courtesy of Misty Michelle Photography

One of the questions we get a lot is, “What do I need to do to prepare for Bikram yoga?”. The first answer you’ll typically hear is to hydrate! But if you really think about who’s practicing bikram yoga you’ll find that they’re typically people who are preparing for something else. From olympic soccer players to NBA basketball, athletes in all forms use Bikram to increase balance, flexibility, strength, endurance, and muscle healing. I wanted to hear from one of these athletes so I asked a good friend and career surfer to talk a little about how Bikram helps him. Here’s what he had say:

As a surfer for 15 years and a yoga instructor, I believe yoga and surfing go hand in hand. When you think about it, surfing is 60% paddling, 35% waiting, and 5% surfing.

Spending most of the time paddling, spine strength becomes the number one factor. Keeping the lower body solid, and lifting and holding the upper body in an arched position while using shoulder muscles to paddle. In the Bikram Yoga series the spine strengthening series Cobra, Locust, Full Locust, and Bow incorporate the fundamentals of what paddling a surf board consist of.

Waiting and watching for the sets to come far off on the horizon, this is where meditation comes into play. A surfer needs to have the ability to focus to the horizon and have a long attention span in order to spot an incoming set. Not only will this give you the competitive edge, but also in large surf it can mean survival. Bikram Yoga increases the mind’s ability to focus on point, concentrate, meditate and breath. Keeping the mind calm in the ocean lowers the heart rate, allows for deeper calmer breaths resulting in higher oxygen levels in the blood stream so that if and when you get caught by a cleanup set, the ability to hold breath for long periods of time is greater. If the mind feels anxiety, it’s starving the body of oxygen.

When surfing, the amount of time spent actually balancing on the board is relatively short but by taking Bikram Yoga, minutes are spent balancing on one leg which increases a persons awareness of balance, and trains muscles that are otherwise seldom used. The balancing series; Standing Head to Knee, Standing Bow, and Balancing Stick Pose, all increase a persons ability to balance.

Thanks, Jason, for the article! If you are an athlete and would like to share your story… leave a comment below or email me and let us know you’d like to be a guest blogger!

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Hello again everyone!

I hope that everybody enjoyed a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. It has been two weeks since my last post and my goodness, what a two weeks it has been! In spite of all the obstacles along the way, I’m excited to say that we are now in the final phases of preparation. The day is rapidly approaching and Friday, June 1st will be our first day open to the public. Even though it might seem strange, I have chosen to focus this particular blog on a posture that takes place towards the end of the Bikram series, even though we are just beginning our yoga journey together.

Anyone who has ever exercised knows that one of the fundamentals to a successful workout routine is the warm-up that comes beforehand. Without this primary function of loosening your joints and muscles, people are likely to experience various negative impacts to the body, including muscle pulls, cramping or spasms, and other unnecessary injuries that could consequently be permanent. Although many of us do well at accomplishing this task, there is another phase of your workout where the act of stretching is equally vital. I am referring to the the cool-down period, where the focus on relaxing takes precedence over repeating the first step once again.

Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Motion states the following: “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.” Let’s just take a moment to apply this law to the current topic. If we spend so much time getting our bodies prepared for a long vigorous workout, shouldn’t we apply just as much effort towards the resting segment that follows afterward? The sad reality is that many of us who have tried other popular workouts do not incorporate the act of stretching upon the conclusion of our efforts. I have been guilty of it, too. I cannot even remember the number of times that I’ve gone to the gym and started exercising like crazy, only to realize that I must leave soon and I run off hastily without finishing what I had planned to do. Sound familiar?

By omitting stretches at the end of any workout, we miss out on numerous favorable rewards, such as reducing stress, improving blood circulation, increasing lung capacity, elongating muscles and connective tissue, detoxifying vital internal organs, and finding the equilibrium between strength and flexibility. Interestingly, the practitioners I encounter with abundant physical strength are typically the ones who are the most inflexible. Furthermore, they utilize their rigidity as justification for neglecting this particular posture, which provides all of the incredible advantages which I previously mentioned. Given that this is the 2nd to last posture in the series, I can understand feeling fatigued after approximately 85 minutes of dynamic exertion. Additionally, I highly empathize with those who experience pain or discomfort while executing this asana (the Sanskrit word for “pose”). However, as you can see, this is a posture that should be performed with the utmost intensity, but be careful not to overdo it. The best approach is to stay connected with your breath and to make slow, deliberate movements until you have reached your maximum boundary. With consistent practice, any individual will observe that this posture will rapidly facilitate an effective progression towards balancing mind, body, and spirit.

I cannot express the exhilaration I feel about meeting all of our enthusiastic yogis and yoginis. Please remember to take advantage of a 30% savings when you purchase your package online before June 1st.  Until then, stay hydrated and vigilant, my friends. Namaste!

~Art

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Hello again to all of our faithful patrons. You may or may not have heard by now, but the scheduled opening date of the studio has unfortunately been postponed. Much to our dismay, there has been a multitude of delays associated with the construction process and as a result, the opening date is now set for June 1st.

As the studio manager, I would like to extend my earnest apology to all of our clients and practitioners. From the day that we started advertising about the studio, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of love, support, and inquiry from people all over the world who have taken a vested interest in Bikram Yoga Marina Del Rey. The amount of selfless consideration that has been thrown our direction is immeasurable and for that, we can never thank you enough.

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Good day to you, Bikram Yogis and Yoginis.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, albeit through a computer screen. My name is Arthur Markray and I am the Studio Manager at Bikram Yoga Marina del Rey. On behalf of my beautiful sister Challyn Marie (studio owner) and all of the other staff members, I would like to share my utmost enthusiasm about being affiliated with the first Bikram certified location in the West Los Angeles area. For Challyn and I, this is far more than just a building where people can practice yoga. It is the physical manifestation of a long, drawn-out journey which began years ago.

For more than four years now, the dream of one day owning and operating a Bikram yoga studio has been our top priority. From the very start, the objective in mind was to develop a new concept of how people experienced their yoga. Practicing in the heated room is a great start, but we knew that in order to create something truly special, we would have to add an extra element of magic to generate a uniquely distinctive understanding of what yoga can provide. When translated from Sanskrit into English, the word yoga means union or joining. In the context of physical yoga, the ideal combination of harmony between the body, mind, and spirit form an unshakable balance which lends itself to unlocking a person’s untapped potential, allowing them to utilize the characteristics of their optimum self. Keeping that in mind, the final product has resulted in a groundbreaking achievement, one that we hope will revolutionize the yoga community.

At Bikram Yoga Marina Del Rey, we offer the finest amenities to our students, including a co-ed steam room which students can utilize to help prepare their bodies before entering class. Additionally, we have features that you will be hard pressed to find at any other yoga studio. We are thrilled to announce that we have recently partnered with Kreation Organic, a local green business which specializes in healthy, delicious soups, salads and more. This exciting new enterprise will offer students freshly made to order cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices as a way to refresh after completing a vigorous Bikram series. As a convenience to our students, we invite you to enjoy these beverages and meditate in our one-of-a-kind designer lounge, complete with free Wi-Fi internet access. Furthermore, we have an isolated room specifically designed for massage therapy treatments, allowing students the opportunity to have their aches and pains worked on by a certified massage therapist with more than 20 years of experience serving the Los Angeles area. Last, but certainly not least, we have a playroom available for children from ages 2 to 10, allowing for parents to come and practice their yoga without having to worry about finding a babysitter for their child (offered only during 9:30 AM classes; see class schedule for details and availability). With all of these fantastic conveniences available, we are confident that you will find Bikram Yoga Marina Del Rey to be much more than a trendsetting facility for overall health and wellness. Our vision is to cultivate a space where community is the standard, enriching the lives of all who step within its walls. I welcome all patrons across Los Angeles and beyond to visit our studio in the hopes that you are left with an invigorating, enlightened experience. Namaste!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at art@bikramyogamarina.com. I look forward to meeting you all very soon!

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A popular practice at hot yoga studios around the world, “the challenge” is pretty much just like it sounds: 30 days of hot yoga in a row. The benefits of doing a 30 day challenge are substantial. Making this commitment begins an intensive healing process in the body and raises the bar on your personal expectations of what is possible.

“you are much more powerful and capable than you would have imagined”

Most people think they could not possibly do hot yoga for 30 days in a row, but even within the first few days, we find strength, determination and passion that previously didn’t exist. Committing to this challenge allow you to discover something about yourself; that you are much more powerful and capable than you would have imagined.

Another major benefit of the 30 day challenge is how much it helps you identify physical issues you didn’t know you had, allowing you the opportunity to work through them, with guidance. Old injuries surface with this kind of consistent practice, giving us the chance to heal and break through previous problems long stuck in the body.

Making a goal of 30 classes in 30 days really encourages you to stay active every single day. All you need to do is focus on the emotional reward of completing your thirty days, mindful of the benefits you’ll receive along the way… extra energy, better sleep, increased flexibility, etc. Your 30 day challenge will involve all the many ways hot yoga benefits you, but so much more when concentrated into just 30 days! Sign up and make the commitment TODAY! You can do it, we can help.

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Pressing juice gives you the best tasting and most nutritious way of getting your juice. The process starts by taking the vegetable and running it through a slow grinder that breaks the vegetable down to pulp form. The pulp is then put in a cloth bag to be pressed. There is very small to no heat or oxidation involved doing this process which results in giving a very high yield of vital nutrients and live enzymes.

And why are we telling you this? BECAUSE WE HAVE A FRESH COLD PRESSED JUICE BAR RIGHT IN OUR YOGA STUDIO!

That’s right, let it sink in. I hope you’re sitting down. You’ll be able to walk out of your hot yoga session, grab an ice cold pressed juice or coconut water, and replenish some of those fluids you worked off!

More details to come!

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