Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge and they affect how your body functions in many ways, including:

  • The amount of water in your body
  • The acidity of your blood (pH)
  • Your muscle function
  • Other important processes

You lose electrolytes when you sweat. You must replace them by drinking fluids that contain electrolytes. Plain water does not contain electrolytes. Common electrolytes include:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

It is important that you not only drink water before class, but also that you are prepared with electrolytes in your system.  After class, make sure that you properly replenish them as well. Many of the electrolytes listed above can be found in nutrient dense foods, but Bikram Yoga NYC also carries a wide array of products that contain some of the minerals and electrolytes that you need.

  • Core Natural Water
  • Harmless Harvest Natural Coconut Water
  • Fresh Squeezed Juices from Pulp
  • Isotonix Daily Essential Multivitamins
  • Emergen-C Packets
  • Motive Pure Liquid Electrolytes
  • Ultima Replenisher

If you find yourself cramping during or after class, often it’s a result of a lack of these important minerals. Ask at the front desk which of these products might be right for you.

How do Electrolytes work?

Donna Rubin and Jen Lobo opened BYNYC nearly 18 years ago with the goal of improving the overall well-being of New Yorkers. As the first boutique fitness studio in NYC there was no roadmap for how to manage a studio so in the beginning our policies, guidelines and etiquette came about on an as-needed basis.

As a studio that specializes in classes that take place in warm and humid environments, managing the heat, airflow and humidity took on huge importance when the Midtown studio opened in August 1999. While managing those aspects of a room’s environment are pretty straight forward with the technologies available to us, students have always been a variable we can’t anticipate.

We take pride in the fact that each BYNYC instructor is CPR certified, that we have ongoing continuing education, that we communicate and meet regularly, with student safety frequently discussed. On that note, as we move into Summer ’17, our instructors are taking on a greater role as it relates to the observable conditions of our students.

Observable Condition

Since opening we’ve said “if you’re feeling dizzy or nauseas, please sit or lie down until you’re feeling better.” Today, we’re taking that policy a step further. For your overall safety and well-being, our instructors have been requested to ask students to step outside to cool their bodies down if they appear unwell. If you appear to be struggling or otherwise not participating in class,  you may be asked to leave temporarily in order to recuperate. Please sit right outside the door so the teacher can keep an eye on you. When you’re feeling better, at the teacher’s discretion you may come back in join the class.

Participation vs Non-Participation

We want to be clear that being asked to step outside the classroom is not punishment, it’s simply a condition that our instructors are able to observe. We highly encourage you to take a break if you are not feeling well. Taking a break is a signal to you, and us, that you need to slow down a bit and rest.

Sometimes as a practitioner, you may think that you are OK or WILL be OK, but the instructor is trained to look out for signs that may indicate otherwise.  Here are some things to look out for:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Cramping
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Feeling Dehydrated
  • Any numbness of limbs
  • Loss of color

Being Prepared

There are ways to insure you have the best possible experience in a class with us and we encourage you to include these activities as part of a regular life pattern, as their benefits go well beyond our studio walls:

  • Hydration – Being properly hydrated heading into a class in a warm and humid environment where you’ll be sweating is more than just drinking water. Pre and post class replenishment of electrolytes is critical.
  • Meals – We do not recommend taking class on a completely empty stomach, or if it’s been greater than 7 hours since a meal. We recommend foods that are hydrating 1-2 hours before class such as watermelon, grapes or cantaloupe.
  • Rest – Anyone will tell you that sleep and overall rest are key to clarity of mind and physical performance. If you don’t feel properly rested, we recommend skipping class and coming to visit when you are.
  • Injuries – Before each class our instructors ask the room if anyone has an injury they should know about, and for good reason. Please share this with your instructor privately in the lobby or when asked before class.
  • Stress – Try to be self-aware if you have a high level of stress walking in to a class. Stress has a high impact on your hormones and can effect your performance in class. Try to arrive early and take a 10 minute savasana.
  • Apparel – Wearing the appropriate amount of breathable fabric will help your body self-cool. We recommend a jog-bra and/or tank with shorts or leggings for women. Just shorts and an optional loose tank for men.
  • Research – Before taking a class for the first time, take the time to read the class details including length, posture types, and heat level so you’re aware of the environment you’re entering.

These policies and tips are offered with your well-being in mind. Sometimes in class students can become unaware of their own condition and push a bit too hard and we are here to help. Remember, it’s never a problem to sit down, lie down, leave the room or otherwise ask for help!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Namaste.

Summer is here, and so is our list of 10 reasons why you should maintain an active Bikram Yoga practice this season. Of course you already know it makes you feel great, but sometimes it’s challenging to motivate when it’s already warm outside.

1) Be fit for summer activities

summeractivities

Practicing Bikram Yoga in the summer keeps your body strong and flexible so you can enjoy and recoup from other activities like cycling, running, frisbee, golf, surfing and more. Beach body season is here!

 

2) That guilt free second scoop

icecream

One of the best things about maintaining a summer practice is not only enjoying guilt free ice cream, but ordering a double scoop without a second thought. 

 

3) Your body is already loose

gumbyyoga

Students tend to see more constructive progress in their practice during the summer due less fluctuation between the temperature inside the room and out. Coming to class in 30 degree weather makes it more challenging to loosen up than arriving in shorts and a tee shirt with 80 degree temps outside.

 

4) It strengthens your heat tolerance

sweating

Just as applicable for those who are active outside the yoga room (runners, tennis players, cyclists, etc.) as it is for those who are simply outdoors – maintaining your practice the summer will strengthen your tolerance for the heat. You’ll just smile when friends say it’s too hot or humid outside. 

 

5) You’ll be encouraged to eat right

watermelonsalad

Hot weather isn’t conducive to eating heavy or greasy foods, and by working hard in the hot room, you won’t want to “ruin” all that effort. Try a watermelon, feta, red onion and balsamic salad after class. Not only is it hydrating with the watermelon, but also has protein and minerals; plus a nice sodium factor. 

 

6) It’ll keep you hydrated

corewater

Being an active Bikram Yoga practitioner during summer months forces you to maintain your hydration levels by drinking water before, during and after class. And as important as that is, be sure to keep your electrolytes up too!

 

7) Keeps you feeling cool on hot days

outdoordining

When you maintain your practice over the summer months, the actual temperatures in July and August seem significantly less then they actually are. 90 degree weather can sometimes feel refreshing after class.

 

8) Be a champ on the subway platform

subwayheat1

Stay acclimated to the heat for when you’re stuck on a crowded underground subway platform. While everyone is miserable, complaining and sweating it out, the temperature is something you’re already used to. 

 

9) Stay loose until your next class

bikramyoganyc_prana

Summer heat prolongs the benefits of the flexibility and relaxation you’ve achieved during class simply because your body is less likely to tense up in warm weather, keeping you limber and open. The cumulative effect of stretching is therefor more noticeable as you retain more flexibility for next class.

 

10) It makes your “return” in the Fall much easier

fallyoga

Staying disciplined and committed to your practice during the summer make “returning” to your practice in the fall a non-issue. You’re already in shape from your summer yoga practice! 

Every single person you’ll meet at the studio had a first class at one point and many started off “blind” not knowing anything about the practice. Make sure you have a good first experience by reading these 4 tips:

Hydrate

Drink plenty of water the night before, and a minimum of 1 liter the day of your class. Be sure to stop hydrating at least 1 hour before class so as not to excuse yourself during class for a bathroom break. Include electrolytes in your hydration routine by including coconut water, watermelon juice or electrolyte supplements into your water.

Arrive with a (relatively) empty stomach

Don’t eat a full meal at least 3 hours before class, a full stomach will make class uncomfortable. Do eat a simple meal of hydrating consumables like juice, fruits or vegetables and/or energy producing foods like pasta or grains. Avoid overly complex meals and dairy.

Wear something you feel comfortable sweating in

Men typically wear jogging type shorts or looser mid-thigh athletic shorts. Shirts are optional for men, most go without. Good outfits for women typically include a jog bra and tank or some kind of sports bra, and tight fitting athletic bottoms or yoga-style capri pants.

Remove any lotions/makeup/heavy perfumes

Because the room is heated, students are typically sweating. Because of this we recommend that women remove any makeup and/or lotions before class. Many of the postures require students grip their feet or legs, which can prove difficult if they are heavily moisturized.

Tips for After class

When class concludes you’ll be lying in Savasana (on your back). New students’ first reactions are to typically get up and leave the room as soon as the instructor has finished. But hold on. Savasana is when your body gets to re-coop and recover. The longer you stay in savasana the more your heart rate and breath returns to normal and you can get the freshly oxygenated blood to all the organs and limbs of your body. It also helps to relieve stress and strain both mentally and physically, so it has incredible healing powers.

Ready to go? Click here to visit our schedule page and book a class

Would you like a map for living in the world with ease?  

Chrystine Cooper has put together her interpretation of Patanjali’s teachings and how they integrate with and can deepen your Bikram Yoga practice. Patanjali is often credited as the author of the Yoga Sutras which can be viewed as a guidebook to greater happiness in your life.  These texts written nearly 2000 years ago still resonate to this day.  Climb as high as you want onto the Eight Fold Path, and watch it transform you.  Here are two links that will help explain how it works and start you on a deeper journey: 

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/yoga-101/beginning-journey
http://www.yogajournal.com/article/yoga-101/path-happiness

On the community board at each studio we will have this posted to help remind you of the steps and help make your practice that day a celebration of you.  


1st FoldYamas; moral imperatives.
How you treat others and your community.  The mirrors help remind us that we are all in this together, just like life.  Moving together and supporting each other creates an atmosphere of higher consciousness for us all.

2nd FoldNiyamas; how you treat yourself.
Your body is the temple for your soul.  Bikram yoga cleanses and nourishes you “inside out, bones to skin, fingertips to your toes.”  It is a total mind body workout.

3rd FoldAsanas; disciplined practice.
Patanjali wrote that “Asana is thus a posture that one can hold for a period of time, staying relaxed, steady, comfortable and motionless.”  Steady your gaze on one spot on your image in the mirror, move with the words, be diligent about your alignment and watch your practice transform as you gain a stronger mind body awareness.

4th FoldPranayama; awareness and control of breath.
Prana is often translated as ‘life-force’ and ayama  as ‘extension of’.  An awareness of your breathing has profound affects on your central nervous system as measured by the brain imaging capabilities of modern science.  The opening and closing breathing exercises in Bikram strengthen your respiratory system and improve stamina and the steady breathing through the nose throughout class will melt the stress away.

5th FoldPratyahara; withdrawal of the senses, freedom from cravings.
The more you practice you’ll discover that if you have applied the first four folds your willpower improves.  You’ll be able to resist the external ‘go to’ things when life’s waters get choppy.  You realize that the answers to your questions are inside you.  You are the one you have been waiting for.

6th FoldDharana; concentration.
Concentration is utilized throughout class, and the balancing series is where you begin to fuse your mind and body and concentrate on using your muscles to optimally support your skeletal structure.  You’ll discover this is the portal to transforming your class into a 90 minute meditation.  Still your body, still your mind.

7th FoldDhyana; mediation.
With your new concentration skills you will begin to move into a deeper moving meditation in class which will have profound impacts on your life outside the studio.  Patanjali wrote in the Sutras that ‘yogas is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind’.

8th FoldSamadhi; enlightenment.
Patanjali proposed that enlightenment could be experienced in delight within everyday occurrences, not just upon transcendence.  When you are doing something you really love to do, those are moments of samadhi to be savored.  The more you practice Bikram yoga the more blissful you’ll feel and the easier it will be to see moments of samadhi show up in your life.

This Friday is Earth Day, but we’re celebrating all month long. Through April 30th, take 20% off Sweat Mate reusable bags. Also a reminder that with every logo Namaka flask (pictured bottom right) you are entitled to FREE purified water at our in-studio coolers, while flask supplies last.

sweatmatesmWe encouraging the use of Sweat Mate reusable bags
Bikram Yoga NYC carries Sweat Mates at all of our locations and this month they are available at 20% off. Sweat Mates are an environmentally-friendly option for carrying your sweaty clothes or towels home after class. The drawstring bags are made from high quality fabrics.

– Heavy-duty nylon parachute cord drawstring
– Waterproof urethane-coated rip-stop nylon lining
– Convenient hang loop
– Helps prevent the spread of germs
– Size: 16″ x 18″

Did  you know Core Water bottles are made from 100% recycled material
CORE Hydration water is ultra-purified using a seven stage proprietary process including U.V., carbon filtration, reverse osmosis and ozonation that removes harmful impurities and contaminants. It’s then balanced with the IMG_1450perfect blend of electrolytes and minerals that complement the levels that naturally occur in the human body. The result – a clean and crisp tasting water with the “Perfect pH” of 7.4*. But, most importantly, the bottles are made from 100% recycled material.

Please bring your used plastic bags to the studio
In every locker room at Bikram Yoga NYC we have plastic bag dispensers. We highly encourage students to bring their own used plastic bags often used by delis, supermarkets and convenience stores. Have a collection of these at your apartment? Bring them in! Not sure what to do with these bags you bring home? Use one bag to collect a dozen others and drop them off at the studio for others to use.

Keep you water cool and the earth green with a reusable water bottle
Ever finish class with a bottle of warm water? Make the change to Namaka Flask and enjoy cold water through the end of class and beyond.

The entire Namaka Bottle Line is vacuum insulated. This means there is an absence of matter between the two stainless steel walls. This vacuum insures that the temperature outside the flask has no influence on the temperature of the contents of the flask. The vacuum insulation keeps your hot beverages piping hot for up to 12 hours and your cold beverages cool and refreshing for up to 24 hours.
logoflasksmAll Namaka Flasks are made of 18/8 stainless steel which is highly resistant to absorbing odour, taste and bacteria. They are BPA free. Namaka Flasks don’t have a detachable liner, making them simple to clean. Our flasks are completely recyclable. They are available in a multitude of colour choices and 6 sizes. Our flasks are finished with a tough, chip resistant powder coating. With our double-wall insulation, cold drink condensation is prevented and the flask remains cool to the touch for hot beverages. We guarantee every Namaka Flask against manufacture’s defects for a lifetime.

 

Ask the desk manager at any Bikram Yoga NYC location for a color and size of your preference if you don’t see it at the studio.

The only exercise that twists the spine from top to bottom at the same time. As a result, it increases circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, veins, and tissues, and improves spinal elasticity and flexibility and the flexibility of the hip joints. It helps cure lumbago, rheumatism of the spine, improves digestion, removes flatulence from the intestines, and firms the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.

  • Avoid sitting on your heel of the knee that is bent on the floor. Both sit-bones should be equally distributed on the floor. 
  • When you bring your arm up over your knee make sure that all three parts (hand, knee and heel) are touching on the same spot of the floor. 
  • Your buttocks, hips, sacrum and pelvis remain square to the side you are facing (left side in most cases); they are not involved in the twisting motion. The twist comes from the waist through the top of the head. Prior to turning it is important to lift your body up toward the ceiling and then twist. 

This posture helps to balance the blood sugar level. It improves the flexibility of the sciatic nerves, ankles, knees and hip joints; improves digestion; enhances the proper functioning of the kidneys; and expands the solar plexus. Increases the flexibility of the trapezius, deltoid, erectus femoris, and bicep muscles, sciatic nerves, tendons, hip joints, and the last five vertebrae of the spine. Relieves chronic diarrhea by improving the circulation of the bowels. It also increases circulation to the liver and spleen and improves digestion.

4 Tips for this posture:

  • Keep in mind that with legs to either side your knee can be bent. The forehead-to-knee compression is paramount rather than having your leg straight. Furthermore, whether your knee is bent or straight your foot should always be flexed. 
  • During the compression portion of the posture, your shoulders and elbows are equally aligned over the leg that is out (i.e. leg facing the corner of the room). On the right side, think left elbow and shoulder down toward the floor, and the opposite for the left side.
  • With both legs forward it is important to contract your quadriceps BEFORE you begin to pull on your toes. If you’re unable to keep your knees locked avoid pulling and work on hamstring flexibility first.
  • As always, breath is key. Inhale while lifting and lengthening the spine, exhale as you stretch forward and work toward touching your forehead to your toes.