30 Day Yoga Plan

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso

The Starting Line

When: November 22nd to December 21st Please, sign up at your very next class -anytime is a GREAT time to get started!

How: Come in to the studio, write your name up on the sticker board. Declare how many classes you will commit to (it may be 3 times a week, or a total number as a goal to reach). Each time you come to class add a sticker in the square for the date you did class. If you do two classes in a day, please put two stickers in that square.

Why: Winter is a time for slowing down and taking time to look within. And, society says “Come meet me out for another Holiday Party, a meal, a concert, a party, a fundraiser.” Pretty soon we have filled all our extra time doing things that take energy from us. We can keep giving to others as long as we practice wisdom in taking care of ourselves.  Over the next month take care of yourself so that you end the Year feeling better than ever.

Who: Everyone! Bikram’s Yoga is a beginner series and anybody can do it. All you have to do is show up. Please invite your friends and family to try it when they come visit you. If you have a full time membership you get to bring one guest free per month. Encourage your colleagues, loved ones, and family to sign up.

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toddler and me yoga

Toddler and me Yoga classes: Staying present and finding balance with a toddler

Having a toddler and combining the balance of: home and business work, of moving my body in ways that keep me strong and flexible, all while offering attention and stimulation to my child and staying connected to a community is a balancing act unlike any I’ve ever encountered. 
 
The main challenge is staying present. And adapting. 
 
In preparing for teaching this class I set myself one clear goal: “How can I stay present to my own body and my breath in a yoga pose while my son is (safely -I hope!) circling around the perimeter of where I am practicing?” (I have to share with you -because it is too funny: auto-correct changed circling to “crying“, and as many a parent or care giver knows, that may also be what happens.) So that is what we have been doing for quite some time. And so I took notes and drew up diagrams of the poses I did and what Simon did around me if he chose to be involved.

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My Yoga Journey: the highly abbreviated version

In December of 1999, my friend Emily gave me a yoga mat and passes to free classes for Christmas.  I broke out in tears, terrified at the prospect of trying something new.  It took a few months, but I finally agreed to attend a class with her.

During the class, I realized I had the legs of a dachshund and the arms of a chimpanzee. Also, my hips were not wired for lotus and this meant I was emotionally blocked.  Forward folds were brilliant but many of the other postures felt like cloaks of failure and humiliation.  I made it through, but am fairly certain I cried again that night.

In spite of my cruel inner dialogue, I took a handful of classes over the next few years, but didn’t truly connect with the practice until completing a marathon in 2003.  Suffering from post-marathon ennui, I attended a three session meditation workshop at Midtown Yoga Center.

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Teacher Q&A with Heather

1. How did you become interested in teaching zumba? 
After having my daughter I tried the gym again and I just could not do it. I was not having any fun. Then one day my husband surprised me with a Zumba/Playstation workout DVD.  He said “I know how much you like to dance and I thought you would like to try this”.  I was hooked!  I loved everything about Zumba – the music, the dance moves and the workout.  After 30 minutes I was sweaty and after 45 minutes I was in a dance induced state of euphoria.  In short I WAS HAVING FUN!  If a DVD was this much fun I had to try a live class.  I was right!   I never knew working out could be this fun so I kept going to Zumba, kept dancing, kept having fun and the weight kept coming off. Most of the people I danced with kept asking me if I was an instructor.  So one day I decided I should become an instructor.  Zumba helped me so maybe I could help others.  I asked one of my teachers that I thought the world of (still do) and without hesitation she said “DO IT”.  So I became a Zumba instructor.  I have been teaching since 2013 and I love it.

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Student Stories: Practicing once a week with Denise

How did you get started doing yoga and how long have you been practicing?

I started competitive sports at a young age, and it carried through college. After college, I picked up running and rounded it out with some strength training and other gym-centric aerobic activities. My husband encouraged me to try Bikram yoga when I was in my early 30s. BYH had just recently opened. I didn’t think it would be “challenging” enough for me, but I went. Boy was I wrong! It was not only plenty challenging, but it felt like such a good thing to do for the body. I felt pretty terrible during the first few classes—but don’t worry, it was a good terrible! I wasn’t accustomed to the heat, and it really is an intense full body workout. I stuck with it, going once a week, and got into a nice rhythm with my practicing. I then had two kids and stopped going for a number of years. I started back up again about two years ago (when the kids were 8 and 5) and was amazed by how much I/my body remembered. It wasn’t starting from zero again.

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giving yoga tree

The Giving Yoga Tree Program

The teachers and I have all noticed how quickly our students support one another; we love seeing this camaraderie flow through our community. This yoga is hard work. It’s hot, it’s hard; we know. It is meant to be challenging but does not need to be competitive. For a student to be warmly welcomed and supported by one’s peers is a huge gift. We see it all the time. ‘Cause you guys are all amazing! When you cheer one another on, we glow with pride because the intention we set in this healing space keeps growing and growing.  You heal, and become a healer.

Even with all the love & support and all the grit & sacrifice, sometimes the financial hurdles cannot removed. So what do we do? How do we find a new way? We have wanted to address this because yoga is not about money, it is a giving practice. It gives to your health and wellness and can be a foundation for expanding in other dimensions of your life, that will lead to prosperity, and in turn to generosity which allows more and more people to grow and grow…

That’s how we came up with Giving Yoga. The idea is simple: anyone can donate money toward the Giving Yoga Program and this money will then be used by any student in financial need who would like to take a class from the Giving Yoga Tree. 

Much like Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree“, the Giving Yoga Tree Program will nurture anyone in need by opening up the possibility to practice at our studio. And it provides a way to put back into a community when you are ready to give. I read once that giving is not a money issue. It is a trust issue. We learn to trust that being generous generates abundance.

See anyone of your teachers or staff at the front desk to add or take from the Giving Yoga Tree, and we promise you will always be met with a smile.

Love,

Sarah & Team

Teacher Q & A with Kerry

1. How did you get started doing yoga?
My mother started teaching me yoga when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Of course I thought she was the most beautiful and amazing woman that ever walked the planet so having this time with her really made feel aligned with her and maybe it sounds odd but almost like becoming an adult… it felt like very cool adult thing to do. Honestly, it’s probably one of my first ‘stand out’ memories in the beginnings of self care.

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Student Stories: Adding Bikram Yoga to a Marathon Training with Gayle

I started doing Bikram yoga in 2011. I had run a marathon and I promised myself that when I got through the marathon that I was going to take a break and find something else that I enjoy. I knew a couple of people who did Bikram and liked it so I decided to try it. Of course like most people, I found a Groupon and started going. I just loved it from the start. I felt like it was a really good complement to my running, that it definitely strengthened my running. I decided to run a marathon the following year using Bikram to help me train. I took over a half an hour off of my marathon time and ended up qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

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Testimonials: Lindsey’s journey to heal her hip with Bikram Yoga

Hi there, my name is Lindsey and I would like to tell you a little bit about my journey at Bikram Yoga Hampden to help heal my hip.  First let me tell you how I ended up in Baltimore.  Originally from Chicago, I graduated from Northwestern University in 2012 with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy.  I moved to Baltimore after I was accepted into the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  As a former college soccer player and avid runner, I have always valued and enjoyed exercise—especially running.  I have completed 6 marathons in the past 5 years with my best time being one minute short of qualifying for the most prestigious marathon, the Boston Marathon.  I was convinced that all I needed to do was keeping running—increase my mileage so that I was running at least three 20+ mile runs during my training cycles.  However, my right hip sure had other plans.  My hip pain started back in 2012 and since then has been a nagging and deep ache on the anterior aspect.  Some days were good days and I could run without pain, however, other days were really bad days and I could hardly walk without pain.  Fast-forward and the bad days quickly began to outnumber the good days.  As an orthopedic physical therapist, I was aware and scared of what could be generating my hip pain.  After weeks of no running and mostly swimming and proximal hip muscle strengthening, my hip pain was not decreasing.  I had an MRI and the findings left me feeling puzzled and worried—“full thickness articular cartilage fissure with tiny separation at the chondrolabral junction”.  My mind was racing with thoughts!  Do I have a labral tear?  Do I have femoroacetabular impingement?
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Student Stories: Niamh takes on Teacher Training with Sterling Hot Yoga

When I first waddled into BYH almost 2 years ago, 81/2 months pregnant, I was met with a warm smile (Henri!) and, once I announced that I was a regular practitioner, zero lectures about pregnancy postures, proper form or excessive pee breaks. I was allowed to practice in bloated, swollen, oversized peace. I knew I had found my studio! Sarah and Henri have created a space that is free of judgement where students of all abilities can practice comfortably and with confidence. I love that! I love being challenged on my good days and left to lie on my mat on my bad (hungover?) days.

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