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It ain't the heat, it's the humility.
- Yogi Berra
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Helpful information we figured you'd want to know.

This Brand of Yoga Is No Way To Beat The Heat, But Practictioners Say It Can Help Beat Disease, Injury, Fatigue & Middle Age Spread

by Lynn Morrow
Some call Bikram yoga challanging, some call it a way to beat chronic disease, and recently, Seattle's Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported that 30 minutes a week of any form of yoga may help you get rid of some unwanted weight.

Yep, though not generally thought of as a calory burning activity, yoga can not only help limber you up, it can help shed pounds. Dr. Alan Kristal, the lead author of the Hutchenson sponsored study of 15,000 people aged 53 to 57, says, "Yoga makes you more aware of your body. So when you've eaten enough, you're sensitive to feeling full."

Bikram Yoga is a 20th Century Addition to an Ancient Practice

Originally developed less than 40 years ago to address a serious ambulatory injury, Bikram yoga simply added heat to the ancient art of Hatha yoga. Consisting of the practice of 26 postures and controlled movements and combined with two basic breathing techniques, Bikram yoga enabled its first practioner to rapidly regain his ability to walk - doctors had diagnosed a knee injury as so damaging they said he would never walk again.

Gal Yogi

Brooke Sterling has an attitude and isn't about to let herself become a Bikram poster child, but her personal experience of triumph over physical disease gives her ample reason to be enthusiastic about teaching others how to benefit from yoga. This year she opened a yoga and therapy studio at Uptown Plaza.

Brooke's Bikram studio brings to our neighborhood not only classes on Bikram yoga, but classes on pregnacy yoga and meditation. A full staff of licensed practiontioners also provide naturopathic medicine, Reiki and massage therapy.

Relax, But Be Prepared to Sweat

One of the keys to Bikram yoga's success is heat. With an ideal room temperature of 100 to 105 degrees and a humidity level close to 40%, the heat keeps your body loose and encourages toxin release. At first gentle, and of course, warm, the result of Bikram is deeply felt and after some of the initial shock to those seldom used muscles we tend to keep around, is ultimately envigorating.

The term yoga derives from Sanskrit and literally means "union." Its practice, from an Eastern view point, is meant to meld body and mind with the devine. For Westerners, who perhaps place a greater value on physical results, proof is in the doing and dependent upon good training and the individual's commitment to their goals. Approached from East or West, with Bikram, you're going to sweat to get results.

Not Just for the Middle Aged

According to Brooke, the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of Bikram yoga are available to all ages and levels of ability. The ideal standard is based on each individual, it's practice in her studio is peaceful and serene. Perfection is no more than what you can do that day.

All Bikram instructors are certified and are required to continue their training throughout their careers. Their purpose and the purpose of Bikram is to "enhance mind and body, relax, strengthen, reshape and heal." Despite 90 minutes in the heat, that sounds pretty good.

Get Ready to Change Your Mind and Your Shape

Throughout the day, drink plenty of water - at least 64 fluid ounces. Arrive at class at least 10 minutes before its schedluled time and don't eat 2 to 3 hours prior to class. Bring a towel (to stand on) and wear lightweight, close-fitting clothes. Take it easy the first few classes and be prepared to sweat!

And if you're over 40, check with your doctor before starting any physical training.

Find Out More

Regular Yoga Practice May Help Prevent Middle-Age Spread

Bikram's Yoga College of India

The Yoga Journal

Introductio to Reiki (Quicktime™ video; 4.2 megabytes)