Bikram Yoga for Kids

On the physical level, yoga has been shown to enhance physical flexibility, coordination and strength, all of which makes children less injury-prone on the playing field. Additionally, kids of all ages play a lot of sports in school and after school.

On an emotional level, children who practice yoga often show increased self-esteem. They are better able to focus on tasks and manage stress in school including tests, homework, and a social life which can become quite stressful as they enter their tween years.

As a no-impact form of exercise, Yoga can get your children off to a life of fitness and healthy habits without injury or damage to their growing bodies. It also helps children burn off excess energy. By increasing the flow of endorphins, it helps relieve the emotional stresses of peer and social pressure that adolescents face daily.

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Free for your kids!

Benefits for children and why they should practice yoga

  • We are all born with natural flexibility, we just have to maintain it. Kids are naturally good at yoga.

  • Calms and clears the mind

  • Brings focus to the present moment

  • Reduces stress, tension and anxiety

  • Increases focus, concentration and attention span

  • Expands imagination and creativity

  • Improves emotional control

  • Gives tools for stress management

  • Enhances body awareness

  • Increased self esteem

At what age can children practice Bikram Yoga?

At Bikram Yoga Nairobi we have students as young as 6 years old that practice Bikram Yoga. We do not recommend that younger children join you in the hot room. 13 years old is about the earliest age young students can fully manage the stamina, balance and heat acclimatisation needed to fully enjoy the 90 minute class.

Students aged between 6 and 13 will only practice half the class at BYN, they will enter the hot room for the floor series only.

All our classes are free for children from 6 to 16 years old, all of whom must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Does your child want to try Bikram Yoga? Before bringing your children with you, please take a class yourself to better decide if it’s right for them.




Why We Fall Out Of Standing Bow Pulling Pose

This posture probably more than any other, divides Bikram yogis. Some love it – “my favourite posture!”  – while others find it a constant struggle simply to balance.

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And there’s the word. Balance. The first thing I’d say about standing bow is to forget about the balance. The balance is the result of form, balance does not enable form.

So, here’s some magic tips about form to get the most out of this posture:

  • The first thing to do in this posture is to grab your foot at the ankle. If you are newer to Bikram this can be tricky, be patient and keep trying. As your shoulder flexibility improves and your hips open through the 26 postures, you’ll get there.

  • Make sure you GRAB, don’t just hold the ankle. Grip on for dear life. Because when you work out the kick, you’ll need to hold on or you’ll lose the foot!

  • Now bring your arm up in front of you, chin close to the shoulder to stretch the arm up. This energises your entire spine ready for the posture.

So now you are ready. One more thing – knees together for alignment and balance. And don’t forget always the locked knee is your foundation.

Bow is really very simple. You have to kick back and stretch forward. Mastering these two aspects will transform this posture. Everything else comes from your honest attention to these 2 actions.

But I hear you say, kicking is HARD. Yes it is! Probably 90% of people in the room are not kicking, they are holding their foot and hoping they don’t fall out. When you get the hang of the kick, everything else truly starts to fall into place.

Second Problem? Falling out. Don’t be scared to fall out trying. Again, the goal is not to balance, the goal is to kick so your foot comes over the top of your head and your body is parallel to the floor, stretching your fingers forward as much as possible . When you fall out, you learn. If you are scared to fall out, you’ll stay in the same position for EVER.

Check that your weight stays evenly over your standing foot. Bring your body down so that your abdomen and chest are parallel to the floor, to encourage the kick and raise the heart rate. Getting your body down also encourages the weight to be evenly distributed rather than back in the heel.

Don’t just point at yourself in the mirror, charge your body forward towards it like you want to touch that mirror. If you are charging enough and kicking enough, you won’t fall out. In fact, you could balance there forever! How?

You have to try very hard to concentrate on kicking and stretching. Nothing else. Look at your standing knee to keep it locked and forget about balance. Building concentration is just as hard as building balance, and probably much more valuable in life, but we very rarely hear somebody say, “I need to learn to concentrate more.”  All balancing postures are about your concentration.

Think of this posture as a backbend/spine twist combo, that gives you a sense of what you are trying to achieve.

And always remember, as long as you are trying your best, you are getting your maximum benefit from the posture!

Benefits Of This Pose

  • Creates natural irrigation of the circulatory system – transfers blood flow from one side of the body to the other

  • Clears plaque off artery walls

  • Helps to stimulate circulation through out the body

  • Eases back pain through compression of the spine

  • Improves elasticity of the spine

  • Tones hips and buttocks

  • Trims and strengthens the thighs

  • Strengthens the ankles and knees

  • Opens the shoulder joints, helps with frozen shoulder

  • Helps alleviate carpal tunnel, arthritis, tennis elbow

  • Helps with cervical spondylosis

  • Good for prenatal recovery

  • Stretches diaphragm and ribcage improving respiration (breathing)

  • Flushes kidneys, bladder and urinary system

  • Alleviates gas, constipation and clears digestion

  • Improves balance

Energetic Benefits

  • Releases shame, abandonment

  • Resolves issues of self-worth, fear of betrayal

  • Develops determination, patience


10 Reasons to Participate in the BYN 30 Day Challenge

Challenge yourself to complete 30 classes in 30 days or 5 classes a week for 4 weeks.

We know its not easy, but committing to a regular practice is life changing and a challenge may be just the way to jump start your motivation! Signing up for the challenge is easy. Stop by the front desk to register or sign up online at

If you are a member you can take the challenge for free, top up if you would like to take the Transformation Challenge, or put your membership on hold.  

Once you register, for the Transformation Challenge you will receive weekly clean eating meal plans, support emails, measurement tracking sheets and access to a private Facebook/ WhatsApp group with the BYN staff, teachers and the director Karim. Still not convinced? Well, here are 10 more reasons you should join either challenge!

1.  Be Accountable

When you work with a group, or set a goal “publicly” it helps to keep our eye on the prize.  Let us know what your goals are and we will check in with you as the days go by.

2. Feel the benefits of a regular yoga practice
Use this challenge to jump start a regular practice!  The more you practice the better the results. 1-2x a week is maintenance. 3+ a week you will feel the benefits a lot quicker.  Get stronger, more flexible and reduce stress.  This practice will make you want to take care of your body more.  Because guess what? If you don’t you will feel it on the mat.  And that is okay.  This practice is not about the postures but about how you feel outside of the yoga studio too!

3. Its a great way to get started
Even if you have just started with us you can join this challenge.  Use these next 30 days to commit to the practice.  Dive in.  See what its all about.  Try different times, different teachers, different classes and see how they feel in your body and mind when you practice FREQUENTLY.

4, Create a long term habit
Once you commit to the next month, you very well may realise that you love the way it makes you feel…and why would you want to stop feeling great?!

5. Be a part of a community
You will be working with a group of like-minded people with similar goals in mind.  You will be able to see how everyone else is doing, share your frustrations, celebrate your victories…and hey, a little healthy competition isn’t a bad thing! Can you do this on your own? Of course you can, but your likelihood of success is amplified with just that bit of accountability and group dynamic!

6. Sleep better
You will.

7. Eat better
You will want to because when you don’t, you’ll feel it.

8. Take time for yourself
You deserve to take time for yourself.  And you may be surprised at how much more accomplished and focused you feel the rest of the day.  You know the routine in an airplane: you put your oxygen mask on first before you help others! Same in life.  Self care so you can be a better human in the world!

9. Feel accomplished
You know that great feeling you get when you cross something off your to-do list? There is just something about it! You will feel accomplished every time you get to check off another class that you have completed! You will be inspired by your own discipline.

10. Be a part of something bigger
People have been practicing yoga for a long time.  By practicing yoga you are part of a long lineage of folks who have found that yoga will make you feel energised and gain self knowledge.  It’s time tested.  We know it works. You will too!

For more information on the Challenge see:

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What Happens When You Start Eating Healthy


Health is more than wealth. A strong and healthy body translates to a fuller, happier life. So while switching to a healthier diet is not easy, the benefits are definitely worth it.

Healthy eating is not a diet. It is a way of living that does not require you to starve yourself nor to eat anything that you don’t want to. Healthy eating can become a habit, just like drinking your morning coffee or going to bed at 10 pm every night. It won’t be an easy ride, but once you manage to make it habit, it will come naturally.

Here’re the 5 most important things that you’ll need to pay attention to for turning healthy eating into your next best habit.




Whole foods means everything that is unprocessed or has gone through only a minimum level of necessary processing. You can think about them as foods that you could pick up from your little farm (if you had one) and put straight on the dinning table after cooking.

So things like vegetables, fruits and whole grains belong to the whole foods category. While your favorite cheat meals, like truffle fries or strawberry cheesecake most definitely don’t.

Processing usually diminishes the nutrient contents of food and increases ingredients that your body does not need, like sugar and sodium. Hence, as a general rule of thumb you should minimise processed foods in your diet and eat whole foods instead.


Counting your calories is a great start as it gives you an indication on how much you should eat. But you should not get fixated on calories.

Your macronutrients intake is just as, if not more important than calories. Because all calories are not created equally, 100 calories of chocolate won’t give you the same energy as 100 calories of broccoli.

Make sure you monitor your progress to stay motivated. Check out how in our Ultimate Tracking Guide.

First of all, the quantity of 100 calories of chocolate is a lot less than 100 calories of broccoli. Secondly, and most importantly, the quality of nutrients gained from broccoli highly surpasses that of chocolate.


Sodas and pre-packed fruit juices are the sneakiest calorie and sugar sources. The reason behind this is that most people would be very surprised how much sugar and how many calories are hidden in a single glass of them. And of course it’s really easy to chug couple of glasses when you’re thirsty.

Plus we also tend to assume that the words ‘fruit’ and ‘healthy’ come hand in hand . Well, the said truth is that they don’t. Supermarket shelves are stacked with artificial fruit juices that are pumped up with refined sugars and other flavour enhancers. These obviously won’t do any good to your diet.

So my #1 health-conscious advice in this department is water. Water is the single best cure for thirst and the only liquid that comes with 0 calories and 0 unhealthy additives. And if you crave something with more flavour, go for a fresh pressed juice or a smoothie.


Snacks are just like sodas. You can easily get to a couple hundred calories by simply eating a little piece of this and that every hour or so. Because a handful of peanuts won’t do any harm, right? One might not, but when that one handful becomes 3 and then 5, the calories easily add up.

So instead of jumping on anything you see in the snack cupboard, be conscious about your snacks and prep something healthy in advance. Veggies, like carrots or celery are always a good choice. Low in calories, high in nutrients.


Finally, portion sizes are another tricky issue, especially in the US. Packed food sizes, meal sizes in restaurants and even plate sizes tend to get bigger and bigger exceeding the recommended serving sizes by far. As your brain adjusts to these increased sizes, your body also gets used to eating more. And the end result of this little chain is overeating.

However you can say no to the excess calories and teach your body to get used to the recommended healthy portions. There are a couple of tricks to do this starting from using smaller plates and putting away the extra food to skipping appetizers when eating out. But the most effective method in our opinion is ‘Mindful Eating’.

Now that we laid down the basis, it’s time to look at how your body changes once you start eating healthy!


5 reasons to replace a meal a day with a smoothie

Smoothies have become awfully versatile over the years. In addition to being a succulent dessert and a post workout slam, they are also quite the photogenic model on social media.

But a smoothie’s talents don’t end there! The benefits contained in that blended bundle of goodness are so tremendous, that it is encouraged to replace 1 meal a day with a smoothie. That’s right, swap the eggs and bacon with a delicious blended delight and watch the magic happen.

So what is the secret behind smoothie greatness? How can you improve your smoothie-making skills? What ingredients should you use to maximize your smoothie experience?

Whether you’re new to smoothies and simply looking for the motivation to try, or you’re a smoothie master searching for some new ideas to blend with your own, you’ve come to the right place to get all your questions answered and more!



Maybe you’re comfortable with your eating habits. You like your granola, your sandwiches, your pastas and you have your occasional salad. Why switch it up now?

Smoothies can improve your health, your lifestyle and overall well being. And that’s just the beginning. I could go on all day listing the advantages! However, as you probably don’t have all day to weed through all there is to know, I will limit myself to the top 5.


Depending on your age and gender, you should be getting about 2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. In today’s world full of fats, fried foods, salts, grains, meat, etc., achieving this goal can be harder than it seems.

But it becomes a lot easier when you can mix and match a couple servings in the blender and let them slide smoothly down your throat. Fresh produce you don’t even have to chew through and you can check the fruits and veggies right off your daily list!


We’ve all experienced kitchen disasters. Pork chops left long enough in the oven to bake to a blackened mess. Chicken soup so salty no amount of extra broth could save it. Carrot cake that’s a little more like carrot pudding than it was supposed to be.

But when the whole point of a recipe is to be a mess of ingredients blended into a delicious meal, you really can’t go wrong! You chop, you throw the ingredients in, you press go and viola! You’re good to go.


Most meals typically hit high on the calorie intake scale. This is why replacing one meal a day with a fruit-and-veggie-filled smoothie is a great way to get all the needed vitamins, minerals and fats and keep things low on the calorie scale!

Also, since your blender has already done half the work your body normally does during the digestive process, your body will thank you with a healthy digestive system and you can direct that extra energy towards other things!


As much fun as it is to stay in all day watching Netflix from your pile of tissues, no one likes a cold.

You can keep sicknesses at bay by strengthening your immune system with blended fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. And the money you saved from not having to pay for cough drops and doctor visits can be used for your smoothie ingredients!


Food is fuel for the body. And the best kind of fuel is healthy carbohydrates, which you can get from the fruits and veggies in your daily smoothie!

Healthy carbohydrates can help regulate your energy as you need it throughout the day, which can help get rid of those mid-afternoon crashes.


Now that we’ve talked about the benefits, lets get into the technicalities of a smoothie. No two smoothies are the same and each one speaks to specific needs. Some common smoothie types are green smoothies, fruit smoothies and protein smoothies.


Green smoothies are a combination of leafy greens and fruits. They are also generally dairy free with juice or water as the liquid base.

A green smoothie is a great choice of daily blended delight, because dark, leafy greens are about the most healthy things you can find on earth. Although you can get your greens in salad form, you’re a lot more likely to consume those much needed portions when they can be sipped instead of crunched.


Fruit smoothies have a liquid base of water, juice or milk, mixed with – you guessed it – fruit! This smoothie can be a meal replacement or an afternoon energy boost, but most often it’s a tasty offering to satisfy that sweet tooth.

If you’re looking for an smoothie for your daily routine, this may not be your best choice. Because fruits contain so much sugar, fruit smoothies can give you more than your wanted calories and also spike your blood sugar. But if you’re looking for a healthy dessert option, then a fruit smoothie is definitely the way to go!


A protein smoothie is a blend of fruits and veggies high in protein. It’s also common to add a protein powder to give it an extra boost. This is a great option for a meal replacement, because protein is a lot of what your body looks for in a meal.

A great time for a protein smoothie is right after a work out. Your body can use the help rebuilding muscles, which they need protein to do. Protein smoothies are also a great option right before bed and right after you wake up. Your body could put the protein to good use by building up for or recovering from those 8 hours without food!


1) Pick Your Greens

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First thing’s first; you need a few good handfuls of greens. If you’ve been blending for a while, you probably have your favourites, but if you’re just starting out, consider a mild green like baby spinach or collard greens.

These two greens provide ample amounts of vitamins and nutrients, which will keep your immune system buzzing, but tend to blend up almost tastelessly with other ingredients.

2) Pick Your Fruits


Again, if you’ve been blending for awhile, you know what you like, but if you’re just starting out, consider a few low sugar fruits that taste delicious, but won’t spike your blood glucose. (A steady blood sugar is the key to all-day energy,)

A few low sugar fruits include: Strawberries, raspberries, green apples, lemons, limes, blueberries, and melon.

Use about 1 – 2 servings of fruit in your smoothie (a serving is about a half cup of smaller fruits, or one whole medium fruit like an apple or orange).

Even though bananas aren’t typically classified as “low sugar,” they make a great, creamy base for smoothies (and also provide magnesium and potassium), so consider having a few frozen pieces of banana on hand to add to the mix!

3) Pick Your Protein Supplement

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Protein powder is one of the easiest, quickest ways to increase the amount of healthy protein in your smoothie. If you’ve never used protein powder before, we recommend starting with an organic, Hemp protein. Hemp protein is one of the easier protein powders to digest, blends well into most smoothies, and is often low in fat and calories.

Start with one tablespoon of hemmp protein, and slowly increase to two tablespoons (or one full scoop) depending on your tastes and energy levels.

If protein powder isn’t for you, consider adding three tablespoons of nuts (cashews and almonds work great), a half cup of plain, unflavoured greek yogurt, two tablespoons of flaxseed or hemp seed, or a half cup of rolled oats. While these options aren’t as low in fat and calories as hemp protein, the fat they do contain is good-for-you fat, and works to keep you satisfied for hours.

4) Pick Your Superfood


At this stage, you should pretty much have everything you need to turn your green smoothie into a meal replacement, but there’s no harm in adding a teaspoon or two of your favorite superfood!

Superfoods like moringa powder and maca root powder are great additions if you want a little extra energy.

Camu camu or baobab powder are fantastic for boosting the antioxidant and vitamin C content.

Cacao, lucuma and cinnamon add a touch of sweetness without any extra sugar, as well as a pop of anti-inflammatory goodness.

Green algae like chlorella or spirulina will help boost your immune system.

Whatever superfood you choose, start with a teaspoon, and then add a little more over time depending on your personal tastes.

If you’re new to the world of superfoods, we sell Organic Superfoods from Mynawiri, the Kenyan Superfood Company that includes Spirulina, Moringa, Baobab and Neem powder.

5) Choose your liquid

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What do you want to use as liquid for your meal replacement shake? Good, old fashioned clean water is always an option! If the ingredients you add are flavorful and creamy enough, then sometimes water will do the job just fine. If you’re looking for something a little more dense than water, then we would suggest the following:

  • Almond milk. Preferably unsweetened. If you have some time on your hands, you can even make almond milk yourself!

  • Coconut milk. You can get this from a carton like almond milk, from a can, or the best option would be to make your own by blending the coconut flesh with the coconut water. Go for unsweetened versions, with as few fillers and additional ingredients as possible.

  • Hemp milk. Seems to be trending these days and is a good, nutrient-rich option.

  • Flax Milk. Contains a similar nutrient ratio as almond milk and tastes just as good. Opt for unsweetened if possible.

  • Coconut water: Another great option that is rich with electrolytes and great for hydration.

How much liquid should you include in your smoothie? Generally 1-2 cups is plenty, but you can always add more if needed for consistency.

Blend everything together.

How eating healthy makes you feel better about yourself

Yoga consists of more than bending, twisting and turning yourself upside down. Many yogis study the eight limbs of yoga as a guide to a living a meaningful and purposeful life. Although this eight-fold path offers strategies to teach you how to manage your physical and mental energy, it doesn’t go into much detail about how to feed your body. The sage Patanjali codified the eight-fold path in the Yoga Sutras — but it was written at least 1,700 years ago. Needless to say, a lot has changed — including how we eat.

Ultimately, a yoga diet plan means being mindful in your choices and selecting foods to help you feel most connected to your yoga practice. Your diet should provide you with ample energy and nutrients; some practitioners also choose a diet that matches their moral commitment to yogic teachings and respect for the planet and its beings.

General Rules to Live By

If you eat a cheeseburger, fries, pizza, milkshake or pint of beer before you practice, chances are you’re not going to feel great. You don’t have to swing your meal pendulum so far in the other direction, though, that you subsist only on kale, green smoothies and raw walnuts. Think of your yoga diet as consisting mostly of fresh, unprocessed foods that are nourishing and satisfying.

Follow a few guidelines when designing a diet to match your yogi lifestyle:

  • Choose foods that are light and easily digested

  • Eat a majority of your foods lightly cooked or raw

  • Go for stable cooking oils and fats, such as coconut oil or clarified butter (ghee)

  • Be conscious of the ingredients you’re putting into your body

  • Stop eating when you feel satisfied, but not stuffed


Is Vegetarianism Required?

Some yogis take the directive of ahimsa, or non-harming, to mean eating animals is forbidden. Ahimsa is one of the niyamas, a moral teaching of how you interact with the outside world that falls under the first limb of yoga. Yogis, as a whole, are often conscious about the environment and modern factory farming, and may refrain from eating animals to support their moral beliefs.

A yoga diet doesn’t have to be vegan or vegetarian. Some well-known yogis, including the late B.K.S. Iyengar, felt strongly that a vegetarian diet supported a yogic way of being. Other more modern yogis, including Bikram Choudhury and Ana Forrest, feel that honoring your body’s needs should come first and foremost. If you find that giving up meat leaves you listless and nutritionally deficient, you must consider the harm you’re doing to yourself by denying certain foods.

Ultimately, the choice to eat meat is one you must make on your own. If you feel connected to vegetarianism or veganism and it helps you feel as if you’re taking the principles of yoga off your mat, then by all means — eat this way. But, don’t feel like you can’t be an authentic yogi if you eat otherwise. Just be mindful in your choices; that is the definition of a yogi.

If you do choose a vegetarian diet, ensure you still get plenty of nutritious foods and all necessary nutrients, including calcium, protein and omega 3 fats. It’s possible to avoid animal products, but not eat a healthy or energy-supporting diet. Chips, cereal bars and soda may be vegetarian, but they aren’t going to maximize your practice. Beans, nuts, soy protein, fresh vegetables, whole grains, seeds and fruits are nourishing ways to support a healthy vegetarian body.

A Typical Day

Every yogi is different in constitution and belief, so no one diet works for everyone. However, foods to include that maximize your energy, facilitate healthy digestion and provide optimal nutrition are:

  • Fresh leafy greens: spinach, kale, watercress, chard

  • Fresh vegetables: zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans

  • Fresh fruit: berries, apples, citrus, melon

  • Plain nuts: almonds, walnuts, macadamias

  • Vegan protein: tofu, tempeh, seitan

  • Vegetarian protein: eggs, dairy

  • Whole grains: brown rice, barley, quinoa

  • Healthy fats: coconut oil, avocado, flaxseed oil

If you do choose to include meat and poultry, select humanely raised options.

Breakfast might include whole-grain bread with peanut butter and fresh strawberries; at lunch, have a large green salad topped with seared tofu, sunflower seeds, avocado and olive oil dressing. Dinner options include corn tortillas wrapped around black beans, onions and green peppers. In between, snack on nuts and dried or fresh fruit.

Defining Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is often equated with dieting, but the two are different. A healthy diet includes all the food groups, doesn’t feel like deprivation and should be sustainable for life. To improve your diet, replace refined grains with whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal or whole-grain bread. Opt for low or nonfat dairy products, choose lean cuts of meat and include fruits and vegetables in every meal. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sodium and sugar. Become familiar with your body’s cues. Eat when you are hungry, not because you have a craving. If you’re unsure if it’s just a craving, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes before you eat.

Turkeys and Tryptophan

A lot of chemistry goes into the maintenance of a positive mood. An amino acid called tryptophan helps your body produce another compound — serotonin — which plays a role in restful sleep and a stable mood. Tryptophan is found in protein foods including cheese, poultry, eggs, fish, meat, soy products and milk. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning you have to get it from your diet. Iron, vitamin B-6 and riboflavin are also necessary for tryptophan to work properly.

Steady Energy

You rush out the door and forget to eat breakfast. By noon, you are hungry and shaky and feel irritable, confused and anxious. You are experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Your body and your brain rely on a type of sugar called glucose for energy. When you eat irregularly or make poor food choices, your blood sugar spikes and crashes and you feel miserable. Eating regular, healthy meals and snacks will give you all-day energy and will help elevate your mood.

Diverse Diet

The Mental Health Foundation reports that two-thirds of individuals who claim to have no mental health problems eat fresh fruits or fruit juices every day. Fewer than half of those who reported mental health problems enjoyed fresh produce. Similar trends were seen with vegetables, whole grains and meals made from scratch. Although you can’t blame mental health issues on diet, there does seem to be a correlation between eating well and overall positivity. To promote good mental health, the Mental Health Foundation recommends a nutrient-dense diet focused on whole foods. Avoid processed and packaged foods as much as possible.

Energy for Enjoyment

Eating well gives you the energy you need to take care of other aspects of your life such as professional development and family relationships. A healthy diet may improve your mood simply because you are able to derive more pleasure from life. With a well-fueled body and mind, you’ll also be better equipped to deal with the inevitable stresses of life.


My Bikram Yoga Journey

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Bikram Yoga Journey

I enjoy challenges, especially those I can relate to in terms of benefits and physical exercise. When my sister and I were offered a Bikram Yoga class, we jumped on the occasion; a challenge with my sister is the best challenge their is 🙂

We push each other and try to be as good as the other. We also understand each other without having to speak.

Though it’s increased in popularity in the last few decades, yoga has actually been around for thousands of years. And in its various forms, it is beneficial for not just your physical health but for your mental health and it helps in a variety of other ways too. 

We have been practising yoga for a while, not being naturally flexible, we thought the addition of the 40 degree heat in the hot room would enable us to gain flexibility in no time.

As we entered the silent room, the other yogis already positioned lying down, feet towards the back wall – we looked at each other which meant “hmm, this isn’t quite what we expected”. It was hot.

We lay down and started breathing deeply, as we felt the air was not conducive to normal breathing, we observed what the other students were doing and waited for the instructor to enter the room.

The class began with a breathing exercise, which hurt my shoulders, and made me feel uncomfortable, then came the standing poses. Poses I was familiar with but yet I did not seem to be able to go deeper into them, some I wasn’t able to do at all. My mind started to get in the way, thoughts occurring along the lines of “ Its too hot in here”, “ This is making me uncomfortable”, “How much longer is the class”, “There’s sweat in my eye!”

At one point the Instructor switched on a fan for a few seconds which changed my state of being and I began to relax a bit again. As soon as it went off, I started to obsess about when the next fan time would be, which did not happen for what felt like a very long time.

By this time my sister had already taken a knee, and was now lying flat on her back, she looked drained and was imploring me with her eyes to help her somehow. I smiled at her, or tried to amidst  my own exhaustion – she did not return it.

Not long after, it was my turn, first I took a knee, then collapsed into savasana, breathing heavily, my mind still racing, now I was eyeing the fan pleading with it to come on.

I looked at my sister, she was looking at me – this meant “lets leave”.

We quietly got up, and began to roll up our mats. “ Ladies, please don’t leave the room” we hear, “ the goal is to stay in the room for the entire duration of the class, you can stay in savasana if you need to, breathe normally through the nose, this will bring down your heart rate and enable you to finish the class”. Back we went into savasana which lasted until the end of the class for us.

We swore to ourselves we would never take the class again, the instructor however took us aside as we were leaving  and talked to us about our experience in the hot room. She explained that we were detoxing deeply and rapidly, about the benefits of a regular practice, that we would get used to the heat in no time, that its normal to feel overwhelmed and most importantly, to breathe normally throughout the class.

The personal touch made all the difference to me, within a day I was back in the hotroom.

Fast forward to today – I now practice 3 times a week, If I don’t get in my 3 classes I feel like something is missing. Over time I have felt a shift within myself , I am learning which foods are good for me and which ones don’t sit so well. I’m learning how to control my breath which in turn controls my mind. I don’t obsess over the fan so much anymore, and have come to a point where I actually enjoy the heat. Who would have thought? The more I practice, the stronger I get physically, mentally and emotionally. The more focused and determined I become on the mat, the more focused and determined I become in my daily life. I have come to find that who I am on the mat, reflects who I am off the mat.

I am transforming myself from the inside out, can breathe better than I have done in a very long time and would highly recommend Bikram Yoga to anyone who wants to make a serious lifestyle change. I had heard before that many Bikram students feel addicted to it, I can see and feel now for myself how this is possible.

There are a host of benefits that come with Bikram Yoga including increased blood circulation, improved digestion, flexibility, prevents injuries, glowing skin etc.

Come and take a class, see for yourself,  show up for yourself and be transformed.

Comment with what Bikram Yoga has done for you, or get in touch if you would like to contribute your own article.


10 Foods to Support Your Yoga Practice


Whether you’re practicing Bikram Yoga or slowing it down with Hatha or Yin, a healthy diet is key to having both the energy and the focus to make it through your practice. It’s important that your diet is balanced and full of nutritious foods high in fibre, vitamins, healthy fats, and natural sugars to keep you satisfied and grounded.

Here are 10 great foods to support your yoga practice that will give you a boost without having you bouncing off your mat.

1. Dark Leafy Greens

From kale to collards, mustard greens to arugula, dark leafy greens are brimming with vitamins C, E and K, iron, fiber and calcium, and so much more. You know yoga is good for the whole body, and adding more dark greens to you diet can help to boost those benefits even more. Try them in a salad, a smoothie or sautéed as a side dish.

2. Raw Cacao

What’s better than chocolate? The superfood raw cacao. The main ingredient in chocolate, raw cacao is packed with antioxidants to fight disease, flavonoids to reduce the risk of heart disease, and magnesium to support emotional health. Yoga has been found to help people live longer, happier lives, and it looks like consuming raw cacao can help too.

3. Quinoa

Yogis need their protein for energy and concentration and the super grain quinoa is one way to get it. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, iron for healthy blood, vitamin B2 to help with energy production in cells, and magnesium for blood sugar control. It can be eaten in place of a grain like rice, or even as a breakfast instead of oatmeal. Quinoa may be around for thousands of years already, but some consider it the super grain of the future.

4. Porridge

Porridge is high in fiber, low on the glycemic index scale and has been found to help lower cholesterol. On top of that, yogis with the Ayurvedic constitution vata can benefit even more from porridge’s warming qualities, especially when made with cinnamon or cardamom. Need another reason? It’s also easy on the digestive system and since it’s slow burning, it’s great for sustained energy.

5. Berries

Their bright colours are a strong indicator that berries are high in disease-fighting antioxidants, and they’re a wonderful addition to your smoothie. Since they’re also high in fibre, berries can help keep hunger at bay and keep everything moving. The natural sugar in berries will help you get through your practice without crashing like high-sugar snacks can do.

6. Lentils

They’re often called the fountain of youth for their anti-aging benefits. Lentils also have more folate than any other plant food. They’re also loaded with iron and protein to keep you energised throughout a demanding yoga practice. Try lentils in an Indian Dhal dish full of warming spices to help keep you grounded when life becomes too much and even your practice could use a little help.

7. Tofu

Yogis love their vegetarian diets, but anyone who follows a plant – based diet  knows the on-going dilemma – where’s the protein?

We all know you can get it from grains and vegetables, but another great source is tofu. Tofu is considered a complete protein because it supplies the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce on their own. For every 100g of tofu, this low-fat, low-sugar soy product provides 17.19 g of protein.

8. Nut butters

Whether you fancy peanuts or prefer almonds, nut butters are a great way to satisfy hunger, boost your energy, and keep you powered up until it’s time for Savasana. Nut butters are super high in protein and contain the good fats to keep you healthy.

And unlike their whole selves, there are so many ways to enjoy nut butters. Spread them on rice cakes or brown rice tortillas, use them as a dip for apples or bananas, or if you need a little something sweet, remove the pit from a date and fill the center with almond butter. Yum!

9. Fresh fruit

Aside from being refreshing, delicious, and constantly changing with the seasons, fresh fruits are generally high in fiber, antioxidants and more. They’re good for your health and they are a great way to satisfy hunger during the day. Thanks to their natural sugar content, fresh fruit provides a boost of energy without the crash of refined sugars. Check out your local farmer’s market and have fun with all the fruits you can find.

10. Lemon and water

Put down the coffee and start your day with warm water with lemon. In addition to kick starting your digestive system the healthy way, warm lemon water helps to alkalize the body, which helps control the development and spread of disease. If you’re a fan of Bikram Yoga that really works the muscles, warm lemon water can also help keep the joints and muscles healthy.

What are YOUR go-to foods before and after yoga practice? Are there items you would add to this list? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

Bikram Yoga and Nutrition


Nutrition can support Bikram yoga by:

* Avoiding dizziness

* Maximising fat burn and weight loss

* Development of lean muscle

* Boosting energy

* Aiding detox

I’m often asked what the best foods to eat before exercise are and which foods to eat and not to eat for weight loss. While a pre exercise snack is not unimportant, its value should be minimal. What I mean by that is, try and ensure that the body is  well nourished and hydrated on an ongoing basis, that what is consumed immediately, or in the run up to a workout is not a major factor, fuel wise.

Did you know that 40% of our daily Stress comes from poor food choices?

Most exercise enthusiasts will benefit most from a workout when they eat clean on their off days too. What this means is avoiding – refined sugars (go instead for coconut sugar or raw honey if you have blood sugar issues), processed foods, excess caffeine and alcohol. If eating meat/fish be sure to accompany with plenty of leafy green veg for balance. If you are a vegan,ensuring you are getting good sources of plant based protein such as hemp/moringa protein powder each day. Eat a rainbow of colours each day to ensure you have enough cell protecting antioxidants on board and last but by no means last I cannot stress enough the importance of adequate hydration.

There are many nutrition silver bullet approaches that may result in small improvements in performance but studies show the greatest benefits are seen when the diet is healthy overall. A tailored healthy baseline eating plan will provide your body with the raw materials it needs to function at a high level, especially during Bikram. It’s also really important to remember that how well your digestion is functioning will determine the benefits you get from the food you eat. By this I mean the level of nutrients you digest, absorb and assimilate into the body for energy and overall good health.

I would urge you to not ignore digestive symptoms in any form as they are a sign that the balance in your gut is off. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria in our gut we will not achieve optimum health.

Whilst it is important to ensure you take a good quality probiotic (natural yoghurt, organic apple cider vinegar, Kombucha) you also need to ensure you are providing your good gut bacteria with the right foods on a daily basis such as soluble fibre such as chia/hemp, onions, garlic,leeks, leafy greens and supergreen powders, like Moringa and Spirulina  We now know an imbalance in our gut microbes plays a key role in imbalanced mood, depression, obesity, inflammation, autoimmune conditions, allergies, food intolerances….. The list really does go on.

Top tips:

  • Drink a glass of room temp water on waking with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

  • To replenish glycogen stores after your overnight fast always eat a light breakfast (at least >90 mins before your practice) Chia oats,Green Smoothie, Fruit salad.  

  • If however you do a very early bikram session and do not feel like eating beforehand make sure to have a really good meal the evening before such as sweet potato, coconut oil, sautéed leafy greens, source of protein (tofu,meat,fish) and a raw salad.

  • Consume larger meals at least 3 hours before yoga. This could be a light meal such as a handful of cashews on top of a light, leafy-green salad with a quarter of an avocado, some tofu and drizzle of olive oil, a tsp of chia seeds and ½ a sweet potato with coconut oil.

  • A Super smoothie with some protein such as hemp/moringa is also a good option as a meal 4 hours before. Remember the protein slows the release of the glucose into the blood preventing low blood sugar (tired, hungry feeling) giving rise to steady energy release before your exercise session.

  • Avoid eating heavy, fatty foods the evening before Bikram because of how long it takes the body to digest fats. However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid fats altogether. Rather, healthy fats in moderation can fill you up, stabilizing blood sugar levels and preventing hunger pangs during or after classes.

  • ** This is where your protein bomb or super smoothie comes in. Don’t miss the window or you will go into metabolic shut down, essentially becoming insulin resistant which could last up to 72 hours**.

  • Boost your intake of anti-inflammatory foods after exercise to control inflammation from tissue damage and support the immune system as exercise is a stress on the body due to free radical damage. Nuts, seeds, chia, turmeric can all be added to smoothies.

  • Boost antioxidants such as vitamin C and choose brightly coloured foods. Acai Berry and Baobab powder are rich in compounds that help minimise cell damage after exercise due to their ability to fight free radicals. Baobab Powder powder contains 6 times more vitamin C than an orange, has more iron than red meat, delivers twice as much calcium as milk and more potassium than bananas.  

  • Get 8 hours sleep each night and try to get to bed before 11 and at the latest 12 midnight the night before yoga.

  • Take an Epsom salt baths after intense exercise, the magnesium will help relax the muscles and joints.

  • Know your hidden Food allergies or intolerances: Having food intolerance is not the same as having a full blown allergy; however they can manifest in various different symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, sinus, frequent mucus build up, constipation or diarrhoea, irritable bowel, weight around the middle, fatigue, headaches, low mood and poor nutrient status due to absorbency issues. The main reactionary foods include; gluten, wheat, dairy, soya and yeast. Removing a problematic food can make a massive difference to energy, performance, weight loss, concentration and mood. If you suspect that you may have a food intolerance speak to me and I can guide you through an elimination diet or provide various testing options in my clinic.

  • Eating the wrong foods or too close to practice may lead to indigestion, nausea, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. The foods you eat should agree with your stomach and allow you to feel good both during and after your practices. This takes practice as everyone is different.