Katie2Web

Student Story: Katie Wilt

Why did you start practicing Bikram yoga and how long have you been practicing?

I did a handful of classes a few years ago but came back to the practice in November 2014. As an avid runner, I was looking for ways to take care of and preserve my body so I could continue running in the most healthy manner possible.

Bikram also offered the challenge of practicing something that I was not an expert at with instructors who could help me improve my skill. It appealed to me that my mind and spirit would benefit as well, which is important to me.

How has your practice affected your life?

I am more flexible. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve when it comes to relaxing. I believe I walk a little taller; I haven’t measured myself, but perhaps more importantly, I feel taller.

What keeps you coming back for more?

Seeing progress is motivating! I value the practice of strength, concentration, and letting go. I find the work you do in class stays with your body and I love that feeling.

Do you have any advice/insight for new yogis?

They call it “practice” for a reason. Think of the teachers as coaches. They provide insight into things you can’t see or are not yet aware of in your body. Their voices serve as an anchor for your mind during class.

The teacher says, “Take the opportunity to focus your eyes on your own in the mirror.” Typically, when I look in a mirror it is in a more calm state for information and assurance. In this yoga, the mirror also can provide a source of power. It is not often we take the time to look directly at ourselves when our determination and concentration is so present on the surface and raw.

You are with people of different strengths and we are all doing the best we can and we do better together.

RunningYogisWeb

Running Yogis

Starting Thursday August 27th at 6 p.m. Bikram Yoga Park Slope will be hosting “Running Yogis,” a group of dedicated runners and yogis led by Bikram Yoga Park Slope instructor, Natalie Phelps. We will be meeting at the Lefferts Avenue studio at 6pm and running for about an hour around Prospect Park and the surrounding neighborhoods returning to the studio in time to take the 8pm class. Please come and join us regardless of your pace or running experience.

Why running and yoga?

Yoga is a wonderful activity to increase balance and flexibility for runners and help prevent injuries. While running is a great cardiovascular activity, it can lead to repetitive stress injuries (such as runners knee, IT band syndrome, tight hamstrings) if not properly balanced with strength and flexibility training. The repetitive movements of running contract the muscles over and over again which can result in shortened muscle fibers, imbalances in the musculoskeletal system, and reduced range of motion in related joints. A regular yoga practice can help runners create length in those shortened muscle fibers and increase strength in underused muscle groups that cause musculoskeletal imbalance.  Yoga can also reduce stiffness from post workout lactic acid buildup and improve breathing.

A little about Natalie

Natalie has been practicing at our studios since January 2012 and joined the Bikram Yoga Park Slope team this May after attending the Fall 2014 Teacher Training in Thailand and traveling as a visiting teacher for 6 months. She has taught in studios all over the world but is happy to be back at her home studio in Brooklyn.

Natalie has been an avid long distance runner since her teenage years on the track and cross-country teams. She has run 8 full marathons, at least 16 half marathons and countless shorter individual races and relays. Natalie tried Bikram Yoga for the first time after running her first marathon as a way to stretch and strengthen her muscles after pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles and was instantly hooked. She is currently training for the Detroit marathon and would love to share her running experiences with the yoga community.

Utkatasana

Here we go! The next in the line up of our postures we are releasing once a week in the Bikram series. Use these videos to support your practice when you find yourself away from your home studio and remember to send us a shot of you in your favorite pose @bikramyogaparkslope #itsmyhotasana

 

 

Here are some benefits to Utkatasana:
  • Relieves sciatica, arthritis, rheumatism and gout in the legs
  • Firms all muscles of the thighs, calves and hips
  • Creates traction in the spine, increases strength in the weight-bearing joints
  • Improves blood circulation in the knee and ankle joints
ScottWeb2

Student Story: Scott Smith

Why did you start practicing Bikram yoga and how long have you been practicing?

I began in January 2011 after starting an exciting (and high-stress) desk job in Philadelphia. I needed relief from the sedentary activity of desk jockeying all day, and there was a Bikram studio right around the corner from the office. The practice helped with physical, mental, and general well-being, and I loved the teachers.
How has your practice affected your life?

I have Increased energy, appetite, physical stamina, mental clarity, overall happiness … the full bag. I wish I could practice all the time!
What keeps you coming back for more?

This yoga makes me feel healthy, young, and vibrant. It impacts every other activity in my life in a positive way. I crave that burst of inspiration that I always get right after my yoga class.
Do you have any advice/insight for new yogis?

Just go, no excuses. Getting to the hot room is the hardest part. Everything falls into place once you practice regularly.

Pranayama: Standing Deep Breathing

This month we are releasing one posture per week to lead you through the 26 + 2 Bikram yoga series. We know many of you are away over the summer — we miss you over the holiday and look forward to seeing you when you are back! In the mean time, use these videos to support your practice when you find yourself away from your home studio.

Some benefits of Pranayama breathing:

  • Encourages mental relaxation
  • Supports good blood pressure and circulation
  • Improves conditions of the lungs – increasing lung capacity

We would love to hear what Pranayama does for you! Share with us on Facebook and Twitter.