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Friday, June 29, 2012

Marc's Story

For those of you who haven't met Marc yet, he is a new instructor at Bikram Yoga SLC! He's come a long way since a severe motorcycle accident, including getting 1st place in the men's division in this year's Regional Yoga Asana Championships. The following is his motivating story.

Adversity comes to all.  It is part of life.  But, hearing about adversity is, for the most part, neither very interesting nor instructive.  However, a story about adversity overcome is exciting and most instructive.  Marc Linton's is such a story.
      In a severe motorcycle accident in August of 2002, Marc suffered multiple injuries that included compression fractured vertebrae, extensive soft tissue damage, a fractured skull, and serious neurological damage.  "Before the accident I was already dealing with anxiety and depression issues.  "The brain injury compounded the anxiety and depression and caused memory issues, agoraphobia, and socialization problems.  "I felt absolutely overwhelmed by it all.  "I was collecting Social Security disability, was on six different medications and was at the end of my rope. I wasn't healing, I was just more and more medicated, and the bills were piling up.  "In desperation I decided I needed to try something different and one doctor had told me that yoga gave him relief from his back pain.  "My first practice at Bikram Yoga I was completely overwhelmed, nauseated, dizzy and spent most of the class laying on the floor.  "However, after class was over I experienced a window where I was pain free for the first time in over four years.  "With each practice that pain-free window opened more and more.  "I found myself practicing six days a week, sometimes twice a day to alleviate the pain.  "Initially I came to yoga for my back pain, but I found it helping all of the issues I was dealing with including the brain injury.  "My memory improved, the depression was lifting and about six months into practice I was out of pain and shedding the many medications. "That's when I decided decided I needed to teach this yoga. "I remember thinking: How do people not know this?"  
     Almost exactly two years after Marc began his practice, and as he continued to heal, Bikram granted him a full scholarship to attend teacher training.  Marc's successful completion of this very strenuous (physically, mentally, and emotionally) training course in the fall of 2008 overcoming- against all odds the limitations, and memory issues of the brain injury was proof of his healing.  Upon returning from training, Marc began teaching at the Bikram Yoga Sandy studio, subsequently managed and taught at the Bikram Yoga Ogden studio for the summer, and then in the fall returned full-time to Sandy.  He now also teaches at Bikram Yoga S.L.C. since April 2012 and offers personal Health/Wellness & Anxiety/Depression coaching. "If someone had told me 10 years ago that I was going to be teaching yoga and coaching others, I would have laughed. . . but here I am. "I teach yoga because it works.  " I teach it because it helped give me my life back."
     Marc enjoys Boarding (snow, wake, and surf), Cycling (road and mountain), rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, mixing underground dance music, and generally having a good time.   He says, "Don't be afraid of dying.  "Be afraid of not living!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

11th Anniversary and Goodbye to Dewi Party!

We had such a great time celebrating our 11th Anniversary of Bikram Yoga SLC last Saturday night! Yes it's been 11 years since we first opened the doors of our studio, and we are still going strong welcoming new faces every day and gaining even tighter bonds with those who have been with us from the beginning. We are so grateful for the friendships we have made here at our "Bikram Home", and thank each and every one of you for making our studio what it is today. It's been 11 incredible years, and with your support we hope to see many more to come.

We are so sad to being saying goodbye to our beautiful Dewi! Dewi has been practicing at Bikram Yoga SLC since 2003 and has been working at the front desk since 2007. Her husband has taken a job in California, and she and her family will be moving next week. Dewi, your radiance and fun-loving personality will be sadly missed. Thank you for your dedication over the years and for all the positivity, warmth and happiness you brought to our studio. We wish you and your family a bright future in California!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sweaty Yogi – Hydrate Yourself!

The following article sheds some light on the importance of proper hydration before, during, and after class. You may also want to check out the "elete" electrolyte mineral supplement tablets or liquid drops to add to your drinking water sold at our studio. 

by Lucas Rockwood of YOGABODY Naturals.  

Yoga students often become obsessed with hydration to the point where they’re never without a water bottle. It just becomes part of you. Your wallet, your keys, your ID, and a bottle of water. It’s really that important.

And yet as a teacher, I’m constantly getting questions about how to avoid dehydration. Despite the awareness, many students still find themselves with constipation, headaches, and dark circles around their eyes simply because they’re dehydrated. 

Depending on the temperature of the room and the style of yoga you’re practicing, it’s possible to lose an enormous amount of water during a 90-minute practice. Hot Yoga students need to be most concerned; but on warm days, just about any Ashtanga-Vinyasa or Power Yoga class quickly turns into a sweat-fest too, so the question that arises is: “How do you properly rehydrate?”

STEP 1: Make sure you are hydrated BEFORE class. This doesn’t mean that you should drink two liters of water just before practice, but it does mean making sure that throughout your day, you maintain a healthy intake of water (and no, coffee doesn’t count). 

STEP 2: During class, follow your teacher’s instructions. If it’s a class where water is accepted (like Bikram Yoga, for example), then you’ll absolutely want to bring water. If it’s a class where water is optional, be your own judge. And lastly, if it’s a class where water is not permitted, just make sure that you feel that it’s a healthy practice for you and talk one-on-one with your teacher if you have any doubts.

STEP 3: Drink water and only water. For hydration, you’ll want to reduce or eliminate all the caffeinated and flavored beverages from your diet including coffee, dark teas, and sodas. Non-caffeinated, herbal teas are fine, but for the most part, you want to drink just plain old water.

But what kind of water? Dozens of athletic studies have shown that it’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality when it comes to water. What you’re looking for are electrolytes, positively and negatively charged ions from minerals that keep your body’s electrical system working properly.

In a natural state, we’d drink our water from streams, wells, and rivers. This water is high in minerals, including the important electrolytes sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. But since most of our water today has been treated, heavily filtered, and bottled, it’s often referred to as “dead” water because it’s mineral-deficient.

Natural mineral water is very hard to come by, and not practical for most people (unless you live near mineral springs); so the best idea for most students is to proactively re-mineralize their body and their water on an on-going basis.

There are a number of ways to boost your mineral intake, but the easiest are (a) to start eating as many dark green, mineral-dense veggies as possible, and (b) to consider adding a pinch of sea salt or seaweed (such as dulse) to your water bottles throughout the day.
Unbleached, chunky sea salt is a great source for electrolytes and can easily be added to your water. It’s high in sodium, of course, so do add just a pinch and be cautious if you have blood pressure problems.
Dulse is a mineral-dense sea vegetable that is a great source for natural electrolytes as well. Adding a leaf of dulse to a water bottle is another simple way to increase the “sticking” power of your water. 

If you’ve ever had the feeling that no matter how much water you drink, you still feel completely parched; chances are good that you were suffering from electrolyte deficiency. The good news is that with a little planning and consciousness effort, you can dramatically increase your body’s ability to absorb and retain water.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

5 Reasons to Take Your Dad to Yoga Class

Happy Father's Day from Bikram Yoga SLC! What better way to treat Dad on this special day than bringing him to his first Bikram yoga class. Today all "first time yogi" Dads practice for free. The following article has some great motivation for getting Dad to class.

5 Reasons to Take Your Dad to Yoga Class 

 By Jennifer White

My dad started private yoga sessions with me last fall. He was having some lower back and hip issues that I was confident yoga could help—they did and he’s now officially a yoga junkie.

The unfortunate thing is that many men don’t even get a chance to experience yoga’s benefits—because yoga has a reputation of being for girls. There are a lot of reasons for this misconception, but I think one is simply that there are a lot of female yoga practitioners in the U.S. It takes a confident guy to walk into a class for girls—yet yoga’s not for girls.

Originally many of yoga’s asanas were designed for male bodies by male bodies, and today’s men can still get so much out of yoga—if they only give it a chance. So here are five great reasons to take your dad to yoga class with you for Father’s Day.
1. Stretch it out. Older American men in particular grew up with strength being primary and flexibility being secondary—and now this imbalance can catch up with them. So take your dad to yoga class with you and get his stretch on.
2. Men need zen. One of the things my dad has benefited from the most—which I know surprised him—is the meditative aspect of yoga. Getting inside of yourself and feeling the sensations in your body quiets your mind by default—you are concentrating on one thing, and staying in the present moment. So zen out with dad—with yoga.
3. Wanna go to the gun show? While yoga does offer a lot in the flexibility department, it does build muscle and strength too. My dad was happily surprised that I was able to give him yoga exercises that largely take away his need to lift weights. All of us can benefit from building muscle—including your dad. Yet another reason to get your yoga on with him.
4. Share what you love. An added benefit to my dad’s new yoga practice is that we share something now that’s really special to me in my life—and he gets it, from actual experience, he understands why I love yoga. Sharing something you love with someone you love is a great recipe for bonding—so go ahead and practice yoga with your dad.
5. Inspiration. At first, you might think your dad will get inspiration from you and your practice—especially if you’ve been practicing for awhile. Let me tell you, it’s definitely dad who will provide the inspiration. I am so impressed with my dad; with how well he listens to his body, and how much he’s able to understand. Practicing yoga requires you to have an intimate conversation with your body, and it often takes time just to hear what your body is saying—much less ask it to do micro-adjustments for you in return. So take your dad to yoga class, and you might find inspiration as you watch him rock out an amazing plank pose or actually be able to feel the shoulder-opening aspect in his first downward dog.
With Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s time for us yogis to reconsider why yoga is considered an activity for girls. Practicing yoga offers benefits that extend way beyond our physical body—and everyone can benefit from peace of mind. So tell your dad that strong dudes try everything once—including yoga.

Happy Father’s Day, future yogis.

Pictured is rock-star yogi, and dad, Baron Baptiste :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cross-Training with Bikram Yoga

by Alex O'Meara

Cross-training with Bikram --- or hot --- yoga delivers an array of benefits. It builds core strength and loosens leg muscles that may have become tight, or out of balance, from running. Cross-training with Bikram also helps build mental tenacity and sharpens focus --- important factors for any athlete, but particularly for endurance athletes, such as marathon runners. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.


Cross-training employs various methods of exercising to strengthen and improve your ability to do one specific exercise, explains Jessica Matthews, continuing education coordinator for the American Council on Exercise. Some benefits include reducing risks of injury and losing weight more efficiently and faster. Yoga is an effective cross-training option because, according to, it offers improved flexibility and increased strength, two valuable assets for any athlete.


Bikram yoga is a series of 26 hatha yoga poses in a space heated to 105 degrees F. Heating the room softens and loosens your muscles and increases flexibility. According to New Jersey's Synergy Hot Yoga studio, combining hatha yoga poses with such intense heat allows for deeper tissue stretching, lengthening and strengthening than would be possible at room temperature.

Cross-Training Program

How often you wish to incorporate Bikram yoga sessions into your exercise regimen is a matter of personal preference. If you run three days a week and cross-train two, you can make one or both of those days a day for Bikram, for example. Jada Wright, a marathoner and Bikram enthusiast, was practicing Bikram twice a week training for a half-marathon. Writing on the Alumni Wellness website, Wright credits Bikram's recovery-enabling properties for allowing her to run a half-marathon and a full marathon in consecutive weeks. After that experience, Wright practiced bikram every day for 60 days straight and continued racing successfully.

Tips and Warnings

If you're new to Bikram be sure to come to each Bikram session well-hydrated. Bring water with you and prepare to drink at least a quart of fluid during a class.

You are never required to complete, or even attempt, all 26 poses. If a pose makes you uncomfortable or hurts, skip it, recommends.

If you have blood pressure issues --- high or low --- or if you are nursing, pregnant or if you have a low heat tolerance, check with a doctor before you step into a Bikram studio.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Emmy Cleaves on Bikram Yoga

If you are interested in how to stay youthful or regain some of your youthful appearance, please read the following by Emmy Cleaves! She is 85 years old and still teaches Bikram's advanced yoga class!

By Emmy Cleaves

Bikram Yoga, sometimes also called “hot yoga,” is a system of a set 26 yoga posture sequence practiced in a room heated to 100+ degrees and lasting 90 minutes.

Bikram Choudhury, under his guru’s guidance and using modern medical measurement techniques, researched and arrived at this specific sequence of postures.  The individual asanas are classical hatha yoga.  Each classical yoga posture has a specific anatomical, neurological, physiological and psychological effect on the human body.   The intelligence of any posture sequence determines the overall benefit of the practice.
Bikram introduced his unique style of yoga in the United States in 1971.  During the first 20 years this style was taught only in his Beverly Hills studio, mainly to movie stars and athletes.  Bikram was finally persuaded to start a teacher-training program, which opened up the system to national and international exposure.  As of 2004 there are hundreds of Bikram Yoga studios throughout the world.  In recognition of the unique nature of this posture sequence, the U.S. Trademark Office has issued a Trade Mark registration for Bikram Yoga.
In my 31 years of observation, I have seen that most people taking their first Bikram Yoga class are suffering from bad body mechanics and postural dysfunction.  Each human body has a specific design template.  Muscles work in pairs in order for the body to execute any movement or even to maintain an upright posture against the forces of gravity.  Any imbalance in the dynamic tension between the posterior or erector muscles and the anterior or flexor muscles will compromise the vertical loading on the weight bearing joints.  This creates unnatural wear and tear and ultimately disease and pain.
The first 45 minutes of the Bikram Yoga System consists of standing poses devoted to re-establishing musculo-skeletal balance.  If done with sufficient intensity, they create an aerobic benefit as well.
The second half of the class consists of floor postures that address “the great information super highway” – your spine and it’s correct alignment.  Most people recognize their spinal problems during their first Bikram Yoga class.
My first Bikram Yoga class was in 1973.  For 20 years prior to it, I had taken various yoga classes that had not done much to improve the flexibility of my rather stiff body.  I had also suffered a brain aneurysm.  A life-threatening event of this nature shatters ones faith and trust in ones body. During my very first Bikram class I immediately recognized the power of the corrective training effect in the systematic and repetitious nature of the practice.
Since 1973 I have continuously practiced and taught Bikram Yoga.  It has restored my mental and physical strength and the confidence in my ability to lead a productive life.  It has given me the suppleness I had previously considered unattainable.  My 31 years of practice have given me glowing health and age has had no effect on my body’s weight, suppleness or energy levels.  There are very few things that can disturb the serenity of my spirit and calmness of my mind.
People ask me if I ever get tired of doing the same posture flow.  My answer is that the practice is never the same because I am continuously being changed by the practice.  The daily practice challenges you on many levels.  Concentration and attention are quickly sharpened.  Character issues of patience and perseverance come up each time.  The practice offers a chance to explore deeper levels of Self and develop awareness of the emotions and thoughts that the postures evoke.
For example, backward bending often initially evokes fear, but you find the courage and strength to do it. As you become an observer of the deeper and sometimes buried manifestations of Self, you come to understand yourself more clearly.  You start seeing which reactions to challenges are automatic and habitual and that you can change them.  The asana is a path to Self-awareness.  The physical becomes spiritual.
One of the most common questions of beginners is “why the heat?”  On the simplest level it is because warm muscles are more pliable.  The heat also expedites the flow of blood to all the organs of the body, facilitating the reactions that the postures are designed to create.  Heat will help the body destroy viruses and bacteria.  It strengthens the immune system. There are many cultures in which sweating is part of the healing process.  Think of a Bikram class as a sweat lodge experience.
Bikram yoga is physically accessible to people of all ages and conditions.  The postures require only normal range of motion available to all, from children to the very aged, provided you are being taught by a certified, qualified Bikram teacher.  Beware, however, of the teacher who claims to teach Bikram Yoga but who has altered the strict Bikram regime.  By changing the routine the beneficial effects are destroyed; such alterations are much like the difference between a genuine Rolex watch and a $ 20.00 knock-off.
Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram’s guru, said that the root of all chronic illnesses can be traced to stress.  He also said that the human body is self-energizing and self-healing and that yoga is the key to this kingdom of health.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bikram Yoga for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

by Beginners Yoga

As a discipline, yoga provides many health benefits. Some of which obviously are physical, and other benefits of yoga affect our emotional makeup.
For those suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, being able to cure themselves naturally can often seem like a hope rather than a realistic outcome. However yoga, in particular Bikram yoga, can be extremely beneficial to sufferers.

Repeated panic and anxiety attacks can rewire the brain to the extent that the original causes of these attacks gets lost or is suppressed deep in the subconscious mind. Anxiety attacks are then triggered with the sufferer not really understanding why they are enduring these episodes, which in turn can intensify the anxiety and panic.
This establishes a cycle of repeat attacks that is very hard to break free from. In effect to stop the cycle of attacks requires some rewiring of thought patterns and Bikram yoga is the perfect exercise and meditation practice to do just that.
Bikram Yoga is a certain type of yoga that is very good at teaching us to calm the mind, and then strengthening it to endure the mental and emotional stresses that we encounter in our daily lives.

What makes Bikram Yoga a likely cure for anxiety and panic attack sufferers?
Bikram Yoga can initially be an extremely intimidating practice  – going to a Bikram class for the first time could well be the hardest exercise you may ever have done, either mentally or physically.
You look in the cosmic mirror and quite a few of your weaknesses and frailties are exposed and stare straight back at you. This can be a little tough to handle on class number 1, but it gets better.

Some of the postures in a Bikram yoga class will also stress you emotionally – they are designed to do that, to slowly and gently raise issues that are stored deep in your subconscious.  Some of these issues that we uncover during Bikram yoga classes are likely to be original causes of  these anxieties and panic attacks. By gently having this issues come to the surface practitioners have the tremendous opportunity to release these issues from their bodies and deal to them once and for all.
This type of Yoga class combines the physical aspect of exercise together with meditation – and it is so often said by yoga instructors that the harder or tougher you find the class the more mental strength building benefit you are getting from the practice.

So each time you come to a Bikram yoga classes you gain more mental toughness. Bikram training subtly forces you to face your emotional self, and to build mental strength that helps you manage and confront issues in the outside world. In doing this type of yoga you are rewiring the brain to think in a different way – and the more yoga you do, the quicker you are able to rewire the brain towards dealing with anxiety and panic.
Practicing yoga 4-5 times a week changes your thought patterns deep within your brain and subconscious so that nothing can interfere with your mind when faced with future anxiety triggers. The goal in fact is to eliminate these panic attack triggers from your subconscious completely and Bikram yoga is a powerful practice in this regard.