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Monday, January 26, 2015

Tip of the Week: Center Your Spine in Triangle

 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 For a great video demonstration of Bikram Choudury doing Triangle Pose, click "here".

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tip of the Week: Perfecting the Bikram Sit Up

On a previous post "Tip of the Week: The Sit Up", we discussed the following:

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.

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.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tip of the Week: Breathe Fresh Air!

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 bacteria. 

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" can really "INHALE"! You will be oxygenating and energizing the cells in your body with very fresh, healthy air.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tip of the Week: Toe Stand Tips

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 support.


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.