Monday, 27 February 2012

Pavanamuktasana - Wind-Removing Pose

Wind-removing pose is like Bikram’s “Pepto Bismol.” This pose stimulates the ascending, descending and transverse colon as well as the stomach and small intestines. The order in which the pose is preformed helps to stimulate the bowels, cures constipation and improves nutrient absorption. The posture is called “wind-removing” for a reason, as it helps to relieve flatulence. Finally it helps to balance out hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach helping with indigestion and heartburn

  • Abdominal wall
  • Thighs
  • Hips


  • Hip joints


  • Massages ascending, descending and transverse colon.

  • Regulates and normalizes hydrochloric acid levels in stomach
  • Improves and may cure conditions of constipation, flatulence and hyperacidity
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Increases peristalsis in the gut

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Student profile - Olivia P

Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class… When was it and why did you go?
My very first class was in June 2011.  I went because my good friend Alyssa (also now a Bikram yogi) found an online coupon and wanted to try it.  I was hesitant at first but thought it would be something fun to do together. Partway through the first class Tom asked how it was so far and all I could say was, “It’s hot.”  Needless to say I think he rolled his eyes at me.  But by the end I felt like I had worked harder than I ever had before and was excited to see how I would do the next time.

How soon did you come back for your second class?
I can’t exactly remember the next day I went back… it was probably 2 or 3 days later.  Alyssa and I were determined to go together as much as we could and working around our schedules was somewhat challenging.

What are some of the benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga?
I feel a lot better about myself in general with regular practice.  My head is clearer, I worry less and have better focus.  I feel stronger in other activities like running because I know what my body is capable of.  I also like to think that I avoided getting sick this winter when many people around me were because of Bikram.

What keeps you coming back for more?
I think at this point it’s pretty much an addiction.  If I have a great class I can’t wait to go back for more.  If I have a not so great class I can’t wait to go back and have a better one.  I love the mental and physical challenge it gives me as well as being able to escape real life for an hour and a half.

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?
The most challenging part for me is not having any expectations in class.  I’ve learned that every day is different with Bikram and you can’t go into class expecting to perform the same as, or better than, yesterday.  You can only do your best for that day and your best is constantly changing.  Although it’s hard to accept this sometimes!

What’s your favourite posture?  Your most dreaded posture?
I try very hard not to prefer one posture to another because if I find myself dreading certain ones it makes them that much more unpleasant to do, which makes them harder for me to improve in.  But with that being said I’ll admit that I do like some postures better than others.  I look forward to doing triangle because I like the concept of connecting your heart and lungs and that it works every part of your body at the same time. Your body also makes a pretty neat shape in it.  I have always somewhat dreaded hugging both my knees to my chest in wind removing pose because my spine does not want to stay on the ground and my arms are often slippery, which makes holding this one fairly challenging.

Any New Year's resolutions for 2012?
Hmm... do more yoga?  I think I'm doing well with that so far.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Trying to explain Bikram to friends, family and co-workers

Does this sound familiar to you?

"I guess yoga people aren't tree huggers like I thought."
"If you don't want me to go you can just say so and stop trying to scare me with all this nonsense"

Monday, 20 February 2012

Savasana - Dead body pose

After the body has been stimulated by preforming the standing series, a two minute savasana is preformed to heal the body. Savasana is one of the most important parts of a hatha-yoga practice and it is often said that this is where the “magic” happens in the Bikram Yoga series. That magic is the healing that is created by the stillness of the pose. When the body is still the circulatory system is unobstructed and delivers oxygen, nutrients and white blood-cells to where it is needed. These materials are the building blocks of healing, which creates the therapeutic benefit of this pose.


  • Returns cardiovascular circulation to normal
  • Slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure
  • Teaches complete relaxation
  • Stills and calms the mind
  • Allows the body to absorb the benefits of the standing series
  • Build the ability to access relaxation when necessary – in stressful situations, before bed, etc.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Student Profile - Laura P.

Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class … when was it and why did you go?
I went to my first Bikram class in July 2011. I had never been a big fan of “typical” yoga but my sister had been going to Bikram for a while and really enjoyed it so I figured it’d be worth a try. During my first class, I remember the heat hitting me before even walking into the room. Lying down in savasana before class, I couldn’t imagine how I was going to survive 90 minutes in that room…let alone practice yoga moves I didn’t even know I was capable of. But I managed to survive and walked out of that sauna feeling exhausted but better than I’ve ever felt about myself.

How soon did you come back for your second class?
I can’t remember exactly how soon I came back for my second class. It was probably within the next day or so because I wanted to make the most of my 2 week pass and try the postures all over again, now that I had a taste of what they were all about.

What are some of the benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga?
After about 7 months of being a dedicated Bikram Yogi, I feel like this practice has strengthened me physically and mentally. I’ve always been an active gym rat and casual runner and I’ve noticed that yoga has helped make running and other cardio activities easier, as I’m able to control my breath a lot more. I feel like I’ve gained a new awareness of how my body is feeling and try not to let my mind convince me I’m not capable of something – whether it’s workout related or life related. I’m also drinking a lot more water than I used to, even on days when I don’t make it to class.

What keeps you coming back for more?
The sense of accomplishment and physical challenge that I gain from every class is what keeps me coming back for more. I’ve never worked my body so hard in my life, but I’ve discovered that the harder you work in class, the better the results will be. 

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?
What I find most challenging about Bikram Yoga is the amount of focus and bodily awareness you have to maintain throughout the class. With other types of physical activity, you can often just workout and let your mind wander, thinking about the problems or stresses in your life. With Bikram, you have to devote your entire body and mind to the practice for 90 minutes and I often find myself losing this focus during specific postures or over-thinking some of them. I always remember Jeff saying that thoughts are just distractions, which I think is definitely my biggest challenge in yoga and life.

What’s your favorite posture? Your most dreaded posture?
Ever since day one, camel has been my favorite posture. Maybe it’s because it is so close to the end of class…but I also feel very strong in this posture and love the meaning behind it, how it exposes your heart and releases emotions. When I’m not in class, I often find myself craving a deep back-bend. My most dreaded posture seems to change on a daily basis. I used to despise standing separate leg head to knee, as I found I it impossible to breathe properly while sucking in my stomach, touching my forehead to my knee, and balancing with my hands in prayer. Thankfully, I’ve discovered that the postures get easier with practice and I look forward to almost every one because I want to see myself improve in the poses I previously dreaded.
Namaste :)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Tadasana - Tree pose and Toe stand

Tree pose and toe stand are often called the postures for your posture. Both are huge hip and knee opening postures but mainly focus on creating the strength and alignment to maintain good posture and balance.


  • Abdomen
  • Gluteal muscles


  • Knee and hip joints
  • Lower back and spine
  • Groins and inner thighs


  • Helps with rheumatism
  • Builds balance
  • Corrects bad posture
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Good for circulatory problems, arthritis and rheumatism
  • Relieves flat feet
  • Helps with sciatica

Friday, 10 February 2012

Student Profile - Brian M.

Here is Brian before he discovered Bikram Yoga. After photo is at the end :)
Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class … when was it and why did you go?
My first class was in February 2010 after an illness whereby it was suggested that hot yoga might help with the symptoms. The first time I went to the studio in January I was still to sick to go, however I returned in February and after that class I knew that I had found something that I would be doing for a long time.  I returned two days later and since then have been to over 400 classes in slightly less than 2 years.

What are some of the benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga?
The practice instils in me a sense of calmness and balance that I begin to crave if I go too long without it. I find that when life is out of balance outside of the studio I am off balance in the studio and I use the practice to bring things back to an even keel. A consistent practice for me pushes me to live a healthier lifestyle and forgo previous poor choices in terms of nutrition and sleep.

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?
I enjoy the difficulty of this exercise and the fact that it is not easily mastered. My challenges change with every session. One day it’s my mind which wants to flee the heat, other days I have the flexibility of my first day. Poses I use to love I now dread but every once in a while I have a class which defies all expectation and I feel fantastic. The progress is millimetre by millimetre and it is a long and hard road. No matter how well you think you have mastered a pose there is always another step to push you beyond what you thought was the limit. Listen to the dialogue because it’s all there and your breath is everything.

What’s your favorite posture? Your most dreaded posture?
I love triangle pose but my favourite poses are the ones that I initially and still struggle with but can see progress. It took me 300 hundred classes to be able to properly kick out in standing head to knee and I can still only do this on one side however lately there is some hope for the right side and I will continue with my struggle because away from the studio I feel healthy, strong and happy.

Any New Year's resolutions for 2012?
In 2012 I will make a decision about teacher training.

What a change! What amazing role model!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Yoga Cat

If you can stay focused while your cat joins you in your yoga practice, well you can do anything!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana - Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

Breathe; keep the forehead on the knee, and the internal benefits from this posture will be significant. The physical benefits are not to be underestimated, but this pose in particular flushes out and stimulates the internal body by compressing both the throat and the abdomen.

With the feet together, raise the arms up overhead, form a steeple grip with the hands and step the right leg three feet to the right.
This time the right foot turns out 90 degrees and the torso, hips, arms and head follow. Turn the left foot in approximately 45 degrees to keep both hips squared forward.

Tuck the chin into the chest, keep the arms and legs straight, and round down from the hips until the forehead touches the right knee. If the hammies or spine are tight, bend the right leg until the forehead touches the knee. The left leg and arms stay straight and the hands can separate on the floor to balance.

Use your abdominal muscles and keep the belly lifting to round the spine and work on straightening the right leg. Can you keep the forehead on the right knee, straighten both legs and bring the hand together into prayer position? Then start to work on aligning the hips by twisting the hips to the right to square the hips to the floor.

Keep the eyes open, keep breathing and remember the chin stays tightly tucked into the chest.
Come out of the pose by keeping the arms straight by the ears and round up slowly, abdominal muscles engaged.

Turn to once to face forward, turn again to face the left leg, and repeat left side.


  •     Abdomen
  •     Thighs
  •     Calves


  •     Shoulders


  •     Thyroid / Parathyroid
  •     Pancreas
  •     Kidneys
  •     Entire endocrine system.
  •     Stimulates digestive system.


  •     Boosts the metabolism and immune system
  •     Balances blood sugar levels
  •     Good for diabetic conditions
  •     Reduces abdominal obesity
  •     Good for depression and memory loss
  •     Is good for rheumatism and lower back pain

Friday, 3 February 2012

Student Profile Kathy B.

Kathy comes into our studio almost every day. She is filled with smiles and positivism. We love having her in here! Kathy also owns very many yoga outfits, teachers training maybe? Her hobbies are travelling and taking care of her cute pets!

Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class … when was it and why did you go?

 My first Bikram yoga class was last February. A couple of the girls at work were interested in trying it, and I thought sure I'll do it too. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never tried any kind of yoga before, and wasn't expecting this to be so hot and so intense. I loved it. I bought the two week special, and didn't skip a day...when that was done, I bought the year membership. My first class was a true awakening. I knew I needed this for physical reasons and for my mental well-being.

What are some of the benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga?

I have suffered for years from horrible headaches, anxiety, back and neck pain. I also had this strange tingling in my legs at night which my doctor told me was called Restless Leg Syndrome. I am also the kind of person who over thinks everything and worries about that led to many many sleepless nights. A couple weeks after doing Bikram yoga on a regular basis I noticed my headaches were fewer and less painful...and now I rarely get a headache...amazing! My anxiety and stress levels have also calmed down quite a bit because I am learning how to control my "monkey mind". I am learning how to stay in the present, focus and relax. The tingling in my legs has also been reduced, and the odd night when I do struggle with it I get up and do the Half Tortoise pose...and that really helps. My sleepless nights have now turned into falling asleep right away and sleeping all night. As for my back and neck issues. Everything has become stronger and not so painful anymore. I remember when I first started,  the spine strengthening part of the class was so difficult for me. Doing Full Locust pose was near impossible. And now that I can do it, I know my back has become so much stronger. Over all Bikram yoga is doing wonderful things for me.

What keeps you coming back for more?

I am totally addicted to Bikram yoga. It's like my body craves it now. I love what it is doing for me, I love the heat, the challenges it offers, and how I feel after class. It's 90 minutes for me. I look forward to coming into class and getting deeper into postures and deeper into my body and mind. Also, the instructors are always so helpful, encouraging and inspirational to talk to. I really love that. I have also made some wonderful friends here, everyone is so supportive and friendly...why wouldn't I come back for more.

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?

I guess my biggest challenge is getting over the fact that every day my body feels different, and so does my mind. I find that a 9:30 a.m. class is more difficult on my body that a 5 p.m. class. My body feels more stiff in the morning...but I still challenge myself to do a couple morning classes a week. And if I am having a tough day, it is difficult to let those feelings go and focus on my yoga. And of course there are always the challenges of fighting the heat, and breathing properly.

What’s your favorite posture? Your most dreaded posture?

Right now my favorite posture is Standing Head to Knee pose. It took me a long time to learn to lock both knees and now that I can, I look forward to doing this I just need to get my forehead to my knee. This posture has really tested my patience. My favorite postures from the beginning have been Eagle and Fixed Firm. I constantly have people asking me what I’m doing when I sit with my legs crossed....they are usually in Eagle pose. My most dreaded is Half Moon. First set I find very uncomfortable, I am happy it's at the beginning of class and I can get it over with.
Any New Year's resolutions for 2012?

I am going to continue and practice daily. I am doing my second 30 day challenge this month, and am looking forward to doing more of them. I would like to learn more on how to improve in the postures so I can get the best benefits possible. I have signed up for another year, and plan to practice Bikram yoga for many many more years.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A healthy SuperBowl weekend!

SuperBowl... a day of football and rich foods. But it doesn't have to be that way. Dips and chips can actually be a healthy snack! Here's a tasty dip you can try out on your friends and family this SuperBowl weekend.

Melty Pizza Hummus
 1/2 cup canned chick peas, drained
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp dry basil, heaping
1/8 tsp salt, heaping
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp of prepared tomato sauce, home made or canned
1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Serve with corn tortillas or raw vegetables. Also good on sandwiches.

Check for the full nutritional information, and for more great healthy dessert ideas!