Student Spotlight: Christina

25 Jun

Our June Student of the Month is Christina Mackenzie, also known as C-Mack! She is a smiling, happy face around both studios and we love her story about her first class experience! “A friend introduced me to the yoga. Like most people, I hated my first class. I went up to the front desk immediately afterwards and asked if they offered a non-heated yoga class, or one that did not last 90 minutes. Receiving a “no” answer to both questions, I was frustrated because I had already purchased a 30-day package. I walked to the grocery store next door and bought a ginormous bag of gummy bears.  I sat in front of the store in my sweat-drenched clothes and ate the whole thing. About mid-bag I started to notice how amazing I felt, and I knew it wasn’t because of the gummy bears. I went back a few days later and have been hooked ever since.”C-Mack

She has been consistently practicing 5-7 days a week since completing the 60-day challenge in February of 2012. “It’s the only exercise I’ve been able to stay consistent with. I’ve done spin, pilates, boot camp, and just about every fitness “groupon” deal out there. Every Bikram class is a great workout, but there are so many other benefits too. Every aspect of my life has improved since I started practicing Bikram Yoga. For one, my diet has improved. No longer do I binge on bags of candy and overall my appetite is more controlled. I choose healthier foods. I lost 25 pounds after doing the 60-day challenge in 2012 and have kept it off. I am never sick and generally feel good all of the time. I can’t remember the last time I had a cold or the flu. Even a headache is rare for me. I was always worried about my weight, diet and exercise. I was constantly thinking, ‘I shouldn’t have eaten that’ or ‘I need to go to the gym.’ The yoga has established routine and order in my life. I don’t really worry about those things anymore. I just go to yoga every day.”

Christina’s favorite posture is Standing Head to Knee!! “When I first started, I could barely hold my foot and never dreamed I’d be able to “kick out.” Now I can kick out and touch my forehead to my knee…and sometimes even hold it there for more than a few seconds! I am constantly working to improve this and every other posture.” While she is improving her postures, she has also noticed some more mental and emotional benefits from the practice. “I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve never had any injuries. However, I suffered from anxiety and mild depression in the past and was on medication for several years. Since practicing Bikram Yoga regularly, I no longer need any medication. I am naturally more relaxed, calm and happy.”

Her advice for new students: Give the yoga a chance. Eventually you will forget about the heat, and maybe even start to like it. You will get better at the postures and experience so many benefits doing it! Bikram Yoga really will “change your world.

Top 5 Thoughts That Pop Into My Head During Class.

1 – He (she) is holding triangle way too long.

2 – Please turn the fan on.

3 – No, don’t turn the fan off!

4 – Is she walking towards the door?  Is she opening the door? YES!

5 – (At the end of class) Man, that was awesome. I love this yoga!

Top 5 Herbs to Support Bikram Yoga Practice

11 Jun

Processed with MoldivBy Nikki Starr, aka “Starr”

These are my top 5 herbs to support my Bikram Yoga practice. When I use them, I use them consistently for a period of time in order to supplement my practice; however, I do not use them on a constant, month-to-month basis (except for Coconut Oil, which I do use everyday, often a few times a day for skincare, haircare, and also for cooking). I cycle them in and out of my routine depending on where my body is at and what it needs.

Before Class:

Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), or “Indian Ginseng” is one of the world’s most potent adaptogens
  • Helps the body adapt to and increase resistance to physiological and psychological stress
  • Powerful rejuvenative, promoting strength and vitality
  • Ashwagandha can be both calming and energizing, depending on your body’s needs
  • Normalizes Energy & Mood, relaxing the mind and rejuvenating the body
  • Helps repair depleted adrenal glands (damaged by coffee, alcohol, nicotine, stress, etc.)
  • Promotes healthy Immune system & Stress Response
  • The literal translation of Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means “One who possesses the strength of a horse”

Rhodiola Rosea Extract

  •  Helps people deal with physical stresses.
  • Rhodiola appears to augment physical and mental work aptitude and productivity.
  • It strengthens the nervous system, immunity, exercise capacity, energy levels, memorization, mood, and may even lengthen lifespan.

Tumeric

  • Antioxidant activity in Curcumin defends against free radicals
  • Natural inflammation response, promoting healthy joint movement
  • Curcuminoids and Turmerones assist in defending against free radicals
  • Maintains healthy, younger looking skin
  • Supports cardiovascular and liver health
  • Cleanses the blood, strengthens digestion, and eliminates toxins

 Triphala

  • Supports healthy weight loss
  • Nature’s best detox and purifier
  • Triphala helps maintain a healthy digestive tract
  • Powerful herbal antioxidant – Rich in natural Vitamin C
  • Improves digestion, elimination and assimilation of nutrients
  • Cleanses, nourishes, and strengthens the entire body
  • Balance and tone all systems
  • Tri-Doshic – good for all bodily constitutions
  • Considered one of the most important of all herbal formulations in the Ayurvedic system of health

After Class:

 Non-GMO Cold-pressed Coconut Oil

  • 100% Certified Organic, Cold-pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Natural Source of Energy
  • Excellent skin moisturizer
  • Stable & Healthy Saturated Fat
  • A Deliciously Healthy Cooking Oil
  • Nature’s Ideal High Temperature Cooking Oil
  • Rich in Lauric Acid
  • Cruelty Free, Dairy, Gluten, Wheat & Soy Free

These may work for you or they may not. I do not take them all at the same time. I do not have any official herbal training (please consult your specialist to see if these are right for you). It is up to you to take from this list of supportive herbs what you will and try them as you wish. Enjoy!

“Life is Like Coffee” Movie

4 Jun

Do you know people that just seem to be happier in general? Do you say to yourself, “I want to be more like them”? Often, the happiest people in the world dont have the best of everything…they just make the best of everything!

Click the link below and enjoy this short video about how “Life is like Coffee”… and make the best of everything today!

Life is like Coffee Movie

3 Reasons to Stay for Savasana

29 Apr

From the Urban Yoga Blog, written by “Kim”

Savasana translates to corpse pose.  It is the final pose of a yoga practice. In savasana the body is still, the breath flows naturally, and if you’re lucky the mind becomes quiet and there is this essence of dropping into one’s self.

Savasana can be the most challenging part of a class. We are invited to just be, cultivating effortlessness and non-doing.  This can be tough for many of us, living in this multi-tasked, fast-paced lifestyle that has become the standard of normalcy in our country. Our minds and our bodies are not used to being quiet.

The good news is that we are already making an effort to create some sort of connection, just by walking through the doors of the studio and showing up to class. On the other hand, many of us feel like we don’t have time to do nothing for ten minutes, we just have too much to do. Coming from a self-titled savasana addict, here are some reasons to stay for savasana.

Savasan-ahhhhh

Savasan-ahhhhh

#1

Savasana is a crucial part of the practice.  It allows for the assimilation and integration of the “work” done throughout the practice.

Imagine your body is a garden.  Your asana coupled with mindful breathing is the planting of the seeds in your garden.  These seeds are powerful and potent.  They are the seeds of transformation.  They allow us to shift and transform our own energy, freeing ourselves from illusion, learned tendencies, and obstacles that may be hindering our personal growth.

Savasana is comparable to watering the seeds and giving them sunlight.  Savasana nourishes these precious seeds of transformation so that they take root and begin to grow and transform in your body on a cellular level.

Not a gardener?  Try this, your practice is equal to sitting at the computer and doing work, writing, emailing, designing, and/or researching, whatever your work is.  Savasana is comparable to saving your data.  You would never spend an hour doing work on the computer, then not save it, am I right?

#2

Savasana triggers the para-sympathetic nervous system, our rest and restore responses. Our heart rate slows and the breath becomes smooth and steady.  We are creating space for healing and deep relaxation from within.  The result of this is that we are better equipped to navigate through life off of the mat.  By allowing space for healing and rest with in ourselves, we are able to take care of our responsibilities off the mat from our overflow, not depleting ourselves energetically.  It takes about seven minutes to really settle in.  If you can, I suggest a good ten minutes at least, for an hour and fifteen minute practice.

#3

[As it says in the Yoga Sutras], Yogas chitta vritti nirodha, yoga is the stilling of the mind.  The physical practice of asana is meant to be a pre-cursor, a “warm-up” if you will, to prepare yourself for seated meditation.

We may get glimpses of this stilling through out our asana practice, small spaces between action, where the mind is calm, the body supported, and the breath steady.  However, we are consciously focused on breath and body.  There is still a sense of “doing”.

Savasana is an invitation to let go of all trying and doing; to be completely open to doing nothing.  We are invited to unplug from the busy monkey mind, and in turn, plug into the deep well of peace, support, and knowing that is essentially our true nature.

When this connection occurs, there is a sense of clarity and contentment.

For many of us, savasana may be the first time in our lives where we feel at peace, like we are welcoming ourselves back home.  This feeling, this connection, is often what sparks an interest in developing a deeper spiritual practice.  This starts with meditation, which leads to the stilling of the mind.  The more you meditate the easier it is to connect to that stillness when life gets crazy.  It’s kind of like muscle memory, but for the soul, you tap in and connect to source, to stillness, again and again, and over time that current of support and ease is more readily available.  This allows us to act from a place that resonates with our deepest longings and is in tune with our essential nature.  Life becomes enjoyable, not just manageable.

Savasana is truly a gift to give your self.  Every one deserves ten minutes a day to be still and connect to peace.  Every person I know could use a bit more not doing and just being in their life, (myself included).  The next time savasana rolls around, […] get comfy.  Your nervous system needs it, and you deserve it.  You may find that your perspective of savasana moves from “I don’t wannasana” to “so-awe-some-nah”.

 

Bikram Yoga on the Road

22 Apr

By Jessica Frent

image

Monday I flew to New York’s JFK airport, Tuesday I flew from New York to Chicago and Thursday back to Scottsdale. Each day I had the joy of practicing at a new studio, with instructors I hadn’t experienced before. Although it’s the same dialogue and postures, it’s never the same. I hear the dialogue differently each time, learn something new, and experience new challenges. If you’re like me and your work keeps you frequently away from home, you know how challenging it can be to maintain a regular practice. Travel time and meetings might leave little room in your schedule for a 90 minute class but I have found a little dedication and planning can help you keep up your practice when you’re traveling.

Whether you are traveling for work or on holiday most major cities across the globe offer Bikram Yoga and I make it a habit to always take a class after long flights to minimize jet lag. When you schedule your next trip, go to the Bikram Yoga class finder to find a studio near where you are staying.

Visiting Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona? We’d love to have you in our studios for your Bikram Yoga class “on the road”! We offer great drop-in rates, as well as an Out-of-Towner package (includes 5 consecutive days of yoga AND a mat and towel on each visit for just $50!). Click hereto see our locations and class times.

Five Keys to Improve Your Practice

8 Apr
By Stephen Rumpp
image-2
Determination – To start!  And if necessary, to start again!  To keep coming to class especially on those days you don’t want to!  To make up your mind to stay your course!  To let nothing get in your way.  To make room for your daily yoga practice!  To stay close!
 
Focus - To discover new edges in your practice!  To experience your improved ability to breathe while working hard!  To cultivate a tuned mind-body connection and improved alignment in your body!  To allow yourself to go places you did not think possible in your practice (and in your life)!
 
Patience – To stick to a plan!  To give your body time to transform!  To have bad days!  To have breakthrough days!  To work through injury and experience the healing!  To have your friends and family join you when they are ready!  To build a stronger foundation each time you practice!  To keep going no matter what!
 
Self Control – To manage your expectations and your thoughts!  To love yourself!  To surrender to life’s power!  To manage your response to things out of your control!  To avoid drama!  To make appropriate life choices!  To pause, breathe and then respond to upsets!  To surround yourself with people who lift you up!
 
Concentration – To try the right way!  To start again when things don’t go your way!  To breathe evenly!  To stay in the moment while practicing!  To connect with your compassion!  To make adjustments!  To know good pain from bad pain!  To Self Realize!
Never, Ever, Ever Give Up!!!!

Student Spotlight: Bob

2 Apr

I was having a conversation with a client and she mentioned Bikram Yoga, I had never heard of it before. Ironically, as I was driving home that day I noticed the Bikram sign when the studio was across the street. I stopped in to check it out and met my first instructor, Lora; the next day was my first class and I was hooked (Bob has been practicing Bikram Yoga for over 6 years now!). Before practicing Bikram Yoga I was involved with Martial Arts and Weight Training. It seemed I was always recovering from the sessions and occasionally in a healing mode.

thumbnail

Bikram Yoga is teaching me to work on realigning the balance between my body & mind, to apply the peace we learn during class in our daily lives. To –“ Let No One Steal your Peace”. The yoga has helped me through the expected and unexpected lows that life presents to all of us at one time or another. When I was 17 I was in a motorcycle accident. I dislocated my hip & shoulder. I have had chronic, neck & back issues since. I tried the chiropractor when I was younger, then went to Physical Therapy & different exercise programs. Bikram Yoga has helped me not only control the symptoms but also I see improved flexibility and mobility. I attended Nicole’s Boot Camp last fall and am working on my alignment for each posture; it’s amazing how the slightest change can have such a direct effect. I would say Balancing Stick is my favorite posture. I feel that’s the one out of 26 that I might actually be doing right – only 25 more to go.

My advice to new students is strive for consistency in your practice. I have to tell myself this one as well. I sometimes will do a challenge and end up then taking off several weeks. It’s like starting all over again. Learn to focus on yourself, it’s your practice, your time, let it happen. Also – Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – I have seen my life flash before my eyes several times on my mat over the years when I don’t pay attention to hydration.

I love Bikram Yoga for many reasons. The two that stand out are: The Teachers & The Studio. I have probably experienced close to 100 different BY instructor’s classes over the years. And while the 26 postures are a constant, it’s the individual teacher’s passion that makes each class unique. Through their own personality they are always encouraging you to do your best, pointing out subtle changes that will make a difference in your posture. They are the energy conduit that makes you want to practice to the best of your ability, to try to not only find your edge but to see what’s on the other side. I always share my BY experience whenever I can with other people. I let them know what an amazing collection of people practice Bikram Yoga. People from all walks of life sharing and experiencing a common goal together. It’s a cross-section of the world in many ways. It’s the realization that thousands of people are doing the same thing, for the same reason, every day.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,268 other followers

%d bloggers like this: