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Free Lecture on Hydration Strategies by Dr. Dana Cohen

quench with dana cohen md and gina bria

“Chronic headaches, brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, gut pain, autoimmune conditions… We may think these and other all-too-common modern maladies are due to gluten intake or too much sugar or too little exercise. But there is another missing piece to the health puzzle: Proper hydration,” explains Dr. Dana Cohen, author of the book “Quench.”

Join us Monday, June 25th at 7:15pm at our Midtown studio as Dr. Cohen tells us more with an informative and inspiring lecture on hydration strategies. The lecture will be followed by an open Q & A.

To RSVP, email Jen@bodenyc.com

bodē nyc Midtown

797 8th Ave

(212) 245-2525
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Why Are Electrolytes Important?

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?

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Healthy Living: Hydrate with Food

Summer may be coming to an end, but it’s still hot and steamy outside (and inside!) the studio. While you are working on your flexibility, hydration becomes a key component of your wellness. Are you drinking plenty of water, but still find yourself parched? This is your body’s way of telling you that you need to eat, not just drink your water. According to the Institute of Medicine, 20% of your daily water consumption needs to come from food.

Foods to Eat

There are many foods that contain water, but there are a few standouts that you need to eat right now. These include cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes and zucchini. Each has at least 90% water weight and also carry a nutrient punch that doesn’t come from water or sports drinks alone.

Yes, water is crucial for survival and healthy functioning of your body, but without the nutrients found in the following hydrating foods, you are missing out on important vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The great news is that these fruit and veggies are in season, so hit a farmers market and stock up:

  • Cucumbers provide fiber and Vitamin C. Blend them in a smoothie, add to salads or soup or if you enjoy snacking on them alone, try dipping them in hummus for an extra satisfying snack.
  • Watermelon not only contains Vitamin C, it also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps fight cancer. Watermelon contains some of the highest levels of this antioxidant, providing around 12 milligrams per standard size wedge.
  • Cantaloupe has been called a ‘beauty fruit” for a good reason, it provides 100% daily requirement for Vitamin A and C, both crucial for healthy skin. There are endless way to eat it, but I like to blend it in smoothies, add it to salads or dip it in yogurt.
  • Celery is chock full of water and fiber, two things that help keeping you healthy and full. A great electrolyte food, just a couple stalks of celery can restore the lost sodium, potassium and magnesium levels in athletes.
  • Tomatoes are versatile and incredibly hydrating! They contain Vitamins A and C, folic acid, and lycopene. Chop them up and add them to your salad, eat them with satisfying mozzarella cheese or make a gazpacho.
  • Zucchini are a great weight loss food because they are low in calories but provide a feeling of lasting fullness. While zucchini is 95% water, some of it is lost when cooked, which is how most people eat this fruit (yes fruit!). My favorite way to enjoy zucchini is to make raw zoodles. So take out your spiralizer, make zucchini pasta, mix it with pesto, top with clean protein and you have a meal that takes no time to make.

Hydrate the Right Way

The next time you have worked up a sweat and are feeling great, keep that feeling going by heading home and making my Watermelon Cooler smoothie. It will restore you with electrolytes for that well-nourished and well-hydrated feeling.

Watermelon Cooler recipe

  • 3 cups watermelon
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy feeling instantly hydrated!

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10 Reasons To Practice This Summer

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! 

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Supercharge Your Health with 3 Habits

By Ania Dunlop, a BYNYC Healthy Living Series writer from Food for Zen

With spring just around the corner, most people let their New Year’s resolutions slide as life gets in the way. But don’t wait until 2018 to get motivated again. Start with small, sustainable habits and think of wellness as a journey. Forget overly ambitious detoxes or training regimens. Adopt one healthy habit and, when it becomes a part of your daily routine, graduate to the next one. Your health journey will become a smooth ride without the usual overwhelm.

Here are my top 3 tips to clean up your diet for good.

1. Start your day with warm lemon water

After an overnight fast, your body is dehydrated so this will ensure you are hydrating properly for the day. Adding lemon juice will help detoxify and stimulate your digestion (and elimination, which is super important for a health body). To make your morning lemon drink, warm a cup of water, squeeze juice from half a lemon and sip slowly. For bonus points, add a teaspoon of raw apple cider and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  

2. Build a rock solid immune system with these two supplements

Probiotics
The human body houses more than a trillion of bacteria, an ecosystem called a microbiome. You might say we are more bacteria than human! These good bacteria, called probiotics, live in symbiosis with us, helping us digest food, keep our immune system strong and regulate our moods. However, our modern lifestyle, full of stress, poor diet, medications and environmental toxins, can throw off this delicate balance and turn these friendly inhabitants into pathogens. People with disregulated microbiomes often feel tired and toxic, suffer from food sensitivities, acne, and have weak immune systems. So if you are prone to colds or digestive issues you might want to build up your little bacteria friends.

how-to-make-sauerkraut

Adding fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee, miso and tempeh to your diet is a great way to “supplement” naturally. But if you are not a fermented food lover, I recommend a good probiotic with multiple strains, 25-50 billion units daily.

Vitamin D
While actually a hormone, Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin affecting thousands of genes. Originally linked to strong bones, it’s essential to keeping your entire body healthy, from fighting off infections, reducing inflammation to protecting us from a long list of scary diseases like cancers, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s and Crohn’s. Vitamin D is the superhero you need to pay attention to. 

To get Vitamin D, you either need sunlight exposure or supplements because it’s difficult to get it from food alone. In my hemisphere, it’s almost impossible to get enough Vitamin D from the sun between the months of October and April, so supplementation makes sense. I recommend Vitamin D3, which is the active form. While not a standard test, ask your doctor to test your Vitamin D levels. The general consensus is that the optimal level is at 50-70 ng/ml (or higher for cancer treatment).

3. Eat one pound of vegetables a day, every day

It does seem daunting, doesn’t it? How do you fit eating the rainbow into just one day? Let’s break this down and start with why. Study after study shows that eating 7 or more servings of vegetables a day reduces your risk of dying by more than 40% (cancer 24% and heart disease 31%). If it came in a pill form we would all be popping it!

Vitamins and minerals in plants keep us healthy, but it’s also the phytonutrients that work synergistically with our bodies that provide us with a secondary function of fighting off diseases and increasing our longevity. Merely taking a multi is not going to cut it, you need the real stuff!  

veggies

One pound of vegetables is between 5-10 cups (depending on the type) and I recommend eating 50% raw and 50% cooked. You don’t have to go full vegan to get the benefit, just build your meals around veggies and get them into every nook and cranny of your diet. 

I used to dismiss vegetables because I didn’t know how to make them taste good and didn’t link them to health. Now that I’m motivated by living a long healthy life I blend greens for breakfast, cook up a vegetable soup or salad with protein for lunch and make a big pot of vegetable curry for dinner.  

Find your motivation! Whether it’s a healthy glow or a slim waist, adopting a whole food (mostly) plant based diet is the single most important health-building habit. 

Keep in touch with me at foodforzen.com

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12 Steps to Healthy Weight Loss

Losing weight is hard, right? We make resolutions and promises to ourselves each year but rarely keep them. Some of us go on a juice cleanse, some follow a diet de jour, while others resort to extreme exercise. But too often we get derailed, deprived and deflated. Today, I want to offer you a no-diet diet, no cleanse and no gimmicks.

What’s is this perfect no diet diet? It’s a clean eating lifestyle. This means rejecting processed foods and cooking the majority of your meals at home because that is the one and only gateway to permanent weight loss and effortless maintenance. Clean eating involves a lifetime commitment, which will be annoying at first, but once you are empowered with knowledge and feeling amazing, you will never want to go back to eating any other way.

Follow my 12 tips and you will never have to worry about excess pounds, not to mention you will have amazing energy, good skin and clear mind.

1. Get off sugar. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup cause your liver to store fat more efficiently around your tummy. It’s highly addictive and interferes with your body’s ability to know when it’s full.

2. Don’t drink your calories. Skip the soda, specialty coffees and mind your adult beverage intake. Couple of glasses of wine is a fine way to unwind but it adds up to approximately 250 empty calories. Drink lots of water (add lemon!) as hunger is often confused with dehydration.

3. Give up refined carbs like bread and pasta. Refined carbohydrates affect the body in similar ways to sugar, storing fat in your trouble spots like belly, butt and thighs (our trouble areas!). Replace toxic carbs with complex carbs such as fruits, (root) vegetables and whole grains (millet, brown rice, oats, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat).

4. Eat quality protein. Include protein with every meal and choose plants such as nuts and nut butters, beans, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia and hemp). Limit your animal intake to grass fed, pastured and organic meats to avoid exposure to antibiotics and hormones.

5. Detox with green vegetables. Green leafy veggies help you de-bloat and flood your body with vitamins and minerals. Choose bitter greens like arugula, watercress, kale, chard, mustard green to support your digestion. Blend and juice your way to skinny!

6. Eat good fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat, it’s the sugar and processing (especially in low fat foods)! Choose healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and flaxseeds as well as fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. Fat gives your energy, healthy skin and hair and supports weight loss by helping you stay full and reduce cravings for sugar. Just control your portion as 1 gram of fat has twice the calories of carbs and proteins.

7. Cook at home. Cooking at home allows you to control portions and quality of ingredients. Eating minimally processed foods, as close to its original source as possible, is the single most important thing you can do for your waist.

8. Fix your digestive health. Hidden food sensitivities can cause inflammation and sabotage weight loss. Consider an elimination diet to rule out any triggers to common allergens such as wheat, dairy, corn and soy.

9. Sleep 7-8 hours a nights. Sleep deprivation disrupts your metabolism, causes you to overeat and leads to sugar cravings. Catch some zzzs to lose more pounds.

10. Exercise! Commit to making Bikram Yoga a part of your life in 2016. Aim to visit at least 3 times a week to see optimal results. Make sure to keep your body hydrated and full of electrolytes.

11. Calm your mind. We live in a stressful world but chronically high cortisol leads to abdominal weight gain. Manage your stress by meditating and practicing mindfulness. Let it go. Don’t let stress appear as extra pounds.

12. Balance your hormones. Have your adrenal and thyroid hormones checked to ensure your hormones are working properly.

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Yoga Science: Why Does Bikram Yoga Make You Feel Good?

Bikram Yoga NYC has been a vocal advocate of the medical benefits of yoga for years and in February 2014, we hosted a research symposium that looked at the relationship between science and yoga. We all know it makes you feel good, but what exactly does it do? What are some of the benefits of making Bikram Yoga a regular part of your life?

1) It works ALL of your muscles

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2) It works ALL of your body systems

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3) It works every organ, joint, tendon, ligament and bone

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4) Keeps you constantly hydrating and that’s a good thing

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5) Ph.D Research studies on the medical benefits show conclusive correlations 934045_10153239247061994_8707007435731422194_n

The graph in the illustration above was taken from a research study at Colorado State University and released through Pure Action – Yoga is Medicine. While the data points of students metabolic rate, heart rate and core temperatures are interesting to know, Dr. Stacy Hunter, Research Director at Pure Action is also behind a number of research studies, including:

Hunter SD, Tarumi T, Dhindsa MS, Nualnim N, Tanaka H. Hatha yoga and vascular function: results from cross-sectional and interventional studies. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 17(3): 322-327, 2013. 

Hunter SD, Dhindsa M, Cunningham E, Tarumi T, Alkatan M, Nualnim N, Tanaka H. Improvements in glucose tolerance with Bikram yoga in older, obese adults: a pilot study. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 17(4): 404-407, 2013.

Hunter SD, Dhindsa M, Cunningham E, Tarumi T, Alkatan M, Nualnim N, Tanaka H. The effect of Bikram yoga on arterial stiffness in young and older adults. J Alt Complement Ther. 19(2): 930-934, 2013.

Miles SC, Chou CC, Lin HF, Nualnim N, Dhindsa MD, Hunter SD, Tanaka H. Arterial blood pressure and hemodynamic responses to yoga practice. Altern Ther Health Med. 19(1): 38-45, 2013

These studies provide conclusive proof that a regular yoga practice can provide real world medical benefits. Dr. Hunter, arguably the world’s leading authority on medical science as it relates to yoga, is hosting a research conference in Texas this summer dedicated to this topic. For more information click below.

Pure Action 1st Annual Research Conference

 

stacy-218x300Dr. Stacy Hunter received her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2008 where she studied racial differences in anaerobic performance. In 2011, she received her Ph.D. in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education working in the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory where the focus of her dissertation was on the effects of yoga on arterial stiffness and vascular endothelial function. She has published several studies on the effects of yoga on indices of vascular and metabolic health. As a pioneer in this widely unexplored field, she performed the first yoga studies of their kind and continues her efforts in bridging the gap between the anecdotal and empirical evidence of the health claims associated with hatha yoga as the research director for PURE Action.

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Yoga Science: How Bikram Yoga Effects Your Mental Health

Last week we shared a post about the physical benefits of making Bikram Yoga a regular part of your life. Since physical benefits are only part of the mind/body equation, we wanted to discuss some of the mental health benefits, supported by medical science, of course.

1)  Bikram Yoga reduces cortisol and binge eating

binge2

Overview from the Doctors: Cortisol reactivity to stress is associated with affective eating, an important behavioral risk factor for obesity and related metabolic diseases. Yoga practice is related to decreases in stress and cortisol levels, thus emerging as a potential targeted complementary intervention for affective eating. This randomized controlled trial examined the efficacy of a heated, hatha yoga intervention for reducing cortisol reactivity to stress and affective eating.

Full Study: Heated Hatha Yoga to Target Cortisol Reactivity to Stress and Affective Eating in Women at Risk for Obesity-Related Illnesses: A Randomized Controlled Trial – Funded by our friends at Pure Action

2) Bikram Yoga helps you sleep better

sleep

Overview from the Doctors:: Further studies are required to determine which aspect(s) of Bikram Yoga can be most important for impacting sleep physiology. For example, physiological changes could be attributed to changes in hydration, to performance of vigorous exercise in general, or to indirect effects (such as being more mindful about avoiding other disruptors of sleep). We did not detect any significant differences in terms of the portion of days in which subjects reported alcohol, caffeine, naps, or other exercise when comparing Bikram versus non-Bikram days (data not shown). Future studies should compare Bikram to other forms of exercise as well as forms of relaxation, to determine which aspect of Bikram was most relevant to effects on sleep. Specifically, Bikram Yoga was associated with significantly faster return to sleep after nocturnal awakenings

Full Study:  Decreased Nocturnal Awakenings in Young Adults Performing Bikram Yoga: A Low-Constraint Home Sleep Monitoring Study

3) Long term practitioners have larger grey matter volume in areas of the brain associated with attention & self control 

selfcontrol

Overview from the Doctors:: These areas have been shown to be associated with sustained attention/cognitive control, emotion control, interoceptive perception and feelings of compassion, suggesting that long-term SYM practice may potentially enhance the functions mediated by these regions and consequently lead to neuroplastic enlargements.

Full Study: Increased Grey Matter Associated with Long-Term Sahaja Yoga Meditation: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study

 

4) Bikram Yoga lowers distress tolerance and emotional eating

emptions

Overview from the Doctors:: This study offers preliminary evidence for the benefits of yoga interventions for problems characterized by elevated stress and poor affect regulation. First, our findings underscore the promise of hatha yoga practice for increasing DT and reducing emotional eating tendencies. Second, our mediation analyses revealed a particular component of the cognitive processing of distress – Absorption – mediated the effects of yoga on disordered eating. Interventions that aid in affect modulation and enhanced coping are crucial for reducing the public health burden of an array of psychological disorders, and this study provides support for further development of specialized, mind-body interventions for those low in DT.

Full Study: The Effects of a Hatha Yoga Intervention on Facets of Distress Tolerance

These studies provide proof that a regular yoga practice can provide real world mental health benefits. Dr. Hunter, arguably the world’s leading authority on medical science as it relates to yoga, is hosting a research conference in Texas this summer dedicated to this topic. For more information click below.

Pure Action 1st Annual Research Conference

stacy-218x300Dr. Stacy Hunter received her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2008 where she studied racial differences in anaerobic performance. In 2011, she received her Ph.D. in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education working in the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory where the focus of her dissertation was on the effects of yoga on arterial stiffness and vascular endothelial function. She has published several studies on the effects of yoga on indices of vascular and metabolic health. As a pioneer in this widely unexplored field, she performed the first yoga studies of their kind and continues her efforts in bridging the gap between the anecdotal and empirical evidence of the health claims associated with hatha yoga as the research director for PURE Action.

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Product of the Month: Hydroflask

Ever finish class with a bottle of warm water? Make the change to Hydroflask and enjoy cold water through the end of class and beyond! Hydroflask’s TempShield™ double wall insulation protects temperature from outside elements. Cold stays icy cold up to 24 hours. Hot stays steaming hot up to 6 hours.

Here are some details directly from the company:

Lightweight:

  • Our proprietary bottom seal creates a secure vacuum
  • Eliminates the need for a heavy bottom cap to seal the flask
  • This means we can make the lightest weight bottles in the insulated hydration category

Slim Profile:

  • Our specially formulated getter (a small metal disk located between the two walls) absorbs all moisture and gas during the vacuum process
  • Allows us to have thinner walls without sacrificing performance
  • This gives Hydro Flask a slimmer, more streamlined design

Guaranteed for Life:

  • Hydro Flask has its own dedicated ovens to ensure stringent control over the entire production process
  • This creates consistency and high quality that leads to the best performing product – guaranteed

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.

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Pro Tip Series: Feeling Overwhelmed

It’s no mystery that Bikram Yoga is a challenging practice. The conditions in the room, while ideal for gaining flexibility without chance of injury may not seem favorable, especially to a beginner. More often than not, life is very similar. When are all aspects of your life in perfect order? And how often are you in total control of each and every aspect? Rarely! The way we practice will often reflect upon the way we face our challenges day-to-day. Cultivating patience, stillness, faith and breath may come naturally to some and take time with others, but a regular practice will indefinitely transform one’s behavior outside of the hot room. Feeling overwhelmed in class? Here are some suggestions on how to get through (because in most cases, the only way out IS through):

Breathe: always through your nose with your mouth closed (with the exception of our two breathing exercises Pranayama and Kapalbhati). Slow nose-breathing will calm down the central nervous system allowing your body to make the transition from merely surviving a class/posture to finding relaxation within it. Mouth breathing will evoke panic and activate a “fight or flight” response. Make your breath inaudible to your fellow yogis, only audible to you. Slowing down your exhale can further calm down your central nervous system and prevent you from going into panic mode.

Take Breaks: real breaks! Both beginner and veteran practitioners often need a break. If you are unable to control your breath, feel dizzy, light-headed or nausea a break might be necessary. It is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it should be applauded because it’s an indication that you are listening to your body.

Taking a break is NOT sitting down for 15 seconds and then popping right back up. Sit out of an entire posture or several to reestablish calmness and breath. This will only serve in enabling you to finish your class strong. During the standing series try to keep your head above your heart when taking a break. Either take a knee or sit upright. Lying down and closing your eyes is not recommended. When you lay down blood pressure drops significantly which will cause dizziness when you get back to standing. Furthermore, closing your eyes will take you out of your practice entirely. Keep your eyes open and observe the class, you will likely learn something new!

Stillness: resist the temptation to fidget, move around, drink water (during postures) or wipe sweat. Fidgeting stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, promoting a “fight or flight” response and induces tension/stress in the body. Stillness is the key to gaining a calm and focused mind, giving you the opportunity to really listen to your body. It teaches you how to relax regardless of your surroundings and any discomfort you may be feeling.

Sweating is unavoidable; learn to love it! Keeping sweat on your body helps to regulate body temperature. Sweating is our bodies “natural air conditioner”- the evaporation of sweat off the skin prevents us from overheating. If you wipe sweat away your body will use energy to create more which will have the adverse effect of disrupting homeostasis making you even hotter.

Faith/Patience: have faith in yourself and the practice. Postures that once seemed impossible eventually become easier. Same goes for dealing with the conditions of the hot-room. While the effects of Bikram Yoga are often felt immediately after that invigorating post-class shower, do not expect changes to develop overnight. Nothing worthwhile and long-lasting occurs instantaneously. Bikram Yoga is NOT a fad (how did that Cabbage Soup diet work out for you?!), the series was created over 50 years ago with roots dating back to the 11th century. Keep a positive attitude knowing that millimeters eventually turn into milestones. Have faith in the journey. It may take you five years to touch your forehead to your knee…so what? The gratification felt after five years of hard work will certainly surpass any feelings of accomplishment if you were able to nail “head to knee” on your first day.  

Come back: return to class the next day ESPECIALLY if you struggled. If you wake up sore, find solace knowing that you worked hard. Muscle soreness is a buildup of lactic acid. This may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to relieve soreness is by stretching in a heated environment. Waiting too long to come back feels like starting all over again.

To derive maximum benefit and enjoy prolonged health, the series should be practiced on a regular basis. Bikram Yoga can be practiced daily, unlike most forms of exercise where rest days are necessary. As the frequency of your practice increases you will notice improvements, not only in the hot-room but in your life! Embrace the challenge that is Bikram Yoga…“with a smiling, happy face,” of course!