I’ve never tried yoga before, will I be able to do it?

The class is designed to be suitable for practitioners of all levels, including complete beginners. Every class follows the same format so you will quickly get the hang of it. How quickly you progress will depend on the time and effort you give to Yoga.  Remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination. Don’t worry about how ‘perfectly’ you do the postures.  It’s the transformations that you create in your body and mind through your practice that count.

Do I need to book in advance?

No. You can come to any class and there is normally space available. Very popular classes may reach their limit so come early. If you are a new student please arrive at least 15 minutes before class so that you can register.

What do I need to bring?

Your yoga clothes, two towels, water, £1 deposit for a locker, and a plastic bag to put your wet things in afterwards.   Water and towels are available from the studio for £1 each.   Mats are also available to rent for £1 but you are welcome to bring your own or purchase one at the studio.

What should I wear?

Women wear sports tops and bottoms.  Men wear shorts.   Light fabrics such as Lycra are ideal – cotton is bulky and restricts movement when wet.

Can I eat or drink before class?

Drink plenty of water.   Doctors estimate you need at least 2 litres per day for normal body maintenance.  On the days you practice Bikram Yoga you should try to drink twice that amount.   The more hydrated you are, the easier it will be for you to sweat.   Exercising on a full stomach is not recommended, so try to leave 2 to 3 hours between eating and class.

Can it help me lose weight?

Yes absolutely.  Whatever your fitness level you will find Bikram Yoga challenging.  The postures combine strength, flexibility and balance to give you a total body workout.   As with other forms of cardiovascular exercise, regular practice will aid weight loss.

Do I have to be fit?

Bikram’s Beginning Yoga is designed to be suitable for all levels of fitness, but if you have special medical conditions or injuries, please consult your doctor first and inform your teacher before class.

Is it important to learn from a Bikram certified instructor?

Yes.  The Bikram Yoga Teacher training is intensive and extremely demanding, ensuring that Bikram certified instructors provide a safe and enjoyable class.

Is it aerobic?

Yes.  The word aerobic literally means “with oxygen” or “in the presence of oxygen, involving or improving oxygen consumption by the body.” Aerobic activity trains the heart, lungs and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently throughout the body by elevating the heart rate during exercise, to its target level.

In your Bikram class, beginning with Pranayama Breathing, your aim is to increase the flow of oxygenated blood around the body. In time, as you start to use your breath more efficiently during challenging postures, the lung capacity will improve.  Your heart becomes stronger and therefore, your aerobic capacity is increased.

Is it cardiovascular?

Yes. Exercising in the heat will increase the heart rate. As you progress through the series, the heart has to work harder. By the time you reach the balancing stick pose, (Tulandasana) the heart rate will double for 5 seconds. This will stretch the lower muscle of the heart, increasing its capacity to pump blood around the body.

I feel dizzy and nauseous after my class is this normal?

This is not unusual.  If you feel disoriented or like you need a good nap after your first few classes, this is probably because your body has begun to cleanse itself as a result of the yoga practice. Don’t be scared. After the first few classes this sensation will pass.Once you are drinking enough water your body will tolerate the heat better.  To stay properly hydrated it is also important to restore the electrolytes which are lost through sweating.  Sea salt and potassium, are the least expensive of all minerals and can be obtained anywhere.  Nausea, headaches, all of this can be avoided with these 2 minerals. Try our Emergen-C sachets or drink some coconut water.  Both are available at reception.

Can I practice if I am pregnant?

When pregnant, it is best not to attempt any new form of exercise.  However, if you have been practicing Bikram regularly for at least one year, you can continue your practice, performing a modified version of the floor series. Please speak to your instructor for further advice about practicing whilst pregnant and see Rajashree’s pregnancy yoga section of the Bikram Head Quarters website.

But I am not flexible!

Perfect! This Yoga is for you! Yoga is not about how flexible you are, but about stretching your body and spine in all directions. All that matters is that you try the right way, go to your personal limit and you will get 100% benefit! With the heat and regular practice your flexibility (and strength) will increase dramatically.

How will I advance in my practice if the poses are always the same?

There will always be deeper places to experience through yoga postures (asanas). Not only will you start opening up your body in ways you never thought possible, you will realize giving 100 percent and achieving stillness in every pose is a lifelong journey. Finding the focus, discipline and one point of concentration through the duration of the class are other ways to advance your practice. After several classes you will begin to experience the magic of Bikram’s yoga. Each class is like trying it for the first time all over again.

How does it work?

By the tourniquet effect: stretching, balancing (using gravity), and creating pressure all at the same time. The blood supply in arteries and veins is being suppressed, creating pressure. When released, a lock gate effect is created, causing blood to rush through veins and arteries, flushing them out rejuvenating and reviving the tissue, whilst flushing out toxins and waste products.