Lifestyles

What You Need To Know About Bikram Yoga

Hot Yoga that Cleanses Your Body and Mind in 90 minutes

By Briana Delbuono

Thirty minutes prior, I was handing my debit card over and signing my life away to a yoga studio before I knew what was in store.

As in shape and active as I am, I was not prepared for Bikram Yoga. As soon as I walked into the room, my body was immersed in hot air.

Five year Bikram yoga instructor, Lissette Sanchez, spoke with a Trinidadian accent and asked if anyone was new to Bikram so I raised my hand.

“All I ask is that you remain in the room for the full 90 minutes,” she said. “Easy peasy,” I thought to myself.

After 20 minutes I felt like I was going to pass out, but I didn’t thankfully.

I made it through the 26 poses and breathing exercises in the allotted 90 minutes and walked out of there a mere $23 lighter and having burned over 800 calories. I think I sweat out half my body weight in the process but I believe it was a fair trade.

Bikram is a wonderful experience aside from the almost passing out factor. It helps you clear your mind and focus on the here and now, like most yoga classes do, but the atmosphere is totally different.

There is no judgment in the room. It is a place that both men and women can come together to focus on their mind and body.

When asked in an interview if there was a reason for the repeated postures and breathing, Sanchez said, “We keep the same 26 postures and two breathing exercises because we feel this sequence stretches, as well as strengthens, every part of your body while using every single muscle. Your body is different everyday so the class will never feel repetitive or boring.”

Bikram yoga is different from regular yoga in quite a few ways, the main one being that it is HOT.

“The reason for the extreme heat is so that your muscles relax and you can go deeper into the postures,” Sanchez said.

The practice is held in a 105-degree room with 40% humidity and water breaks aren’t allowed until the third posture. “This incorporates a form of discipline,” said Sanchez. “Another difference is that the teachers don’t demonstrate the postures, they just give instructions.”

When asked why she began doing this type of yoga, Sanchez responded, “I was always interested in yoga, but I never found a type of yoga that would challenge me physically and mentally until I tried Bikram yoga. I felt great afterwards.

I felt different even after my first class.”

“This type of yoga changed me in so many ways!” said owner and instructor, Nicole Stuckey, in an interview. “Mentally, it made me more focused and determined. Physically I’m stronger than ever and it helped me to let go.”

Stuckey was a perfectionist who put a lot of pressure on herself before she found her outlet in yoga. “While it was a useful trait in past jobs and even creating this studio, I’ve learned I can work as hard as possible but the outcome is beyond my control,” she said.

Cured of her chronic back pain, Stuckey correlates the turnaround with hot yoga. “I think the heat is a big factor but also the science behind the practice,” she said. “I started practicing daily so I think the consistency was a big help as well.”

Bikram yoga can benefit people of all ages. “I think everyone, regardless of age, or fitness level can benefit from this class physically, mentally, and emotionally,” Stuckey said.

Bikram Yoga on New Dorp Lane is a second home for many people and can become that for you too.

If you want to try something new, and aren’t afraid of a little, or a lot, of sweat, sign up for a class today online at BikramStatenIsland.com.

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