best of all, they are NOW 25 % OFF! This is the first time ever that we've put our Yogitoes Towels on sale, so take advantage now while it lasts. This towel is definitely worth the investment. It’s designed specifically for yoga practice to prevent slipping. It’s lightweight, super-absorbent, and accented with tiny clear rubber dots which grip to your yoga mat, enabling you to have a steadier practice so you can revel in the full experience of being present. . If you have chronic slipping issues, the Skidless towel provides a grippier surface than the average yoga mat -- thanks to silicone nubs that cover the surface of the towel, adhering it to your mat. Unlike traditional Ashtanga rugs, also used to prevent slippage, the Skidless does not have to be made wet before class. The Skidless is also a lot less bulky than most rugs, and covers the entire length of the mat unlike a regular bath or beach towel.
TIP: If you tend to sweat heavily, place a bath towel over the Yogitoes Towel. And to maintain the non-slip qualities of the Yogitoe, do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why Savasana is the Most Important Yoga Pose

By Jessy Tapper in Chicago Now

I have a huge love-hate relationship with Savasana (“corpse pose” for the unfamiliar). Obviously, I love the lying down part, but something about actually relaxing is incredibly difficult for me. I’m not sure if other people feel this way, or maybe they just don’t realize they do, but I know that as soon as it’s time for Savasana, my mind enters hyper drive. And damn, it’s frustrating. I had one teacher a few years ago that described Savasana as the most challenging yoga pose she knew. Instantly, I understood what she was talking about.
The average person goes through life with a constant need to be alert to some degree or another. To be considered “successful” between the ages of 5 and 22, we partake in school, judging our mind’s capabilities to contemplate, analyze, compute, and compare. Basically, we are training our minds to be permanently busy. Yoga, in a sense, is an effort to un-learn these habits to try to quiet our over-active minds. Hatha yoga, the physical yoga, is just one method we can use to achieve this quiet mind state.
By physically challenging our bodies, we give the mind a feeling, a specific sensation happening in our bodies, to focus on. In Vrksasana, “tree pose,” you’re probably not thinking about your taxes or what you’re going to make for dinner. You are thinking about your standing leg – that wobbly, increasingly burning, shaky leg that you are hell-bent on keeping rooted into the ground. Or maybe, if you’re like me, you’re wondering why everyone is taking this pose so seriously. I mean, come on, you’re a bunch of adults standing on one leg, pretending to be trees. It’s ok to laugh a little.
But, in Savasana, there are no distractions left. This is your “reward,” my teachers always tell me, “let it feel good.” But, how can I let it feel good when I know that my mind is not doing what it’s supposed to be doing. I’ve been doing yoga long enough that I know the drill…“Relax. Start at your toes and move your awareness up your body, covering every inch, and notice where you’re holding tension. Let it go. Release. Empty your mind. Bring your awareness to your natural rhythm of breath.” I hear all of these instructions, and I understand them completely. Heck, I’ve even taught them, but it still never ceases to amaze me when I find myself lying on my back in Savasana at the end of perfectly enjoyable class, and I start THINKING. Always thinking. I’m pretty sure I even came up with the idea for this blog post during Savasana.
With each thought that flourishes in my stubborn and over-anaytical mind, I try to let it go. I try to focus on relaxing the muscles in my lower back and my jaw, knowing that they deserve it more than my worries about what I’m going to wear that night, but it is hard.
And to anyone who says, without any uncertainties, that Savasana is their favorite pose, I say, you’re not trying hard enough. Or maybe, you can share some of your tricks with me. It’s this kind of difficulty, however, that makes Savasana the most important pose in any class. I guarantee you – it is the only posture that you will find in every single yoga class you ever take. Savasana is your body’s time to absorb all of those yummy poses you just did. It’s kind of like a reset button so your body doesn’t go into complete shock after all that physical goodness you just bestowed upon it.
After all, Trikonasana, “triangle pose,” is quite a different experience than couch-asana, and you deserve a little time to soak up its benefits. Plus, if you’re not super neurotic like yours truly, Savasana can feel ridiculously good as well. Like too-good-to-be-legal good, like 70-IN-MARCH good – so good that you secretly curse your yoga teacher when she announces that it’s time to roll over. But, it’s exactly that deliciously awesome feeling that adds to the difficulty of it all. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t fallen asleep in Savasana at least once. I am a chronic insomniac, and I fall asleep in Savasana every now and then. It’s because it feels that good, and your body/mind responds, “THANK YOU. I’m turning off now.”So, the trick of Savasana is finding that balance, that space between unconsciousness and consciousness. You have to be aware but not thinking, and relaxed but not asleep. It’s not so easy when you think about it…or don’t think about it…

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Raise Your Hand if You Want a Massage!

How good does a massage sound after a Bikram class? Why not take advantage of our Limited Time Offer of HALF OFF a private session with Jamie? Come on! After working so hard in class you know you deserve it...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome to our New Blog!

With so many exciting new things going on in the studio, we now have a blog to help keep you updated with events, articles, and everything Bikram!

With our weekend classes becoming more full, we're excited to announce that we will be adding new 12:00 classes every Saturday and Sunday beginning April 1st.