The Latest On Our Coronavirus Efforts

Dear BYN Family,

Classes are running as usual for the time being, however as a space for health and wellbeing let’s continue to look after one another.
We are monitoring the evolving status of the Covid-19 situation as it develops. In this situation it is very hard to assess what the real risks are and what balance we must strike between social distancing and the activities that keep us healthy and happy. Ultimately, this will have to be a choice you must come to yourselves but regardless we should remain calm and follow the best possible hygiene practices we can. We place your safety first and foremost and have put into place following measures and policies.

Steps we have taken to keep you safe:
1. We have a scheduled disinfectant cleaning of all surfaces before class, again during class and once again after class. This includes the floors, all counters, taps and fixtures, door knobs etc.
2. We have installed hand sanitisers at the entrance to the hot room, each changing room and the front desk.
3. We conducted a staff hygiene refresher training and our staff will sanitise their hands regularly and do a thorough hand washing every hour.
4. The hot room will continue to be thoroughly disinfected between each class.
5. Juice bar produce is thoroughly disinfected with a Bio Veggie wash and rinsed before being juiced. The juice bar attendants will continue to adhere to the highest level of food safety standards.
6. We are taking measures to ensure all staff working are in good health (no fever cough or any flu-like symptoms) as well as ensuring they have private transport to and from their homes to limit any exposure.

Steps we ask you to take to keep us all safe:
1. We ask that if you or anyone you live with have any flu like symptoms that you stay away from the studio and not be offended if we ask you to submit to a touch less thermometer reading to ensure you have no signs of fever.
2. We ask that you sanitise your hands on arrival at the studio when signing in at the front desk.
3. We ask that you bring your own mat, mat towel and shower towel (even if you are on a VIP membership) as we will no longer be renting or providing mats or towels.
This is to maintain safety for both yourselves and our staff.
4. We ask that you sanitise your hands before entering the hot room and use a paper towel to open the door.
5. We ask you that you cough into paper towels/tissues provided or in the worst case your elbow/shoulder and place all tissues first underneath your mat and finally in the bins provided before leaving the hot room.
6. We ask that you bring or purchase from reception a bag to place your used mat and towel and place your mat and towel into that bag before exiting the hot room. We will not allow any wet un-bagged mats and towels in the studio space or changing rooms.

➡️ Correction classes have also been postponed until further notice.

How To Keep Your Yoga Mat Clean


Between minding your breath, balancing in tree pose, and avoiding a face plant during crow pose, a yoga practice gives you plenty to think about. So it’s easy to overlook the care and upkeep of your mat. 

Still, reasons to keep your yoga mat clean abound (even if you aren’t a germaphobe). A clean mat is safer and healthier for anyone who uses it. 

No matter whether you own a mat or share mats at a studio or gym, read on to learn why it’s important to clean a yoga mat, and discover tips and tricks to do it right. We’ll also cover some of the signs that indicate you should replace your mat. 

Why It’s Important to Clean Yoga Mats

It’s not pleasant to think about, but your skin swarms with all sorts of creepy crawlies in the form of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and microscopic mites. These microorganisms move from your hands to your yoga mat during your practice. And the same thing goes for the oils, sweat, and tens of thousands of skin cells your body sheds every day.

That’s not all: If left unchecked, living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses multiply. And because these microorganisms thrive in humid environments, they’re likely to reproduce in a hot yoga studio or on a sweaty mat. 

For the most part, even a large amount of bacteria, fungi, and viruses likely won’t cause harm. But for people with broken skin or compromised immune systems, exposure to microorganisms could result in a skin infection, athlete’s foot, plantar warts, or ringworm. 

Now that you know how dirty human bodies can be, we probably don’t need to spell out why it’s important to clean a yoga mat. But here goes: Washing your mat on a regular basis helps limit the buildup of germs and other substances. And the same thing goes for cleaning a shared mat at a yoga studio or gym — only in this case, you’ll protect yourself from other people’s microorganisms and protect other people from yours. 

How to Clean a Yoga Mat

Now that you know how dirty your yoga mat is, here’s how to clean it right. 

1. Check the mat’s website for instructions. 

Different mats are made up of different materials. Check the website for your brand of yoga mat to see if they have specific instructions regarding how to clean your mat. Follow the manufacturer’s tips if you find them. 

2. Wipe down your mat after every practice.

After every class or practice session, wipe down your mat. An antibacterial hand wipe or antibacterial spray will work in a pinch. But in a recent study, researchers discovered that the widespread use of antibacterial sanitisers in gyms and yoga studios may be unintentionally contributing to an explosion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To stay safer over the long-term, you may be better off using a 50-50 vinegar and water spray and a clean towel instead of antibacterial options. (If this option isn’t available at your gym or studio, consider requesting it.) Make sure any cleaner you use is safe for porous surfaces and human skin. Let the mat completely dry before you roll it up. 

3. Deep clean your mat regularly. 

If you own a mat, it’s best to deep clean it occasionally. If you practice nearly every day, plan to wash your mat thoroughly at least once a month using one of these strategies.

  • Hose it down

If the weather allows, head outside with a mild detergent, a sponge, and a hose. Spray down your mat, scrub it with detergent, rinse it thoroughly, and let it air dry out of direct sunlight. (Direct sun exposure can cause foam to break down.) Dry the mat completely before you roll it back up for storage. 

  • Soak it

If your home has a bathtub, you can deep clean your mat indoors. Fill the tub with lukewarm water, get the mat wet, and scrub it. If it’s been a long time since your last cleaning, let it soak for a while. Finally, rinse the mat and hang it until it’s completely dry.

  • Use a cleaning solution

You can purchase a cleaning product that’s designed for deep cleaning yoga mats or make your own with vinegar, water, and tea tree oil. No matter which solution you use, liberally spray down one side of the mat with it, let it sit for a while, rinse the solution off, and dry it with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat the process on the other side and hang the mat to dry. 



Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Old Yoga Mat 

Even if you take great care of your yoga mat, it won’t last forever. At a certain point, you’ll need to invest in a new mat. Depending on the materials and construction of your mat, the time frame can vary. Here are some signs it may be time to replace your old mat. 

  • Your mat has permanent indents

Take a close look at the surface of your mat. Does it have squished or sagging sections where you regularly place your hands or feet? If so, it may be time for a new mat. Worn areas don’t provide much support, which can be tough on your joints. Plus, indents make balance poses more challenging, which can lead to accidents.

  • Your joints are achy

Do your joints hurt after yoga class when they didn’t in the past? Achy joints may be another sign the cushion on your mat is wearing away. You should feel supported in every pose. If you don’t, it may be time for a new mat. 

  • You’re slipping all over the place

If your mat once did a good job of preventing slips and now feels like a slip-and-slide when you get sweaty, it may be time for a replacement. Slippery mats make accidents more likely. Look for a new mat that offers plenty of traction.

  • Your mat is deteriorating

If your mat has holes in it, leaves bits of foam everywhere, or is going bald, you’ve loved it to the point of retirement. A declining mat isn’t supportive.

  • It’s smelly (even after you clean it)

If your mat has developed a permanent “eau de sweat,” and even a deep clean doesn’t get rid of it, then you (and your classmates) will benefit from a fresher mat. 


Even if it takes a little extra effort after class, it’s important to keep your yoga mat clean. By taking small steps to regularly maintain your mat’s cleanliness, you’ll prevent the buildup of dirty, stinky, and potentially infectious microorganisms. And that’s a good reason to relax and breathe deep. 

By Laura Newcomer

Laura Newcomer is a writer, editor, and educator with several years of experience working in the health and wellness space. Formerly Senior Editor at the health site Greatist, Laura is now a professional freelance writer and editor based in Pennsylvania. Her writing has been published on Washington Post, TIME Healthland, Greatist, DailyBurn, Lifehacker, and Business Insider, among others.

The original article :

How To Survive A 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge?

30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge

Week 1 – Embrace the muscle soreness

In the first week motivation is not a big problem, its feeling sore in places you have never felt before. 

The first week is important to get right. Don’t push yourself too hard – there are still three more weeks of Yoga ahead of you, so you will need some energy and strength towards the end to get you through. 

Survival tip: Don’t overdo it and be kind to yourself. Unless you are in very good shape, leave out other sports and give your body enough time and sleep to recover between the daily classes.

Week 2 – Push your mind

Additionally to muscle soreness from the first week, I may have to battle with inner temptation on week two. Even if everything hurts, you already know what to expect in the class and you know that you can do it.  

If you catch yourself thinking about that painful uncomfortable posture from yesterday, it’s over before the class begins. And if you hear your mind saying something like “Oh god, this awful triangle again. I couldn’t do it yesterday either. I can’t anymore. That’s too hard, it hurts”, you won’t make it until the end of the challenge. Even if it’s exhausting, you have to learn how to love it, enjoy the benefits and most importantly, stay in the present moment. 

Survival tip: Stay with your thoughts in the moment. Forget about previous classes and the upcoming postures and focus only on the present. Find a positive affirmation that works for you such as “I love Bikram yoga, everyday day I come to class it gets easier and I’m healing from the inside out”. Your body won’t do anything your mind doesn’t push it to do. What also helps to make a commitment is to simply say “See you tomorrow” when leaving the studio.  

Week 3 – Manage your time

On week three, you will be used to the soreness and will be able to focus your mind better. However, you may find you have less time to do the things you are used to, such as socializing.  If practicing yoga is not your full-time job, sooner or later, you may face a little time management problem, after two weeks you will naturally want to do something else and start to make excuses.  

Survival tip: A tactic that works is to split the challenge into weekly challenges and reward yourself for every week or each class completed. A spa afternoon, a massage, organize an evening with friends – whatever makes you feel better. 

Week 4 – Enjoy the results

This week will be easier as you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. It may be hard as some parts of your body may still hurt and you will need to push your mind every time. 

The good news is by week 4 you will see the results of your hard work. You will see changes in your body and postures, your clothes fitting better, your skin glowing. 

Your body will be more toned and flexible and will be able to hold poses you couldn’t at the start of the challenge. 

Survival tip: Grab a hot yoga buddy. No matter if you are a newbie or a pro, it helps to stick to the challenge if you have an appointment with another person. Your body is different every day, sometimes all you need to do is accept where you are and allow your mind to let go of any expectations. 

Keep hydrated! Now that you are in the swing of things, your body will be needing a lot of fluids replaced daily. As you are working out drink plain water only – a lot before class, some during class, and a lot after class. The drinks you have after class should be made with electrolytes and vitamins to help your body replace some of its nutrients after its big daily cleanse. Lemons are great for alkalizing the stomach, and fruits are great for electrolytes. 

Keep alcohol, cigarettes, stress and chemicals to a minimum. Anything you put into your body, has to come out. During a 30 Day Challenge, the body gets very good and efficient at processing its fuel, but because of the increased amount of performance required from the body, the fuel required is Premium. A well performing body cannot be fueled by empty calories with no nutrition. So make a choice, If you want to make it easiest for yourself – go the natural, healthy and nutritious way. 

Top 20 Green Smoothie Health Benefits

By Tracy Russel

One of my absolute favorite self-care activities is to start each and every day off with a freshly blended green smoothie!

Green Smoothie.jpeg

I have enjoyed many health benefits from drinking green smoothies since 2008.

So have the thousands of readers who have taken my 10-day cleanse, and millions of readers on my website.

They are an easy way to get five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Green smoothies were instrumental in my 40 pound weight loss, and they helped me lose all of my baby weight after I have birth to my son in 2013.

Since drinking a green smoothie every day, my cholesterol dropped 45 points, my energy levels are through the roof, and my skin has a healthy, radiant glow.

Here are some of the top health benefits of green smoothies:

1) Natural Weight Loss

Just about everyone who drinks green smoothies loses weight. Most people in my 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse report weight loss, as well as participants in my Reset 28 Program.

Green smoothies help you lose weight in several ways:

First, replacing a meal each day with a green smoothie lowers overall calorie intake, while increasing fruit, vegetable, and fiber intake.

Secondly, green smoothies help reset your taste buds so that you want to eat healthy, and you actually start craving healthy foods.

Read more about how to lose weight with green smoothies.

2) Boost Fruit & Vegetable Intake (Particularly Greens)

The American Cancer Society recommends that we eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to prevent cancer and other diseases. Green smoothies are a quick and convenient way to get your vegetables and dark, leafy greens without tasting them.

The fruit masks the flavor so even though all you taste is pineapplemangobananaor strawberry, you are consuming a healthy dose of spinach, kale, or any other vegetable that you put in.

The average green smoothie contains 3-5 servings (or more) of fruits and vegetables.

3) Increased Energy

Green smoothies provide a powerful boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients without bogging down your digestive system. Since you are eating natural, whole foods in the most optimum form for your digestion and nutrient absorption, you will have more energy to get things done and enjoy your day.

Green smoothies provide B vitamins and magnesium that help support energy metabolism.

4) Boosts Nutrition

Green smoothies are jam-packed full of nutrients.

The average green smoothie recipe on my website provides more than 100% of your daily value of vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C, and K. They also provide a good source of B vitamins (except B12), vitamin E, and folate.

As for minerals, green smoothies are an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and many other trace minerals.

Blending fruits and vegetables together breaks down the cells of plants and improves digestibility. Your blender unlocks the nutrients and maximizes their delivery to your body more than chewing any salad could.

Green smoothies are quicker and more convenient than preparing and thoroughly chewing a salad.

5) Strengthens Immune System

Increased fruit and vegetable consumption helps keep your body in optimum health. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as some of the compounds found in certain foods help protect your body against disease.

Citrus fruitscranberries, and ginger are the top immune-boosting smoothie ingredients.

Got a sniffle? Try these cold and flu green smoothie recipes!

6) Excellent Source Of Minerals For Healthy Bones

Green smoothies provide a rich source of minerals thanks to the dark, leafy greens. All of the bone-building nutrients are abundant including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Many of my green smoothie recipes on this website contain more than 200 milligrams of calcium, and many have more calcium than a glass of milk.

Here’s a green smoothie recipe with almost 30% RDA of calcium!

7) Excellent Source of Antioxidants

Green smoothies deliver a massive dose of health-protecting antioxidants and phytonutrients. Not only are you giving your body the best defenses aganst disease, you are ingesting a variety of natural substances that are essential for optimum health and fitness.

To get the most antioxidants in your blends, try making your green smoothies with blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranates, acai, and cacao (raw chocolate).

8) May Help Lower High Cholesterol

A healthy, plant-based diet that includes green smoothies may help lower your cholesterol.

When I was 23, my doctor told me that I would soon need to take cholesterol-lowering medication. My blood test revealed that my total cholesterol was at 199 (200 or higher is considered elevated). My LDL (the bad cholesterol) was flagged as “high”. I was falling in line with my family history of high cholesterol.

At age 30, my total cholesterol had dropped 45 points. My LDL had also fallen comfortably within the normal range.

Find out how green smoothies may help lower your cholesterol.

9) May Help Lower High Blood Pressure

Many fruits and vegetables have been studied for their ability to lower blood pressure.

As part of a healthy diet, green smoothies may improve your blood pressure, while also reducing some of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

10) Improves Mental Clarity and Focus

With a healthier diet comes greater mental clarity and focus. Green smoothies have replaced my morning coffee ritual.

I get more energy from a green smoothie, and there isn’t any afternoon slump, or caffeine-related side effects.

11) Supports Colon and Gut Health

Unlike juicing or drinking fruit juice, green smoothies contain the whole fruit and vegetable so that you get all of the fiber and nutrition.

Fiber is essential for good colon health. It feeds your beneficial gut microbes, supporting optimum digestion and a strong immune system.

12) Promotes Clear, Radiant Skin and Strong Hair & Nails

A lot of people say that their skin, hair, and nails look healthier and stronger while drinking green smoothies. This has certainly been my experience. Green smoothies give me a healthy glow, and they cleared up my adult acne.

I was looking at a group photo that I was in that was taken in the middle of winter. I looked like I had just been tanning even though I never really went outside.

13) Reduces and Combats Cravings

Green smoothies reduce cravings for junk foods, unhealthy sweets, salt, and fats. You will find that after a few weeks of drinking smoothies, you will crave healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, and greens.

The sweet fruit in green smoothies satisfies cravings for sweets. If you crave chocolate, you can make green smoothies with healthy, raw chocolate (cacao).

14) Anti-Inflammatory

Most fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties, so green smoothies are an excellent food if you suffer from inflammatory conditions.

Many of my readers report that drinking green smoothies every day reduces inflammation.

Find out more about how green smoothies may benefit you if you suffer from arthritis and gout.

15) Green Smoothies May Help Prevent Chronic Diseases, or Even Provide Therapeutic Benefits

There have been countless studies on diet and nutrition. The overwhelming consensus in all of the peer-reviewed, scientific literature is that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of developing disease – including cancer, diabetes (type 2), obesity, cardiovascular disease, as well as many age-related medical conditions.

Specifically, green smoothies, combined with healthy diets, may provide therapeutic benefits for (or protect against):

16) Supports Eye Health & Protects Vision

Green smoothies are rich in beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and resveratrol – four antioxidant compounds found in many fruits and vegetables.

Read more about how green smoothies can protect your eyes.

17) Specific Benefits For Women

Certain fruits and vegetables, as well as other smoothie ingredients, may help women who suffer from PMS.

Green smoothies can also support a healthy pregnancy.

Women going through menopause may also benefit from green smoothies.

18) May Help With Seasonal Allergies

While the medical data is limited, there are many, many reports of people who have reduced the severity of their seasonal allergies once they started drinking green smoothies.

I have experienced the same thing as I rarely get seasonal allergy attacks since I started drinking green smoothies back in 2008.

Learn more about how fruits, vegetables, and green smoothies may help your allergic symptoms.

19) Rich With Chlorophyll

Green smoothies are rich with chlorophyll which some natural health experts say enhances the immune system, purifies the blood, and rejuvenates the body.

While these claims are likely over-hyped, it doesn’t hurt to get potentially beneficial plant compounds in your diet. If you do wish to increase your intake of chlorophyll, then get it from leafy greens and skip the questionable supplements.

20) Alkalizing

Many natural health experts promote the alkalizing effects of green smoothies (or fruits and vegetables). This claim is controversial, however.

Promoters of the acid-alkaline “theory” claim that green smoothies help neutralize blood pH and prevent the body from becoming too acidic. The truth is that no food causes blood pH to change, and so green smoothies would have no effect in neutralizing blood pH since your body tightly regulates it (regardless of what you eat).

Green smoothies provide minerals that are used by your body to naturally maintain pH balance. The calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in leafy greens helps keep your bones strong. If you are not deficient, your body doesn’t need to rob your skeleton of these precious minerals.

Also, many of my readers, myself included, have noticed that heartburn and indigestion disappear when drinking green smoothies.

In addition to these health benefits, green smoothies are:

  • Easy to make and clean up after.

  • Taste amazing.

  • Will keep for a couple days in the refrigerator.

  • Are fun to make and experiment with different fruit and vegetable combinations.

Green smoothies are life-changing!

How Can Bikram Yoga Flatten Your Stomach?

The belly is a prized area of the body for many men and women. When fat appears for various reasons, people are often led to exercise as a means to get rid of it.

Get A Flat Stomach With Bikram Yoga

Spot reduction of problem areas doesn’t exist; if you only perform exercises that strengthen certain anatomical areas, you won’t reduce abdominal fat. You need to eat healthy foods and perform regular aerobic exercise to lose all-over body fat. Performing the entire Bikram series will offer the overall health benefits this style of yoga provides with consistent practice, including a toned midsection.

One question that we often get from both new and old students alike is “Where are the abdominals in Bikram yoga?” It’s going to be different for each person and you certainly have to exert the effort and do the proper form to work the core (in any exercise – even crunches!). Regardless of the posture you perform, you should always engage your abdominals. What you’ll find is that Bikram is a nearly 90 minute ab workout!

  • Pranayama: in breathing, the stomach should be sucked in on both the inhale and the exhale; core strength is used to push the air out of the lungs and keeping the stomach in on the inhale helps the lungs work harder to fill, increasing your lung capacity.

  • Half moon: Half Moon pose strengthens all of the core muscles located in the abdomen and the sides of the torso and releases energy from the spine to prepare you for the rest of the Bikram series. Half Moon pose is the first pose of the Bikram series and is particularly beneficial for strengthening the abs. The first part of the pose prepares you for the backbend in the second half, which mimics the gut-busting reverse crunch, one of the top exercises used to tone the belly. With regular practice as part of a whole-body workout, expect the Half Moon to tighten your lower abs, waistline, buttocks and thighs.

  • Awkward: four times in this posture (in parts 1 and 3), the dialogue says something to the effect of “suck it in.” When you’re sucking it in that hard and trying to keep a straight spine, you can’t help but do some work in the abdominal muscles!

  • Eagle: twice here the “suck it in” revisits. Right before you sit and at the end of the posture.

  • Standing Head to Knee: another forward bend so definitely suck the stomach in before rounding down to grab your foot. Another benefit – the tighter you suck your stomach in, the easier it feels to tighten up your glute muscles and leg muscles.

  • Standing Bow: opens the diaphragm and lungs to improve circulation. When you properly engage your abs, this ordinarily difficult pose becomes easier; however, it may take several tries before you can balance successfully. When practiced regularly, this pose firms the abdominal walls, helping tone the upper and lower abdominals as part of a full-body workout.

  • Balancing Stick: every single muscle should be contracted in this posture, including the abdominal muscles!

  • Standing Separate Leg Stretching and Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee are both forward bends so suck the stomach to the spine as you go into them and then challenge yourself to keep it held in the whole time. The constant trying to keep it in is a great ab workout.

  • Triangle: trims the waistline as you use your abs and constantly lift from the lower belly.

  • Toe Stand: forward bend! Suck it in!

  • The Situp: need I say more? Ok, keeping the heels on the floor helps the situp work more of the lower abdominals as well

  • Spine Strengthening Postures: We tend to let our bellies relax in most of these and focus on our spine. But a strong spine must be balanced with a strong core. Cobra, Locust, Full-Locust, and Bow are just the poses to tone your entire midsection. And remember that a “tight body is a light body”. The more you tighten your core, the easier it will be to lift off the ground.

  • Half-Tortoise: Oh yah, this is where it’s at. The whole way into and out of this posture, when you’re slowly lowering your body down or slowly bringing it back up with a straight spine, the core muscles should be working HARD.

  • Rabbit: the extra dialogue in this one definitely calls for sucking it in and depressing the abdominal wall (also another forward bend).

  • Separate Leg with Stretching: a forward bend where you curve your spine; sucking the stomach in on this one really helps you get your head closer to your stomach (more compression = more medical benefit!).

  • Spine Twisting: the more you suck your stomach in, the easier it will be to twist.

  • Blowing in Firm: the dialogue clearly states that this one is good for the abdominal muscles. You should even feel a little cramping in the abs as you do this one from using them to quickly blow the air out of the lungs.


How Often Should You Practice Bikram Yoga?

That’s a good question. Deciding how much you practice really depends on what your goals are for yourself. Are you in maintenance mode or are you in healing mode? 

Maintenance Mode: If you are using Bikram Yoga to maintain your current good health, to create more strength and flexibility, to help control stress, as a moving meditation and space for your personal growth, then practicing 2-3 classes per week is enough to achieve these goals.

Healing Mode: If you want to really change your body, lose weight, heal an injured body, lower blood pressure, normalise blood sugars related to type 2 diabetes, or a myriad of other health related issues, then the more you practice the quicker you will heal your body. 4 to 5 classes per week is a good way to set yourself on the road to a healthy life style.

Don’t worry, you won’t be in healing mode forever. Once you achieve your goals, a maintenance practice  (2-3 classes per week) will help you sustain your health and wellbeing.

This is a healing yoga and a steady, even daily practice, just doing what you can in class, will help give the body what it needs to heal. The human body is incredibly self healing when given the right tools. The increased circulation, the heat, breathing, gentle stretching, movement of the lymphatic system all aid in the healing process. Even if a student can do very little in the room, there is great benefit to coming in and working your range of motion. Students can practice in a chair or on the floor, for some people just sleeping for 90 minutes in the heated room can provide great benefits. Spending time focused on yourself and letting go of everything outside the room for ninety minutes can be extremely healthy.

This is a healing yoga. Students who have an acute injury, a recently herniated disc, recovering from surgery, muscle injury etc, heal much faster by practicing more. Many students take time away from their practice when they have an issue, but this is the time to up your practice. It breaks my heart to see a student stay away during the time they should be in the room. When they return, their acute issue has often become a chronic problem which requires a longer period of time to heal.

Consistency is always the key. We all have busy lives and getting to class sometimes is hard. Making yourself a priority is important but if you are just maintaining your health and working towards a stronger more flexible body, then even if you are only able to come one day a week, if you come consistently once a week, you will see changes in your health, your practice, and your life outside the room.

What Is The Purpose Of Pain?

Emmy Cleaves is an amazing woman.  She is the Principal of the Bikram Yoga College of India, she leads the advanced class at headquarters three times a week and her lecture on pain is one of the most memorable at teacher training.  Did we mention she’s in her mid-8o’s?  Listen up, she knows what she’s talking about!

Emmy talks about the gift of pain – without it we would destroy ourselves.  Think about it.  Pain is the message that something in the body is off (could be as extreme as your hand on a hot stove or as small as a splinter stuck in your finger).  If we ignored it, it could possibly turn into a much bigger problem (think about what would happen if you never took your hand off that hot stove)!

There is another level to pain, which is the pain that we reference in class.  Ever hear the instructor to tell you that your back is supposed to hurt?  Or that your elbows are supposed to hurt?  Our how about telling you to make sure your back hurts?  When we start improving and changing the body, there is a lot of sensation that goes on with that.  When the mind first experiences this, it often freaks out and reacts as if the body was on a hot stove as opposed to just getting a good stretch.  This is normal!  Think about the reaction your body probably had the first time you tried Camel pose.  Pretty dramatic, right?  The trick is to go slowly and breathe and slowly teach our body that it is not experiencing the agony of stretching, but the luxury of release!

This is especially important when dealing with injury.  It’s important to bring the body into the room to facilitate healing.  Heat + breath = increased circulation = faster healing time.  If you want to alleviate the pain from your bulging disc, come into the room.  If you want to get rid of the frozen shoulder, bring it in.  If you want to get your body in a better place for your next road race, do some yoga.  As you move through the series, the trick is to start to recognise what kind of pain you are dealing with.  The kind of pain that is telling you to stop?  Or the kind of pain that is experiencing something it hasn’t before?  You will learn this over time with consistent practice.  Go slowly.  Be mindful.  Practice yoga.  As Emmy says, “yoga without mindfulness is just calisthenics.”

Emmy Cleaves and Bikram Choudhury .jpg


More about Emmy:
Emmy Cleaves took her first yoga class in 1950 from a Hindu in Beverly Hills, California. As a young war refugee from Latvia, her trajectory to that tiny locale had been at least as unlikely as his. So when she later studied under another Hindu, Bikram Chouhdury, the universality of the teachings remained clear to her. “There’s only one kind of yoga,” she says. “There are just different paths to it because we are such a myriad of people. We are all God’s experiment of one.”

Emmy was a young girl when she and her mother fled their hometown of Riga, Latvia, during the Stalinist army’s second advance on the tiny country during the second world war.When the Eastern front advanced on Danzig, the camp disintegrated and Emmy separated from her mother, was shipped off to Denmark, then back to Germany, and finally to the United States. She learned the language and eventually moved to California. Emmy was a successful businesswoman in Los Angeles by the time she attended that first yoga class. She had been pestering her jazz dance teacher for more of the slow stretching exercises he taught as warm-ups; he told her to do yoga—the first time she heard the word. “I became completely fascinated with the subject,” she says. For her, as for most practitioners, the initial attraction was physical. “But when I started learning the philosophy, it seemed like yes, that’s exactly it; that’s the truth,” she recalls,”the ethics and morality that my mother had taught me. I had always sensed that we’re not just a quantum mechanical body, that we’re multidimensional beings, and that the body is just a denser form of the many interactive energy fields. So it resonated completely with my state of mind.”

Emmy began reading books and practicing on her own. For the next two decades she sampled the relatively limited smorgasbord of yoga offerings then available in Los Angeles. “I would try a class here and there, but I was never impelled to stay because internally I never connected with anyone,” she says. The teacher has to resonate on some other level than just ‘Put your legs here’ and ‘do this’ and ‘stretch that.’”

Then at thirty five, Emmy almost died from a brain haemorrhage, which is how her father died in Latvia. The experience changed her forever. “A life threatening event like that makes you wonder what the purpose is of your survival. Why are you alive? Why didn’t you die? Emmy’s search for answers created cataclysmic upheavals in her life. She gave up being a businesswoman, divorced her first husband and began exploring meditation and yoga more seriously.

In 1973 Emmy attended a demonstration by a 26 year old yogi by the name of Bikram Choudhury. “His group consisted of maybe ten people—all ages and shapes, including a couple of kids. I was fascinated by the energy and precision of his demonstration.” At the end of the presentation Bikram jumped off the stage, walked across the room, and stuck a card in her hand. “Tomorrow. You come my school,” he said. She did.

As chance had it, in the preceding weeks Emmy had been reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramanhansa Yogananda, whose brother Bishnu Ghosh had been Bikram’s guru throughout his childhood in Calcutta. Ghosh, a master of yoga’s physical practices, trained young Bikram to compete in the National India Yoga Competition, which Bikram won at the age of eleven and for next three years. At Ghosh’s behest Bikram set off for the West, eventually ending up in Beverly Hills where he began reteaching Emmy Cleaves everything she had ever learned.

“We argued. We really argued,” Emmy says.“I had done yoga for a long time, none of it the way he demanded it be done.” Bikram’s methodology involves a basic series twenty six poses practiced in a 42C studio. His studio and teaching methods were different from Emmy had previously learned.“I would go into a Cobra pose doing everything right,” Emmy says, “ and he would say, ‘No, that’s not the way. The posture’s not the object; your body is the object.’I began getting very frustrated.And that heat!I said, ‘Bikram, if you’d turn down the stupid heat this room would be much more full.’He said, ‘An empty barn is better than a barn full of naughty cows.”

Emmy had had enough. It was upsetting my whole equilibrium,” she says. Her friend Barbara Brown, a pioneer in the development of biofeedback, was taking a trip to India to tour research centres and Emmy joined her. Among the facilities she visited she found yoga being used to treat medical conditions like diabetes and asthma. “Lo and behold, they did the postures Bikram’s way,” Emmy says.“I visited three of four other research centres that did the poses his way as well, with the same energy and same demand for precision.”

So Emmy went back to Beverly Hills and immersed herself in Bikram’s teachings and in the logic of his twenty-six-posture, ninety minute series. “The first time you do the twenty-six postures which cover a normal range of motion for just about anybody, they act as a diagnostic tool,” she explains. Even People with minimal body awareness are able to diagnose their own problem areas.Then with practice those same postures become therapeutic tools that reeducate your body and heightens the efficiency of its major systems.

Like any well chosen asana program, Bikarm Yoga is intended to tone the endocrine, lymphatic, and digestive systems, increase capillary blood flow and produce a strong, limber and comfortable musculoskeletal system.To attain the benefits of this series, though, the sequence of the postures is paramount which is why Emmy defends Bikram’s decision to copyright his method.

The efficacy of Bikram Yoga is made continually apparent to Emmy through the many therapeutic “miracles” she has witnessed in the thirty years she has taught it. What gives me such pleasure is that I am able to share this valuable thing, which has so much potential to better people’s lives and to heal whatever is not working for them,” Emmy says “That is the ultimate accomplishment of my life and will be to the end of it.”

A big thank you to Audrey Holst and Diane Ducharme Gardner for this wonderful content!

Bikram Yoga Classes To Music


Our wonderful international teachers, Dionne Monsanto and Kent Nazareth will be leading a few Bikram Yoga Classes to Music before they leave Nairobi.

Lighten things up, find your groove and let the music move you!

With the more modern aspect of music added to the 90 minute class, this form offers a more dynamic experience and something different for the regular practitioners as well as those that are new to Bikram Yoga.

You will find yourself singing along internally making the postures seem much shorter, and the class becomes that much more fun!

Dionne’s Music Classes will be on:

  • The 1st of May 2019 at 10am

  • The 3rd of May 2019 at 5pm and 7pm

  • The 10th of May 2019 at 5pm and 7pm

Kent’s Music Classes will be on:

  • The 1st of May 2019 at 8am

  • The 4th of May 2019 at 8am and 10am

  • The 11th of May 2019 at 8am and 10am

Save the dates! Come and experience a new, fun and enjoyable class as you deepen your practice.

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Please donate what you can when you come for these classes, your donations will go towards Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness.

Dionne is also the Executive Director of The Siwe Project, a mental health organisation in the US, named after her late daughter Siwe. She lost Siwe to suicide at the tender age of 15 in 2011 and has been a dedicated mental health advocate since. She believes that self-awareness and self-care are crucial to living by working as a certified Bikram Yoga teacher; yoga and African dance are big parts of her self-care toolkit.

She believes that telling her story continues her healing and keeps her daughter’s memory alive. As such, Siwe Lives was a featured article in the January 2014 issue of Essence Magazine on her journey with mental illness as a care provider for her daughter.

Find out more about Dionne’s story and projects here:

She is just as passionate about these topics  here in Kenya and has chosen a Charity she would like the donations to go to called Befrienders Kenya.

Dadasphere – Endings and Beginnings

One of our regular Yoginis at Bikram Yoga Nairobi, Valentine Njoroge, is the inspiration and drive behind Dadasphere, a platform for women to share their stories, lessons and ideas with their peers across the continent.  The word ‘dada’ means sister in Swahili and dadasphere is a playful combination of dada and atmosphere.

Dionne will be one of 6 inspirational women speaking at the 8th Dadasphere event on the 4th of May at Western Heights on Karuna road.

You can find our more on their website and buy your tickets here:

“Thank you for your support in a cause I believe in. Together we can save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.” Dionne

See you on your mats!


Bikram Yoga During And After Pregnancy

Pregnant women can and do perform Bikram yoga right up to their delivery dates using posture modifications. In most cases it is perfectly possible to practice Bikram yoga when you are pregnant. However for your own peace of mind, it is always good to double check with your doctor. If you have practiced Bikram yoga regularly for a while before you got pregnant, you can continue to practice with us from the beginning of your pregnancy.

It is important to Let your teacher know about your pregnancy before the beginning of class as there are postures you will be asked to sit out and others that will be modified for you.

Regular Student

If you have been practicing Bikram yoga regularly for a while before you got pregnant, you can continue to practice with us from the beginning of your pregnancy. However, we do recommend that the first thing to do after learning you are pregnant is to talk with your healthcare provider. He or she will help you determine what is best for your body as some pregnancies are higher risk than others for a variety of reasons that you may not be aware of.

Do not practice if you are a first time student

This is a big rule of thumb for expecting mothers when it comes to fitness and exercise. When you’re pregnant, stick to what you know and avoid adding any new, vigorous forms of exercise. Save Bikram yoga for after your pregnancy.

Do listen to your body and let go of your ego

Always listen to your body. Women, especially while pregnant, tend to have a deep-rooted understanding of what’s best for themselves and their bodies. Most yoga teachers want you to honor this whenever possible. It’s important to trust what feels okay in your body versus only doing what is deemed “right” or what you “should do,” but in a way that is mindful.

How soon after pregnancy can I start Bikram Yoga?

How quickly you return to or begin Bikram yoga class after giving birth is something to discuss with your doctor, but several factors might influence your decision.


“If your delivery was healthy and normal, start your yoga the moment you are out of bed,” advises Choudhury in his book “Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class.” “Do all the exercises from the third day, no problem.” The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG, offers no firm guidelines on when to return to exercise other than to consult with your doctor, “start when you feel up to it” and to treat yourself gently in the beginning — especially if you’re new to the practice. Experienced Bikram yogis who practiced during pregnancy might be able to return relatively quickly.


Proper hydration is critical during gestation to maintain amniotic fluid levels, increase blood volume and ensure proper function of the kidneys.  Be sure to drink water before, during and after class. At least an additional liter of water per day is recommended when practicing. Stop and sip water during class whenever you need it.

Bikram After Surgery

If you had a cesarean section, episiotomy or other surgical intervention during your delivery, you may need to wait considerably longer,  until any incisions are fully healed, before returning to practice. It’s critical to get your doctor’s approval for exercise after a cesarean delivery; complete healing can take three to six months, although you might be allowed to begin earlier. When you do get the OK to return, Bikram Choudhury advises that you “confine yourself to the minimum stretch” and work up to full stretching gradually. You also could choose to perform the posture modifications for pregnancy if you find them more comfortable.

Practical Considerations

If you’re breastfeeding, nurse your baby just before class to discourage leakage, although one advantage of practicing Bikram yoga is that abundant sweat can disguise any leakage that does happen. ACOG advises wearing a bra or yoga top that provides plenty of support, since your breasts will likely be larger and heavier than normal.