yoga for hormones

December Student of the Month: Katie VanderVelde


Katie has just celebrated her 10-year anniversary of practicing Bikram yoga! She started her practice at a small studio in Lawrence, KS (the only studio in the whole state!) and it has traveled with her to all of the cities she has lived in since - San Francisco, Aspen, Kansas City, and now Phoenix for the past two years. Katie found Bikram Yoga when she was looking for an exercise where she could sweat and get a good workout in. She has since stuck with the practice because “I found something that taught me how to breathe, to cultivate peace of mind, and to let go just enough to unveil my own physical, mental, and spiritual potential,” she says.

Although she does enjoy other types of yoga and exercise classes, she has not found one that has made her feel quite like Bikram Yoga does. “The ‘feeling’ is hard to describe,” she says. She goes on to say, “I enjoy the sweat and the challenge, but I also love the hour and a half of silence. It's my meditation, exercise, detoxification, and therapy session all rolled into one - and there is no other way to get that all in 90 minutes!”

Katie has just recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Anna, on September 26th and practiced Bikram Yoga regularly (at least three times a week) throughout her entire pregnancy! She says, “Yoga helped me through all the aches and pains (both musculoskeletal and mental) from hormonal changes and a growing baby.”

Katie recently returned to Bikram yoga after taking two months off following the birth of her daughter. She says that her first class back after her birth was more challenging than her first ever Bikram yoga class stating, “my legs shook in every posture and my mind was racing the entire time... but as always, I left feeling better then I did before I got there!”

When asked what advice she would give to a new student, Katie says, “Follow the words. The words are designed for everyone. If you ever fall out of a posture or your mind falls off track, just listen and try to follow the words! You never know what your body is capable of.”

5 Benefits of Bikram Yoga:

5) You learn to love water - you will have a moment when you think "this water is the best tasting water I have ever had in my life!"

4) You don't get bothered by a little sweat (great benefit when you live in the desert)

3) Your muscles and joints are more mobile... and you can do more of the other things you love like hiking, running, biking, etc.

2) You learn to love yourself... when you spend 90 minutes staring at yourself in a mirror.

1) People want to be around you (after class). You always leave the room a better person, calmer with a clearer mind.

From the Hot Room to the Bedroom …

By P.J. Stuart

Va-va voom!

Nothing fuels your body quite like Bikram Yoga does. Know what I mean?

It’s no urban legend or old wives’ tale.  If you’ve been practicing for a while – you already know it, first hand.  Your whole system is working better. You love it … and so does your mate. Yeah … I see that smile.

“Whatever are you talking about, PJ?” you ask, innocently.  (Mm-hmm).

I’m talking about all that nitric oxide coursing through your veins, of course.

Ahem.  When this powerful gas molecule is released into your bloodstream, it relaxes the blood vessels, expands the capillaries and increases circulation. (See where I’m going?  Gentlemen, start your engines.)

Fortunately, for those of us who practice Bikram Yoga, there is ample opportunity to produce nitric oxide during class.  Going through the 26 postures of the Bikram series, we activate muscles in every part of the body. As with any type of exercise, those muscles demand oxygen, supplied by the blood.  In order to send blood to those areas more easily, when the need arises, nitric oxide is then released from the lining of the arteries.  Presto.

Some scientists call nitric oxide “the hero of human biology.” By dilating the artery walls, it enables blood to travel faster through the body.  One popular metaphor physicians may use is that of a fire hose.  As water rushes through it to put out a fire – the hose needs to expand enough to handle the pressure, still keeping enough force to put out the fire.

Thank you, nitric oxide, for treating our circulatory system the same way!

You can imagine – during a 90-minute Bikram class, as we send blood to all areas of the body, we produce a lot of nitric oxide.  This is what makes Savasana so delicious and restorative.  And in the bedroom, it’s what …  Well, you know the rest.  I won’t use adjectives there, but they’re good ones too.

I don’t want to get in any trouble with the pharmaceutical geniuses who decided to put the power of nitric oxide into a pill … but … wouldn’t you rather get your dose of Viagra the natural way?  Avoid the need for it all together?

That’s right … see you in class!