bikram yoga phoenix

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.

Top 5 Herbs to Support Bikram Yoga Practice

By 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!

3 Reasons to Stay for Savasana

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.

#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

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By Jessica Frent

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 here to see our locations and class times.

Five Keys to Improve Your Practice

By Stephen Rumpp

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!!!!