yoga for healthy body

Five Keys to Improve Your Practice

By Stephen Rumpp


 - 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!


- 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)!


 - 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!


- 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


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.

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.

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.


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

Breath: The Essence of Life & the Foundation of Yoga

By NikkiStarr Yoga is the union between the body and the mind, connected through the breath. Breathing is the most fundamental technique of Yoga. It is the essence of life. Without breath, neither exists. The first thing we do when we enter into this planet is to take our first independent breath. The last thing we do when we leave our physical bodies is to exhale out our entire existence in that one final breath. Deepak Chopra explains that:


“You inhale for the first time shortly after your umbilical cord is cut. From that moment on youtake approximately seventeen thousand breaths each day, which over a lifetime totals about500 million breaths. In your final moments on this planet, you exhale for the last time; thatbreath defines the end of your life. Your breathing supports every experience you have from thetime of your first inhalation to that of your last exhalation. Breath is life” (Chopra, Deepak TheSeven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit, 99).

Think about it, approximately seventeen thousand breaths each day!! Incredible! Accordingly, it is appropriate and fundamental that each of our yoga classes begins with Pranayama Deep Breathing and ends with Kapalabhati Breathing.  Pranayama warms up the body from the inside out. It is good for the lungs and the respiratory system. Additionally, Pranayama exercises our nervous and circulatory systems. It is relaxing and grounding. Pranayama roots us in our practice, in our bodies.  Kapalabhati in Vajrasana (Blowing in Firm Pose) is detoxifying and energizing. It is good for the abdominal muscles and internal organs because it improves oxygenation of the body and increases circulation. Kapalabhati is good for the heart, high blood pressure, and respiration.

Breathing connects our minds to our bodies. It is the only autonomic function that we have conscious control over. While we hold our breath in our consciousness, we have the power to change it, to regulate it; thereby, regulating our bodies. Our involuntary nervous system functions resume control when we surrender the conscious control of our breath. The reality that we have the ability to control part of our autonomic nervous system is empowering. Because we can consciously choose to put our attention on our breath, we have the ability to give ourselves widespread health benefits, which is beautiful. We are so lucky! Through conscious breathing, we can relax our bodies and our minds. Additionally, alleviating high blood pressure, irritability, and insomnia. We can detoxify and revitalize our whole body! This humble piece is but a small acknowledgement and reminder that Conscious Breathings is, in line with Chopra, the “key to a healthy, vibrant life” (100).

We each hold our own key! We have the power to unlock our own health, happiness, and vitality. Exhale out what does not serve you and live the life you Love!

Not All Salt is Created Equal

By Lana May Many doctors agree: pure minerals and salt are essential for health. Salt often gets maligned in the media, but the truth is salt and minerals are essential for our bodies to function properly. Salt is the main component of the body's extra-cellular fluids, and helps carry nutrients into the cells. Sodium helps regulate other body functions, such as blood pressure, helping to keep our blood pressure normal. But quite simply, not all sources of sodium and salt are the same.

When it comes to the power of natural salt, nothing compares to Himalayan crystal salt.

100% natural, Himalayan pink salt is one of the purest salts available on earth. It is the oldest, healthiest, and most delicious salt in the world.

Himalayan crystal salt is far superior to traditional iodized salt which is extremely toxic. Himalayan salt is millions of years old. It is a pure form of salt, untouched by many of the toxins and pollutants that pervade other forms of ocean salt.

Himalayan crystal salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body; and they  are in an ionic form (see the impressive list of elements below). It is therefore more easily absorbable and much more use-able by our bodies than any sea salt. However, not all of the ingredients in Himalayan salt are technically minerals; some, such as hydrogen and oxygen, are elements but not minerals. Spectral analyses done on Himalayan salt show that it contains both macrominerals, such as calcium and chloride, as well as trace minerals including iron and zinc. The pink in Himalayan salt comes from iron oxides.

This crystal form of salt has also been maturing over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure, creating an environment of zero exposure to toxins and impurities.

What is more, this salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy. Its minerals exist in a colloidal form, meaning that they are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb them.

The health benefits of using natural Himalayan crystal salt may include:

  • Controlling the water levels within the body, regulating them for proper functioning
  • Promoting stable pH balance in the cells, including the brain
  • Encouraging excellent blood sugar health
  • Aiding in reducing the common signs of aging
  • Promoting cellular hydroelectric energy creation
  • Promoting the increased absorption capacities of food elements within the intestinal tract
  • Aiding vascular health
  • Supporting healthy respiratory function
  • Lowering incidence of sinus problems, and promoting over-all sinus health
  • Reducing muscle cramps
  • Increasing bone strength
  • Naturally promoting healthy sleep patterns
  • Creating a healthy libido
  • In combination with water, it is necessary for blood pressure regulation
  • Prevents cellulite, when compared to table salt
  • Reduces chances of developing rheumatism, arthritis and gout, and improves joint movement when compared to common chemically treated salt
  • Reduces chances of developing kidney and gall bladder stones when compared to common chemically treated salt
  • More regular bowel movements
  • Increased energy, and better sleeping
  • Reduced duration of colds and flu
  • Adds delicious flavor in cooking: coating nuts, snacks, chips, popcorn, beverage applications, cooking, grilling, salt shakers, drink rimmer, roasting, seasoning, spice rubs
  • As a bath salt, Himalayan salt has long been praised for its healing benefits; and is known for stimulating circulation, soothing sore muscles, helping to reduce acid reflux, lowering blood pressure, and removing toxins

Table Salt & Sea Salt

Many people are unaware that common table salt is actually full of many forms of chemicals and even sugar! Salt, while necessary for life as we know it, can be dangerous if taken in this chemical form. Commonly sold table salt is composed of 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals like iodine and absorbents, and sugar. Common salt is also dried at more than 1,200° Fahrenheit, a process which zaps many of the natural chemical structures of naturally occurring salt.

Many people believe sea salt is a healthy alternative to table salt, but this is no longer the case. The oceans are being used as dumping grounds for harmful toxic poisons like mercury, PCB's and dioxin. Reports of oil spills polluting the sea are becoming more frequent. With some 89% of all the sea salt producers now refining their salt, today's sea salt simply isn't as healthy as it used to be.

Sea salt may dehydrate the body whereas Himalayan salt actually hydrates our tissue! Himalayan salt and water will help detoxify the body and balance the body’s pH. Sea salt is difficult to digest and assimilate for our bodies because it is not at the organic mineral electrolyte size which is immediately usable in our blood and cells. No digestion is required for Himalayan salt. It is therefore immediately available for use throughout the body shortly after drinking some dissolved in water – unlike sea salt! .

Why Minerals are Important

Minerals are the foundational nutrient for the entire body. Every process in the body requires minerals and enzymes. Studies have shown that everyone with a disease has at least one major mineral deficiency. Mineral deficiencies are also present with those dying of natural causes. Organic minerals at a molecular level are also referred to as electrolytes.

Know this – organic ionic salt as electrolyte minerals is required as the foundational building material for everything in our bodies. All enzymes and protein production in our bodies depend upon minerals. Cellular hydration and the elimination of cellular acid wastes of metabolism depends totally upon electrolyte minerals! Add a pinch to your water throughout the day. If you focus on ‘how you feel’, then your body will cue you to give it more or less salt – depending upon what your body requires.

Use of salt is a very inexpensive, safe and homeopathic method for getting the necessary minerals and electrolytes our bodies need. You can make salt water, so replenishing our bodies with pure, unrefined, ionic and colloidal natural salt and clean water is essential to our overall well-being. This natural remedy is beneficial for adults, children and pets.

Learn more about or purchase Himalayan Pink Salt in the boutique at Bikram Yoga Paradise Valley!

List of Elements Found Naturally in Himalayan Pink Salt