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My 2015 Bikram Yoga NYC Visits

Thank you once again for being part of our community this year! As you might have seen in a recent email, we offered over 100,000 classes in 2015. Where you in one or more of them? Would you like to know how many exactly?

While we wish there was a date range selector option in our software, we’re afraid to report it’s not available at this time. That said, should you want ot know your number, please visit the link below and simply review your 2015 visits. When you have the number, first of all we hope you feel great about it. Secondly, if you’d like to share your visit history with your friends on Facebook, simply click the SHARE button below and add the total to the status box!

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Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose

This posture slims the abdomen, waistline, hips, buttocks, and upper thighs. Increases the flexibility of the spine and the sciatic nerves and of most of the tendons and ligaments of the legs. It also greatly improves blood circulation in the legs and to the brain, and strengthens the rectus abdominus, gluteus maximus, oblique, deltoid, and trapezius muscles. It massages and compresses the thyroid gland which helps to regulate the metabolism and the immune system.

3 Tips for this posture:

  • The most important thing to remember as in most postures is to start with a wide enough step. Think of the size of a yard stick as a min and if you are tall you must take an even wider step.

  • It is more important to create compression in your throat area by tucking your chin towards your chest than it is to stretch your legs. There are plenty of postures where leg stretching is targeted.

  • When you come out of the posture,  come out facing the same way you went into the pose before moving your feet and body to turn to face the next side.

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Teacher Feature: Georgia Balligian

Georgia Balligian has been practicing Bikram Yoga since since January, 1971, a total of 45 years next month.

Georgia graduated from New York University in 1970 with a degree in Film and TV production. Post graduation, she traveled through the South Pacific and ended up out of funds and in Hawaii. Soon she was waitressing in the Wailana Coffee Shop in Honolulu.  As fate would have it, Bikram Choudhury, newly arrived from Tokyo, was teaching his yoga in a small studio in downtown Honolulu.

Georgia’s first class was about 2.5 hours long and had a total of 7 students in it. Everyone was working hard, getting a lot of laughs, encouragement and lots of “tough love.” At the end of class, Georgia tells us, there was the “unforgettable moment.”

Bikram looked at Georgia with an intense, but kind gaze and said “I don’t know what you did in your past life” (yogis believe in reincarnation). “You have no strength, no flexibility, no balance, but, I can fix it. You have to take class every day for 2 months and I will fix you, I will change your life if you trust me.” Georgia went to class every day for nearly 2 years, Bikram “fixed” her, and the magic continues to this day.

Since 1997 she has been teaching non-stop for Bikram Yoga NYC, averaging 9-10 classes a week and we’re so incredibly fortunate to have her amazing spirit and presence at the studio. In closing, she wanted us to pass along this quote:

You’re never too sick, never too old, never too bad, to start from scratch once again. See you in class!

Please take a moment to visit Facebook to see this post, and share a comment with Georgia. We are collecting them all, likes and shares included, and printing out a list for her as a surprise! 

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New Years Eve Class 2015

Join us on New Year’s Eve for our annual 10pm class at Bikram Yoga NYC Upper East Side!

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Accompanied by music and guided dialogue, the room is also lit with ambient and celebratory lighting to create a unique atmosphere. Expect a great class with Dan Heching, post-class prosecco, snacks and a midnight toast!

December 31st, 2015
Bikram Yoga NYC Upper East Side
173 East 83rd Street – 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10028
212.288.9642
Doors at 9pm
Class at 10pm
Toast at Midnight
Post Class Snacks

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Air Aroma Diffusers

The Bikram Yoga NYC blog is full of tips, news, and wellness information. The latest wellness craze has been essential oils and their health benefits. People talk about ingesting essential oils and topical uses of essential oils, but what about diffusing essential oils?

At all four Bikram Yoga NYC studios, we diffuse a blend of lavender and eucalyptus essential oils by Air Aroma in our common areas. Lavender is known to relax and calm people, melting away any stress our yogis’ bring with them to class and allowing them to focus solely on the poses. Eucalyptus is known to have antibacterial and stimulating properties, helping to keep our studios as clean as possible and rejuvenating anyone who enters.

We diffuse this lovely fragrance with Air Aroma’s Aroslim diffuser. It’s sleek and stylish look blends well with our Bikram studios, and now we are able to offer our students a 15% discount off purchase of Air Aroma’s smaller home unit, the Aromax, and any of their fragrances.

Visit store.air-aroma.com and enter promo code LUM3373 to take advantage of this limited-time offer.

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Holiday Charity Challenge Update

In early November we announced our first annual “Holiday Charity Challenge.” The idea is simple, complete 30 classes in 40 days and we will donate $50 to the charity of your choice.

The response was overwhelming!

Today, on day 28 of the challenge, we wanted to add an update. With many of our challengers successfully on their way to the 30 class minimum, we wanted to shine the spotlight on a few of of the charities our students told us about. In an effort to support your fellow yogis, please consider a small donation to them listed below.

Listed in no particular order:

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Student Stories: Tracy Perlman

Tracy Perlman is one busy lady. As vice president of entertainment and marketing for the NFL, she’s got an extremely tight schedule. But no matter how crazy her day, Tracy finds the time to take a 90-minute Bikram Yoga class.

Traveling an average of 165 days a year complicates that task, but Tracy seeks out studios in all corners of the United States and beyond. In a New York Times feature article about her, “Staking Our Her Place Among Men Atop The N.F.L.,” Tracy notes:

Through the years, Perlman said, she felt burdened by her job, and when she saw a photo of herself at 39, she thought she looked unhealthy and unhappy. A friend steered her to a Bikram Yoga class and, Perlman said, she has been obsessed with it ever since. She attends one 90-minute class every day — even amid the Super Bowl craziness.

That’s right, even on Super Bowl Sunday Tracy takes an early morning class to prepare her mentally and physically for the day.

At a recent Pro Bowl event, Perlman said, she had a heated discussion with the fellow yogis Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals and Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints that included demonstrating postures and ribbing Graham for saying he had left a class early.

Perlman said she had never left a class early. Perseverance, after all, has been part of her job.

Click here to read the New York Times article about Tracy.

Above photo by Kevin Gregor for Bikram Yoga NYC during Solstice in Times Square 2014 when Tracy demonstrated on stage for Bikram Yoga NYC.

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When You Believe… by YarrowKae

I believe. Say it, out loud. Let it sit inside and reverberate through you. Do you BELIEVE it?

I believe.

Seems so simple, right?

It’s far from it. Believing comes from extracting fear and worry. The extracting of fear and worry is hard work. And in order to get to the other side, in order to get to the place where you believe, you have to go through.

When I go through, I’ve found that the old habits and fears come to the forefront and it’s quite easy to latch onto those, to let them run amok on my mind and send my heart into a panic. It becomes comfortable to attach to my habitual ways of being and to need validation that everything is going to be okay.

I’ve been guilty of this always. Even though my intuition is strong, I have a had a hard time believing it. I let my mind play tricks on me. Our minds are slippery characters capable of sabatoging even our best intentions. Mine likes to build paranoid delusions, destroying the beauty that only moments before glimmered in my view.

When we don’t feel safe and secure in the material world, when we don’t feel grounded, it leads us to create fears and worries. These fears and worries  stop us from believing. And when we don’t believe we can’t achieve.

I never realized how strong the world BELIEVE actually is. It’s in our believing that we create our own magical, joyful world. I was one who enjoyed the cynicism, the painful analyzing of a situation. I am still guilty of falling into this habit at times.  But, no amount of analyzing ever made me feel safe. Rather, it made me feel crazy. But I would do it anyway. I’d run away with stories and talk myself in circles driving myself nuts. My mind took control overriding our most valuable asset, our intuition. A regular Bikram yoga practice has nearly eliminated this nasty habit.

Through our practice we extract and go through. And as we are going through we have our mats to come home to where we can kick, stretch, and breathe– where we can let go. Our asana practice helps us to wrangle our wild horse of a mind into submission so that we are able to be still, be quiet, and to trust.

In our yoga practice, while we are kicking and stretching and breathing, our minds surrender. As we move from one asana to the next we are able to extract the fear and the worry, the stagnant energy that holds us back and we are able to go through it without attaching to it. Through the sweating, the stretching, the contracting of muscles we release, we let go, and we learn to believe. And when we believe we are safe. When we believe we know we are loved. When we believe we are home.

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Teacher Feature: Emily Vartanian

Emily stumbled into her first Bikram Yoga class back in 2005, and she has been practicing ever since.  She is truly grateful for the balance the practice has brought her, both mentally and physically.  The same year that she graduated from Bikram teacher training she co-founded a nonprofit dance organization, and the yoga has been an important part of her life while trying to make artistic work in New York.  Yoga has helped her to both heal and prevent injuries from dancing, to focus on long-term goals rather than short-term difficulties, and to learn how to properly rest both her mind and her body.  While many artists wait tables or work temporary jobs, Emily considers herself truly lucky to teach and finds tremendous inspiration from her students.

Beyond the hot room, she has served as a performer, choreographer, as producer on both the east and west coasts. Her most recent adventure, outside of General Mischief Dance Theatre, was dancing for Weird Al Yankovic.

More on GMDC:

Preview of Mischief's upcoming Performance

A preview of General Mischief's most recent show

Favorite random adventure of 2015:  Dancing in a fun stunt for Improv Everywhere

Video 1

Video 2

Emily’s Favorite quote:

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.  –Margot Fonteyn 

Currently reading: “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by Dr. John Ratey

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Posture of the Week: Triangle

The only posture in the 26 posture sequence that improves every muscle, joint, tendon and internal organ in the body. At the same time, it revitalizes nerves, veins, and tissues. It helps cure lumbago and rheumatism of the lower spine by flexing and strengthening the last five vertebrae.  It will help to improve crooked spines as well.  This is the most important pose to increase the strength and flexibility of the hip joint and of the muscles of the side of the torso. It also firms upper thighs and hips, slims the waistline, and improves the deltoid, trapezius, scapula, and latissimus muscles.

3 Tips for Triangle Pose:

  • The most common mistake that students make doing the triangle pose it not taking a big enough step. A good guideline for the correct size step would be drawing an imaginary line down from your wrist to your heel.

  • Do not try and keep your hips facing straight ahead when you bend your knee to a 90 degree position. Turn your hip to face the corner and then bend your knee and sit down. You will need to experiment how far to adjust your hip until it feels right to you.

  • Don’t worry if you can not touch the floor between your big and second toe. It takes time for your hips to loosen up enough in order to sit down deep enough to be able to touch the floor without any weight on your hand on the floor.