First Timer

and other

Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about taking your first Bikram Yoga class?

Don’t worry, everyone’s a little nervous the first time.  But please don’t let that stop you from coming.  It’s definitely different from anything else you may have tried.  As you’ll come to find out, it’s well worth it!

We are so happy that you are considering joining us. We guarantee that a regular Bikram Yoga practice will change your life in more ways than you can imagine.

Please keep in mind that in the first class you will really just be getting used to the heat and the postures.  You’ll need to attend somewhere between 3 to 6 classes to effectively determine if this yoga is for you, and the sooner you take the next couple of classes, the more you will benefit.

Bikram designed this yoga to accommodate beginners,  so you can pick any class on the schedule that is most convenient for you. Know that with a little practice and experience, you’ll soon be right at home.  Also, know that everyone was at one time a beginner.

One of the great things about this yoga is, although you are with a group of people all doing the same set of postures, every single person in there will be at their own level.  Some people can do most of the postures pretty well, some people can’t really do any of them and most of us are right in the middle.  You will find that your only focus in the class will be on yourself.

I heard that Bikram Yoga is extreme - and for the fit and young.

A common misconception!

The reality is that our studio– and Bikram Yoga in general – has many students over the age of 70. Many go from the couch directly to Bikram Yoga, and many students adjust to the practice by simply sitting still in the room for a few classes before trying the postures. Some students practice from wheelchairs and others use a chair at first. All of this is possible in every class, with consultation and guidance from our teachers.

And yes, this is also the yoga of choice of many current and former professional and collegiate athletes. It is designed for the unfit and the fit, and effective for everyone in between.

Do I need to get in shape before I start?

Absolutely not.

This yoga system is the single most powerful way to get yourself into a balanced state of health and wellness – including physical fitness.  The most important thing is that you start as soon as possible and that you don’t stop showing up – no matter what the life circumstances, no matter your injury, no matter your stress or emotional state.

Our regular yoga practitioners develop strength and calm that is unlike anything you have seen!

 

We have a saying:

  To say you’re not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you’re too dirty to take a bath.

Why is it hot, not sure I'll be able to handle it.

 

That’s OK!  Many people do not think so at the beginning.

However, heat acclimation is actually very important for your health and can be initially achieved within 3 weeks of 3 classes per week. Over time, as you learn how to breath well, you will hardly notice the heat. This is a sign of good health!

The maximum health benefits have been shown to occur between 105F to 107F and 40% to 50% humidity.

The environment here is extremely well-regulated to promote maximum health benefit and does not exceed normal earth temperatures and humidity levels. This is not movement-based exercise in a hot room and is very different from other things called “hot yoga”. Our method allows for each student to work at her or his own pace and rest in stillness at any point during class. Even those with heat intolerance and menopausal symptoms adjust with a regular practice.

 

I’m a beginner. Can I take this class?

Absolutely!

Bikram Yoga is beginner’s yoga.  Everyone takes the same class together and everyone works at their own level.  No matter where you are in your practice, just trying to do the postures to the best of your ability will bring you huge benefits(no matter how you look doing them!).  Keep in mind that you’ll need to attend several classes before you can really determine if this is for you.

I’m not flexible at all. Can I do this?

Definitely.

We have a saying here: 

To say your not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you’re too dirty to take a bath.

Bikram Yoga will help you become flexible, and you’ll find that you improve just a little with each class.  Everyone works at their own level, and everyone’s got something going on with their body.  Some of us may be working towards getting these postures right for the rest of our natural days!  It’s the try that counts.

Why is it always the same?

A consistent, comprehensive system for beginning students is extremely important in order to:

  • build mastery and discipline
  • develop subtlety and depth of understanding
  • maintain safety before advancing
  • improve strength and mobility of every single joint in every class
  • train the mind to look for internal differences rather than external stimuli

Rather than the sequence changing, YOU change!  As you learn to pay better attention, look for the details, and steady your focus, you will experience that every single class is different.

What should I wear?

The less the better.

The more skin of your arms, legs, and torso that are exposed, the cooler you will be.

Believe us, the less you wear, the more comfortable you’ll be and the easier it will be to practice.  Most guys wear a bathing suit or yoga shorts.  Women will be comfortable in a sports bra and shorts or thin leggings.  Anything light and stretchy is good to start with. Avoid big tee shirts or loose shorts (we strecth a lot and you don’t want to be showing everything you have, if you know what we mean…). You can also look at the hot yoga clothing that we offer in the boutique.

Please try not to use a hand towel for wiping sweat; allowing the sweat to stay on your body and evaporate will help you cool down quicker.

Those who are concerned about how their body looks will find relief in our yoga method and our extremely non-judgmental, supportive, body-positive community. During class, you will be so highly focused on the internal sensations, verbal instructions, and breathing – the negativity about your appearance and the comparisons with other bodies will literally melt away.

How should I hydrate?

Make sure that you have had the equivalent of three glasses of water (24-30 ounces) in the 2 hours before class (one of the glasses of water should contain electrolytes), and as a beginner, please bring another bottle of water into the room with you. You will learn about your hydration needs as you practice regularly and as you learn how to breathe better.

 

Pure water is best – Gatorade and other sugary sports drinks are not recommended during class, as they cause the body to digest and divert blood away from the skin and muscles.

What about eating?

You should have sufficient food intake in general. Self-starving or extreme dieting do not work with this practice.

The general rule is not to eat within 3 hours before class, but if you’re famished, eat something light and bland like Saltine crackers; a couple should curb the hunger pangs. We don’t recommend nuts, chocolate, lattes, heavy or rich foods, or sushi, to be eaten within the 3 hours before you practice. We’ve tried it and regretted it.

 

How often should I practice?

The amount you practice will lead to different levels of benefit. A daily practice for 60 days is highly recommended for beginners who are committed to the most noticeable transformation in their health and well-being. In general, Bikram Yoga should be practiced at least 3-4 times per week for the full range of therapeutic benefits to take effect. Those who practice once or twice per week will still notice significant improvements in mobility, concentration, respiratory function, and emotional balance. Interventional research on the 90-minute class shows definite improvement in cardiovascular function, reduced cholesterol, and balanced blood sugar at a rate of 3 times per week, and reduction in mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety at a rate of 2 times per week.

What if I have a medical condition?

One of the best things about this yoga is that you do not even need to be able to stand up to participate. Most chronic medical conditions are improved by this yoga, but we are happy to discuss special needs with you or your medical professionals. Please contact the director Richard in advance if you are unsure about your ability to practice. We have good relationships with other health professionals in the community and will help you personally if any particular movements need to be avoided.

Can children do Bikram Yoga?

 

Absolutely!

It is exciting to see and maintain the natural range of motion of the human spine, prior to stress and injury. If your child is playing rigorous sports and/or they are able to sweat, they are welcome to try the 90-minute class. The issue we find with many children is their ability to focus and be still.  That might be a good gauge for you to use to determine if they should continue.

We have also found that it is a good idea to start all children off by doing the floor series, which is the second part of the class.

Can I do yoga while I’m pregnant?

Absolutely.

However, there are very specific guidelines for pregnancy.  First, although core temperature has been found to remain at a safe temperature in Bikram Yoga, the medical community wants to make sure that core temperature does not rise during the first trimester of pregnancy.

 

Hundreds of women around the world have practiced Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga within the Bikram Yoga classroom during all phases of pregnancy with no adverse effects (and very good birth outcomes).  We officially recommend that if you don’t already have a regular practice, you probably should not begin a new practice when you become pregnant.

 

I heard that Bikram Yoga is competitive.

This practice is what you make of it. If you bring competitiveness or comparison or self-criticism with you, you will get to watch those qualities melt away as you practice regularly and learn to direct your mind in healthy, healing ways. The focus and discipline in Bikram Yoga actually help to eliminate comparison and competitiveness within just a few months of regular practice.

 

 

Rajashree Choudhury and many yoga practitioners in our lineage do support participate in Asana Championships for the purposes of inspiring youth to incorporate yoga into their lives at a young age. The events are incredibly inspiring, and most participants do not have a competitive bone in their body! Read more about those here.

Is Bikram Yoga a chain or franchise?

No. All schools in the Bikram-Ghosh lineage are completely independent, locally owned and directed, small businesses. However, we are very closely connected by a common training lineage and by an overflowing love for this practice. We maintain the integrity and consistency of the yoga system because we have seen it work so well over so many decades. Most of us own and operate our yoga schools out of sheer passion for sharing the life-changing benefits of Bikram Yoga with the world.

I have heard negative things about Bikram Choudhury on the Internet. I do not want to support him

No portion of our revenue is sent to Bikram Choudhury – we are as local and independent as you can get. We acknowledge that Bikram Choudhury (creator of the yoga system) has had controversy in his personal life and has said some tremendously disrespectful things, and we do not defend or support those types of behaviors or statements in any way.

However, the yoga and its benefits are much bigger and more profound than all of that. The yoga system – not the creator or his personality – is what we benefit from and share. We ask that you trust your direct experience at our school rather than gossip or sensational journalism.

We apprentice teachers who have practiced and trained in the Bikram Yoga lineage and under the Original Hot Yoga Association guidelines, because we have found that these provide the most rigorous and disciplined foundation for yoga teaching and effective yoga therapy. We are currently retaining the name “Bikram Yoga” in our school name because the yoga itself is so unique and effective; we do not want it to get confused with “hot yoga” or diluted in any way.

Thinking about taking your first BYS Hot HIIT Class?

BYS Hot HIIT is training that combines interval training, muscle toning, and cardio in a room heated to approximately 100 degrees.

The strength work ensures you build muscle endurance.

And it’s not all about abs, think also a tight toosh, lean legs, sculpted arms and a strong back.

Doing BYS Hot HIIT in the the heat helps boost your metabolism and enhance the cardio aspect of the workout.

I’m a beginner. Can I take this class?

Absolutely!

BYS Hot HIIT is a challenging full-body workout using The Pilates principles. It is low impact, so it is safe practice for all fitness levels.

Is BYS Hot HIIT good for you?

 This practice promotes long, lean muscle mass while burning fat, with rapid results. It strengthens your core, improves circulation, and increases flexibility. High intensity interval training (HIIT) burns a maximum amount of fat and calories during class. …

BYS Hot HIIT is performed on a yoga mat with a towel on it.

How many calories do you burn in a BYS hot HIIT class?

Up to 900 calories per hour. A study by the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse revealed that, on average, a HIIT workout featuring exercises such as squats, burpees and lunges with short recovery periods between each set could burn around 15 calories per minute.

What does BYS Hot HIIT do for your body?

It creates a stronger core, improves circulation, and increases flexibility. It is performed on a yoga mat making it zero impact, protecting your joints and muscles from the pounding of other exercises like running and jumping. … The Pilates principles sculpt your body, creating long lean muscle mass.

 

How will BYS Hot HIIT change my body?

If you practice Hot HIIT regularly, it will change your body. Known for creating long, strong muscles and a leaner look, Hot HIIT improves muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. All of these things will make you look and feel very fit.

Does BYS Hot HIIT make your bum bigger?

HIIT is a low-impact way of helping make your butt bigger. A low-impact exercise that can help strengthen your core and improve your balance, HIITs can also help you super-size your butt. … Because BYS Hot HIIT includes a cardio routine you can watch your butt lift, grow stronger and get bigger.

What should I wear?

The less the better.

The more skin of your arms, legs, and torso that are exposed, the cooler you will be.

Believe us, the less you wear, the more comfortable you’ll be and the easier it will be to practice.  Most guys wear a bathing suit or yoga shorts.  Women will be comfortable in a sports bra and shorts or thin leggings.  Anything light and stretchy is good to start with. Avoid big tee shirts or loose shorts (we move around a lot and you don’t want to be showing everything you have, if you know what we mean…).

You can also look at the hot yoga clothing that we offer in the boutique.

 

How should I hydrate?

Make sure that you have had the equivalent of three glasses of water (24-30 ounces) in the 2 hours before class (one of the glasses of water should contain electrolytes), and as a beginner, please bring another bottle of water into the room with you. You will learn about your hydration needs as you practice regularly and as you learn how to breathe better.

 

Pure water is best – Gatorade and other sugary sports drinks are not recommended during class, as they cause the body to digest and divert blood away from the skin and muscles.

What about eating?

You should have sufficient food intake in general. Self-starving or extreme dieting do not work with this practice.

The general rule is not to eat within 3 hours before class, but if you’re famished, eat something light and bland like Saltine crackers; a couple should curb the hunger pangs. We don’t recommend nuts, chocolate, lattes, heavy or rich foods, or sushi, to be eaten within the 3 hours before you practice. We’ve tried it and regretted it.

 

7 Deer Park Road,

Weatogue, CT 06089

phone: (860)217-1663

 


What a wonderful gift – that of health and wellness!

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Bikram Yoga Simsbury is a small business wholly owned by Richard and Laurie. We have never been part of any franchise and have never paid any corporate fees.

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.

BKS Iyengar

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Bikram Yoga Simsbury Studio

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