26 yoga postures in a hot room
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Overcoming Perfectionism

May 21st, 2017 | Posted by Erin Bechtol in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Overcoming Perfectionism)

(or What to Do When Your Body Doesn’t Do What You Expect It To)

Some days, it seems like everything goes right. We can hydrate appropriately throughout the day, eat nutritious meals that allow us to feel strong and energized, and balance our personal and work responsibilities just right to buy the time required to make it to yoga class. Ideally, this groove would last all the way through class, keeping us mindful and present through each posture, maybe even managing to keep our faces smiling and happy as we stretch and pull to our best ability. Maybe the poses don’t cause us any discomfort and we’re getting green lights from our bodies all the way throughout.

Other days, despite our best efforts and the good vibes we may seem to have in our lives, our bodies may not be on the same page. One day you may find that the poses you’ve been doing comfortably for weeks or years are suddenly not accessible to you anymore. And believe it or not, this can be a good thing.

Bikram tends to attract perfectionists (including myself) to the practice. Unfortunately, this means that some of us expect a certain depth and look to our postures that is not always possible. Our bodies are ever changing, growing, adapting to the situations we put them in, and this yoga helps teach us a very important strategy to guide us through our challenges: stop and listen.

Stop the stream of thoughts that tells you it’s too hard, it should be easier, it should look different, and other discouraging messages. Those ideas do you no good. Instead, use the struggle as an opportunity to tune into more important messages. Listen to the teacher, and—the greater, more vital lesson—listen to your body. Every day, in class and out of it, our bodies are trying to tell us what we need. But in the crucible of the Bikram room, we have few options but to listen. Instead of pushing as hard as you can go, allow yourself to hear what is happening in and around you.

When you find yourself in a pose that you just can’t seem to complete, it is a great chance to go back to the beginning and build your foundation. Let go of how far you have gone before into a pose, and put your energy into setting up the posture to the teacher’s instructions. You may find that you’ve developed some funky habits over time, or that you skipped over some key element that got you off balance. Focusing on the beginning can help.

Once you’ve got the setup, move one step at a time until it falls apart, then go no further. Back it up and do it 100% right, no exceptions, no pushing past it. Without doing the poses the right way, you are putting yourself at risk of other kinds of strain or injury as your body compensates for the parts that aren’t working appropriately. Remember that visible depth is not nearly as important as correct alignment.

We all struggle in class at some point or another, and the teachers in this studio have a wide range of histories and many years of experience. They are here to help you find your best practice, to guide you in creating the kind of body that will allow you to live a happy and healthy life. Don’t be afraid to ask around for advice on how to deal with what challenges you—chances are one of the teachers has dealt with it before.

Most importantly, keep coming back to learn how to listen and how to give your body what it needs.

Why I Do Bikram Yoga

April 21st, 2017 | Posted by Erin Bechtol in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Why I Do Bikram Yoga)

As a newcomer to the practice, it can be a little hard to understand the appeal of a Bikram yoga class. Admittedly, it sounds unpleasant: an intense workout for 90 minutes in 105 degree heat at 40% humidity could (and often does) bring even the strongest of us to our knees. But learning how to survive, and even to thrive, in the most taxing of conditions is well worth the effort.

I came to Bikram yoga in 2010 while attending university in Reno, Nevada. Balancing work and studies was difficult, and losing two of my closest family members within one particularly bad year compounded the stress. We all have those moments, unfortunately, when we question our ability to cope with loss, pain, and hardship. It just so happened that in that particular moment for me, an instructor at the university who also taught Bikram yoga encouraged me to attend a class, just to see what it was all about.

Bikram Yoga Corvallis

Some truths became immediately clear: this yoga was not the calm, peaceful retreat I had always associated with the word—it was work. When I first came to class, the rigid structure and heat were intimidating. I was so worried about where to place my mat, how I looked in the shorts I wore, how much I would sweat. (Spoiler: A lot.) But as soon as my knuckles hit my chin for the first pranayama breathing exercise, those worries were no longer important. All of my physical and mental resources were entirely engaged in making it through each pose. Even resting between poses took focus to truly relax before the next challenge would begin.

That is when it became clear that this hour and a half would not be time to think about my life or my school work or what I was going to do for dinner. During those first few classes it took all of my strength, concentration, and willpower just to stay in the room, let alone to try every pose to the best of my ability. But every day that I returned I found that my supply of strength and the power of my will had grown a little more.

It was challenging, but I felt compelled to lean into the discomfort, to push myself past what I saw as my limits and prove to myself that I could handle it. If I could handle being that hot, that tired, that out of breath, that sore, to struggle that hard, I could make it through anything.

And so far it’s been true. The peace that you find in the hot room is unlike any other. It can be difficult to find stillness, to relax and empty your mind in a world that moves so fast. We all have our share of concerns and responsibilities, but practicing this yoga creates at least 90 minutes where your only responsibility is to be present. The structure makes that easy. The conditions are extreme enough and the poses challenging enough to allow you to let go of everything outside the room. It even encourages you to step out of your mind and really focus on your body. Not on how it looks, but on what it can do.

Over the years and several international moves, I maintained my practice however I could manage, often establishing a routine at home to complete my asanas under relatively frigid—room temperature—conditions. While the poses still offer plenty of benefits on their own, it is also unspeakably rewarding to become a part of a community dedicated to bringing a better version of themselves into the world. Whether it’s a class of six or sixty, practicing together allows yogis to lift each other up, raise our spirits enough to where we might actually smile into our shins in standing hands to feet pose, or at the very least leave the studio a little lighter than when we arrived.

These days I practice to see what my body can do, rather than to focus on how it looks. I practice for the inside out, bones to skin healing that takes place in every class and the euphoria that comes stepping out after the final savasana knowing I’ve made it through. Most importantly, I come to class as often as possible because with regular practice, I hope to build a peace that no one and no circumstances can steal.

About Bikram Yoga

May 15th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on About Bikram Yoga)

Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.

It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

Bikram Yoga can be practiced under the guidance of a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher at one of the affiliated Bikram Yoga studios. These studios are built in such a way that you always get the proper heating which help you to do your postures optimally. Bikram calls these studios as “Torture Chambers”.

“It’s never too late, it’s never too bad and you’re never too old or too sick to start from scratch once again.”

Why the heat?
Yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin.

Practicing yoga not only increases our supplies of oxygen, but it also teaches us how to use that oxygen properly – we learn to control the breath through pranayama.

Training
So you’ve got the bug and you’re interested in learning more? We recommend Raja Yoga Academy for those who wish to deepen their practice or feel the urge to teach.

New Student Tips

January 15th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on New Student Tips)

Welcome!

We want your first experience at Bikram Yoga Corvallis to be a positive one!

Consider these tips for your first day:

  • Come early so that we may orient you. Our doors always open 30 minutes prior to class time.
  • Hydrate yourself throughout your day/evening in preparation for your first class.
  • Refrain from large meals at least 2-3 hours before class time.
  • Dress lightly and be prepared to sweat!
  • Please bring with you plenty of fresh water in a non-breakable water bottle, a yoga mat and a large bath -sized towel . We have water to purchase and mats/towels to rent if you need.
  • Think positive. Some things may seem easy, others more challenging. Either way, continue to breathe and move in the right direction by listening to both the teacher and your own body.

 

 

Our Students

June 30th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Our Students)

Autobiography of a Bikram Yoga Student:

David:

 

 

Pic: David’s brilliant demo of Camel Pose!

 

Age: 62

Lifestyle: Running, Biking, hiking, gardening…

The reason I started Yoga: I have always been active but in March 2013 I started having severe pain in my muscles and joints, especially the lower back. It hurt all the time with nights and mornings being the worst.

In June 2013 I was diagnosed with AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis) and was told
to stay active and yoga would help. In the beginning, I was not able to get into most of the poses and the pain was a constant companion. After coming to Bikram Yoga for a little over 3 months, my pain went from constant, to disappearing while in class, to being pain free for a couple hours after class to no pain during the night after I do yoga.

My Goal: I had stopped running in March when the pain started and was able to restart my running the first part of September. I am currently running only half of what I did last Spring at a slower pace but I am running! I have hope that I will be able to get back to where I was last Spring with minimal discomfort and to be able to go through large portions of my day without pain.

Karen:

 

 

 

 

 

Age: 36

Work: Recently “retired” from a 9-year career in newspaper editing to become a homemaker and stay-at-home mom.

Yoga story: After my husband, Chris, got hooked on Bikram yoga at the free class in December 2009, I dropped him off at the studio each Saturday and drove myself to the gym for an hour on the stationary recumbent bike (a winter alternative to road cycling). It didn’t take long for me to recognize that his workout was superior to mine, but it wasn’t until March 2010 that I warmed up to the idea of the heated room. My first Bikram class left me exhausted and drenched, but intrigued. After my second class, I was hooked, too. I was astonished at what a tremendous whole-body workout I could get in a 6-by-6-foot space, and it was the only form of exercise I’d encountered where my muscles felt better when I was done instead of sore or tight. My flexibility improved dramatically and I became more attuned to my body, and the yoga also helped to level out my moods. A year into my practice I completed a 60-day challenge. When I became pregnant near the start of 2013, I didn’t want to give up the yoga so I bought a DVD of Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga to practice at home during the first trimester. I made a return to the hot room when I reached 13 weeks, but my body temperature rose to a degree that concerned my doctor. So I continued my home practice, doing my yoga about 3 times a week, interspersed with swimming and walking. The yoga has warded off calf cramps, a common complaint during pregnancy, and it is keeping my hips flexible. My OB assures me that staying active and exercising regularly, especially doing yoga, will make for an easier labor. And baby girl seems to enjoy the workouts, as I often feel her stretching and moving along with me! I do miss the heat, though, and look forward to returning to the studio this winter.

Eileen:

 

 

 
Pics: Eileen demonstrates her strength, flexibility in ‘Standing Separate Leg Forehead to Knee Posture’ (left). Gorgeous Eileen (Right).
 

Age: of the ‘Baby Boomers’

Work: Public Health Nurse

In my regular world, I work as a public health nurse, play with children, pull weeds in my garden and enjoy cooking. Other ways that I spend my time are reading books, bicycling, doing Pilates or playing with my grandchildren. I am a baby boomer and have gradually acquired stiffness and some pain in my muscles and joints. I notice it most when getting out of bed. Daily activities include; leaning forward at a desk, driving, gardening, carrying bags and children. These activities have all contributed to feeling less mobile.

I find Bikram Yoga greatly relieves the tightness and pain in my shoulders and back. With helpful guidance from the instructors, I breathe, stretch, sweat and move more deeply into postures to relieve whatever tightness there was. This is a moving meditation that calms me. Focusing on my breathing~ something any of us can do~I come to that quiet place within me. I find myself smiling when in a posture and thinking: “Dang! This is good for me.” -Eileen

 

Jenny:

Pictures: Jenny demonstrates her beautiful
Standing Head to Knee Pose (left) and her
super-human strength (right)
 
Name: Jennifer Arnold

Age: 25

Work: Nanny, Aspiring Bikram Yoga Teacher

I have been practicing vinyasa yoga for 7 years and Bikram yoga for 4 months. Everything clicks when I am in a yoga studio. I have used yoga to get through life’s challenges. All the stress and anxiety of the day, week, or month just melts away. It’s the only time I can get me out of my head. I took my first Bikram class in California with my cousin. I was hesitant at first, but went anyway. I powered through class and when it was over I walked out and said “I’ve got to do this again!” I looked up studios near me and found BYOC. I came as soon as I got back into town and have been a regular ever since. Bikram yoga is my true passion and I want to become a bikram instructor. I come to every class possible! I even changed jobs, so I can attend more classes! A yoga instructor once said a quote “blessed are the flexible for they shall never be bent out of shape.” Whenever I am having a rough day I always say this to myself.

Jeremy:

 
 
 
 
Pictures: Jeremy performing with his band ‘The Hunks and the Hottie’ (Left) Jeremy demonstrates his super, amazing Awkward Pose (Right).

 

Name: Jeremy

Age: 43

Work: Engineer

Yoga Story: In 2010 I decided to make some changes to my life, including getting in shape. Once I discovered running, and then discovered running is horrible, a friend (Thanks Kay!) encouraged me to come give Bikram a try – and I’ve been hooked ever since. It reminds me of football daily double practices, where you finish up and you’re spent, but you feel like you’ve really accomplished something. The difference is that I know I’ve actually been engaged in healing, instead of breaking things a little more. My strength, flexibility, and balance have all increased tremendously. I’m in better shape, and more importantly I feel better at 43 than I have at any point in the last 15 years. While my schedule only allows about 2 times a week, I look forward to those sessions – even the 6 am ones. It’s intensity, it’s relaxation, and it’s the chance to focus solely on myself, and making me better.

The other thing that can’t be overlooked is the community… It’s a stunningly diverse set of folks. Seriously. Name it. From granolas to good ol’ boys, engineers to artists, grandparents to students, people from all walks of life enter the furnace and cook together. We don’t all hang out and take group vacations, it’s not a cult, but when you see someone “in their clothes” out in the world, there’s a recognition and a smile, a “heey, I know you”, and it’s pretty cool. People I’ve met there have been great – supportive, encouraging, and just fun.

Come on, give it a try. Give it a week. Maybe it won’t be your thing, and that’s cool… but maybe it *is* your thing, and you’re missing it without even knowing it.

Diana:

Pics: Beautiful Diana (left), excellent entrance into Half Tortoise Posture (right)

 

Diana + Bikram

I am recently 45, widowed for 12 years, mama to Hayden 14.5. I work part time at OSU as interpreter for the Deaf. I moved to Corvallis in 2007, after my daughter Hannah died (2006)

I drove past Bikram daily for 5 years, always planning to go… Last July, I realized I needed to use our brief & sunny summer to fortify myself for the following February. A casual chat with a friend, who said “You’re worth it”, was the final push over the threshold. I found myself in a Saturday 9am class & I’ve not looked back.

I’ve taken photos after nearly every class. The physical progress is easily tangible, easy to measure; the psychological benefits are a bit tougher to measure, though, for me, far more valuable. 1) I thought the drunk-monkey mind was only mine & I had no idea it could be quieted nor controlled, 2) I’ve always got 20 seconds for a quick savasana, to process before moving on, 3) when it’s done, it’s done, rest, 4) negative voices overruled by Bikramisms , 5) the thrill of thriving where others fear to survive — I’ve got a f*yeah attitude as I come round the corner and see the Me who just rocked another 90 minutes in the Torture Chamber!, 6) I like me more, my family likes me more & life is better with regular practice, 7) it’s magic.

My one year Bikram birthday is coming soon! I know I’ve spent more days this past year with yoga than without and it’s been the nicest thing I’ve ever done for me. 6% of the day dedicated to you, 100% benefit to the world.

WE WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU, OUR STUDENT! CONTACT KACIE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR UNIQUE YOGA/LIFE STORY WITH US AND THE WORLD!

Contact Kacie via email: kacita81@gmail.com or drop her a note at the studio!