Arrive a few minutes early and stay for the entire class
Your yoga practice is a time to develop awareness and presence, rushing can make this difficult. Arrive with enough time to settle in and prepare for class, and plan enough time for your practice that you don’t find yourself rushing out the door. The last few moments of relaxation in savasana at the end of class may be the most important.
Toes on the line
Place the middle of your mat over a yellow line and when you start the class you should put your pretty little toes on the line where it goes through the middle of your mat. This makes it easy for everyone to find space for themselves in the room. You may find during certain postures you will need to move in front of or behind the line to avoid the person next to you.
Move to the head of the class
Please find a space close to the mirror, filling up the classroom from front to back (beginners may stay in the third or fourth rows if you prefer). As the room fills up during our most popular class times, please work together to create enough space for everyone and a good flow of energy through the room. Pulling the front row close to the front mirrors and staggering the rows behind allows more people to see the mirrors, and any feelings of being over-crowded go away.
Shoes off in the yoga room
Please remove your shoes when entering the second floor. You can leave them under the benches or in the dressing rooms.
We are connected
One of the great benefits of practicing together is the community that we form at the studio. We make friends with whom we can share our stories of accomplishment and of frustration and we learn how to set good examples for ourselves and the people around us. As you grow in your practice, recognize that your actions become an example to others of the way a yogi or yogini should act. We all strive to be supportive of each other’s struggles and to provide inspiration to those around us. Yoga is a group practice: the group moves as one. Try and be one with the class!
Listen to the teacher and your body
Yoga is about focus, and a successful Bikram practice requires intense focus on the directions the instructors are giving, as they are being given. Try and follow the directions exactly, as they are given, to the best of your ability. Also, this a practice that will teach you to listen to the subtleties of your body. Nobody knows your body better than you.
Stillness in body and mind
When you are not actively doing a pose, try and remain calm and still. Any extra movement is distracting to you and to others, and only serves to make you hotter. Trust us, it is hot enough already! When you’re in your deepest point of a posture, you should be able to find stillness and a smile.
It’s not hot, you’re hot!
Okay, you’re right, the room is hot. This certainly presents a challenge for many beginners. For most people dizzyness subsides within the first few classes, but unless you hail from Calcutta it can take several months for your body to develop the mechanisms that keep it at a cool 98.6 throughout the class. If at any point in class you become overwhelmed take a break and sit down. Stay in the room to avoid sudden changes in temperature and to help you body acclimate to the heat.
Stick with the program
In the series from which Bikram Yoga is derived has 84 original yoga postures. Each of these postures could have hundreds of variations. In this class, though, we stick to only the basic 26, no less and no more. If there are postures or variations that you want to practice, please wait until after the class is finished to practice them. Many of our teachers practice all 84 postures or may be familiar with other styles of yoga, so feel free to ask before or after class for advice on any yoga posture. But during the 90 minute session, stick with the 26 Bikram teaches us. He put them in that order for good reasons.