Bikram Yoga SLC student Karen Dee Tschorn at Silver Lake
Center your spine in Triangle Pose. This is a common mistake, even for Bikram yoga veterans. It’s likely a
common mistake because to do this properly feels weird, really weird. I
didn’t know I was doing this wrong until I had a teacher pull my arm to
straighten out my torso. When you bend your knee and go into Triangle
pose, it’s easy to let your torso tilt right (if you’re bending your
right leg). When you’re in the set up of the posture, look in the mirror
and picture someone pulling your left arm, creating a 90 degree angle
with your right thigh and your torso. It takes core strength to maintain
proper alignment. Then, when you tilt your body for the final
expression of the pose, try to keep the same alignment (in other words,
don’t let your torso shift or lean right towards your bent leg again).
This will allow you to use your core, maintain a “lift” in your posture
and get the proper stretch in your hips. If you do this properly your
oblique and abs will thank you.
~The above written by Lindsay Dahl at lindsaydahl.com. For a great video demonstration of Bikram Choudury doing Triangle Pose, click "here".
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
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).
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.
Our extra tips for today are:
*Keep your arms with your ears the entire time.
*Glue your heels to the ground the entire time.
*Instead of reaching straight up and doing a "pike" before coming down, which can be uncomfortable on the lower back, reach up but come straight forward toward the toes in one smooth movement.
*Before you begin the sit up, take one long deep inhale and hold the breath in until you get to the forward bend, and then double exhale. The sit up should be one continuous motion, as opposed to sitting up, and then stretching forward in a separate breath. *Please
note that the Bikram sit ups energize and empower you. The more
seriously you take the sit ups, the harder you exhale, the more energy
you will have for your next posture.
With the air quality in our city being so poor lately, have you wondered why you actually find it easier to breathe in the studio? This is because our studio at Bikram Yoga SLC has a specialized fresh air and heating system that is the perfect marriage between fresh air, heat, and humidity. We have developed a state-of-the-art fresh air system that pumps fresh air along with consistent heat and humidity. We have made every effort to care for the health of our yogis by ensuring that
the air quality in the studio is well oxygenated, properly humidified
and disinfected from harmful germs.
At Bikram Yoga SLC the room is always being pumped with fresh oxygenated air! We knew there had to be a better system than simply closing the doors and turning up the heat. We've gone through great lengths to maintain the air quality in our studio within a healthy range. Our fresh air system pulls air from the outside, and goes through a large complex filtration system, eliminating all airborne bacteria. This fresh air is pumped through the system along with consistent heat and humidity. The result is fresh air that doesn’t smell and is not full of harmful
Ever wonder why Bikram Yoga SLC does not smell badly? We have spent the
time, energy and expense to make sure that our classes never smell and
that you are breathing the freshest cleanest air possible. Our clean air system will greatly reduce CO2 levels and eliminate and destroy: bacteria, odor, mold & mildew, viruses, V.O.C.’s, cleaning chemicals, smog and other airborne pollution.
The benefits of a clean
air environment are enormous. Clean air will help prevent colds and
influenza, prevent headaches after class, provide relief from asthma,
hay fever and sinus problems, reduce fatigue, and breathing problems,
and relieve sore throats, runny noses, wheezing and sneezing. Practicing yoga at Bikram Yoga SLC will have a dramatic effect
upon your physical and mental well being.
Where is the coolest spot in the room? Unlike other studios that are thermostat controlled where there are hotter and cooler spots, our studio does not have this problem. Due to our system, there is a consistent temperature of 105 degrees and 40% humidity every minute of class, regardless of the number of people in the room or how hard they are working. Instead of a thermostat that just switches on or off, we use sensors in the room that can sense accurately the temperature and humidity in the room, and give instant results. Everything works on a bell curve, to instantly increase or decrease fresh air flow, heat and humidity depending on class size. The speed of the motors is always changing during class. All is computer controlled with accuracy down to the hundredths. All of the variables are computerized with a software program written specially for us so we can monitor our system and see that the temperature, humidity, and fresh air is always consistent. We can see that as the students are emitting more heat and breathing harder in the cardiovascular series, such as Standing Head to Knee Pose, the motors of the system begin to speed up to pump in more fresh air and remove the bad air. At the same time, the heat in the room is being decreased. The system knows what's happening in your body before your body can even sense it. The CO2 levels are kept to a minimum, and you are able to breathe easily.
So the next time you're in class and you hear the teacher say, "inhale"...you can really "INHALE"! You will be oxygenating and energizing the cells in your body with very fresh, healthy air.
We previously discussed Toe Stand a bit in a blog post you can find by clicking "here", but today we're going to give you a few more tips and modifications.
Modifications & Variations
Practicing Toe Stand Pose can be a great way to gain leg and
abdominal strength, while challenging your concentration and poise. Try
these simple changes to adapt the pose to your current abilities.
Only bring your foot up as far as you can without causing pain.
If you’re unable to rest your foot on your hip, place it on your
standing-leg thigh, instead.
If you’re having trouble coming down to the floor while
balancing, practice the pose while holding onto the ballet barre at the back of the room for extra
Tips: To gain all of the benefits of Toe Stand Pose, try to keep your mind
calm while maintaining correct alignment. Here are some tips to help you
in the pose:
Take it slowly. As with all balancing poses, it’s easier to
enter the pose slowly and with awareness. If you come into the pose too
quickly, you’re more likely to lose your balance — and it’s more
difficult to regain your balance once it’s been lost.
Keep your spine long throughout the pose, extending through the
crown of your head. Imagine that you’re trying to touch the ceiling with
your skull. It's a common mistake to want to round your spine.
Try to keep your knees on the same plane, with your hips level.
To help with balancing, keep your standing foot as close to the central line of your body as possible.
Practicing Toe Stand Pose will open your hips, but tighter hips
will make it more difficult to achieve the pose. Add extra hip-opening
poses into your practice to help with your flexibility in this pose.