What to expect from Bikram Yoga …Welcome! As a new student of Bikram Yoga, you deserve the best possible start, so read this information at your leisure. It will answer all the typical beginner’s questions, and make your passage as easy as possible. Bikram’s Yoga is a preventive and therapeutic yoga, developed over 30 years ago. It was scientifically designed to systematically address every part of your body through a series of 26 postures over 90 minutes. It was developed for beginners, yet it is still challenging for advanced students.
We conduct Bikram Yoga classes in a mirrored room that is heated to body temperature. The heat allows for greater flexibility, minimises muscle strain, reduces the chance of injury, promotes cleansing of the body and builds stamina and endurance. The mirrors enable body awareness, so you can refine and deepen your postures with easy self-correction.
Your first class …Please arrive 20 minutes early for your first class for registration and orientation.
- No reservations are necessary, come to any class.
- We recommend you avoid eating for 2 – 3 hours before class.
- No drugs or alcohol are to be consumed prior to class.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water before (and after) class. Drink at least 8-10 glasses per day.
By keeping your body well hydrated, you’ll be helping it to:
- Maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body;
- Keep the bloodstream fluid;
- Eliminate toxins;
- Regulate body temperature through sweating;
- Keep mucous membranes moist;
- Lubricate and cushion joints;
- Promote digestion and prevent constipation;
- Keep the bladder clear of bacteria;
- Moisturise skin texture and appearance;
- Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
To download your free copy of our booklet “Information for New Students”, click here.
What to bring …
- Your own yoga mat. New students can use one of ours with your first ‘Introductory Pass’ class. After that, Yoga mats are available at the studio for purchase or rental. We recommend a sticky yoga mat, 3.5mm to 4mm in thickness. Thicker mats than that make balance less stable.
- Your own large towel to place on your mat. Towels can be rented for $2.
- A water bottle or sports bottle. You can also purchase water at the studio.
- Women: We recommend you wear gym gear with sleeveless tops, as T-shirt sleeves tend to get in the way.
- Men and women: mid thigh-length bike shorts are probably the best and most comfortable. Please avoid pants with legs below knee-length. We have a selection of great Yoga-wear available for purchase at the studio.
Under 18? You’ll need parental consentIf you are under 18, you’re still welcome to try Bikram Yoga, it’s just that you’ll need parental consent.
Simply print out the New Student Registration Form here, get a parent or legal guardian to sign at the foot of the page, and bring it with you on your first visit.
On arrival …Please remove your shoes (and socks) on entry and place them on the rack near the door. That will help keep studio clean and fresh for everyone to use.
If you have not already registered online (you may, by clicking here), then you’ll need to complete a registration form and sign in. Please let us know about any particular goals you may have, whether you are pregnant, have any injuries or are taking any medication we should be aware of.
The only items you should take into the studio are your mat, your towel(s), and your water. No shoes, no phones, no keys, no jewellery and no belongings. Please use the lockers to keep your valuables safe.
Before and after class please respect and enjoy the silence of the yoga room.
During the class …
- All classes are 90 minutes. Please allow for the full 90 minutes, and do not leave the room before the end of the class. If you absolutely must leave your mat, leave and return quietly, between postures.
- Place your mat so that you can stand and see yourself in the mirror, and spread your towel on top of the mat. Avoid standing directly in front of another student who was there before you.
- Generally, no water is taken until after the third posture (Eagle Pose – Garurasana). After this you may drink if necessary. Sip only small amounts, and please only drink between postures to avoid distraction.
- You are likely to sweat during your yoga class. Please make sure that you only ever sweat on your own towel.
- If you feel overwhelmed by the heat or too tired to go on, please pause for a while. Calm your breath and heart rate at first by standing still, and breathing in and out through your nose. Deliberately slow your breath down. If you really have to sit down, then be careful to rise slowly when you are ready to rejoin the class.
- Throughout the class we do a posture, rest briefly, then repeat the posture, rest again, and then move on to another posture – just take it one posture at a time.
- Every posture is different, and each requires different aspects of strength, flexibility and balance . You will find some postures easier than others, but you will get the benefits of Bikram’s Yoga by doing the best you can in each posture: listen to the instructions, concentrate on alignment, work to the point of discomfort but never pain.
- Do not hurry or push yourself: strength, balance, flexibility and focus come much easier when the mind is relaxed.
- Your body doesn’t lie. Don’t judge or criticize. Let your body be your teacher, and learn from it.
- Minimise your movement between postures – just breathe and be still. Extra movements waste energy, and can be distracting for others.
- Concentrate on your breathing, and deliberately bring your breath under control. Breathe more, do less.
After the class …
- Stay in the room in the final relaxation pose (savasana) for as long as you need to warm down and allow your breathing and heart rate to return to normal. This helps integrate all the great work you have done in the class.
- Leave the room in silence so as not to disturb other students.
- Feel free to approach the Instructor after the class with any questions.
The next few days …New students usually respond in various ways. You may feel energised, or perhaps feel the need to rest. You may feel a little sore and stiff, although this is not common, because of the effects of the heat. In each case, the best thing you can do is to get back into the yoga room! A hot bath or spa with Epsom Salts will help.
We suggest you take at least three classes in your first week – you’ll find that you adapt quickly to the heat in the room, and you’ll soon get to know the postures You’ll start noticing the benefits of the yoga within days.
Over the next 10 days you’ll begin to see changes in your strength and flexibility – and probably your attitude as well. People you know will start to notice and comment on the ‘yoga glow’. Remember, this is your first class, the heat may feel unbearable, and the postures uncomfortable. Please stick with it. Yoga is a practice … the benefits come from frequency and persistence.
How often should I come?Especially in the first year, you will benefit by maximum retraining of all your systems (circulatory, respiratory, digestive, muscular, nervous, metabolic, lymphatic, skeletal). A daily practice from the beginning can relax into a 3 or 4 times a week routine.
You’ll find you want to do this practice. It’s fun. It works. You’ll start organizing your schedule to fit it in. Remember that this yoga is powerful and challenging, pace yourself; don’t force yourself; and don’t expect to be perfect overnight!
If you’re experiencing health or emotional issues, yoga will support you, so come as often as you can.
It’s our job to push you to achieve your best. It is your responsibility to know what is enough for your body on any given day. Progress is a slow, sure, but enjoyable process! Your improvement will depend entirely on the time and effort you put in. Respect your limits (without babying yourself), and expect those limits to change. Just do your best.
The harder this yoga is for you the more you need it and the more you will get out of it.
There is no need to show off, nor is there a need to be embarrassed about your level of practice. The secret in the success is in the FREQUENCY of your practice. All the hard work pays off. The effort you put into this yoga will return to you many-fold.
It’s the very best thing you can do for your health, your body, your vitality, and your sense of wellbeing.
Be well-prepared for your first class: click here to download a free booklet “Information for New Students”.