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June 2017: What’s Hot

June 1 – Reservation Cancellations

A reminder that our new cancellation window goes into effect today. Online cancellations will no longer be available less than 3 hours before a class begins. Please note that if  you are on an unlimited packages and do not cancel 3 hours in advance you will be charged a $10 fee. If you have a class class card package, not canceling before the 3 hour window will result in the loss of a class. We understand that sometimes you might be stuck at work or in transit and if so, please do your best contact us via email or phone before class.

June 10 – Family Fun Day at Just Salad

Our friends at Just Salad Upper East Side are hosting a Family Fun Day at 1471 3rd Ave (at 83rd Street – directly opposite the studio). In addition to raffles, free smoothies, Just Salad swag and more, kids under 10 eat free from Noon to 3pm. We’ve sponsored the event alongside SoulCycle and Athleta, so swing by for a chance to win some great prizes.

June 19 – Summer Schedule

As we do every year, we’re transitioning to a modified summer schedule beginning on Monday, June 19th. Please look for signs at the studios or check with a manager for more information. Please remember that your package may be used at any of our 4 Manhattan locations. We’re doing our best to accommodate everyone with the schedule, but if you have any questions or concerns please let us know. 

June 19 – Hot Vinyasa

We’re really excited to begin offering Hot Vinyasa classes starting June 19th! Hot Vinyasa is a vigorous class, combining upper body strength, flexibility and cardio and is designed for students of all levels seeking a challenge. Postures are linked together and move smoothly from one pose into the next. You will develop core strength, upper body strength, flexibility in the shoulders, legs and spine plus improved concentration in this class.

June 21 – Summer Solstice

Find your center at the Crossroads of the World! Each year, thousands of yogis from around the world travel to Times Square to celebrate the Summer Solstice with free yoga classes in the heart of New York City. On the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year, become part of this global celebration with one of the classes taking place all day long. At a total capacity of 12,000, we have enough room in our 1:30pm class to make a world record!

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June 1 to June 30 – Summer Sale

Throughout the month of June we’re offering 2 Months of Unlimited classes on sale for $299. Valid through August 31st, this is the perfect package to help get ready for the summer and then stay in shape all summer long. The package is available online via our website (below), in the app or by asking at the front desk. Please note this package activates after first use (not the date of purchase) and is valid for a full 2 months after that.

 

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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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Take the 30 Day Challenge

my30day30 consecutive days of classes isn’t easy.

Cue our “30 Days to a New You” program, complete with daily tips and inspirations from our instructors, delivered to your inbox each morning.

What is a 30 Day Challenge?

Challenge yourself to complete 30 classes in 30 days. That’s it. Pure and simple. While true, the challenge is a commitment of time, it’s more importantly a commitment to one’s health, wellness and spirit. Experience for yourself the amazing physical, mental and physiological benefits of a daily practice. Enjoy a wide range of benefits including stress reduction, weight loss and an improved overall sense of well being!

What do I get for completing it?

Obviously the most important benefit of completing the 30 day challenge is a healthier, more energetic you! However, in addition we include a number of prizes upon competion:

  • FREE 7 days of yoga, just for you. Valid anytime you want to use it
  • 2 FREE 7 day guest passes for you to share with a family member, friend or co-worker
  • 10% OFF any full priced package we offer (auto-debit excluded)
  • 300 Reward Points – The equivalent of spending $300 at the studio

What are these daily emails all about?

Illustrated to the left, is an example of one of the emails you will receive. Each day, the morning message will begin with a statement from one of our instructors with some insight about where you are in the 30 day cycle.

For 26 of the 30 days, we’ll send posture tips for our Bikram method classes from our “Posture of the Week” series. More importantly, the section will also link to a video that breaks down the posture of the day in detail.

The email ends with an inspirational message or quote to energize your day, and of course the all important button to book that day’s class. We encourage you to visit as many studios as possible, and to take class with a variety of instructors to keep your routine fresh!

Interested? Sign up on our 30 Day Challenge Page and be sure to indicate the start date for  your challenge.

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January 2017 Special – 15 Class Card

Through January 31st, pick up 15 classes for $259. Note this package activates after first use, not the date of purchase. Take advantage of this deal today and then use the classes when you’re ready! Expires 365 days after first use.

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SALE: 60 Classes for the price of 50

Though December 31st, get 10 free classes when purchasing a 50 pack! Valid for a full 365 days, the package does not activate until you come take your first class using it. Purchase now and hang onto this deal until you’re ready. Also receive 875 Rewards points to use toward discounted at the studio and awesome free/discounted rewards from our network partners.

Questions? Give us a call! Contact numbers for all 4 locations are at the bottom of this page.

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Classpass Unlmited Bikram Yoga

November 2nd, 2016 – Today Classpass notified it’s users the business was discontinuing their popular unlimited plan. The story was heavily reported on by organizations like CNN, Huffington Post, Fortune, MashableWell & Good and many more with many of it’s users taking to twitter and facebook to weigh in on the decision.

Here at Bikram Yoga NYC we’ve had a positive experience with classpass users and many seem to enjoy the sweat we offer in our traditional 90 minutes classes, our express 60 and 75 minute classes, our intermediate classes, intro to Bikram Yoga classes and most recently, our new Hot Pilates and Yin Nidra classes.

From the very beginning, Classpass limited it’s users to 3 classes per month at Bikram Yoga NYC as part of their core offering and that policy continues with their remaining two pricing plans, 5 and 10 class packs. At Bikram Yoga NYC we offer a variety of class card and unlimited plans to choose from, with some unlimited yoga plans coming in just over $100/month for anytime yoga.

Interested in learning more about our classes or packages? Drop us a note! We’d love to hear from you.

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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

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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 

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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.