Turn up the heat with Bikram yoga

Michaela Gawley and Penina Remler, Michaela Gawley, and Penina Remler

Deep breath full lung!” my yoga teacher melodiously chants. I focus all of my energy on my breath and clear my head to prepare for the next 90 minutes.  I have been practicing vinyasa yoga for the past few years, but two months ago I tried my first Bikram yoga class at Bikram Roslyn and was instantly hooked.  I have tried many different forms of exercise but there is nothing that makes me feel as incredible as Bikram does.

“The hardest part of surviving this 90 minute class is always the first step-getting yourself in the door,” each professional will reassure the class.  And after managing to drive across the chaotic intersection on Roslyn Road in one piece, one will likely find truth in this statement.  After reaching Roslyn’s Bikram Yoga destination, it is now time to let out a sigh of relief and relax.

However, Roslyn’s Bikram yoga is not your typical yogi session.  In fact, each teacher will usually announce that, “Bikram always says it is better to suffer 90 minutes than 90 years”… this is certaintly true as although class may be a struggle, if you continue with the practice you will see a tremdendous change in both your body and your state of mind.

Once you settle into the newly conditioned studio with a yoga mat, towel and lots and lots of water (all which are available to rent/buy), you will soon be on your way to a one of a kind Bikram yoga experience.

Bikram yoga is a 90 minute experience which consists of 26 postures that are all performed twice.  Starting with unique breathing exercises each session, the studio quickly heats up to an intense 105 degrees.

At first, this drastic temperature change may come as an utter shock and result in fatigue or nausea, but as the class continues,  one will be pleasantly surprised that his or her focus will be more devoted to the poses than the insane heat.

Yoga is an ancient practice that has been practiced for thousands of years and Bikram was created at the end of the 20th century.

The relaxing feel of the heated studio allows your body to receive an incredible workout while also deepening your connection with your body, spirit, and mind. Bikram yoga is commonly used as a method of cross training for competitive athletes hoping to work on strength and flexibility.

Bikram Yoga Roslyn was opened last year by Jamie and Jen Weil.  Weil is a long term Bikram activist who has built up an incredibly warm and inviting atmosphere.

The studio’s team of Bikram trained professionals will always challenge you to work to your greatest potential.

The sense of community is striking as soon as you enter and see that everyone has arrived early to chat with both the instructor and their fellow yogis.  It is immediately clear that this Bikram Yoga Roslyn is not only about mastering the postures, but also about embracing a calmer and more peaceful lifestyle.

Who knows, maybe you will be taking breaks for pranayama breathing to cool down during midterms—namaste!

For those of you are excited to try a class, here is a list of pointers to make your Bikram experience a great one:

1.  Drink lots of water before, during, and after class. It is extremely important to stay hydrated.

2.  Bring a washcloth to dry off your face and body throughout class. Also, bring a towel to put on your mat because  the heat will make your mat slippery.

3. You will definitely need apparel you do not mind sweating in.

4. Be patient with yourself. It is completely normal to struggle with the poses and always challenging to try something new.