When should I arrive?
New students, please arrive 25 minutes early to fill out the registration form, change, and get a good spot at the back of the room.
How should I prepare?
- Refrain from eating 3 hours before class.
- Keep well hydrated throughout the day.
- Bring toiletries for showering afterwards.
- Bring a smile and open mind!
What should I bring with me?
- Wear something light and fitted, such as: sport bras, shorts, or swimwear. Avoid sweats, long pants, or heavy t-shirts, as the room is heated.
- A positive attitude.
- A large towel to place on your mat and extra one for showering afterwords if you like.
- A yoga mat .
- A large bottle of water
(We have refills of free filtered water and also have beneficial alkaline, ionized water for sale.)
I'm not good with the heat, can I handle it?
- Yes. Having an open mind is all you need.
What are some of the benefits?
- There are unlimited benefits to Bikram yoga. It reduces stress, increases blood circulation, and improves strength and flexibility. Regular practice (at least three times a week) can reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases (i.e. arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders). It also promotes relaxation. Please see "What is Bikram Yoga-The Benefits" for more detailed list of benefits.
Is it unhealthy to be in a room with so many sweating people?
-Actually everyone is in the room sweating to get healthy. This is a misconception that is being perpetrated by those who do not do Bikram Hot Yoga and have not let themselves experience the wonderful benefits of regular Bikram Yoga practice.
Why don't the teachers do the postures?
- They must concentrate on teaching, by that we mean watching the students to make sure they do it correctly.
How often should I come?
In the beginning, do the full class religiously each day for two months until you are performing all but the very difficult poses, such as the Standing Bow Pulling and Stretching Pose eighty percent correctly. If you are restricted by any medical condition or have any chronic disease, you should continue daily until your condition is resolved.
Even when your progress is measured in fractions of inches that add excellence to what is already good, rather than in bold strokes, like being able to balance on one leg for ten seconds, you should continue your Yoga practice daily.
When you are performing ninety percent of the postures ninety percent correctly, you should still not feel complacent about doing your Yoga. Doing this Hatha Yoga class every day is like everything else you do in your life that is good for maintaining life. You don't plan to give up doing those things because of the daily benefit you receive.
Practicing while following Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class CD is an ideal method to practice the postures.
How good is this Yoga habit?
Look at someone who has been doing this yoga for over twenty or thirty years. Don't ask their ages. They have become timeless.
Can I use my membership from other Bikram Yoga studios?
Unfortunately not, Bikram Yoga Delta is independently owned and operated.
Is it a cardiovascular work out?
The word aerobic literally means "with oxygen" or "in the presence of oxygen, involving or improving oxygen consumption by the body." Aerobic activity trains the heart, lungs and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body by elevating the heart rate during exercise to its target level. As the heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient, a larger amount of blood can be pumped with each stroke. Fewer strokes are then required to rapidly transport oxygen to all parts of the body.
You can derive these benefits from practicing Bikram yoga. Use this formula to find your target heart rate:
- 220 minus your age times 60% and times 90%
- For example, a 30-year old would calculate his target zone using the above formula: 220 - 30 = 190. 190 x .60 = 114 and 190 x .90 = 171.
- This individual would try to keep his heart rate between 114 (low end) and 171 (high end) beats per minute.
- You can take your pulse during class and see that due to the nature of the asanas, your heart rate and respiration become elevated to your target level. This can help you determine how intensely to work during class.
Do I have to be flexible?
- NO! If you are inflexible, then that is the exact reason one should attend yoga classes; To gain flexibility. Bikram Yoga combines strength, balance, concentration and breath; the flexibility comes with time. As long as you are feeling the stretch, no matter how inflexible, you are receiving the intended benefit of the posture (just ask our instructors!).
Are the postures the same every time?
Yes. Bikram scientifically designed the series so that one posture opens a specific area of the body in preparation for the next posture. The class is always the same, but your mind and body are different every day. By doing the same sequence of postures in each class you are able to mark your improvements and learn more about your body and its overall functioning. Remember, this is a lifetime practice that can always improve, deepen and advance!
Are there different class levels?
Bikram Yoga is considered a beginning class; anybody can do it -- any age, size, shape, condition, background, problem. It's accessible and non-exclusive. Basic postures are performed. There are no headstands or esoteric movements. Everyone can do them. At the same time, don't confuse this as a beginner's class. The beauty of yoga and Bikram yoga is that postures can performed at maximum intensity--according to your condition, ability and body type. Therefore, simple postures done in this way can be considered an "advanced" workout. It is a basic workout that can be made as simple or advanced according to the individual.
Each class can and should be challenging. You will be expected to make demands of yourself, which will require tremendous concentration, patience, determination, trust, and discipline. These are the nonphysical qualities that you will develop as you heal and strengthen your body.
In order to achieve the best results from your Bikram Yoga practice you must be consistent and determined. But isn't this the same for anything worth achieving? It has been shown time and time again that regular Bikram Yoga practice will enhance your life - not just improve your physical condition. Your life is a cosmic mixture of your body, mental capacities and spiritual nature entwined together. Bikram Yoga strengthens, develops, nurtures, heals and protects your body, which in turn energizes and enhances all aspects of your being.
What if I feel nauseous, dizzy, or faint?
It is not unusual to feel nauseous or dizzy during your first class. Practicing yoga in a heated room reveals to us our present condition, and inspires us take much better care of ourselves.
Usually the problem is that we do not drink enough water for daily living, let alone for exercising in a heated room. Nutritionists tell us that we need 64-80 ounces of water a day to help the body function properly.
In the heated yoga room, your body needs an adequate amount of water to allow perspiration to release heat from the body as you practice. So we estimate you need another 64-80 ounces (sometime during the day) to allow for your 90 minutes in the room. Once you are drinking enough water, your body will tolerate the heat better and you will actually enjoy the heat.
If you feel disoriented or like you need a good nap after your first few classes, this is likely because your body has begun to cleanse itself as a result of the yoga practice. Don't be scared. After the first few classes this sensation will pass. The more you can relax as you give your 110% honest effort during class, the more energized you will feel throughout the class and throughout the rest of your day.
Make sure to replenish your electrolytes as you continue your practice. Many essential electrolytes are lost through sweat and need to be replaced to maintain energy levels. Try a coconut water, nature's best natural sports drink, before class and notice the improvements. Make note of sugar levels if drinking other sports drinks.
A very common cause of these sensations is dehydration; too much of tea, coffee and alcohol will further dehydrate your body. Drinking plenty of fluid throughout the day will help make your class easier. Sometimes, toxins that built up in your system will contribute to the uneasy feeling during the class. Sweating helps to flush toxins from your body.
With a proper diet, will I lose weight?
A minimum of 10 classes per month is recommended to get the benefits of Bikram Yoga, among which is weight normalization. As a beginner, it takes three classes for your body to understand the proper approach to the posture, and ten classes for your body to begin to work with postures. You will realize optimization of all your body systems.
Digestion and respiration, as well as endocrine, lymphatic and elimination systems will begin to work harmoniously. Your appetite will normalize, and your unhealthy cravings will diminish. All of these results will help to normalize your weight if you devote yourself to regular practice, at least, but preferably more than 3 times per week.
Can I do Bikram Yoga if I am pregnant?
For first time pregnancies, it is better to avoid any new forms of exercise. If you practice Bikram Yoga regularly though, you can continue your practice while following Rajashree's Pregnancy Yoga DVD; however, as soon as you know you are pregnant, seek the advice of your doctor immediately regarding any concerns.
If you do not practice regularly, you can practice Rajashree's Pregnancy Yoga after the 1st trimester. After the 1st trimester, from the 2nd trimester until you are comfortable, continue practicing the Pregnancy Yoga.
There are some tips and exceptions while practicing when pregnant. Any postures which cause compression of the diaphragm or the heart should not be done. Also, do not practice the following postures: Head to Knee, Separate Leg Fore Head to Knee, Cobra, Locust, Full Locust, Bow, or Rabbit. In forward bends, keep the knees open. In back bends, do not push hips forward beyond the knees and make sure to stretch upward and back with the upper spine. When coming up from back bends, bend the knees to relieve back pressure. Rest on your side in between postures, rather than on the back and take long, deep, slow breaths in an easy sitting position. This is very relaxing for mom and baby.
I've been experiencing tremendous pain in my hamstrings since I've started. What do I do?
Bikram says, "It's not what you do, but how you do." So don't let the mind wander during practice. Don't be too aggressive or impatient, either. The only time you will hurt yourself (create a sprain or pull) is if you overuse your strength or do postures mindlessly. Think of alignment. Bio-mechanically, you are very safe if you do postures in alignment.
Muscle imbalance creates a lot of problems. Check to make sure there is good alignment with the left and right side of the quads. Balance with the foot in alignment and the weight in alignment. Remember, the body follows the eyes. Be careful to do the postures correctly, because you are creating an imprint that is hard to undo.
Breath is the only way to affect the involuntary systems. Oxygen deprivation is a major cause of spasms, other muscle pains, and sciatica. Use breath to break through fear of pain-- sigh a relaxed sigh. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is best when dealing with lots of resistance. Send the breath there--breathe through the nose.
And finally, honor your boundaries, but expect them to expand. Have faith.
My back hurts after yoga. Any suggestions?
Please follow the instructions carefully when you are doing forward bends. For example, in the half moon--padahastasana series, the instructions are to bring your torso on your thighs, chest to the knees, no light space anywhere between the torso and the thighs. If you try to straighten your legs without having this first part accomplished, you can create pain in your lower back. Also keep in mind the instruction "360 degrees stretching." What that means is to make the stretch even throughout the whole back side of the body. (See previous question for more details).
You also want to follow these guidelines in separate leg stretching. Bikram says, "Suck in your stomach and bend your upper body down from your lower spine towards the floor." It is difficult to suck in your stomach unless you exhale, so make sure to exhale as you fold forward. When you suck in your stomach, it supports the whole pelvis as you roll forwards with the rest of your spine. This eliminates strain in the lower back.
Working carefully, mindfully, and allowing your breath to flow with your movement will help you to gradually deepen your experience of the postures.
Can you please explain 80-20 breathing and exhalation breathing? I notice these are two breathing methods suggested in the revised book to use at home and would appreciate some clarification on using them with the postures.
The 80-20 breathing method is to be used for the standing postures and back-bending poses. This method builds energy and equipoise for the posture. Exhalation breathing is used in forward bending postures to help relax the body, compress the digestive organs, and promote proper forward rotation of the pelvis (thereby protecting the lower back from strain.)
80-20: Start your posture with a deep breath, and with lifted ribs and firmed, stretched abdominals. Hold the breath in as if you were about to dive into a pool. Then as you're in the posture, breathe normally keeping your lungs 80% full. Exhale only the upper 20% of the breath and inhale into that upper 20%.
For the forward bending postures, such as Pada-hastasana and Standing Separate Leg Forehead to Knee, simply exhale as you go into the posture, and then breathe normally while in the pose.
The standing pranayama breathing in the beginning of the series teaches you how to use your abdominals correctly to support the breath and the body in the postures. The feeling should be that your abdominals stay stretched and toned during the whole posture, both for the inhale and exhale. When your abdominals support the posture, your ribs can expand properly to allow the breath to fill the lungs. This trains all the muscles and organs involved in respiration; it regulates all the processes around respiration.
If I can't get to a studio to practice in class, will I get any benefit from practicing at home in a normally heated room?
You must heat the area where you do your yoga. If you can, you should try to heat it to at least 100º F. You should sweat a lot when you do your Hatha yoga. If your bathroom is large enough, you can preheat the room with a space heater, and by running the shower with hot water, and leaving the water in the tub (as this will keep the room hot). If you have difficulty heating an area to 100º F, then you must wear warm up clothing while you do your yoga. This will keep the heat from escaping the body. I cannot overstate the importance of doing your hatha yoga in heat. Doing your yoga in a cold environment can bring harm to your body. Remember you are changing the construction of your body as you perform these postures. Suppose you are going to make a sword. You start with a piece of fine steel and the first thing you do is put the steel in the fire and heat it up. When the steel is hot it becomes soft. Then you can hammer it and slowly you make it change shape to the sword you want. This is the natural way. Now if you don't heat it up and start hammering the cold steel nothing is going to happen to the steel but you'll break your hand, the hammer, your arm and all the connecting joints. The same thing happens when you do any exercise, even Hatha yoga, in a cold environment. When you do your Hatha yoga in the heat, your body is malleable. If this is completely impossible to arrange, then move more slowly and carefully, and breathe more deeply into the postures.
Does Bikram Yoga help with balancing emotions?
Bikram Yoga helps balance the emotions in several ways. Physiologically, regular practice harmonizes the nervous and endocrine systems, two systems which figure heavily in emotional well-being.
In addition, practicing Bikram Yoga cultivates the mental faculties of faith, self-control, concentration, determination, and patience. As we become more aware of our inner life, we notice how events, interactions, and even the atmospheric pressure affects us. When we are aware, we can exercise choice in our response. This helps us balance our emotional life.
Why is it important to learn from a Bikram certified instructor?
It takes more than a hot room and a list of postures to make your Bikram Yoga practice a safe, rewarding experience. Bikram Yoga is a specialized form of yoga, requiring appropriate training and knowledge to teach it effectively.
Bikram Choudhury, personally trains and certifies his instructors to ensure that his methods and philosophy are preserved and properly taught. To be certified as an instructor in the Bikram Method of Yoga, an instructor must complete an intensive nine-week training requiring over 500 hours of study. A studio guided by a Certified Instructor provides the best possible instruction in the Bikram Method. Certified Instructors have a continuing connection to Bikram Choudhury and his training staff, allowing the Certified Studio to draw from all of the resources Bikram's training center has to offer. This includes special seminars, posture clinics, guest instructors, and answers to questions which may arise in a particular student's practice.
Anyone can claim they teach "Bikram Yoga," but unless there is a Certified Instructor supervising how and what is taught at that studio, you are not getting true Bikram Method Yoga.