Everybody and Every body is Different.

hippocrates quote

Oh the topic of food and hydration. What foods are good for my practice? What foods aren't? What should should I be putting into my body? What shouldn't I? How much water should I be drinking? I could write forever about this, but I'll keep it simple. The best answer I can give you is: everybody and every body is different.

If you're practicing 3 - 7 times a week it's vital to keep consistent hydration throughout the day, during your practice, and after. It's recommended to drink approximately 2 liters of water before coming into the hot room. You're sweating.... A LOT, so replenishing your water intake and electrolytes are key.

- Bananas
- Lemons
- Oranges
- Watermelon
- Coconut water or
- Nuun tablets etc. are great ways to help replenish them.


The foods we eat throughout the day factor into our practice significantly. Students tend to come to me after class and say they felt really dizzy, nauseous, or sick to their stomach. When asked what they consumed throughout the day they'll tell me: A couple cups of coffee, cake, ate right before coming, or nothing at all! Listen to those feelings your body gets during class, it's telling you something!

But no need to fear! Bikram Yoga will naturally change your diet. Eventually you'll want to start putting healthier things into your body because it'll effect your practice in a more positive way. Your body will become more sensitive to the foods you put into yourself too.

Once your practice starts to be more positive, once you start to feel good, those effects start to expand outside the room. It's a chain, leading from one good thing to the other. Just take it step by step. Listen to your body. Don't sweat it too much, but still sweat ;).

Commit to the Practice. Commit to Yourself.

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It takes 21 days to form a habit. 21. That’s 3 weeks! Such little time. By committing yourself to the 26 and 2 you’ll start to see its effects unfold. As Bikram yoga teachers we love seeing new and familiar faces in the room. It makes us excited that, regardless of whatever your reasoning is for coming in, regardless of their current state, you're making a commitment to yourself. We get to watch you guys make progress. We get to watch that monkey mind of yours calm down, and we see you create that mind-body connection.

By coming in and practicing you're committing to a better you! You might notice you’ll sleep better, that your back pain has declined or that your balancing on 1 foot! Even if at first you’re only able to commit to once a week or 6 days a week, as long as you keep it consistent, as long as you commit, you’ll notice consistent change, you'll get the benefits you need.

The more you practice you’ll create more of a self discovery, you’ll notice the postures aren't the same as when you first started your practice. Maybe you can do things now that you weren't able to do before! A student came up to me the other day and said "This is my 5th class in a row and I can already notice a significant change in my flexibility."

Come in. Commit to the practice, commit to yourself and everything will sort itself out.

4x4 Challenge!

4x4 challenge britomart
New students always ask me how often they should practice Bikram Yoga. The more the better! That's why starting June 1st Bikram Yoga Britomart is hosting the 4x4 challenge. Come 4 times a week for 4 weeks and see how your practice, your mind, your body can really change. As adults with obligations (i.e. work, children, family, school) it can sometimes be difficult to find the balance between the yoga and life duties. That's what so good about this challenge! If you've only been practicing maybe 2 or 3 times a week, upping your practice to 4 is a maintainable goal. It'll show you that you can make more of a commitment to yourself as well as maintain your daily life tasks. You'll be surprised that practicing 4 times a week is something you can maintain after the challenge too.

If you're seeking a challenge, if maybe you've fallen off the healthy bandwagon, if you want to make a life change, then the best time to start is now! We have a growing group of yogi's that have signed up. Just come in, talk to the teachers at the front desk about signing up, put your mat down and do your 90-minutes. It's not too late.  Not everyday is going to be the same. You'll have your days where you feel great, you'll have your days where you don't. But I promise each day will be exactly what your body needs.

Be aware of the changes that are happening especially outside the room. Your mind will quiet down, you'll have more focus, you'll have more energy, you'll start eating better foods, your balance and strength will increase, your gut will start to shrink and above all you'll feel good about yourself in the process.

We look forward to sweating with you soon!

Monday Motivations: Did someone say detox?!

 

Dear Britomart yogis,

So, Anzac Weekend is coming up. Who doesn't love bank holiday weekends?! Three entire days off. Lovely! Blissful! Just what will you do with yourself? The possibilities are no doubt endless, but please allow me to suggest another for your (serious!) consideration. Honestly, it's a pretty awesome idea!

Next weekend, between Saturday April 25th and Monday April 27th, Bikram Yoga Britomart will host its first 3-day detox weekend. The idea is pretty straightforward: For three days you commit to doing a minimum of two Bikram yoga classes daily. You will be fed (yummy raw food meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day), watered (two coconut waters and two green juices daily) and guided meditation sessions will also be offered at 6pm each day.

If you have been feeling a little sluggish recently, if you would like to lose a couple of kilos and/or tone up, if you would like to thoroughly cleanse your digestive system while giving your skin (your single largest organ!) a massive detox, if you would like to see witness firsthand how the heat speeds up your detox process, then this 3-day weekend is for you! It's the perfect opportunity for you to give your system a complete reboot before we get into the colder months. By Monday evening you will feel rejuvenated, reenergised and more inspired than ever to maintain your regular yoga practice throughout the winter period.

Bikram yoga is key to your wellbeing this winter. Your regular sweat sessions will keep you healthy, strengthening your cardiovascular system and helping you to keep stress at bay. When we see how stress is linked to pretty much every single medical complaint under the sun it's not difficult to be persuaded that the hot room is the place to be! Next weekend you can have your own heated winter escape without even leaving the city! 

So, to recap: 

What?: A 3-day yoga/raw food/meditation detox weekend.

When?: April 25-27. Choose a minimum of 6 from the 8 classes on offer (Sat: 8/10/4, Sun 9:30/4/6, Mon: 9:30/4).

Where?: Bikram Yoga Britomart studio

Why?: Because your body, mind, soul, skin, colon, and heart will thank you for it! Look after yourself first so can better look after others.

How much?: $300

What's included?: 6 Bikram classes, 9 raw meals, 6 green juices, 6 coconut waters, 3 meditation sessions. 

  

Where do I sign up?: On the website, by phone, or at the studio. 

What are you waiting for Britomart yogis? A newer, fresher, healthier, leaner version of the already amazing you is only a weekend away!

See you on your mats!

The importance of detox


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Yoga Clothing of the Week! 

Onzie wins with this gorgeous floral criss-cross back top! 

  


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Monday Motivations: Viva Las Vagus and keep your vagal tone and mood high! :-)

Dear Britomart yogis,

Last week we had a look at some of the benefits of a regular Bikram practice, and even though it may have been narrowed down to 10 for the purpose of the article I think it was pretty clear the list could easily have been twice as long. This week I started thinking about how amazing it is that ailments as diverse and complex as depression, arthritis, and diabetes, can all be relieved through yoga. But it also got me wondering at just how?! this healing happens. In fact the answer is pretty simple; yoga works by regulating the nervous system, more precisely, the vagus nerve, and the healthy operation of the vagus nerve has everything to do with our body's ability to successfully respond to stress.

The vagus nerve is kind of a big deal. It is the largest cranial nerve starting at the base of the skull, wandering down to the colon, and influencing the respiratory, digestive and nervous systems en route. It helps to regulate all of our major bodily functions; our breathing, heart rate, and digestion, as well as our ability to take in, process, and make sense of our experiences are all directly linked to the vagus nerve. It is responsible for the activation of our parasympathetic nervous system, the mechanism which controls our relaxation responses and our moods. In short; the vagus nerve has a pretty long to-do list!

Now, when the vagus nerve is functioning well and vagal tone is high (which is what we want!), the parasympathetic nervous system is activated and the body can go from active, busy states to more relaxed ones pretty easily. The problems arise when the body is stressed, anxious or in a constant state of fight or flight. When this happens the parasympathetic nervous system which controls our relaxation responses is deactivated and the sympathetic nervous system goes into survival overdrive, the heart rate rises,  breathing becomes shallow, and our moods are hard to manage. This is when we really need to wake up the parasymathetic nervous system, and start stimulating the nagus nerve and this is where yoga comes in!

Pranayama! Slow, deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, stimulates the vagus nerve. Breath retention followed by slow exhalation is one of the best methods of vagal stimulation. And what is more, yogic breathing momentarily suppresses stress hormones. And how do we start our Bikram class? With 2 sets of 10 deep pranayama breaths, holding air in the lungs on the 6th count of the inhale and slowly exhaling for 6 counts. Perfect! When we come back to our breath again and again throughout our yoga class we are directly stimulating our nagus nerve encouraging high vagal tone (good!) and ensuring that our parasympathetic nervous system prevails. We are actively encouraging our bodies to evacuate stress through our breathing, and as such we come out of the studio in a fantastic mood and feeling incredibly relaxed, which means we all want to go back for more!

And why wouldn't you?! A yoga practice that reduces stress, lifts your mood, and keeps your circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems healthy sounds pretty good to me!

See you on your mats! :-)


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Yoga Clothing of the Week: TEEKI ❤️

Buffalo Princess Sienna mermaid tank!  

Lots of words for such a small item of clothing! We love how comfortable this fits!! 

red top


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Monday Motivations: Bikram Yoga's so so so good for you! Got it?!

Hi Britomart yogis,

This week I thought I might do a little recap of some (not all, as I would literally be writing all day!) of the health benefits of this fantastic yoga practice that we love so much. Many of these benefits you may be aware of, some you may have already witnessed firsthand, but for those readers out there who may be new to the practice let me reassure you that you made a truly excellent choice when you stepped into the Bikram studio. 

Benefit no. 1: BY increases flexibility and builds muscle strength. It prevents cartilage and joint breakdown and is very supportive of your connective tissue. That's actually 4 reasons... Darn it, bad start... There are just too many benefits to stick to a 1 per paragraph limit!


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Anahata wins yoga clothing of the week! 


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Monday Motivations: The Pranayama Prelude

Every Bikram class starts with a breathing exercise: pranayama deep breathing, "good for our lungs and respiratory system". The word pranayama itself comes from two words: prana meaning life force or breath, and yama meaning control. So this first exercise is initiating us immediately to the idea of breath control (a constant in our yoga practice) and preparing our bodies and minds for the remainder of the class. 

We have two sets of ten breaths in pranayama breathing, and each of the 20 breaths steadily increases the lungs' elasticity. The point of this breathing exercise is to teach us how to access full lung capacity and increase blood circulation to the entire body thereby warming our bodies up for what is to come.

  

Let's look in a little more detail at the benefits of pranayama:

 

  • Pranayama expands the lungs to their full capacity. It is estimated that we only use around 10-15% of our lung capacity. In this breathing exercise we are sending fresh oxygen to the deepest parts of the lungs helping to open the otherwise residual alveoli and generally helping the lungs to work more efficiently. 
  • Pranayama stimulates blood circulation to the whole body bringing fresh oxygenated healing blood to every cell. 
  • The exhalation forces carbon dioxide and many other toxins out of the body facilitating detoxification of the internal organs. 
  • Pranayama is tremendously good for anyone who has any breathing difficulties as it improves and prevents respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.
  • Pranayama strengthens the abdominal muscles which are engaged for both the inhalation and exhalation. It also engages the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles of the ribs which are stretched on the inhale and contracted on the exhale. 
  • Pranayama allows us to relax the neck and shoulders and is a pretty relaxing exercise helping to reduce stress and anxiety and promoting mental relaxation and focus.

Pranayama breathing is teaching us how to untrain shallow chest breathing (which we are so used to) and tap into the bottom of the lungs (that we rarely get into!) but it is pretty challenging right?! Bikram himself says this in his book: "You never knew that a mindless, repetitive act could be so complex!"


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