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Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Contest for Free Yoga

In addition to our photo contest Yoga Everywhere (click here for more info), we have another way for you to try to win some FREE Yoga! Michael Harris, a fellow Bikram Yoga studio owner from Oregon, is promoting his new book "Falling Down Getting UP" and you may enter to win Six Months Unlimited Bikram Yoga at any studio of your choice including ours with no purchase necessary at Win Six Months Unlimited Yoga!
You must enter today – the winner will be announced Friday, July 27th!

This Special Prize is being offered by a long time leader and teacher in the Bikram community Michael Harris. Michael is releasing his first book, “Falling Down Getting UP” with great fanfare and reviews from many people. The book is really about you and that place where we all go when we struggle. This book details the power of Bikram Yoga and how you can overcome virtually anything through regular practice.  If you want to see yoga principals come alive and how they can help you, order this book today.  It is about facing your struggles with determination and courage.  

Today Tuesday, July 24th a very special opportunity exists to buy Michael’s book “Falling Down Getting UP.” Michael has partnered with Morgan James Publishing and Amazon to launch this book. In addition to the book he is offering a number of special bonuses valued at more than $10,000 with a Grand Prize of Six Months Unlimited Bikram Yoga!

This book tells Michael's true story of his personal destruction and recovery. The story details how he lived through a near fatal accident, vascular disease and addictions.  Michael then discusses exactly how Bikram Yoga changed his life and how it can change you. This is a must read for everyone that practices Bikram Yoga and for anyone you know that could benefit from new hope in their life. I highly recommend you get your copy today. 

Enter here for your chance to Win Bikram Yoga:Win Six Months Unlimited Yoga! and Order the Book Today!  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Evette's 200 Day Challenge

Bikram Yoga SLC student Evette has embarked on a journey of challenging herself to practice 200 sessions in 200 days. Pushing herself to go above and beyond, she doubled her goal from 100 to 200 sessions, and recently did 4 classes in one day. We admire your determination Evette and thank you for allowing us to share in your quest! 

Below are a couple of her latest entries from her blog 200 in 200 Bikram Yoga Challenge

Practice 200 Bikram yoga sessions in 200 days is my challenge. Initially I committed to 100 sessions in 100 days. After reading yoga philosophy on determination I upped my goal to 200 in 200. According to the philosophy to truly test determination, set a goal that is challenging and attainable, then double it. This blog documents my journey to 200 and if you get something from reading my thoughts, fantastic.

 79: Soft and Strong
79 of 200, day 70, July 20

My practice has shifted from pushing hard to being soft and strong. Previously I forced myself into asanas in practice. Now I focus on being present and strong in asanas. This allows me to be relaxed in practice.

73: Action to Shape, Stillness to Be 
73 of 200, day 66, July 16

I'm sure teachers have mentioned action and stillness many times in practice. The difference today is that I listened. In yoga practice consider the action & stillness, the balance and strength required in postures then the calm stillness of savasana. It is the action that shapes me, then being closer and closer to stillness that makes me become more. The physical challenge and mental focus required to do postures shapes me mentally, physically, spiritually, socially and emotionally. My body seems to be able to take on more challenge at times than my mind. Some days it is my body that heals my mind. Other days it is my mind that heals my body. All days it is savasana that takes all this shaping in practice and converts it to being more aware. The stillness releases the limiting behaviors and beliefs of the past. And I am  aware of something new in myself. It has always been there but now it has surfaced.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Yoga Everywhere Photo Contest!


Yoga Everywhere
Photo Contest!

·      Strike a pose anywhere, capture the moment in a photo
and post it on our Facebook page!
·      It could be in a crowd, somewhere funny, inside/outside, somewhere beautiful
or somewhere unusual and unexpected!
·      Enter as many pictures as you’d like, and submit them by
Sept 30th at midnight!
·      Be creative and do yoga EVERYWHERE!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A few words From Rajashree Choudhury

Overcoming Boredom
"Bikram's method is really consistent with people in building their personality; their perspective of life, their will power, and self esteem is helped by the 26 2. At the same time, Bikram's classes have been viewed as boring: it's 90 minutes, the same postures, same routine - you don't (feel you) find something new. But that boredom is something we have to conquer in our own mind because a lot of times, in adults especially, we like to constantly change, change, change. In doing the change, we lose the concentration and focus... Yoga helps us disconnect from the world and find something new."
"People understand the mediation benefits (of the class). Practicing meditation... is sometimes very hard. What's the purpose of mediation? It is two things - concentration and relaxation... This all depends on breath. Many times when you try, if the mind is full of worry and excitement, it will affect your breath, no matter what. If you are not healthy, then you are not ready yet to concentrate and focus and properly train to do your breathing. Practicing Bikram Yoga helps check that mind off and breathing is part of surviving in the class. In the end, you do the proper utilization of the breath and find the concentration, focus and relaxation which is the purpose of meditation. Breathing connects your body and mind."
If You Grow With It, Stick With It
"One thing is this - people should see the result. If the result is effective and positive in their life, they should stick with it. I always say my Guru is my heart because I always listen to my heart - is it mentally, spiritually, and physically enhancing me, or not? If I see I am growing and it is helping me, then I'd rather stick with it. Why should I change it?"

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Jade's 30 Day Challenge

The following is an entry from Bikram Yoga SLC student Jade Tinker's blog Journey to the Center of Myself.

She welcomes us to share in her journey as she endures her first 30 day challenge, and offers insight to some struggles and benefits she's already experiencing 11 days into the challenge.

We'll continue to update you with her latest blog entries so she can be your motivator and you can be her cheerleader! Way to go Jade!




11 days into my 30 day challenge

I did not get the chance yesterday to talk about about my 30-day challenge so far.

I have always read and heard that "the 30 day challenge will change your life!" but have always been pretty skeptical. I mean, 30 days is a rather short amount of time to have your life change significantly. Still, I had always wanted to try a 30 day challenge but had always told myself that I didn't have the time to commit to it. Well, the past couple months that I had payed for my Bikram membership, I had (as usual) had a difficult time being consistent in my practice. So, 12 days ago I decided that I couldn't just wait to have the time for a 30 day challenge, I had to
make the time or it would never happen. It was a relatively spur of the moment decision, but I have been to 11 classes so far and have loved every minute of it!

It was definitely a rough start though. The first four classes/days were hard. For the first week, I woke up every morning feeling like I had been run over by a truck. I was so incredibly sore.
Everywhere. Like, in places I didn't even know I had muscles! Still, I made it to every class and always felt amazing on the way out, no matter how hard it was to get there.

The main difference I have noticed is how my body is reacting to the heat. I am hardly sweating anymore. Even when I do sweat, I don't feel so hot that I am nauseous (which has always been a big battle for me). I know some people really like it when they get really hot, but I don't think I'm one of those people. I find lately that the room is definitely hot enough that I'm very stretchy and pliable, but not so hot that I feel like I'm dying (not an exaggeration! it happens!). In fact, there have been have been some really cool moments when I have gotten goosebumps while in savasana (dead body pose).

This is how it happens: I am lying there, focusing on relaxing every muscle in my body. I can feel beads of sweat slowly sliding down my body, on my stomach, legs, arms, forehead, even off and into my ears. And then I get goosebumps! And I feel cold on the outside but still very warm on the inside. I mentioned this to my mother the other day and she said it reminded her of how some people can meditate to walk on coals. This makes me wonder if the goosebumps are some sort of sign of my level of meditation. Hmmm....

Not feeling so sick and hot during the class has definitely enabled me to really focus on my postures and my meditation. It is
sooooo much easier to clear your mind when you are not thinking, "Don't throw up, don't throw up.... God, its hot in here!" In the past, it felt like I really tortured myself for 90 minutes to feel amazing the rest of the day (which was well worth it!). Now, I find myself really enjoying each class. I occasionally smile at myself in the mirror and I laugh when the teachers make corny jokes, things I could never do before because I was so uncomfortable.

Another thing I have noticed is that classes are flying by now. I used to count down the minutes and watch the clock starting halfway through class. Now, class seems much shorter than the 90 minutes it is. I attribute a lot of this to my deeper meditation during class, especially since I am able to ignore the heat more than before. It has been an amazing feeling to turn my brain off for those 90 minutes and let the instructor "drive" my body, so to speak. I don't think about anything and listen to the dialogue, and my body follows the instruction like a robot. This mental checking out helps me to meditate as well because I am thinking about nothing, versus thinking about what my body is going to do next.

Yesterday, I took a big step! I ended up in the front row of class. Being in the front row is usually reserved for experienced yogis because they are setting the tone for the rest of the class. Technically, they aren't supposed to sit out any poses, because it often causes a domino effect. If they sit out, other people feel like they have been given "permission" to sit out poses as well. Don't get me wrong, everyone is allowed to sit out if they feel the need, but people on the front row are supposed to set an example. I have always felt like that was a lot of pressure and have avoided the first row like a plague.

Well, I walked into class yesterday and most of the spots were taken but the front row was wide open. I decided to go ahead and take a first row spot. "Why not?" I asked myself. I haven't needed to sit out any postures in about 4 classes, but that did not mean this class was going to be the same. I decided to go for it, and it was a very rewarding experience. Being so close to the mirror, it was easier to focus on myself and not be distracted by the people in between the mirror and myself. At the end of class, the instructor thanked the first row for the wonderful energy we were sharing with the rest of the room. Boy, did that make me feel good! Taking a spot in the first row is something I will definitely be trying again.

This post is getting a little long for my taste, but talking about 1/3 of my 30 day challenge deserves some space! The last thing I want to say is that I was really (
really) wrong to think that 30 days was too short of time to experience a change in life. Over just the past week and a half, I have noticed that my mind is much clearer and more calm. I feel more peaceful, less stressed. I agree with how this one yogi put it after her 14th class in her 30 day challenge:
"Yesterday, my friend told me that he had been reading this blog, and that I sounded like I am on a whole different level when writing it. I don’t feel as though this challenge is really changing or altering me, only that it makes day-to-day decisions and interactions more clear and easy. Outside of class, I definitely feel healthier, more fit, and less bogged down by any baggage – mental or physical. I still feel like me, but maybe a bit of change is taking place afterall… "
My thoughts just seem to flow easier and I am thinking clearly. It kind of feels like my brain has been cluttered all my life, and I am finally learning what it is like to have a clear, calm mind. Man, I didn't know what I was missing!

Time to start getting ready for class! Then the rest of the day :) Ciao. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Abbie's Story

Below is the inspiring story of Bikram Yoga SLC student Abbie who suffered a stroke last January and has learned to walk and balance again with a strong Bikram yoga practice. We are so happy you are back Abbie and thank you for being an inspiration to us all!

I started practicing Bikram yoga in 2003 and instantly became a fan. At the time I was out of shape and struggling with depression. With regular practice, I quickly became light, lean and limber. Within a year I was completely off antidepressants. These benefits made a significant improvement in my quality of life and sealed my future as a permanent practitioner.
I continued to reap the rewards of regular practice until January 2012, when I suffered an acute stroke due to an injury to my right vertebral artery. My body was impacted through loss of vision, balance and the inability to walk. I went from being able to hold toe stand for 30 seconds to not being able to stand on one leg for 3 seconds. I was devastated about the breakdown in my body and craved that space of moving meditation I experienced in Bikram class.
Having a strong foundation of yoga practice prior to the stroke empowered me to look beyond the disappointment and get laser focused on healing. I had my yoga mat brought to the hospital and practiced floor postures while undergoing therapy to learn to walk and balance again. I posted this affirmation where I could see it all day long: “I am absolutely capable of healing. My body and brain know perfectly how to heal.” After two and a half weeks I returned home and continued practicing yoga as often as I could. I started practicing yoga with Bikram’s CD, and used my bedroom walls to keep me supported in standing postures. My physical therapist was amazed at how quickly my body was relearning proper movement and balance.
By March I was walking relatively well and decided it was time to progress my healing and return to Bikram class. I was nervous that first class back - worried about the risk of falling and the impact the heat would have on my dizzy vision.  I received an abundance of encouragement from Greg, Becky and numerous teachers that countered any feelings of anxiety. To participate in the standing series I had to use the bar and back wall, yet I was still filled with love and light when I left class that day. I returned to class again and again, and each time experienced remarkable improvement. 
It has been two months since I returned to my Bikram practice, and I no longer need to use the bar or back wall for any posture. My balance is significantly improved. My vision is no longer constantly spinning. And my walk is almost what it was before the stroke. I can even wear high heels again! My neurologist is delighted at how quickly I am recovering, and most people can no longer tell I have any physical deficiencies.  I am eternally grateful to the role Bikram Yoga has played in my healing.
I have learned many important lessons in Bikram Yoga about mental determination, my body’s limitless capacity to heal, and the abundance of love in the universe. This is not the kind of yoga that you only practice in class, and then return back to your normal life. This is the yoga that becomes your way of life.