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I Wouldn’t Know It Was Bikram If It Wasn’t 107 Degrees!

I tried out a new yoga joint this morning and was MORE than pleasantly surprised!  I went to Bikram Yoga Downtown Hartford and it was an amazing experience.  Normally I go to a place in Glastonbury, and though I always liked it (with the exception of a few classes that were taught by some uptight yogi who literally yelled at the students, myself included), I thought “hey, why not try something new?”.  So I did.  Bikram Yoga Downtown Hartford is located right off the highway on Main Street across the street from City Steam Brewery.  There isn’t any free parking available like there is in Glastonbury, but luckily I’m an early bird and was able to park on the street (which you can do until 8AM).  There are also two parking garages that are in walking distance and cost only $3 and $4 with validation from Bikram Yoga Downtown.

Of course the practice of Bikram Yoga is going to be the same everywhere you go:  26 postures and 2 breathing exercises.  But this studio had a amenities that are not available at my last studio.

  1. Spacious, Clean and Most Importantly COOL Locker Room:   Instead of having 30 yogis all trying to put their clothing into cubbies the size of a sandal box, there is a full on locker room fully equipped with large cubes, benches, nice showers, and a full counter and mirror to get ready.
  2. Scent Free Yoga Room:  I couldn’t believe it.  You’d think that a 107 degree room where people sweat their ass off for 90 minutes would be impossible to keep scent free, but somehow they did it.  OK, well maybe when I go back I’ll notice it wasn’t completely scent free, but thinking back on the situation, I can’t recall any nasty sweat smell, so it must not have been that back.
  3. Unpretentious Staff:  I’m not saying that all yoga teachers are pretentious, but some of them, ok most of them, give off this vibe that they are so relax and have their lives so under control that it actually sometimes stresses me out!  How annoying is it that every yoga teacher is about 110 lbs and has a six pack just from standing in tree pose and saying  a few oms?  My teacher today was just a regular girl and seemed wicked down to earth…I loved it!
  4. Small Class Size:  Since I’ve only gone once, I’m not sure if this is the case, but this class had only 5 people in it, including myself.  Cool!
  5. CLOCK!  Finally, the best part about this place:  there is a huge clock right in the middle of the room.  I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but let me tell you…I cannot stand not knowing how much longer I have til I’m done.  I’ve even worn my watch into practice a few times just so I can keep an eye, but I swear I got dirty looks for doing that so I reluctantly stopped!

I definitely recommend this place to anyone who is looking to test the waters with Bikram.  The staff is nice, the studio is clean, and in my humble opinion, its a great place for new comers and experienced yogis of all kinds!

click here for deals on yoga clothing!

Getting Wild With Bikram Yoga

Good Morning!  I’m excited this morning because I have been working on this blog post every night for the past week.  Seriously, it has taken me a while, so I really hope everyone enjoys it!  I’m also excited because I have Bikram Yoga tonight! You’ve probably noticed that I’ve done a few posts about Bikram over the past couple months.  Me and my friend Liz go once a week together and although we are not allowed to talk during class, it certainly gives us a lot to talk about outside of class.

Below I’ve listed each of the yoga poses along with visuals… but wait there’s more!  I LOVE animals, and animal-lover or not, who doesn’t love cute and funny animal pictures?  I thought it would be fun to see how graceful our animal counter parts are at this hot and grueling practice.

1.) Pranayama Series(Standing Deep Breathing Pose)

Take in as much air as you can....hold it...your ribcage should be visible in the front mirror. Nice job there elephant...I can tell by your trunk that you are taking in as much air as you possibly can!!

2.) Ardha-Chandrasana and Pada-Hastasana (Half Moon Pose and hands to Feet)

Interlock fingers above your head. Your arms and ears should be glued together. Kanga, you need to get your arms together over your head, but not a bad bend for a newbie! I'm impressed!

3.) Utkatasana (Awkward Pose)

Up on the toes, arms out straight ahead of you. Bend your legs; sit up straight. You will want to try and get your arms out a little more, horse, but your spine is straight as an arrow. Great job!

4.) Garurasana (Eagle Pose)

Left leg over the right...arms/trunk twisted. If you're losing your balance you're not leaning back enough.

5.) Dandayamana-Janushirasana (Standing Head to Knee Pose)

Leg straight out...both legs locked light a lamp post. If your standing leg isn't locked, the posture hasn't started yet. Lock your knee...lock your knee...lock your knee. Nice job gorilla...just try to lower you should be parallel to the ground.

6.) Dandayamana-Dhanurasana (Standing Bow Pulling Pose)

Put your hand out in front of you with your palm up....say "mama give me money"...ok now grab your foot and pull it up behind you. You should have an equal balance of reaching forward and pulling your ankle. loseing your balance? You're not pulling hard're not pulling hard enough.

7.) Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick Pose)

This is only a 10 second pose so you need to decide before if you can do it. Ok seagull, your form is great, except that you don't have arms...if you had the arms to go out in front of you, you'd have it down pat!

8.) Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana (Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose)

Put your legs shoulder width apart. Now put all 5 fingers together underneath your heels. Your head should touch the ground. If your head is not touching the ground open your legs. Pull on your heels and stretch from your lower spine until your forhead touches the ground.

9.) Trikanasana (Triangle Pose)

Step with one leg ahead, stretch one hand down so your fingers touch between your big and second largest toe. Reach your other hand up to the sky. Look at your hand in the air. Your face should be a siloette in the front mirror.
Nice job squirrel, just look UP, not down, silly!

10.) Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana (Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose )

Keeping both legs straight, bend your upper body down towards the floor. Touch your head to your knee, while both legs are straight.
Nice try kittah! Looks like you are a little top heavy there! Get that back leg on the floor!

11.) Tadasana (Tree Pose)

Take your hand and pull your foot as high as you can on your costume. Now take one hand and bring it to heart's center. Then take your other hand and bring it to heart's center.
Come on bird! With skinny legs like that, you should be able to get your leg up much higher!!

12.) Padangustasana (Toe Stand Pose)

Bring your foot up to you costume and bring both hands to hearts center. Bend only your upper body and put your hands on the ground. Now bend your standing leg.
Nice work!

13.) Savasana (Dead Body Pose)


14.) Pavanamuktasana (Wind Removing Pose)

Take your legs and and hold them to your chest, grab your arms each other and pull your legs past your chest.
Nice try grizzly bear! Now just grab your arms around your legs.

15.) Sit-up

Take both your hands above your head and quickly sit up grabbing your toes.
Look at those bends!!

16.) Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Take your palms and place them parallel with your shoulders. Pull up from your back, allowing your arms to form right angles. Your upper body should be completley off the ground from your belly button up.
I think the puppy Cobra Pose may be even better than the yogi!!

17.) Salabhasana (Locust Pose)

Place your arms underneath you with your palms gripping the floor. Now get one leg up to at least a 45 degree angel. Higher...Higher!
Hmm...this pose is much easier with only one "leg" huh baby seal!

18.) Poorna-Salabhasana (Full Locust Pose)

Keep your hands and arms under the body. Both legs should stay together like glue. Grip the floor and get both legs together off the floor.
Wow, look at that stretch!

19.) Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Grab both feet behind your head. Now pull up balancing only on your belly button.
Grizzley!! wrong way! Grab your legs behind, not in front, silly!

20.) Supta-Vajrasana (Fixed Firm Pose)

Sit with your knees together and your feet spread apart. Now sit between your your fit and lay back. Grab your arms over your head and arch your back making a perfect human bridge.
Ok hedgehog...I'll give it to you, but only because your cute little arms and legs aren't long enough for the other stuff.

21.) Ardha-Kurmasana (Half Tortoise Pose)

Sit on top of your feet and legs and bend your upper body over until your forhead touches the ground.
Close giaffe! Your neck is long enough for you to complete this!

22.) Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Come to the top of your mat (or couch) and lean back. Arch your back. Push your body forward and arch your back.
Kitty, this is a slightly modified pose, but great form.

23.) Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose)

Strech your arms ahead of you and walk your knees up until your head is between your legs.
Squirrel, I think you went just a little too far on this one...don't let your feet come off the floor!

24.) Janushirasana with Paschimotthanasana (Head to Knee Pose)

Put one leg out in front of you and clasp your hands, all ten fingers, around your feet. Bring your head to your knee. Your head MUST touch your knee. If your head is touching your knee, bring your elbows to the ground.
Paws around your foot kitty!

25.) Ardha-Matsyendrasana (Spine Twisting Pose)

Take one leg and bring it over the other knee. Use the opposite elbow to push on your knee. Then take your other arm and twist around your body. Twist...twist...twist..
Hey....Kermit is an animal!

26.) Khapalbhati (Blowing in Firm Pose)

Sit with your hands on your knees, and blow out from your stomach. Ready go.

And thats enough.

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