Why is it important to learn from a Bikram Yoga Certified Instructor?
It takes more than a hot room and a list of postures to make your Bikram Method Yoga practice a safe, rewarding experience. Bikram Method Yoga is a specialized form of yoga, requiring appropriate training and knowledge to teach it effectively. Bikram Choudhury, the creator of Bikram Yoga, 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 session 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 practitioner’s Bikram Yoga practice.
How does Bikram Yoga work?
By the tourniquet effect: stretching, balancing (using gravity), and creating pressure all at the same time. The blood supply in arteries and veins is being cut off, creating pressure.When released, a lock gate effect is created, causing blood to rush through veins and arteries, flushing them out. Also, pressure is applied to the heart by its relative position to the rest of the body.
What is happening in my body during Bikram Yoga?
Muscles are contracted and stretched at a cellular, biochemical level. Lipids and proteins reorganize optimally in such stretching, allowing for better circulation. Joint mobility and range of motion is increased, and strength is built by the use of gravity. Muscles and joints are balanced. Blood and calcium are brought to the bones. Working against gravity strengthens the bones. The organs of the immune system within the bones (red marrow) are boosted. The lymph nodes are massaged, lymph is pumped throughout the body, and white blood cells are distributed throughout the body as the lymphatic system works more efficiently.
There is compression and extension to the thymus, spleen, appendix and intestines; lungs are stretched and flushed out by increased blood circulation. The endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones, and the communication between hormones and various glands and systems of the body is perfected. Toxins and waste are eliminated through the organs of elimination. The nerves are stimulated by compression and extension, improving communication within the systems of the body and supplying fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout. The brain is stimulated by improved circulation and by varying blood pressure.
How should I prepare for class?
- Since most studios are heated to 105 º you need to have a large towel, a yoga mat, and a water bottle for class.
- We sell mats and towels, you can also rent them as well.
- Dress as light as possible. Men wear shorts or bathing suit. Women wear exercise top and shorts or a swimsuit. T-shirts are bulky; tank tops are better.
- Come on an empty stomach. No food 1 to 3 hours before class. A small quantity of simple, easily digestible food is recommended for the meal prior to class.
- Drink lots of water for several days before your first class if you’re not in the habit of drinking water. Doctors estimate you need at least 2 liters per day for normal body maintenance. Double that for doing Bikram yoga. If you drink large quantities of caffeine drinks or eat mostly processed foods it can effect your body’s ability to tolerate the heat, so please cut down on these items in preparation for class.
What to expect after your first class?
- You might feel very tired after class. This is absolutely normal and a good sign that your body is cleansing. Your energy levels should be restored to normal within several classes.
- You might find yourself feeling extremely energetic and experience difficulty sleeping. Don’t worry – this is a good sign that the yoga is truly filling you up with energy. You don’t have insomnia. You just have more time to do the things you enjoy.
- You might feel sore or stiff the day after your first class. Come back to class as soon as possible! Your body is waking up and coming alive and you want to keep the process going!
- You might feel nauseous, dizzy or have a headache after class. This could be a sign that you are dehydrated. Please drink lots of water before returning to class. Or it could be a sign that you were trying so hard that you weren’t breathing normally. Please breathe normally during every posture.
- You might experience some skin irritation. This too is normal, it means that the skin is releasing toxins. Showering directly after class will wash the toxins away. It will also help normalize the body temperature.
- You might feel very hungry after class for a while, or you might lose your appetite completely. Both reactions are normal. If you are concerned about your weight, don’t worry too much either way. Once you get into a regular practice pattern, your appetite and your weight will normalize. You’ll find yourself feeling and looking leaner and younger.