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.

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.

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

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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

Every December we discount our Annual package for the entire month. This year take 15% off the retail price and pick up 365 days of yoga for just $1,350. Available only through December 31st. Remember the package does not activate until you take your first class using it, not the date of purchase.

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Emily found yoga in college while she was playing basketball for the university of Idaho.  However, it was when she finished her career overseas that she was looking for something to fill the void that yoga became a part of her daily life.

Emily fell in love with yoga as an expression of her love of dance and her love of sports.  Her meditative nature found a home in the quiet movements and focus of practicing the physical exercises of yoga.

As Emily pushed herself to excel in yoga the teacher and nurturer in her person desired to share with those around her.  In Fall of 2008 Emily completed her first training in Acapulco, Mexico with Bikram Yoga.  Since then she has completed trainings with Pure Yoga NYC, the Prenatal Yoga Center and Karma Kids Yoga as well as completing a mentorship with Kay Kay Clivio and a continuing education course with Forrest Yoga Guardian, Erica Mather.

Emily currently lives and teaches yoga in New York City.

Favorite quotes:

Get fascinated with your breath, it is what keeps you alive. – Tanya Boulton

Take a moment of gratitude for this incredible vessel that walks you through life. – KK Clivio

Favorite songs (Follow ‘Emily Faurholt’ on spotify for more great playlists).

Iron & Wine -- The Trapeze Swinger

East Forest - 10 Laws

Currently reading: “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Carolyn Myss

Favorite Prayer/Meditation:

May I be safe
May I be healthy
May I be free from all suffering
May I be truly happy

Thomas attended his first yoga class at age 50. Now 55, he reports having the energy of a 25 year old, takes no medication and after having years of difficulty trying to fall asleep, now does so effortlessly.

matchatlogoIlene Kristen is an actress and producer, known for her roles in Ryan’s Hope, One Life to Live, General Hospital and Grease. Watch this week’s Mat Chat as studio owner Donna Rubin talks Bikram Yoga with Ilene.

By Ania Dunlop, Health Coach at Food for Zen, for Bikram Yoga NYC

Despite the abundance of diet books, countless wellness websites and TV shows, many people are still confused about what to eat. Why is nutrition so difficult these days? Well, the answer to that lies in your local neighborhood supermarket. Take a look around and you will see food-like products that our ancestors would not recognize. These products have been made with unpronounceable chemicals, additives and fillers turning our food into a science experiment. We are focused on eating more or less carbs, fat or protein but rarely think about the nutrient content of each food.

The Devil is in the Labels

If we want to escape the processed food trap here is some advice from nutrition author Michael Pollan worth its weight in gold: “Eat (whole) food. Not too much, mostly plants.” After reading his book “In Defense of Food”, I figured out the recipe for eating without writing a whole book: Eat food that spoils quickly, doesn’t have an ingredient label and makes no health claims. What does that mean? Au natural. I firmly believe that when we eat clean foods, our bodies self-regulate and heal, while overeating, cravings and weight gain disappear.

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Eating Clean, Whole Food

So what’s a clean, whole food? “Whole” food is a single ingredient food, such as apple, rice, or beans, while “clean” refers to food that has been grown naturally, on a plant, not made in a plant, without pesticides, antibiotics and other nasty stuff. So let’s get back to basics! Choose real food that your great-grandmother would actually recognize and cook like your life depends on it, because it does.

While a lost art for some people, cooking real food at home solves our nutritional dilemma. Yes, it’s less convenient than grabbing takeout on the way home, but good nutrition not only affects how we feel today but influences our health and the health of our children in the future. If we truly want to transform our health, the first place to start is with changing our eating habits, eliminating processed food and replacing it with clean whole foods.

Ok, so what exactly should we eat?

We are about to geek out on some nutrition fundamentals. If you get bored with too many rules here is all you need to know: the key to optimal health and weight is a plant based diet. That does not mean you have to become a vegan, it simply involves making earth friendly plants a big portion of your diet with staples such as veggies, berries, avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and whole grains as the cornerstone of your meal plan. If you eat meat, making it a side dish rather than the main event, may help you extend your good health.

And if you are the type of person who can only follow one rule? Simply don’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients on the label. Trust me, you will not be eating many processed foods if you stick to it.

Visit Ania’s website at foodforzen.com

Donna stumbled upon Bikram Yoga by accident while visiting her sister in Florida. The only yoga studio in the area was a Bikram inspired studio. After 3 days she was hooked when she realized that her body felt better, more flexible, and more in shape than after anything other form of yoga or exercise she did. After practicing regularly she realized that the physical and emotional benefits were something that needed to be shared and that set in motion a career transition from performer to yoga teacher to studio owner.

Inspiration – these words helped inspire real change in my life.

Do the best you can for today.

As long as you try 100 percent the right way you get 100 percent of the benefits.

This really helped me not be so hard on myself and gave me the space to be open to change.

Nicole is a busy New York City mom with 2 kids, 2 jobs, 2 cats and 1 husband who also happens to be getting her Masters. Find out how any why Nicole makes Bikram Yoga a part of her life.