Beginner’s Guide

Beginner’s Guide and FAQs

Come as you are. Bring an open mind and a positive attitude

Do I need to book?

No. You show up any time you want to practice. If you’re new, please arrive at least 15 minutes before class to get set up and complete your registration form.

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

The class is designed to be suitable for practitioners of all levels of experience including complete beginners. Every class follows the same format so you’ll get the hang of it quicker than you think. 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.

Can I eat or drink before class?

Drink plenty of water. You should always drink around 2 liters of water a day. On the days you practice Bikram, try to drink twice that amount. Exercising on a full stomach is not recommended, so try to leave 2 to 3 hours between eating and class.

What do I need to bring?

Your yoga clothes, two towels, water and a plastic bag to put your wet things in afterwards. Mats and towels are available to hire from the studio for £1 each or to purchase. We also sell bottles of water for £1.50.

Is it aerobic?

Yes

But I'm really unfit!

Don’t worry we will get you fit. To begin, just take it really easy. Sit down when you need to, and take plenty of breaks. Our friendly staff will talk you through everything that you need to do, keep you motivated and give you lots of encouragement.

What should I wear?

Women wear sports tops and either leggings or shorts. Men wear shorts, tops are optional. Light fabrics such as Lycra are ideal – cotton is bulky and restricts movement when wet. Avoid big baggy clothing as well.

Is it cardiovascular?

Yes

Stress Relief and emotional well-being

  • The endorphin release you get after a session has to be experienced to be understood. Walk home buzzing with positive energy and feeling on top of the world.
  • Yoga balances hormones and emotions. It actually physically changes the electrical activity in your brain- Link a
  • Many studies have now shown yoga to be as powerful as ProZak for combating depression and highly effective for treating, panic attacks, anxiety and PTSD. Click here to read more
  • Tennis star Andy Murray has used Bikram Yoga to get his temper into control as well increasing his focus and self-belief. He credits his success to his Bikram practice. Click here to read more
  • An recent article in the New Scientist Click here to read more

Chronic Health Conditions

  • Bikram Yoga can help to control – and in some cases completely eliminate the symptoms of many common medical issues.
  • Bikram Yoga has been particularly effective for students affected by: Diabetes, Heart- Disease, High-Blood-Pressure, Cholesterol, Migraines, Allergies, Hypertension and Sciatica
  • Read our own students stories of how yoga has helped them manage conditions like arthritis, asthma, hiatus hernia and chronic pain. Click here to read more
  • Some have been able to completely stop strong prescription pain killers.
  • Studies have also shown that Bikram Yoga helps prevent osteoporosis, acting as a counter measure for bone density loss in women. Click here to read more

Injury Rehabilitation, Knee and Back Problems

  • Bikam Yoga reduces injury and corrects the damage caused by high impact sports. Increasingly doctors and chiropractors recommend Bikram to patients.
  • Poor posture often resulting from sitting hunched over desk all day, can cause or aggravate back and neck pain. Our yoga works the spine in every direction with many beneficial back-bends, helping realign, re-balance and restore.
  • We’ve seen it work wonders for students with headaches, scoliosis, herniated disks and many other back problems.
  • Check out Lindsay’s story of how yoga helped her rehabilitate after a car accident left her with a broken neck and back. Click here to read more
  • Bikram is also powerful for healing knee injuries. Our student Debbie has meniscus tears in both knees. Here she is talking about how much the practice helped her knees. Link 7 Click here to read more

Weight-loss, health and beauty

  • During a 90 minute Bikram Yoga session you can burn up to 1000 calories. Click here to read more
  • Bikram Yoga has been one of Hollywood’s beauty secrets for years. Celebrities like Jennifer Anniston, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Demi Moore and Gwyneth Parltrow have found that Bikram Yoga helps them stay looking young and beautiful.
  • Our student, Aileen lost a stone in weight and 3 inches off her waist 3 weeks after joining Bikram Southside her story in the Eastwood Extra. Click here to read more
  • As you sweat, your pores are opened and cleaned allowing natural lanolin to release through the pores, softening and preserving your skin’s elasticity.
  • Increased circulation to skins cells helps keep skin looking youthful, clear and vibrant Watch your face develop “the Bikram glow”.
  • Check out our blog for more info and tips on keeping your skin looking great. Click here to read more
Stress Relief and emotional well-being
  • The endorphin release you get after a session has to be experienced to be understood. Walk home buzzing with positive energy and feeling on top of the world.
  • Yoga balances hormones and emotions. It actually physically changes the electrical activity in your brain- Link a
  • Many studies have now shown yoga to be as powerful as ProZak for combating depression and highly effective for treating, panic attacks, anxiety and PTSD. Click here to read more
  • Tennis star Andy Murray has used Bikram Yoga to get his temper into control as well increasing his focus and self-belief. He credits his success to his Bikram practice. Click here to read more
  • An recent article in the New Scientist Click here to read more
Chronic Health Conditions
  • Bikram Yoga can help to control – and in some cases completely eliminate the symptoms of many common medical issues.
  • Bikram Yoga has been particularly effective for students affected by: Diabetes, Heart- Disease, High-Blood-Pressure, Cholesterol, Migraines, Allergies, Hypertension and Sciatica
  • Read our own students stories of how yoga has helped them manage conditions like arthritis, asthma, hiatus hernia and chronic pain. Click here to read more
  • Some have been able to completely stop strong prescription pain killers.
  • Studies have also shown that Bikram Yoga helps prevent osteoporosis, acting as a counter measure for bone density loss in women. Click here to read more
Injury Rehabilitation, Knee and Back Problems
  • Bikam Yoga reduces injury and corrects the damage caused by high impact sports. Increasingly doctors and chiropractors recommend Bikram to patients.
  • Poor posture often resulting from sitting hunched over desk all day, can cause or aggravate back and neck pain. Our yoga works the spine in every direction with many beneficial back-bends, helping realign, re-balance and restore.
  • We’ve seen it work wonders for students with headaches, scoliosis, herniated disks and many other back problems.
  • Check out Lindsay’s story of how yoga helped her rehabilitate after a car accident left her with a broken neck and back. Click here to read more
  • Bikram is also powerful for healing knee injuries. Our student Debbie has meniscus tears in both knees. Here she is talking about how much the practice helped her knees. Link 7 Click here to read more
Weight-loss, health and beauty
  • During a 90 minute Bikram Yoga session you can burn up to 1000 calories. Click here to read more
  • Bikram Yoga has been one of Hollywood’s beauty secrets for years. Celebrities like Jennifer Anniston, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Demi Moore and Gwyneth Parltrow have found that Bikram Yoga helps them stay looking young and beautiful.
  • Our student, Aileen lost a stone in weight and 3 inches off her waist 3 weeks after joining Bikram Southside her story in the Eastwood Extra. Click here to read more
  • As you sweat, your pores are opened and cleaned allowing natural lanolin to release through the pores, softening and preserving your skin’s elasticity.
  • Increased circulation to skins cells helps keep skin looking youthful, clear and vibrant Watch your face develop “the Bikram glow”.
  • Check out our blog for more info and tips on keeping your skin looking great. Click here to read more

Find out more about what to expect during your first class Click here
Read our frequently asked Questions Click here

How Yoga Changes Your Brain

How Yoga Changes Your Brain

Check out these dramatic images of how electrical activity in the brain changes after just ten mins of meditation. Imagine the effect of 90 minutes of yoga, which is a moving meditation. Then imagine the effect of regular yoga classes!

Using MRI scans like these, studies have found more brain cells in certain brain areas in people who regularly practiced yoga, as compared with control subjects.

Yogis have been found to have larger brain volume in the areas relating to body awareness, directing attention, and vision. The hippocampus, a region critical to dampening stress, has also been show to be enlarged in yoga practitioners, as were areas key to our concept of self.

Many studies have show changes like this happening to the brain from yoga and meditation but a new study shows for the first time that gene activity changes too. Herbert Benson of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that after practicing a 20 minute meditation daily for eight weeks, volunteers showed changes in their gene profiles with beneficial genes boosted and harmful genes deactivated.

Clusters of genes that became less active were related to high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and some cancers. The boosted Genes he boosted genes had beneficial effects including boosting insulin production, which improves control of blood sugar and helping to keep DNA stable and so prevent cells wearing out and ageing.

Check out the links below to find out more;

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23480-meditation-boosts-genes-that-promote-good-health/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-yoga-changes-the-brain/
https://www.galaxyofyoga.in/pranayama-and-brain-waves/

Why “The Secret” Is A Lot Of Sh#@t And How The Law Of Attraction Really Works

Why “The Secret” Is A Lot Of Sh#@t And How The Law Of Attraction Really Works

“Its like having the universe as your catalogue. You flip through and say, “I’d like to have this experience and I’d like to have this product and I’d like to have a person like that.” It is you placing your order with the universe. Its’ really that easy.”

Dr John Vitale

“Why do you think that 1% of the population earns around 96% of the money that’s being earned. Do you think that’s an accident?… They understand something. They understand the secret and now you are being introduced to the secret.”

Bob Proctor

Yes these are quotes from the book. Great job grabbing people’s attention but aye nae bother Bob. And John, that sounds great, please sign me up. I suppose that people living in famine just lost their order form. People who pray for rain to come every day so their crops won’t fail actually just feel deep down that they deserve to be mal-nourished or they would be attracting more abundance?

The law of attraction states that we attract into your lives what we focus our thoughts on. The is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are made from “pure energy”, and that through the process of “like energy attracting like energy” our thoughts manifest into realities in our experience.

Recently I saw Will Smith in a Video saying: “You just put it out there and the universe will go on, open up and make it happen for you.” I was like sure, if you happen to be a world famous multi-millionaire then yeah, why not, you can probably manifest just about anything you want. If you are living in a slum in Haiti or a camp in North Korea on the other hand, all the positive thinking in the world is not likely to get you a Bentley. Why not? because for some, people, poverty and a million other physical circumstances are acting as blocks against the workings of the Law of Attraction.

The Secret makes out that all these blocks are in our minds: if we are not getting what we want it’s because we are preventing “abundance” from coming through. If we just believe that things are possible, they will become possible. Nice bedtime reading for middle class America, but if this was true we’d all be teleporting from our yacht to the moon every Saturday night.

There must be more to this story though, because we know that some of the greatest thinkers in the world have told us, and some have also proven, that we CAN make things happen by focusing on them, believing that they can happen and directing our energy towards them. This is exactly what religious people are doing in prayer, and we have all heard amazing stories of triumphs over adversity achieved by people with immense faith and vision. I would personally go as far as to say that SOMETIMES, with enough faith and desire projected towards something, miracles can happen.

There is a spanner in the works somewhere, which is that the Law of Attraction is not the only law by which the universe is governed. There are things that can stop our desires and intentions from manifesting beyond the strength of our belief and the depths of our desires. The Secret kinda forgot to mention these.

Imagine the Law of Attraction as a force like gravity: if you drop an empty can of Iron Bru from a tenement window, the law of gravity will pull it towards the ground. This does not necessarily mean that it will hit the floor. If there is a tree beside your flat it may land in the tree and get stuck, this is because something physical has blocked the force of gravity from working so that it hasn’t pulled the can down to land in the street.

If there is a giant super-powered magnet attached to the wall of a building in some crazy sci-fi world (work with me here people), the can will stick to the magnetic wall: Another force has interfered and redirected the course of action in this case. Finally, if someone who has great hand eye co-ordination and a grip of steel catches the can, it will not hit the ground: Another person has interacted with the situation and changed the fate of the can.
Taking this to an energetic level, someone else’s vibration could interfere with yours if you both want different things, thus creating a vibrational battle with sub- atomic particles bouncing off each other into parallel universes. Like a kind of firework display for quantum physicists, but my head is about to explode so lets’ not go there.

So is that it? The game’s a bogy and we are all screwed, as we have no way to ensure that the Law of Attraction will work, even if we are manifesting like absolute juggernauts and sending out the most spectacular vibrations the universe has ever seen. This would be a pretty un-motivating blog if that was my conclusion. Keep the faith! Our ability to manifest our desires is the strongest power that we have in this world. The laws of the universe are something we are guaranteed never to understand. We will never know what obstacles our vibrations may meet on their way to the fruition of our deepest desires. What we do know, is that they will never be a waste of energy.

They may manifest instantly, they may manifest in ways we did not expect, or they may never materialise, but at least we gave it a shot. At least we did every single thing, with the strength of our entire being, that we could physically, mentally and spiritually to make things happen. If there are obstacles in our lives preventing us from getting what we want, let’s make damn sure they’re not coming from ourselves or our fears. Let’s be dream catchers; let’s be absolute magnets for magnificence. By believing things we are allowing and helping them to happen, so dream big, attract everything good that is in any way available to you and be open to as many possible possibilities as you can imagine!

10 things NOT to do in a Bikram Yoga class

10 things NOT to do in a Bikram Yoga class

With a stifling heat of around 42 degrees and a demanding series of 26 postures, entering our studio can be like stepping into a torture chamber.   While we all have our tough days, experienced yogis make Bikram Yoga look like a breeze.  So, what’s their secret?  There is none, but through time they have learned what not to do in the heated room.  As a regular practitioner, I have collated a list of top 10 things you shouldn’t do in a Bikram Yoga class which will help transform you into a fully fledged yogi.

Don’t eat before class

You’ll get so much more out of the class if you come with an empty stomach, so don’t eat within three hours before class.  However, if you’re completely famished you can curb those hunger pangs with something like a piece of fruit, handful of nuts or a protein bar – nothing too heavy.  After class is a whole different story, you need to eat plenty to replenish your body of important nutrients.

Don’t wear baggy clothes

Don’t wear baggy clothes because it will restrict your movement and weigh you down.  Instead, you should wear tight fitting clothes such as sports bras, leggings and shorts.

Don’t drink too much water before and during class

It’s important that you come to class properly hydrated, so it’s recommended that you drink a litre of water within two hours before class.  That doesn’t mean you should down a whole bottle of water right before class as it will give you an uncomfortably full stomach! You need to commit to staying hydrated throughout the day.  The same goes for during class, drinking too much in one go will make most of the floor series harder especially the postures that require you to lie on your front.

Don’t stand in the front row if you’re new

 If it’s your first time at the studio, make sure you stand in the back row so you can watch and follow the lead of students in front of you.  The teacher leads the class through dialogue so you learn the postures by listening to the words and looking to other students for guidance.

Don’t fidget

In between postures you should try and make a conscious effort not to take a drink, fix your hair, wipe the sweat off your face or adjust your mat and towel.  Instead, focus on your breathing and eventually, you’ll develop clarity, focus and discipline into your yoga practice and ultimately your life.

Don’t wipe your sweat

Let your face and body sparkle.  Sweat is your body’s natural air conditioner so if you want to make it through the 90 minutes don’t wipe it away.  You’ll only disrupt your practice and encourage more sweat production so it’s pointless.

Don’t breathe through your mouth

Apart from the two breathing exercises, breathe in and out through the nose.  This will help you stay calm, focused and in control.  Breathing through your mouth will trigger the fight-or-flight response which will make you feel anxious and stressed.

Don’t talk in class

The hot room is a quiet space so apart from the teacher’s dialogue there should be no other talking.  Meditation is a vital part of the yoga series so instead of chatting to your neighbour focus on your breathing and the postures.

Don’t push yourself too hard

You have your whole life to practice yoga so pace yourself.  Find your limits then gradually push yourself a little bit harder.  Postures can usually be split into stages so work on the first stage before moving onto the next one.

Don’t run out of class as soon as the final breathing exercise is over

When the class is over don’t head straight out.  This is the best part of the class that you have been working towards.  Stay in the room with your eyes closed for at least five minutes after class and enjoy the moment.

Confessions of an Ex-Gym Junkie:  Sherand’s Journey to Bikram Yoga

Confessions of an Ex-Gym Junkie: Sherand’s Journey to Bikram Yoga

I was an avid runner, gym junkie and thought yoga was the biggest waste of time. I’d rather spend 2 hours a day, 5 days a week in the gym than spend 30 minutes ‘stretching’. I didn’t even like to stretch when I ran. So when my sister-in-law asked me to accompany her to a 90 minute Bikram class, I thought she was nuts! Little did I know that class in June 2009 would change everything for me.

I emerged from that first class looking like a drowned rat, but feeling euphoric, like I’d just had the most amazing workout. Per the teacher’s recommendation, I went back the next day and a few days later, until I was practicing 4 to 5+ times per week. Within 2 months, I had stopped running all together and cancelled my gym memberships. My body was in better shape doing the yoga than it ever was running or going to the gym and required much less effort on my part. Show up to class, turn your mind off and follow the teacher’s instructions. Simple.

It was the physical exercise aspect of Bikram that I was initially drawn to, but it didn’t take long to realise through regular practice, I could heal my body as well as my mind. I dislocated my tailbone in my early 20’s and as a result my tailbone protruded causing a significant sway in my lower back. I had gone to doctors to get weekly ultrasound and electrotherapy treatments to relax the muscles and fix my posture, which made no difference. I also have slight scoliosis between my shoulder blades causing my shoulders to round forward. I quickly noticed my posture improving and my lower back pain dissipating. I no longer have the sway in my lower back and am confident, in time, I’ll straighten out my spine as well. I have learned to look in the mirror and love the person looking back at me (most of the time). If I don’t like something I see in that reflection, I have the option to fix it. I have learned to quiet my mind and still my body.

Within 9 months of my first class, I was at Teacher Training. I knew I wanted to share the gift of Bikram and help others heal their body and mind. I have travelled the world teaching Bikram Yoga: the US, Ireland, Colombia, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya and now Scotland learning from everyone about different body types and cultural differences. I have been blessed to learn from so many skilled and knowledgeable teachers and studio owners to develop into the teacher and student I am today. We all come to this yoga with junk bodies and it takes time to undo the damage. Through regular practice, your body will change. You mind will change. Your life will change. Just be patient and never give up trying. If you can, you must. If you can’t, you must try.