My First Class?
While our address is 49 Dartmouth street, our entrance is around the side of the building. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the class time. Please bring a yoga mat, a large towel to practice with, another for the shower after class if you like, and some water to drink. We rent mats and towels, we sell water, coconut water, and Shakti Active Wear. This is a beginner’s class in that the postures are safe and accessible. We expect most people can do most of them, most of the time, unless you have some kind of injury, condition or disability that would require modifying the postures. However, this is not an easy class. Expect a vigorous workout. Expect to sweat, more than you may have ever sweat before. This is, of course, because it is hot, jungle hot! You may feel a bit light headed to begin with, this is a normal part of acclimating to the environment and it will pass. Take breaks whenever you need to. Your practice is a way for you to take care of yourself, so please do that. Respect your limitations but then be willing to test them. Hatha yoga is about balance in the broad context. One of the most difficult, and so rewarding, aspects of this balance is that between accepting that which we cannot, or are not ready to change, and having the courage to change the things that we can. Yoga is a big mirror to your life, be willing to learn, and enjoy the ride. We welcome you.
How Does Bikram Yoga Work?
The postures in the Bkiram series work synergistically and cumulatively to return the body to a balanced state. This yoga builds energy, stamina and finesse. It incorporates strength, flexibility, balance and most importantly, the “tourniquet effect.” The tourniquet effect gently stretches, squeezes and massages the internal organs, flushes out the cardiovascular system, and stimulates the endocrine and nervous systems. Deficient hormones and enzymes are released or inhibited as necessary. This yoga will boost the body out of its unbalanced state, allowing it to become self-regulating and self-adjusting. Cholesterol in the blood gets “blasted out” of the arteries and veins; in turn it can become regulated. Oxygen and nutrients are supplied to parts of the body that have been in “cold storage.” Toxins are eliminated and the central nervous system is both energized and soothed The lymphatic system is flushed and the immune system strengthened. Sexual vitality and fertility are improved. The internal organs and endocrine glands are corrected and balanced, bringing them back to peak efficiency. Lung capacity is expanded, leading to greater vitality. Bones are strengthened. The joints are opened and lubricated with synovial fluid. Muscles are strengthened, toned and flexibility is increased. Stretching the muscles works the body at the cellular level. As a result, calories become more accessible and are more easily burned, helping the body operate at optimal fitness.
Is Maine Bikram Yoga a Franchise?
No! We have never been a franchise. Angela Weymouth and Michael Seymour opened this studio in August of 2002 and continue to be the primary Instructors as well as the owners and managers. We teach Bikram’s method of Hatha Yoga but do not pay any fees of any kind to the corporation entitled Bikram Inc. or any of its affiliates. While some Bikram studios are considered official franchises with contractual obligations to Bikram Inc., the vast majority of them are not.
How Often Should I Come to Class?
Come as often as you can. Ideally, at least 5 times a week for the first two to three months. This gives your body a jump start, and in that time period you will notice incredible improvements in your practice and in your overall health and life. A daily practice from the beginning can relax into a regiment of 3 or 4 times a week. You will find you will want to do this practice. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the time or budget for a daily practice. Just come as often as you can, especially in the beginning. You will start to organize your schedule to fit it in. This yoga, practiced 3 times a week, is thorough enough to be your only form of exercise! In fact, the harder this yoga is for you initially, the more you need to do it and the more you are going to benefit from it. The time and effort you put into your Bikram Yoga will be returned to you tenfold.
What Benefits Can I Expect?
The benefits you receive from a regular, devoted yoga practice will vary depending on who you are, your health history, what you put into your practice, and what you may be struggling with physically or mentally. The most frequently reported benefits are:
- Escalation in energy and metabolism
- Weight loss and increase in muscle tone
- Increase in strength and flexibility
- Reduction in stress and a newfound ability to induce relaxation during stressful moments
- Alleviation of symptoms of chronic diseases and Injuries
- Rejuvenated sense of calm and well-being
- An inspired and positive outlook on life
As with anything the amount of effort and focus you put into something is directly proportionate to the results you will achieve. Try your best. Your postures do not have to be ‘perfect’ in order to do yoga. It’s called yoga practice and all we can ask ourselves is to try the right way with 100% effort.
What Are The Prerequisites for This Practice?
Bikram Yoga is a class designed for ANY beginner yet still challenging for more advanced students. All you need is a good attitude and a willingness to try your best. These qualities will enable you to reap all of the benefits yoga can offer.
As Bikram says, “No matter how old or sick or out of shape you are, you can still stretch and have a new beginning with yoga. It is never too late.”
Why Is It So Hot!?
- Enhances vasodilatation so that more blood is delivered to the muscles. This means that the capillaries that weave around the muscles respond to the heat by dilation. This brings more oxygen to the muscles and helps in the removal of waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
- Allows oxygen in the blood to detach from the hemoglobin more easily. When blood passes through warm muscles, oxygen releases more easily from the hemoglobin. Blood passing through cold muscles releases less oxygen.
- Speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids.
- Makes muscles more elastic, less susceptible to injury.
- Improves coordination.
- Reduces heart irregularities associated with sudden exercise.
- Burns fat more easily. Warmed muscles burn fat more easily than cold ones. Fat is releasedduring stress. The stress of intense exercise causes a deluge of fatty acids into the blood stream. If you exercise with cold muscles, they can’t use the fatty acids, and they end up in places they are not wanted such as in the lining of your arteries.
Primarily we use a carpet-like flooring system because it is safer. With the copious amounts of sweat pouring off of our students a wood floor would become slippery and hazardous. We do not actually use carpet. We use Forbo’s Flotex Flooring System. It is extremely well engineered to remain clean, sanitary, and resilient in areas of intense use like hospitals and schools. Please follow the link to read a little about it. To summarize though: a) It has a closed cell waterproof backing to prevent moisture from accumulating and so prevent microscopic organisms from surviving; b) it has extremely dense and straight fibers that are easy to clean and last a long time, as well as provide excellent traction for sweaty feet; c) the fibers are treated with an anti-microbial agent that inhibits the growth of MRSA, C. Diff, CRE, E. Coli, and Fungi. Forbo Flotex is rapidly becoming the flooring of choice for Hot Yoga studios across the country.
Tips For Success:
Lack of sleep may affect your ability to endure this practice. Many clients have reported to us that their ability to sleep improves with a consistent practice.
Make sure that you have adequate fuel in your system. While it is not great to have a full stomach it is also not great to have nothing before class in the morning. Eat something that is easily digestible and will give you some protein, fat, and carbohydrates to keep your strength up for the class. Give 2 hours to digest before taking class. Not heeding this advice will likely result in a bit of nausea.
We never play music during class. Sometimes we play some ambient music after class.
We try to keep the temperature around 105 degrees F. Sometimes it is a little less than this and sometimes it is a little more. We try to keep the humidity level around 40%, again, it fluctuates.
This class requires that you are well hydrated. You cannot do this 10 minutes before class, it takes a few hours. During class, drinking too much water can interfere with some of the postures and may cause you to feel uncomfortable.