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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tip of the Week: Skin Care and Bikram Yoga


Some yogis get a gorgeous glow from a hot yoga class, while for others (like us), hot yoga can cause the skin to get irritated and dry. But we love a good heated flow when it’s cold outside, so we asked dedicated yogini and Chicago-based esthetician Pamela Arcand to share a few simple hot yoga skin care tips. Follow her tips and no matter what your skin type, you’ll leave class looking hot—in a good way.

How to get a post-yoga glow:


Before class, remove all makeup. “Pores open up in a hot, steamy environment, making it easy for mascara, powder and last night’s pub crawl to get in there. If you don’t have time to wash, carry cleansing pads, like Jason Cleansing Wipes with you.”

Before you go

Hot yoga skin care no-no #1: Not washing your face before you leave the studio. “Once you leave the heat, pores start to close, trapping the dirt and sweat you just purged back inside. Be sure to cleanse skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser, skin is sensitized from the heat, so it’s important to not overdo it. For normal to oily skin, try the Eminence Organics Eucalyptus Cleansing Concentrate and for normal to dry, go for the Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser.”


Yes, any yogi knows the importance of staying hydrated, but Pamela says that if your skin is dehydrated, sometimes water alone doesn’t do the job. “I take evening primrose supplements to boost moisture levels and improve elasticity, especially during the dry winter months. Be sure to finish off your hot yoga skin care routine with a great moisturizer. I like Comfort Zones Sacred Nature Cream for dry skin because it contains buriti oil, which is rich in fatty acid that deeply nourish. For oily skin, try the Comfort Zone Sacred Nature Fluid.”

A post-class cooling tip

“Evian Facial Spray after you cleanse is another gentle way to refresh and hydrate your skin. I love this product because it is great for all skin types. Keep it in the fridge for an extra refreshing spritz!”

Read more:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tip of the Week: Bikram for Injuries

Sometimes when people have an injury they think they need to wait until they're pain-free or symptom-free before coming back to class.

Of course you should always get the go ahead from your doctor first, but currently we have many students working through some significant injuries with the help of Bikram yoga. 

Student Robb Baumann is recovering from a broken tibia, fibula, talus, and shattered ankle bone. He had a 4 hour surgery with 3 plates and 25 screws to repair his leg. 

"After not being allowed to bear weight for 3 months, I was finally was able to start back with my Bikram practice. My physical therapist and surgeon both can't believe the progress I've made. My surgeon is so impressed that he's even considering Bikram yoga now for one his own injuries. Roxanne tells us in class to 'work with the body you brought with you today, and your body will tell you what it needs'. This takes on a whole new meaning when you've lost so much range of motion, and every class is a struggle. While I've got a very long way to go, there's no question that Bikram has been the best source of rehabilitation I've done so far."

Bikram yoga is one of the very few forms of exercise you can practice and benefit from while coping with an injury or illness. Its combination of heat and careful movement increases circulation and flexibility, expels acids and other toxins and helps you begin to heal.

It all comes down to the HEAT and the specific poses that Bikram has chosen to include in the series of 26 postures. While your body's core temperature will only rise about a mere 0.5 of a degree, your body's ligaments, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues will warm up to allow powerful healing to take place. 

The heat allows these parts of the body to stretch further, more comfortably and safer. Safety is most important because it means there's less chance of new injury, or re-injury of old scar tissue. 
The heat also 'thins' the blood – this means that it circulates more freely than at room temperature. As the blood circulates it flushes out toxins in your organs and calcium build up in joints.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tip of the Week: The Sit Up

The Bikram sit's that sneaky little pose that works its way in just when you're all nice and comfortable in savasana. It may be as welcome as a fog horn waking you from a dream with Ryan Gosling, but it does have its benefits.

Benefits of the sit up:
  • Reinforces and strengthens the abdominal muscles.
  • Firms and trims the lower body, where many problem areas, especially for women, reside.
  • Increases flexibility of the spine.
  • Provides the body with energy.
  • works the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the legs and improves circulation there as well.
  • Stimulates digestion. 
  • Open mouth exhalation stimulates diaphragm and eliminates toxins from the lungs. 

Bikram Yoga SLC instructor and 2013 Utah Regional USA Yoga Asana 
1st Place Champion Carolyn Valencia

Raise your arms over your head, cross only your thumbs with your palms facing the ceiling. Flex your feet and contract your leg muscles. Inhale and contract your abdominal/core muscles. Exhale and press the lower part of your spine to the floor (this will help to protect your back and actually make it easier to come up), and reach "up" as you sit up, keeping your legs straight and your heels on floor. Grab the big toes with your first two fingers and lay your whole body out flat on your legs, touching forehead to knees (it's important to touch forehead to knees as this the compression part). Touch the floor on either side with your elbows and stretch forward twice. Double jerk, double exhale. Note that this is one of the few times when you are exhaling through your mouth and not your nose.
Try to stretch further and further with each sit up you do.

For those with back issues, roll to your side and push up on your hands and knees.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tip of the Week: Which Nostril Are You Breathing Through?

Juls had a simple tip the other day in class for helping us to focus on our breathing when lying in Savasana. She said that rarely do we breathe through both of our nostrils at the same time. When you're lying on the mat feeling the air going in and out of your nostrils, can you tell which nostril is taking the air in? See if you can tell the next time you're lying in Savasana to help focus on your breath. Below is an article called "How We Breathe" from the  Complete Wellbeing website.

Contrary to popular belief, we seldom breathe through both our nostrils. When we take a breath, there’s no doubt in our minds that the next breath will come. Similarly, there’s also no doubt in our minds about the way we breathe [actually we hardly ever give it a thought].
That’s why it comes as a big surprise to know that we seldom breathe with both our nostrils simultaneously. According to Yoga, Ayurveda and some solid research, most people—about 85 per cent of people—breathe with only one nostril at a time.

The pattern

In the eastern parts of the world, this has been an ancient discovery. There’s even a body of yoga dedicated to it called Swara Yoga.
As per Swara Yoga, we breathe through both nostrils only for a brief period during the day. The rest of the times, one nostril is dominant than the other in breathing, and while that is happening the other is recessive. Each nostril is dominant alternatively; the switch typically happens every four hours or so.
In the recent times [in 1895], Richard Kayser, a German nose specialist was the first to notice this breathing cycle.

How it happens

The change of breathing pattern from one nostril to the other happens in an interesting manner. An erectile tissue present in the nostril [which most people are unaware of], gets swollen to block it.
At the same time, the swollen tissue in the other nostril returns to normal opening up the nostril. The swelling and contraction happen gradually and for the brief period when the switch is on, we breathe through both nostrils. We also do so at dawn and dusk.
Also, usually we breathe through the same nostril every morning, for three consecutive days, after which, for the next three days, we breathe through the other nostril. This periodic alternation of the nostrils maintains the balance of our system.

How it affects us

Our nostrils are linked with our autonomic nervous system, the olfactory lobe and the hypothalamus, which controls emotions and motivation.
Swara Yoga teaches that breathing through the right nostril increases acidic secretions leading to increased gastric acid production in the stomach, while the left nostril increases alkaline secretions. The natural alternation of breathing through the right and left nostrils helps balance acid and alkaline levels in our system.
Breathing through the right nostril also increases our blood glucose levels, which go down when we breathe through the left nostril [1988 study by Backon].
Further, we take in more oxygen when we breathe through our right nostril [as per a 1993 study]. As per a Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, study breathing through the right nostril several times a day for a month increases our oxygen consumption by 37 per cent.
Breathing through the left nostril four times a day for a month significantly increases the baseline level of volar galvanic skin resistance [GSR] resulting in increased sweat gland activity in the palm.
Since each nostril is linked to opposite sides of our cerebral hemispheres, breathing through the right nostril activates the left hemisphere [the logical side of the brain] and the left nostril activates the right hemisphere [brain's creative side]. When the pattern is changing, we change sides in our sleep. The side on which you lie is the nostril, which is dominant at that time.

Purposeful breathing

Although the alternate breathing is natural, sometimes it does not happen as smoothly as it is meant to.
According to yogis, this causes behavioural and health problems. To regulate this imbalance, yoga prescribes pranayama techniques like Anulom Vilom or Nadi Shodhana, which involve deliberately breathing through alternate nostrils by blocking a nostril with your thumb.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Newsletter

Bikram Yoga Sugarhouse
Bikram Yoga Sugarhouse

Sarah in Greece

Blessed are the flexible
for they will not be bent out of shape.

Fall Yoga 

Challenge Yourself
Congratulations to Our 30-Day Challengers William Clark Newell, Marcie Traballoni, Sydney Stoner, Emily Whiting, and Gillian Rawcliffe on a very successful completion!
Check out this 
of a woman who finds herself in debt, divorced, and seriously overweight and turns to Bikram, embarking on an ambitious 60-Day Challenge. Does her experience heeding Choudhury's advice change her body, mind and life, or does she fold after a session of subjection to 'Japanese ham sandwich' poses in the 'Bikram torture chamber'? 

12 Happy Year Anniversary To Us!
June marks Bikram Yoga SLC's 12-year anniversary. We're thankful to our dedicated students who have helped make our studio a  welcome place where everyone feels safe and comfortable to explore physical, mental and spiritual limits with Bikram Yoga. We couldn't have done it without you, and are looking forward to another 12 years in our brand new location! 

Getting Closer...
Hey! Have you checked our Facebook page lately? We will be posting important information about our upcoming move to the new studio on 1924 South 1100 East. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition in early July!
In the meantime, peruse our photos on Facebook documenting exciting progress perfecting the new space - and even some mid-construction yoga going on! 

Taking It To The Next Level

We continue to cheer for our FIVE Bikram Sugarhouse students currently attending teacher training. They are coming up on completion of SEVEN of the nine weeks required. 

We're thrilled to see our students taking their practice to the next level, as we continue to send yoga bliss to all of our students.   

Struggling With a Particular Posture?
Want to go a little deeper on a posture? Hold it for longer? Feel like something just isn't right? 
Check out our Wednesday Tip of the Week for great insights on how to improve your posture our blog:

Follow our photo-feed on Instagram: bikramyogaslc !

Get Inspired
Bikram Yoga SLC is now sharing valuable yoga tips, inspiring clips, as well as coverage of our recent happenings on Yelp, Pinterest, Foursquare, and City Search

So Fresh
Even with the new floor, it's good to freshen your mat by purchasing a spray bottle of cleaning solution in the Bikram Sugarhouse lobby. Cost is $7 and you can carry the solution with you and spray right after each class. Hang your mat to dry and you're ready to practice with a fresh mat the next day. 

Forget Something?

We have a very impressive collection of clothing, mats, and water bottles we would love to reunite with their rightful owners! Please check our lost and found to reclaim your stuff, you have about 2 months before we donate them to local thrift stores.
Settle Up, Please!
Thanks to those of you who have paid your balances, but we still have a lot due. If you have an outstanding balance with Bikram Sugarhouse, we ask that you please settle up, so we can continue providing the best Bikram Yoga experience to you. Simply come see us at the front desk.
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Bikram Yoga Salt Lake City
1140 Wilmington Ave.
SLC Utah 84106
(801) 488-4681

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Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Kudos? Let us know at
Bikram Yoga Salt Lake City
1140 E Willmington Ave
SLC,  Utah   84106