Look ma, no hands!

“The students in the front row help the teacher’s guide the class. In order to be in the front row you have to be an experienced student. You have to set an example for the people that are behind you.” That’s the studio policy (which you can find here). It sounds pretty stringent, and in a way it is, but it’s all about balancing setting an example against not being shy. In essence, what this policy is trying to do is to make sure that the people in the front are all able to attempt each posture as described in

Less is more

“And push and push and push and push and push and change.” We hear that at least four times every class, and while it’s useful in it original context (pushing the hips out to the side in half moon), it’s not intended to be used as an overall approach to the yoga. Yes, yoga is intended to affect change, and yes, sometimes you have to push a little to make that happen, but there is such a thing as too much pushing. Yoga is supposed to be a healing tool, not a weapon, and definitely not a means of self-harm.

How to take a break

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No, for real, there’s a way to do this. I didn’t think so either until I tried it and it does make a huge difference. So, obviously, we want to encourage everyone to try every posture every time, and doing 1% of a posture 100% the right way is far better than doing 100% of the posture 1% right, and muscle memory, and all of that. But sometimes it happens that we need to take a break. Herewith, your guide to taking a break 100% the right way. If you find yourself needing to use this, please be sure to

No brain bleach required

Looking to Avoid_2

Ok, we need to talk. Yes, your bodies are all beautiful, no matter what shape and size. Yes, they can do some pretty amazing things, which is why/because you come to yoga. And yes, no one is judging you based on your body, or based on how you choose to dress it. But. There are some parts of your body that should probably remain covered at all times in the yoga room. In general, these are the parts that would get blurred out on a network TV show. There’s nothing inherently wrong with those parts, they’re just as beautiful and

Cherry-picking

I used to not cherry-pick yoga teachers. I used to tell myself that it didn’t matter who was teaching when, because it was always the same dialogue, always the same 26-and-2, and it didn’t even matter if I was even in a city where I didn’t speak the local language and had never even met the teacher, what was important was showing up and getting on the mat. Most of that is still true, obviously: It’s still the same series, and it’s still the same dialogue, and showing up is half the battle, and even if I don’t understand the

One easy step to a yoga body

We read this stuff all the time, mostly online and on magazine covers: “Get a yoga booty! Your best yoga body! Get your bikini body with yoga!” We also hear this other stuff around the studio all the time: “I can’t do X posture because my (body part) is too big/small/long/short/weak/fat.” Let’s stop all this nonsense right now. First off, there is no such thing as a “bikini body.” Got a body? Yes? Put a bikini on it. Or just a regular bathing suit, whatever you like. There you go, you’re ready for the beach. It’s that simple. Same concept

The dying art of classroom etiquette

It’s been said recently that classroom etiquette is a dying art, and I couldn’t agree more. With the challenge(s) at their peak, the yoga classroom in particular is packed to the rafters, and there are many little things we can do to make it feel less like flying Air Canada economy and more like one of those really great parties where 50 people end up packed into someone’s teeny little 4 ½ and no one even notices how crowded it is. Before class: Be on time! By which we mean aim to arrive with at least five minutes to spare

Reserved parking

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Normally, Facebook is a time suck. A fun time suck, and a useful one when it comes to staying in touch with people who are far away (or just really busy), and one I truly love indulging in, but it’s not something that I normally turn to for life advice. Every now and then though, someone posts something that is just so much what I needed to read that it’s downright spooky. The other day, the Bikram studio posted one of those things: Your mini-challenge this week: Practice in a different spot in the room every day. No more reserved

Home away from home: Bikram Yoga Edinburgh

This is the lobby area. The chandeliers are even cooler in person, and that’s a free book swap shelf on the back wall. Also - and this blew me away - it’s totally cool to sit on those gorgeous leather couches after class, since they wipe dry rather than absorbing sweat like fabric would.

I know, I know – I feel like I’ve taken more classes in other cities than I have in our own studios lately (not true, but it feels like it). Walking in to Bikram Yoga Edinburgh was a little iffy at first, thanks to its ultra-hipster location – it’s literally in a place you’ve never heard of and won’t spot unless you know to look for it – but once you get there, it’s full of warm, big-hearted people who made me feel at home right away. The studio owner was a little shy to be interviewed, as was the

How not to do a challenge

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So, here we are, at the end of the first week of the challenge for most of you. The good news is there’s only three weeks left, and now that you have a week’s worth of stickers or Xs next to your name you’ll literally see how much faster it goes from here. This is also a good time to think about why you signed up for this challenge in the first place, and to maybe adjust your expectations about it. My experience has been that it’s best to have no expectations beyond getting your butt into the hot room

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