Q: How should I prepare?
A: Come with an open mind, open ears, an empty stomach and be well hydrated.
Bring a mat and 2 towels, a bottle of water (no plastic please) and a change of clothes.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear clothes you feel comfortable in and be prepared to sweat a lot. Men generally wear shorts; women leggings/shorts and vest/sports bra.
Q: What if I am not flexible?
A: Practice regularly and you will become so. Just start with 1% of the postures.
Q: What should I do in the Yoga room?
A: As a beginner (until you are comfortable with the alignments and set up of the postures, and have adjusted to being in the heat) set up your mat and towel towards the back of the room (away from the mirrors) so you have a visual of people in front to guide you. Stagger your mat so that everyone has a view in the mirror.
Focus on breathing calmly in and out of your nose, listen to the instructions your teacher gives and they will guide your body safely throughout. Take care of yourself, take it easy at first and take breaks when you need to.
Please always be respectful of others around you.
Q: Why the heat?
A: Recreating the climate where Yoga originated, easing flexibility, breathing and sweating. The heat helps to detoxify your body safely. Blood thins to help clear the circulatory system and your muscles are protected for deeper safer, therapeutic stretching (see Benefits).
Q: Is the heat safe?
A: It is very safe. However, it is important you take responsibility for your own safety and wellbeing. Stay well hydrated. Always keep your teacher informed of any medical conditions, ailments or injuries. Listen to the instructions your teacher gives in class, listen to your body and your breathing, and take it easy when you need to.
Q: Can I practice when injured?
A: Please do. Bikram Yoga is a powerful series proven to heal old injuries, prevent new ones and rapidly reduce recovery time of current ones.
Always tell your teacher what has happened and they will advise on any modifications (which are rare). Practicing the series the right way will give you the opportunity to heal yourself. Listen to your body. Start with 1% of a posture if you can, and listen to the words and breath, if your body can go further you will. Never go into pain, but try to find the place just before it, as this is often where the injury or blockage is.
If you cannot do 1% of a posture without pain or discomfort, simply miss that one and take a rest. NOTE: Please do not take pain killers before class, this is necessary to guide the depth and safety of your practice.
It is one of the true frustrations of a passionate Bikram teacher; when a student comes back after weeks away due to injury. With practice taken as a prescription and restoratively, the recovery time could have been greatly reduced. I hope many people read this, trust a little and try for themselves.
Q: Why can't we talk in the Yoga room?
A: Allowing students the time to mediate, and or just be still and quiet, before and after class. The room is a sanctuary, so please talk and socialise in the lobby.
Q: Some of the teachers are very strict, why the discipline?
For everyones safety when practicing. Bikram teachers are often guiding many people, at the same time, to do the same postures each to their own best ability. The dialogue and the discipline ensures students are moving together and safely, step by step into the asana. This allows your teachers eye and words to go where needed in the room. It allows you to listen to your body and know when you have reached your limit in a posture.
Meditation. Bikram Yoga is an open eyed moving meditation. The words guide your body, not your self, so when you are in the room you do not need to use your brain at all. Just listen, let the words guide you, and your body will process what it can, and can not, do. Discipline greatly enhances meditation, minimising all distractions between you and your practice.
Many people practicing together in this way, inevitably brings all energy to a higher vibration. Everybody (not just the people in the room) benefits. I do not know a word in the English language to perfectly describe this. When you feel it you will know.
Q: Why do I have to be still in between postures?
Stillness creates discipline (see above) and calm within us. This calm helps so you don't lose control of your mind and panic when practicing in the heat and with the intensity of a Bikram class. (Also helps us not to lose our head outside of yoga room i.e. if you can stay calm in a Bikram class you can handle anything ; ).
Stillness preserves and then maximises your energy for the Asanas themselves. Similar to switching a light off, then on again.
This series will work through every single part of your body. Choreographed compressing, stretching and releasing, systematically creates flushes through all your organs, joints, muscles and everything in between. A lot is happening inside your body in the stillness in between. Blood flow, nutrients, healing and energy are all moving to the areas where needed. Try not to interrupt this process by fidgeting, drinking or moving around. If you need a break, simply sit down (in the standing series, or lie down in the floor series), keep your eyes open, be still and breath. Trust at times like this your body knows what to do, far better than your head. Whatever is making you feel uncomfortable will pass, it will be temporary. It will pass much quicker with stillness.
Q: Can I drink water in class?
A: Yes of course. We will encourage you just to take sips to avoid nausea, and to drink in between postures to minimise distraction. It is more beneficial to hydrate well before and after class. The better hydrated you are, the more comfortable you will feel during class.
Q: All the sweat. Is it hygienic?
A: Yes. The floor of our Yoga room is covered in Flotex. A comfortable, non-absorbant, anti-microbially treated flooring, ideal for Bikram Yoga. It provides a safe, non-slip, hygienic, surface to practice upon. It has received the Allergy UK’s Seal of Approval due the fact that it does not harbour bacteria or dust mites and contributes to healthier indoor environments. It is wet vacuumed twice daily.
Classes are ventilated with regular air changes according to safety standards regarding space and capacity.
Our school is almost entirely furnished with non absorbent surfaces, and it is fully cleaned twice daily by our Karma Yoga team (your fellow Yogis).