Friday, 30 March 2012

Student Profile - Lisa

Instead of a traditional Student Profile, we have one of our yogis review of our studio and Bikram Yoga in general.

Bikram Yoga
 is my new Paradise!
 I started in Sept. with a discount package that took me to the 4 times a week for 4 weeks challenge that I just had to do! I have benefitted so much! My sleep is deeper and I recall the lessons in my dreams, the spiritual part of the process is very important for me. My skin is youthful and radiant, I look younger! I have lost mass in my fat rolls and have toned up incredibly.

 I like how not everyone is a "Yoga Body", I fit in. My thoughts are clearer, I'm more confident, calm and energetic. I could do most of the poses by the 5th week into my practise! The instructors are so friendly and helpful. I love it when they throw in information during a class that's not scripted, like what each pose is focused on.

 I'm addicted, Bikram Yoga Guelph is my new paradise! Sink in and dig it! 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Salmon fish fingers, served with green peas

about 500 g salmon filet
lemon pepper seasoning
freshly squeezed lemon juice
about 7 Tbsp rye flour (wholemeal is perfect)

oil and butter, for frying

Remove the skin from the fish filet and cut the fish into chunky fingers. Season generously with lemon pepper seasoning and a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
(* If you're using salt-free lemon pepper, then sprinkle some salt over the fish as well). 
Dredge the fish fingers into rye flour.
Heat oil and butter on a frying pan. Brown the fish fingers on all sides and cook for a few minutes, until done. 

Serve with mashed potatoes and/or mushy peas. To make the latter, simply heat some butter in a small saucepan. Add frozen peas, season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and mint, and heat through. Mash lightly and serve with the fish fingers.

From nami.nami food blog

Monday, 26 March 2012

Full-Locust Pose (Poorna-Salabhasana)

Full locust is one of the most difficult postures to improve in the Bikram Yoga series. The posture triggers and strengthens the mid-spine helping to prevent lower back pain. It is also effective at strengthening and toning the hips and buttocks.

Time to target the mid-spine. From a belly down position on the towel, turn the chin in and stretch the arms out to the side in line with the shoulders, palms down.
Keep the legs, knees and feet together and make sure they stay active throughout the pose, with the calves, thighs and buttocks tight.

Exhale completely, then inhale and take off!
Lift the arms, legs, chest, head, torso, everything up off the floor. Keep the gaze lifted to direct the whole body to lift. Draw the arms back with the fingers in line with the top off the shoulders and the palms facing the floor.

To arch the body more, use the back muscles, keep the legs and arms straight and engaged and use your core strength.
Keep flying, keep breathing, and one day you may find yourself balanced on the abdomen!
Hold for 10 seconds, 80-20 breathing.

Posture Tips
Always look up in this pose. While it is tempting to look in the front mirror to check your progress, looking up will help to finalize the arc of the pose while delivering benefits to your cervical spine.
“You are an air-plane, not a car. So look up, not forward.” Carmen Diaz Pollak, Teacher
Keep your arms and legs active, the tighter they are the lighter they will feel.
Bring your focus to activating the muscles of your back and truly feeling the strengthening sensation of the posture. This will help you to activate the muscles more and often will help you achieve more height.

Tips from the Pros:
Think of stretching your elbows back, then up in the pose. – Criag Villani
Do not bend your knees in the posture because you are breaking the static arc of the posture – Craig Villani
The body should be higher than the feet – Rajishree Choudhury

  • Lower and Upper Back
  • Muscles of the upper arm (deltoids, triceps)
  • Abdominal Muscles
  • Buttocks
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Sartorius Muscles
  • Calf Muscles


  • Digestive System
  • Liver
  • Spleen


  • Helps with poor posture, relieves and prevents lower-back pain
  • Helps relieve lumbago, arthritis, rheumatism, cervical spondylosis
  • Helps to massage abdominal organs, aiding with digestive problems (flatulence, constipation, indigestion.)
  • Helps regulate and prevent menstrual problems
  • Helps with loss of appetite and fatigue
  • Releases and breaks through fear, concern and overwhelming responsibility

Friday, 23 March 2012

Student Profile - Mike C.

Tell us about your first Bikram Yoga class … when did you go and why?
My first Bikram class was in 1995 or 1996 with "Sasha" at his studio on Spadina Avenue in Toronto. It was just an old office with a bunch of space heaters and humidifiers, and with no change rooms or showers. My roommate at the time suggested we try it and, having just given up karate and started a desk job, I thought it was a good idea. Going in blind, I had no idea what I was in for. I felt like a tube of toothpaste that had been stamped on after my first class, but I continued to go fairly regularly for a few months until it was apparent that class times didn't fit into my work and social schedule, nor did the practice fit into my budget. After a few years dabbling in Ashtanga yoga between 2002-2005, I started at Bikram in Guelph in April, 2011, almost 15 years after my first hot yoga class in Toronto.

What are some of the most important benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga? Has it helped to improve your life in any way?
Many,  both physical and mental. Several years ago I suffered a tear in my right Achilles tendon which immobilized me for approximately 5 months. I lost a tremendous amount of my right calf's muscle mass, as well as nearly all of my calf strength and flexibility. Since going to classes more frequently I've noticed huge improvement in both strength and flexibility, and that my calf is slowly rebuilding itself. This injury also put my body completely out of balance, with one side practically useless and the other compensating for it. This was felt throughout my body, not just in my legs. The balance is returning. There have also been huge improvements in the quality and length of my sleep which, before, was patchy at best. An old left knee injury has all but disappeared, as have issues associated with my right rotator cuff. My posture has improved which has greatly decreased my frequency of visits to the chiropractor. My diet and eating times have changed, and this (together with several of the postures) have improved my digestion, as well as been instrumental in practically eliminating occasional acid reflux issues. All these things and more, combined, have definitely lead to a much improved overall feeling of well-being. In a nutshell, life is better.

What keeps you coming back?
The benefits mentioned above keep me coming back. I want to maintain and improve on them all, and gain new ones. The practice has been nothing but good for me, so I will continue for as long as physically possible.

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?
The most difficult parts of the practice for me are the mental challenges, not the physical challenges that it presents. Physical obstacles are unavoidable, and will change over time, hopefully for the better. So I accept that what I can do today is all I can do. My brain is another matter. At first, my biggest hurdle was stopping myself from thinking, "*Sh_t, when will this be over?!?!" These days it is keeping my mind quiet, and stopping it from flying off in a million directions which are unnecessary and unhelpful while in class.

What’s your current favorite posture/What is your most dreaded posture?
Frankly, I don't have a favourite posture. Some I enjoy more than others, like the Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose, and the Standing Bow Pose, but there are no postures that I really look forward to. Because of my leg injury and its after effects, I find most of the balancing postures very difficult, especially Standing Head to Knee and the Toe Stand (which I simply cannot do at the time of writing this).

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Japanese Ham Sandwich?

Have you wondered whats in-common in Japanese Ham Sandwich and Hands to feet pose? Well you are supposed to be bend in half, with no air coming through. Just like this sandwich!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Locust pose - Salabhasana

Initially you might be silently weeping in Locust Pose but relax, after a few weeks of practice, the wrists, elbows and shoulders start to cooperate. Then you’ll see how this pose targets the upper back.

Lying on the belly with the chin forward on the towel, lift the hips, turn the arms in and pin them underneath the body. Keep the palms flat on the floor so close that eventually the baby fingers touch. Help maneuver the arms underneath the body by lifting one hip at a time and rolling to the side.

Without lifting the hips, raise the right leg straight up to 45-degrees, and keep the left leg relaxed on the floor. Just keep the muscles in the right leg tight, point the toes and lock the knee.
Keep both hipbones touching the forearms, making sure the right hip is not twisting out. Keep s-t-r-e-t-c-h-I-n-g the right leg back and hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat left leg.

Time for both legs!
To protect the neck, the head must tilt down, chin in, and mouth on the towel. The arms stay underneath the body and the legs are super straight with pointed toes and locked knees. From here, lift both legs up off the floor, keep breathing, and hold for 10 seconds.

Strive to get both legs and the hips lifted off the floor all the way to the belly button. Use every ounce of strength in the legs and abdomen, and be patient.

Lower both legs without collapsing, turn to one side, Savasana.

  • Erector Spinae
  • Trapezius Muscles
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Abdomen
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Pelvic Floor
  • Hips
  • Buttocks

  • Elbow Joint
  • Upper Back

  • Digestive System
  • Reproductive System
  • Liver
  • Spleen

  • Effective in helping conditions of slipped disc and sciatica
  • Firms buttocks and hips
  • Increases spinal strength, flexibility and circulation
  • Improves flexibility and tone of spinal muscles
  • Helps relieve and prevent backache
  • Helps cure or relieve lumbago, rheumatism and arthritis
  • Relieves menstrual problems
  • Helps cure loss of appetite
  • Helps with tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis in the wrists and hands
  • Improves sluggish digestion
  • Increases abdominal pressure and regulates intestinal function
  • Helps correct bad posture
  • Relieves cervical spondylosis and back pain
  • Encourages concentration and perseverance

Friday, 16 March 2012

Student Profile - Annika Gofton

Tell us about your first Bikram Yoga class … when did you go and why?
My very first class was in September 2009. My husband went there first and recommended I check it out.  It was hot, but in some reason I had no trouble doing the poses. I actually thought I do them perfectly. Silly me – as time went on, the learning process started about how to do the poses correctly.  In my 10 day trial package I managed to get 6 classes in. I loved it from the beginning!

How often do you practice these days?
When I first started practicing I was doing 3-4 times a week.  It all changed with a challenge in 2010 April. We were all doing a 30 day challenge (yoga every day for 30 days). Then I continued to do 60 in a row, which turned into a 100 day challenge. That literally changed my life!!!

What are some of the most important benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga? Has it helped to improve your life in any way?
The most important benefits for me are emotional ones. I am born and raised in a country named Estonia and living in Canada since 2007 made me home-sick a lot. Bikram yoga helped me to deal with it and made me look at life in a different angle. I used to have many mood changes too – they disappeared.  As for physical benefits – there is so many – deep sleeps, don’ t feel my knee injury anymore, quick metabolism, better digestion, fit body and the list goes on and on!

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?
The most challenging part is to just listen to the dialogue and avoid things going on in everyday life.  Often different thoughts sneak their way into my head. I am so looking forward only having classes where nothing bothers me and I am fully meditating!

What’s your current favorite posture?
I love the cobra pose as I can see it progressing. All the back bends feel great also. I mostly like all the postures J

What is your most dreaded posture?
They say that the posture you dislike the most, is the one your body needs. For me was the locust pose, where you lift your both legs up. I disliked it so much, that I often avoided it. But once I had a teacher taking photos of my poses, I could see how high up I go. I had no idea I went so high, so I started to love that one and push even harder.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions for 2012?
Since I found out I am pregnant I haven’t come much, as I work a lot and in the evenings I was just totally wiped from work. Now I am at my second trimester and I have more energy. I am hoping to come 2 or 3 times a week!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Monday, 12 March 2012

Cobra pose - Bhujangasana

It’s a short posture, right at the start of the spine-strengthening series, but it’s a blockbuster: aimed at the often-troublesome lower back. Strengthening those muscles helps not only with back pain, but reinvigorating the nervous system and the organs of the lower body.
Cobra pose triggers the lower back, helping with various spinal conditions. Cobra creates an intense massage of the abdomen which helps digestive function and prevents and helps to cure digestive ailments. The pelvic floor is activated in this posture helping with menstrual problems, fertility and the function of reproductive organs.


  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Erector Spinae
  • Trapezius
  • Gluteal muscles
  • Abdomen
  • Thighs
  • Deltoids
  • Biceps


  • Hip joints
  • Shoulders
  • Heart and lungs


  • Spinous process
  • Kidneys and renal system
  • Digestive organs
  • Reproductive organs


  • Relieves back pain
  • Increases spinal strength and flexibility
  • Improves the function of the large and small intestines, liver, kidney and spleen
  • Improves pigeon chest by opening the rib cage
  • Permits maximum expansion of the lungs increasing oxygen intake, therapeutic for asthma
  • Improves digestion and elimination
  • Improves function of reproductive organs
  • Helps relieve lumbago, rheumatism and arthritis of the spine
  • Reduces symptoms of gout, herniated disc, sciatica, tennis elbow
  • Helps relieve menstrual problems
  • Strengthens the immune system and revitalizes the thyroid
  • Soothes sciatica
  • Looking up tones the optic nerve, improving vision
  • Helps to regulate blood pressure through compression of the kidneys and renal system

Friday, 9 March 2012

Student Profile - Terri O.

Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class …

When was it and why did you go?  My first class was 7 months ago in Ithaca, NY.  My good friend convinced me to give it a try as she had been practicing for several years and found it to be a great way to de-stress and stay in shape. She warned me that I was probably going to feel “awful” during my first class, but that I had to come back and try it again before I made up my mind. And I did…feel awful…until afterwards.  I went back twice in the next 3 days and was hooked!

How soon did you come back for your second class?
(see above)

What are some of the benefits you receive from Bikram Yoga?
The biggest benefits I gain from practicing Bikram Yoga are an increase in my flexibility, improved posture, and reduced stress levels. Decreasing my stress levels and correcting my posture helps reduce my tension headaches!  Practicing Bikram Yoga also forced me to become much more aware of my diet and I have since changed to eating much lighter (and healthier!) fare.

What keeps you coming back for more?
Outside of the studio, I am constantly pulled in 10 directions at once. My mind is racing in overdrive for most of the day. In the studio, I can focus intensely on my breathing and my postures and let everything else go. For me, Bikram Yoga is a means to take 90 minutes out of my day to not think about anything else except the very thing that I am doing at that moment in time. 

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?
The biggest challenge that I came across, particularly when I first started, was figuring out how much I should eat before class. Initially, even a small lunch before an evening class would leave me feeling ill for most of class. Then, it came to a point where I realized that I wasn’t eating enough before class and I would be light headed by the third pose.  Even now, my food intake really affects how I feel during class.

What’s your favorite posture? 
Standing Bow Pulling. I saw my friend do this pose seemingly perfectly during that first class she took me too.  There was just something graceful about the posture and it stuck with me.  It has always been my favorite.

 Your most dreaded posture?
Triangle. My arms are just SO tired by then!

Any New Year's resolutions for 2012?
 Get to the studio!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Great Deal on a Used Yoga Mat!

Need a new yoga mat? Consider buying from this guy who spent $89.74 for a brand new yoga mat and one class in a hot room, he only wants $1 and your sympathy I think!

Yoga mat for sale. Used once. - $1 (Bellevue)

Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows: 

Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself. 

Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date. 

I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her. 

The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancĂ©e may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning. 

Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don't exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us. 
Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Sit up

The sit-up serves to invigorate the body in between poses. A quick stretch to the hamstrings, it helps to prepare and open the lower back and legs for the final stretching pose at the end of class. More importantly the double-exhale helps to release toxins from the lungs helping to energize the body in between the poses.


  • Abdomen


  • Hamstrings
  • Calf muscles
  • Achilles tendons


  • Diaphragm


  • Double breath exhale helps to eliminate toxins from the lungs. 
  • Strengthens and tones the abdomen
  • Open mouth exhalation stimulates diaphragm and eliminates toxins from the lungs
  • Re-aligns spine in preparation for a new posture
  • Increases strength of lower spine
  • Strong exhale also increases energy levels

Friday, 2 March 2012

Student Profile - Anna H.

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

My first Bikram Yoga class was actually in 2009 in Kingston, ON. I was in my first year at Queen’s University and I had heard about the benefits of “hot yoga” and, since I’m the least flexible person around, I knew it would be a challenge and wanted to try it out.

How soon did you come back for your second class?

I went again two days later but after that, it was a year before I ever went back and began practicing in Guelph regularly.

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

There are so many benefits to be had from regularly practicing Bikram Yoga. It really is unique for each person though, I think. I have a definite increase in my flexibility, a stronger body, and a stronger mind. My most appreciated benefit is improved breathing. I’ve found that in practicing Bikram Yoga regularly I’ve learned to regulate my breath. This is substantial for me because I struggled with anxiety and lightheadedness prior to beginning and I’ve found myself able to breathe deep and remain calm through stressful situations – a skill which I attribute to Bikram Yoga. Another benefit that is very important to me is its positive effect on my mental health. Having struggled with depression, Bikram Yoga is an important part of my lifestyle that helps calm my mind.

What keeps you coming back for more?

To be honest what keeps me coming back for more is what repelled me in the first place! My first Bikram Yoga class blew my MIND. I had never experienced such a challenging, exhausting workout!!! I had fancied myself a pretty athletic girl leading up to it and it completely kicked my BUTT!! I had so much respect for people who actually went on a regular basis. I loved and hated the fact that it was so difficult for me – I wanted to work up to being able to come often. Even if you’re repelled at first, I would strongly recommend you give yourself a month of coming at least twice a week before you write it off because with each class, you get stronger!

What do you find most challenging about practicing Bikram Yoga?

I think for me the poses themselves are definitely a challenge since I have terrible natural flexibility – it really takes me a long time to improve in my postures. It’s challenging but its also such an excellent environment to improve in because there is no judgment and everyone is at different points in their practice – it doesn’t matter if you can’t do all of the postures well as long as you’re trying your best.

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

My favourite and least favourite postures are always changing. For the longest time my most dreaded posture was the Locust pose, but recently my back has become strong enough that I don’t feel like I’m dying when I’m doing it. So now Head to Knee is my most dreaded because I’m still really bad at it. But! I know that one day I’m going to have a break through class and be able to finally lock my knee! My favourite posture is savasana because I love focusing on my deep breathing and trying to relax as efficiently as I can.

Any New Year's resolutions for 2012?

To continue to work on a well-rounded and healthy life!