bikram paradise valley

Bikram Yoga Az's Rev-Up Workshop: Let Nothing Steal Your Peace Away

By Nicole Deacon

My favorite season is the fall. I love when the leaves turn colors (sometimes have to travel to see it) and the weather starts to get the way I like it! It becomes perfect for nights on the patio, afternoon bike rides, and hiking. Summer ends…fall begins… and then we do it again the next year. We accept that there are seasons in the weather…but there are also seasons in our life. Everything has an ebb and a flow. In some ways both are similar to transitioning from one yoga pose to another. We all have moments of joy and clarity and moments of sorrow and fear.   We have new love come into our lives and loved ones we cherish leave our lives. This is life…seasons.

Bikram Yoga helps us to stay calm, peaceful, and joyful no matter what season of life we are in. It is easy to be peaceful in a happy situation… yoga practice teaches us to remain calm among the storms of our life as one stays composed during a yoga pose. We start to accept things as they are, instead of as we wish them to be.   We learn to control and direct our minds to create the experiences we want. Consistent yoga practice disciplines us to balance how things are and how we want them to be. We do not always have control over the events that happen to us (the weather, parents passing, wars, traffic, etc) but we do have control over how we experience them. We can train our mind to find the value, and to appreciate each moment that comes to us for what it is.  If we can remember Rollo May:

“Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between the stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight. The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness. “

Yoga class is ultimately about self-awareness and self-realization. Bikram yoga helps us to be conscious of our breathing and more aware of ourselves. Yoga poses challenge us… in a hot, stinky, difficult position… can you breathe? can you find peace… and can you find joy?

It is through continued yoga practice; putting ourselves in a challenging environment that we get better and better at finding peace no matter what is happening around us. Through yoga, we eventually reach that point of bliss where nothing…no one… can steal our peace away.

5 Ways Bikram Yoga Can Change Your World

By Nicole Deacon

Our new tag line at Bikram Yoga AZ is CHANGE YOUR WORLD! We believe in Gandhi's message… "be the change you wish to see." When you make changes in your life there is a ripple effect that goes out. You feel better, you treat people better, they feel better, they treat people better and on and on this cycle goes. There are so many things that go on that we have no control over, but we do have control over ourselves. As we change… the whole world can start to change.

Here are 5 ways that doing this yoga can CHANGE YOUR WORLD:

5. Meet Great People... You may even fall in love! -- There is an amazing community of people who do this yoga. By practicing and being around the studios you meet a variety of different people who are absolutely inspiring and incredible to be around. You meet people from all over the world and from all walks of life. We've had more than a couple of weddings happen from yoga studio romance. Maybe you are next. :)

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4. Do the things you love!  -- Whether you love sewing, rugby, running or tennis... this yoga allows you to do the things that can be hard on your body.  We recently had someone with such bad arthritis they couldn't do the thing they loved, sewing... but after just one class could do the thing they loved again!  We have many athletes from all sports that can continue doing the thing they love even though it is hard on their body.  What do you love to do?  This yoga can keep you doing it even in to old old age!

3. Live Forever -- okay, okay not forever. But when you practice yoga, you keep your body young. You heal old injuries, prevent diseases, gain strength, become more flexible, have less stress, and overall just feel better. Click here for the article on how this yoga is the fountain of youth!

2. Belief in your self also known as Self-Confidence -- you lose weight, tone up and start to feel great! But even beyond that… this yoga is challenging and the more you do it, the more you feel like you can do anything. By overcoming the challenges in the hot room you realize how much you can do on and off the mat.

1. Peace -- When you practice yoga you start to develop a relationship with your self. You develop the power to connect within and external circumstances don't bother you as much. You can be in any situation, around any person, and nothing can steal your peace away from you. How can we have a more peaceful world? It starts with us. We start with peace in our own heart and in our soul.

Has Bikram Yoga changed your world? Leave a comment and tell us how! We would love to know your story. :)

Student Spotlight: Lynn

By Lynn Jacobsen

I have been practicing yoga in some form on and off since 1997. I started with Iyengar and changed to Hatha when I moved to Phoenix. As I got a "little" older, I found myself sitting out longer and longer portions of class as others were doing head stands and poses I was not comfortable attempting due to neck and frozen shoulder issues. (Yes, those early sports injuries may come back to haunt you some day and I had promised my orthopedic surgeon I would not do any more head stands after a not so beautiful attempt resulted in compressing some discs in my neck.) I quit yoga altogether for a year or so. Then about seven years ago a friend convinced me to go to a Bikram class with her. At first I was going once a week, which felt like the first time every time. Then I decided I should go twice a week and now I feel like a slacker if I don't go at least four or five times a week.

Lynn
Lynn

The 26 poses, not particularly easy for someone who has hip flexors and hamstrings made of steel, do not jar me nor do they put unnecessary pressure on my neck and spine. When I miss class for more than three or four days, my muscles get cranky and rebellious. As someone who grew up in the Twiggy era (google her if you are under oh, say, 55 or so) when girls wanted to resemble slouchy models devoid of all muscle tone and who basically looked unhealthy, the stretching and muscle and core strengthening from Bikram yoga has helped me become more aware of and improve my posture. The balancing series also is so important as we get older. People much younger than I am have been amazed I can stand on one foot to put on socks! Imagine if they saw an entire class doing the balancing series!

That being said, one of my favorite poses is my own pre-class savasana. I love to get to class about 10 or 15 minutes early to just lie in the warm room with no demands on my time and no one able to reach me. This small bit of the day that is mine alone is how I trick myself into getting to class. Since I'm basically lazy, if I let myself think of the exertion I'm going to expend or how sweaty I'm going to get in the next 90 minutes or that I'm going to have to do my hair AGAIN, I would talk myself out of coming more often than not.

I also have a couple of postures I like even though they require movement. I love half tortoise just because it is the most exquisite stretch through the arms, shoulders and spine. Call me crazy, but I really like camel, too. The back bend feels so good and the release of the muscles after makes me feel alive. I also like triangle and I am determined that someday it will eventually open up my hips.

I've had two injuries that Bikram yoga has helped. The first one is a frozen shoulder from a skiing injury. When I first started yoga, my arm literally would freeze in place during certain poses. Somehow over time it just quit happening. I still have the frozen shoulder but it is much more manageable than it has been in 25 years. My other injury happened about a year and a half ago when I developed two bulging discs in my lower spine. The hardest part of the injury and recovery was not being able to come to yoga for almost a year. I finally couldn't stay away. No one can say how I hurt myself, but as a result I am much more aware of the dialogue and setting up the poses to avoid hurting myself again. I have to be really careful of the forward bends but other than that, I am close to doing a fairly decent version of most poses again.

My advice to new students is when they say come back tomorrow, come back tomorrow. Don't wait a week like I did. You have a superb built-in support group in your fellow yogis and you'll get used to the heat. And don't eat a hamburger and fries an hour before class! That, you will regret.

My favorite quote is: "Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one." -Dr. Suess

Yoga on My Wedding Day

By Niki Fillmore

Our wedding day was one filled with love, joy, laughter, and yoga. That's right, yoga. After all, that is how Nate and I met! (I taught Nate's first class years ago). My bridesmaids and I started the day off by doing a yoga session together in a basement conference room at the hotel. (We let ourselves in!)

This yoga theme continued as our family and friends performed our ceremony and referenced yoga numerous times. And then Nate did it... he said "Lock the Knee"… during his vows. It was awesome. It even made our wedding highlight trailer! 

Top 5 Reasons NOT to Use Lotion Before Yoga

This week we hear from longtime Bikram Yoga AZ teacher and practitioner, Erin Hanson. She has some expert advice about why lotion and Bikram Yoga do not mix. 

1. It's hard to hold the grip in postures when your hands are sweaty AND greasy.

2. Not everyone likes your favorite scented lotion.

3. If it's on your face, it will sweat into your eyes and it will burn!

4. You will sweat it all onto your towel. Then you'll have to lie down in it.

5. You will have a hard time opening your water bottle with slick hands and you will be an unhappy yogi without your water.

Save the lotion for after class!!