We Are The Rebels

We are the Fighters. The Rebels and Reclaimers.

One of the reasons that Bikram Yoga is a beginners Yoga, is that everything we do in a posture is within a human beings normal range of motion.

I won’t ever ask you to put your foot behind your head.

Age, injury, stress, overuse, underuse…all of these things contribute to us losing some of the flexibility in our joints.

When you were 9, it’s likely that you could sit in Fixed Firm Pose and watch Tom & Jerry on a Saturday morning without even thinking about it.

In our practice we are Reclaiming that range of motion.

Rebelling against stress and the wear and tear that living takes on our bodies.

Fighting back to have a happier life.


Posture Tip-Fixed Firm


Make sure heels are touching the hips the whole time.

If there is a gap there, then it’s outside of the knees normal range of motion.

No gap, no risk, and you can safely work to reclaim your range of motion.

Come Sail Away

Every day our body is a little bit different than the day before. And we have no choice but to live in the body that we are in.

To sail the ship we are aboard.

The ship may be different every day, but the same principles of sailing apply.

  • Through the wind and the waves and the weather keep steady your course.
  • Master your maps and your compass and refer to them often.
  • Stop to restock and refuel well before your reserves run low.
  • Make sure your crew is willing to paddle as hard as you.

And don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is always an option.  To fail is to have tried something new that might not work, and that’s where the best exploration can occur.

He who invented the ship, also invented the shipwreck.


Posture Tip-Rabbit

Pulling is the object of…img_2830

It’s pretty amazing. Simply by pulling we can stretch our spine. 

The harder you pull, you can stretch more. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I don’t make this shit up. It’s Newton’s third law.

So pull. 

Your friends will wonder what you’re doing to get such nice tone arms. Push-ups? Paddle boarding? What’s your secret?

And you can tell them no. I go to Yoga. And I pull.

 

It Is What It Is

Bikram Yoga is…

A 90 minute therapeutic hatha yoga sequence consisting of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, performed in an environment heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity.

The 26 postures work the whole body – every muscle, tendon, ligament, joint, and internal organ, including the heart.

The sequence was created for people with chronic pain, injury or illness, and is designed for beginners to balance and strengthen all the systems of the body creating optimal health.

From innumerable personal testimonials to scientific research studies from the likes of the American Council on Exercise, Colorado State University, and Massachusetts General Hospital to name a few, the benefits of the Bikram Yoga series of 26&2 have been proven time and again.

Brought to the US over 40 years ago, it was the first of its kind, and thus is the foundation upon which all other hot yoga styles were created.

The original healing hot yoga.

That’s what it is. 


Inspiration-

Her name is Ann Marie. She’s been doing yoga for 50 years, Bikram for 10. I’d tell you her age but I know better.

When Ann Marie broke her kneecap, she took some time off to let the swelling subside. But mostly because she couldn’t make the hours drive to class.

She’s back now, 4-5 classes a week, doing her practice in a chair, and holding onto the yoga bar for help when she needs.

She is healing, happy, healthy, and back to her tennis game.

Ann Marie is our most senior student, an inspiration to us all, and we love her.

 

Bows And Arrows

It’s inevitable that at some point we will go backwards.

Often, our worldview will have us define backwards as the wrong direction. 

More often, it’s exactly the right direction.

Take an arrow…The goal is to combine a little bit of strength, a little bit of leverage, and a whole lotta concentration and propel the arrow forward with great precision to its intended target.

There is only one way to achieve this. First the arrow must go backward. And when it’s back, being pulled in the opposite direction of its intent, it cannot lament the fact that it isn’t going forward. Instead, it must enhance its focus on its target even more so.

Because at any point, for reasons unknown and uncared for by the arrow, it will be set free to effortlessly fly forward.


Posture Tip – Bow 
bikram14Every posture in the series prepares us for the next posture.

Be certain to hold the feet correctly, 2″ below the toes. Right where your toes start to grow out of your feet.

By holding the right way, one of the benefits of Bow is to stretch the ankles, preparation for sitting down Japanese style in the next posture, Fixed Firm.

Slow And Low

Here by the ocean people can drive on the beach. Take your 4×4, choose 4LO (the lowest gear setting), and plow through the sand, steady and strong.

Bikram Yoga Practice is 4LO. You never need to get out of that first gear.

It’s Slow. Controlled. Powerful. Precise.

And in that gear we create change, better ourselves and can aspire to great things. Never in neutral to coast, but in gear to climb and see the mountaintop.

Coasting can only be sustained going downhill.  


Class Tip-Balancing Stick

“You have to make up your mind to use your 100% strength in half a second.”

This is actually how long it takes. Just half a second and you can make up your mind.

It’s a choice.

Change. 

Sweat Equity

Sweating has long been lauded to promote health. Worldwide and ancient traditions such as Turkish Steam Baths, Finnish Sweat Lodges, Scandinavian Saunas, Lakota Inipi…the list goes on, and benefits unending.

In Bikram Yoga, the chances of you sweating are one thousand percent. That’s an unofficial statistic, but I digress.

One primary benefit of sweating is to cool your body. For that to happen, the sweat must evaporate. If you wipe it off with a towel, you won’t benefit from the cooling mechanism of evaporation.

Interestingly, we are born with anywhere between 2 million and 4 million sweat glands that determine how much we sweat.

I clearly have 4 million.


Class Tip – Electrolytes

In a Bikram Yoga class, electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are lost via sweat, and must be replaced.Version 2

There are all sorts of great electrolyte replacement products, readily available at most yoga studios. Play around with them and find what works best for you.

At my studio we carry coconut water, and a 0-calorie powdered mix that s sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

That what I choose. Choose yours.

A Supurb Blurb About Verbs. 

Pure dialogue in a Bikram Yoga class is very precise. Step by step, it tells us what to do, how to do it, and the effect of doing so. Actions that create benefits. It’s a prescription. A path.

The action words are verbs. There are a lot of them. Pull. Kick. Step. Lift. Charge. Change. Be.

Dialogue too, as a word, is a verb.

dīəˌlôɡ 1. take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem.

In class, it is an active conversation. An exchange between us. Back and forth, give and take, call and response.

The exchange is my mind, and your body. You don’t have to think.

Concentrate and meditate.


Posture Tip – Standing Bow Pulling

CHARGE!

We aren’t racing in on horseback to overtake the enemy cavalry. It’s not about speed or momentum.

It’s Strength. Control. Dynamic Tension. 

Work it, the sequence, step by step…

“Charge (strength) your body forward kick your leg back and up (dynamic tension to balance (so you can)), bring your body down UNTIL your abdomen and chest are parallel to the floor.”

When the body is down, the heart rate is up and you’re getting the benefit, so,  “Continuously keep kicking your leg up as hard as possible” (gas pedal).

Try the right way and it works.

“Your foot should be coming up over the top of your head in the mirror. Both feet should be in one line from the side.”