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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tip of the Week: Shower Before Class

If you practice Bikram Yoga in hot room it's always a good idea to take a shower both after and before your session. While the reasons for taking one after are obvious, taking a shower before a Bikram Yoga session is something many people forget to do. There are a few very good reasons for doing so:
  • It helps you get rid of any lotions or other oils that you might have on your skin. There’s nothing more frustrating than achieving a perfect pose, and then “slip” out of it due to a slippery skin texture.
  • If you take a hot shower, it helps you ease into the temperature that you will be training in, making it less of a shock.
  • If you use cologne or perfume, please remember that the smell of it can become really intense in a heated yoga room, particularly when you sweat (and you will sweat!). This smell can be very disturbing to anyone else training in your vicinity and can easily break their concentration.
  • It’s a great experience to start a Yoga session while feeling fully refreshed and 100% clean; it can even make you more confident in your abilities to perform a certain pose, as it gives you a certain degree of extra mental calm.
Of course if it's all you can do to make it on time while running from the office or dropping the kids off at the babysitter, we're just happy to see you show up! But if time allows, do what you can. For more information on skin care and Bikram Yoga, click "here".

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tip of the Week: You Don't Need to Perform Each Pose Perfectly

No matter how flexible you are, or how deeply you are able to get into a pose, you are benefiting from every single pose you do. As a beginner, if you were able to perform each pose perfectly from the get-go, you wouldn’t be improving your body or focus at all. Do your best to embrace your inability to perfectly perform each pose and learn to see it as a positive thing, as it means you have so much more room for improvement and self-fulfillment. 
Beginners will often attempt to push their body far beyond what it is capable of, which usually means:
  1. They risk injury.
  2. The slowly stop enjoying the activity due to the mental and physical strain they are putting themselves under, leading them to unconsciously begin to make up excuses not to practice anymore.
  3. Due to the extra strain, they stop breathing properly and make many mistakes during the pose, preventing them from ever improving in the future. 
Beginners sometimes feel the need to keep up with others in class (who are often more experienced than them), leading them to over-reach and force their body into things it is not capable of doing. Focus on yourself, the more you practice the more you will learn about your body and its limits. Start small, and work your way up over many months or years. Just make sure that every time you perform a pose it is somewhat (but not too much) challenging. This will force your body to adapt and improve. It’s a very similar concept to lifting weights at the gym – you don’t immediately start with what the professional bodybuilders lift, do you?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tip of the Week: Keep Your Focus During The Warm-Up/Cool-Down Poses

Both the Standing Deep Breathing Pose (Pranayama) as well as the Blowing-in Firm Pose (Kapalbhati-in-Vajrasana) are critical to the whole routine, and yet most beginners will somewhat neglect them starting their third or fourth Bikram Yoga Session.
It’s of the utmost importance that you understand the following:
  • Without a proper warm-up, you have a MUCH harder time performing all of the subsequent poses. You’ll be more likely to suffer a mild injury and less focused on the routine, hence significantly reducing your enjoyment of the activity.
  • Without a proper cool-down, the routine is more likely to become a chore, as your last memory will be that of the difficulties while doing the Head-to-Knee and Spine Twisting poses. Doing a proper cool-down (Blowing in Firm) will not only help you unwind, it will also help your muscles and central nervous system relax, allowing you to return to your normal activities quicker. 
Treat the first and last pose just as seriously as you would any other pose, and you’ll be blessed with a more fulfilling experience.