welcome new students

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga is 26 Hatha Yoga Postures and 2 Breathing Exercises performed in a heated environment. This series systematically moves fresh oxygenated blood to every muscle, tissue, organ and gland in the body, revitalizing your entire body, inside-out, bones-to-skin!

What should I bring?

Bring a Yoga Mat, Towel and Water. If you forget any of these things, we have them to rent and/or purchase at the studio.

What should I wear?

Wear clothing that is easy to move in, light and fitted. Best clothing for women is shorts and a sports bra or tank. Best clothing for men is shorts.

What should I expect?

Expect to work hard in the class and take breaks when you need to. The goal on your first day is to stay in the room for the full 90 minutes. Each day you will be able to do more than you ever thought possible. Just do your best and try the right way- then you get 100% benefit!

What should I do before the class?

Come to class hydrated! Drink 1-2 Liters of water throughout the day before you come to class. It is better to hydrate throughout the day than to try to drink it all at once. Symptoms of dehydration are dizziness and nausea, you definitely don’t want to be battling this on your first class. Come on an empty stomach. Don’t eat about 2-4 hours before the class, your body will be trying to digest food and you need your body’s 100% energy for the task at hand! Arrive 15 minutes early to fill out our waiver, get acquainted with the studio’s facilities, set up your mat and let us know about any injuries or conditions you may be working with.

posture benefits

Standing Deep Breathing

• Expands the lungs to their full capacity
• Increases circulation to the whole body
• Counteracts emphysema, asthma, and other breathing problems
• Helps regulate blood pressure
• Exercises the nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems

Half Moon/Hands to Feet Pose

• Revitalizes liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys
• Corrects bad posture
• Helps to alleviate lower back pain, bronchial distress, scoliotic deformities, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder
• Improves circulation in the legs and to the brain
• Increases the flexibility of the spine, sciatic nerves, most of the tendons and ligaments of the legs
• Strengthens and firms the abdomen, hips, thighs and buttocks

Awkward Pose

• Increases circulation in the knee, toe and ankle joints
• Relieves rheumatism, arthritis and gout in the legs
• Helps to cure slipped disc and lumbago in the lower spine
• Increases hip joint flexibility
• Strengthens and firms upper arms and all muscles of thighs, calves and hips

Eagle Pose

• Relieves tension in neck and shoulders
• Improves sexual vitality and control
• Improves flexibility of all 12 major joints of the body
• Strengthens and firms legs, arms, and abdomen

Standing Head to Knee Pose

• Develops concentration, determination and patience
• Increases pancreatic functions
• Helps balance blood sugar levels
• Improves flexibility of sciatic nerve
• Strengthens and firms abdomen, thighs, legs, upper body and arms

Standing Bow Pulling Pose

• Flushes out kidneys helping to eliminate toxins
• Increases the size and elasticity of the rib cage and lungs
• Helps correct high blood pressure
• Helps tennis elbow and frozen shoulder
• Improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine and most of the body’s muscles
• Improves flexibility of sciatic nerve
• Strengthens and firms abdominal wall, upper thighs, upper arms, hips, and buttocks

Balancing Stick Pose

• Strengthens the heart muscle and improves circulation
• Increases lung capacity
• Helps tennis elbow and varicose veins
• Increases the flexibility of the spine, hip, and shoulder joints
• Strengthens and firms arms, hips, buttocks and upper thighs

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose

• Helps functioning of the abdominal organs
• Brings blood to the brain
• Stretches and strengthens the sciatic nerves and tendons of the legs
• Increases flexibility of the pelvis, ankles, hip joints and last 5 vertebrae of spine
• Improves the muscle tone and flexibility of thighs and calves

Triangle Pose

• Improves every muscle, joint, tendon and internal organ
• Revitalizes nerves, veins, and tissues
• Improves crooked spines
• Helps correct frozen shoulder and tennis elbow
• Increases strength and flexibility of the hip joint and of the muscles of the side of the torso
• Strengthens and firms arms, upper thighs, waistline and hips

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

• Increases blood circulation to legs and brain (helping with some types of headaches)
• Massages internal organs
• Helps with diabetes and hyper-acidity
• Helps relieve constipation, dyspepsia, and hemorrhoids
• Improves flexibility of the spine, shoulders, hips, sciatic nerve
• Strengthens and firms abdomen, waistline, hips, buttocks, upper thighs

Tree Pose

• Improves posture and balance
• Improves circulatory disorders
• Relieves tension in neck and shoulders
• Increases flexibility of ankles, knees, and hip joints
• Strengthens internal oblique muscles to prevent hernia

Toe Stand Pose

• Develops psychological and mental powers, especially patience
• Helps to cure gout and rheumatism of the knees, ankles and feet
• Helps with hemorrhoid problems
• Strengthens stomach muscles, weak joints, and feet (which have 1/4 of all the bones in the body)

Dead Body Pose

• Returns circulation to normal
• Improves concentration
• Helps reduce hypertension, nervousness, anxiety, and irritability

Wind Removing Pose

• Massages the colon
• Helps and prevents constipation and irritable bowel syndrome
• Stimulates the liver, small and large intestine, and spleen
• Improves flexibility of the hip joints and relieves lower back pain
• Firms the abdomen, thighs and hips

Sit-up

• Strengthens and firms the abdomen
• Increases flexibility of the spine, hamstrings, and sciatic nerve

Cobra Pose

• Relieves back pain
• Increases spinal strength and flexibility
• Improves functioning of the large and small intestines, liver, kidney and spleen
• Improves chest by opening rib cage, permitting maximum expansion of the lungs increasing oxygen intake
• Improves digestion
• Helps relieve lumbago, rheumatism and arthritis of the spine
• Helps to cure gout, slipped disc, sciatica, tennis elbow
• Helps relieve menstrual problems
• Strengthens the immune system and revitalizes the thyroid
• Improves flexibility of hip and shoulder joints
• Strengthens and firms abdomen, hips, legs, buttocks and arms

Locust Pose

FULL LOCUST POSE

BOW POSE

FIXED FIRM POSE

• Helps to cure sciatica, gout and rheumatism in the legs
• Helps to prevent hernia
• Strengthens and improves flexibility of lower spine, knees, and ankles
• Firms thighs, calf muscles and strengthens the abdomen

Half Tortoise Pose

• Provides maximum relaxation
• Stretches lower part of the lungs increasing blood circulation to the brain
• Good for diabetes and anemia
• Massages heart, lungs, and coronary arteries
• Increases flexibility of the hip and shoulder joints
• Firms abdomen and thighs

Camel Pose

• Stretches abdominal organs and cures constipation
• Stretches the throat, thyroid gland and parathyroid
• Stimulates the nervous system
• Opens rib cage to allow for maximum expansion of the lungs
• Maximum compression of spine improving flexibility of the neck and spine
• Firms the abdomen and slims the waistline

Rabbit Pose

• Maximum stretch of the spine allowing nervous system to receive proper nutrition
• Maintains mobility and elasticity of spine
• Nurtures the nervous system, helps with depression
• Improves digestion
• Helps cure sinus problems, colds and chronic tonsillitis
• Strengthens and firms abdomen and back muscles

Head to Knee with Stretching Pose

• Helps balance blood sugar levels
• Improves kidney function
•‍ Improves digestion
• Improves the flexibility of sciatic nerves, ankles and hip joints
• Strengthens and firms abdomen and arms

Spine Twisting Pose

• Increases circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, veins, and tissues
• Improves spinal elasticity and flexibility
• Helps cure lumbago and rheumatism of the spine
• Improves digestion
• Firms abdomen, thighs and buttocks

Blowing in Firm

• Increases circulation
• Removes toxins
• Strengthens all abdominal organs
• Trims the waist line

Student of the Month

SEPTEMBER 2018 STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Christina Auguste

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
I was taking a class at a gym, and the instructor Julie Burton say "hot yoga will change your life" and it sure has! I needed to challenge and change my workout routine its been a great experience!

Q: How long have you been practicing?
Since May 2018.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
3 -4 days a week including Inferno Pilates.

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
Dandayamana Dhanurasana- Standing Bow Pulling Pose, in May I couldn't get my legs to fold up couldn't even reach them now I can get into the full pose! Amazing feeling!

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
I have lost 23 pounds and numbness in left toe gone. 

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Take your time, don't give up! This is what I take always from those wonderful instructors...
"You can do anything for 20 seconds"- Shannon Engelhardt
"Hot yoga will change your life" - Julie Burton 
"Change" - Vikki Zetterberg
"Yoga is a marathon not a sprint" -Ryan

AUGUST 2018 STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Ben Stepan

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
I have participated in a wide variety of fitness activities and sports throughout my life. I wanted to try hot yoga to experience the benefits and judge whether it would become part of my long term routine. 

Q: How long have you been practicing?
I began in the fall of 2017, but took a break for knee surgery. It has now been 7 months of consistent practice. 

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
Typically 3-4 days a week. 

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
Locust pose. I’ve seen the most growth in this pose and can feel my back getting stronger. 

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
That’s a hard one, because there are so many! My favorite benefits are overall strength, joint support in my knees, and stress management. 

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
If it’s new, it will be challenging, but if you commit to being consistent it will be worth it!

JULY 2018 STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Blake Langdale

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
I decided to come to HYV because I had wanted to get back into Bikram practice and once I did come to the studio I fell in love with the room. I especially liked the high ceilings.

Q: How long have you been practicing?
I've been practicing mostly on a daily basis for 7 years now, with a few short periods off during that time. However my first class was back in 02' as a junior in high school.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
I practice usually every day. Generally I take no more than 2 days off a month. I'm kind of a nut in the sense that I end up doing doubles about half of the time.

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
FINAL SAVASANA! no seriously, it's probably something like half moon or standing bow. I like postures that really challenge your spine.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
The benefits are plentiful. I especially enjoy the degree to which my organs function better when I am practicing. The thing which really separates Bikram from other styles is how efficiently the internal organs get massaged and adjusted. I also feel an improved sense of well being.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
I would tell them to embrace the suffering. Don't pay attention to the benefits at all for the first half year. Just commit to going to class as often as possible and do your very best each time you are there. The most magical part is when enough time has passed and all of a sudden you get this overwhelming sense of satisfaction from your efforts. Many people are not willing to see this practice through, which is a tragic mistake. Allow your body and mind to acclimate properly and you will be a devotee for life.

JUNE 2018 STUDENT OF
THE MONTH
Maria Mellein

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
The staff is super positive and helpful and the studio is beautiful.

Q: How long have you been practicing?
I have practiced on and off for the past 5 years but more consistently over the past 2 years.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
Typically I practice once or twice a week, but I squeeze in more whenever I can!

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
Its so hard to pick just one. It definitely depends on the day but overall I might have to say the Triangle Pose. While in this pose, you are opening, strengthening, and stretching so many muscle groups. Breathing into it, you can become so acutely aware of every part of your body. The result is incredibly revitalizing.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
It gives me the strength and flexibility to have more fun doing all the other activities I love. It has taught me more patience, self-awareness and mindfulness to be a better person. Every aspect of my life is more balanced, physically and mentally. I am currently 38 weeks pregnant with my third baby. This has been by far the easiest of the three. My body feels amazing and so strong even now. I cannot believe what the body is capable of doing even this far along in a pregnancy.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Just go for it! The hardest part is getting over the fear of the unknown. The instructors encourage first-timers and are more than willing to help people of all different skill levels. Even if you can only do it once a week, when put in 100% into it, you will be amazed what you can accomplish both physically and mentally.

APRIL 2018 STUDENT OF
THE MONTH
LuAnn Deogardi

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
Hot yoga was on my to do list. I saw your site and was really curious. I kept pouring over your site and reading about your instructors. How you came about and I felt a sense of coming home. I had no idea what to expect, except heat. I have been going to Patagonia once a week but really have no knowledge of the poses or benefits. I thought why not? I can only improve. I have been looking for an activity that was non impact due to a leg injury. I was excited to do the special to see if this was something I would benefit from.  

Q: How long have you been practicing?
30 days

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
7

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
The camel, it was the first pose I mastered.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
Endless!!!!! I had a fungus on my toe for 5 years, it was completely gone in 3 weeks. Miss Shannon explained that it was from immunity. I have been dealing with adrenal fatigue for years, and it has done a complete turnaround. I cannot believe what one month has done health wise. I sleep amazingly, depression is gone. I feel so much more limber and light on my feet.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Just breathe, and trust the instructors.

MARCH 2018
STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Andrew Curtis

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
I heard that there was a new studio/owner in town and was looking for somewhere that was less of a commute than some of the other options.

Q: How long have you been practicing?
My first class was in 2011, but i started to take it seriously probably somewhere around 2012 or 2013 once i began to notice the seemingly endless benefits of 90 minutes in the hot room.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
Unfortunately only an average of 2 to 3; 4 on a good week…wish I could get to the 5+ days a week club!

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
Its hard to pick one, but probably Toe Stand. I remember coming to classes for a couple years and thinking that this posture would be impossible. One morning, an instructor pushed me to fold forward and realize it wasn’t as intimidating as i once thought. The physical and mental challenge of getting to the point of lifting hands and head has been a long road, but super gratifying. It is also right around the halfway point of the class so you know you’re about to get a short break and start to slow things down a bit before moving onto the second 45 minutes of class.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
Work keeps me traveling quite a bit throughout the year, and with that comes hours of sitting on
flights or in a vehicle, a less than optimal diet, and not much sleep. With a consistent practice at
home in Ventura, or from the road, Bikram keeps my body flexible and ready for anything- from
a 16 hour work day, to surfing, or a backpacking trip. Aside from an overall feeling of balance, it has also lessened injury recovery time, increased joint and core strength to help prevent injuries and strengthen old ones, increased immune functioning, gets me a much better night sleep, and keeps my cardio in check. Overall, i feel like a consistent or semi-consistent practice keeps your body in a ready-to-go state.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Make sure you come to your first class rested and hydrated. Give it a go, and be prepared to
have your ass kicked a little : ) Its a revitalizing 90 minutes and such a unique way to challenge
yourself mentally and physically. Its kind of hard to explain it until you’ve experienced it for
yourself, but i think people from all backgrounds, athletic or not, have a lot to gain from the
practice.

FEBRUARY 2018
STUDENTS OF THE MONTH
Annabelle Cordero
&
Anuhuac Gomez

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
We wanted to try a low impact exercise that would provide the most benefits to our overall health. We used to never work out together. Bikram is the one workout that we both enjoy doing!

Q: How long have you been practicing?
We just started this past October. I tried it about 7 years ago but didn’t stick with it. Now that we’re coming together, we seem much more committed to it.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
Three to five days per week. And we’re doing Pilates together on Mondays now! That’s one of our New Years Resolutions.

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
We don’t have a favorite, except for maybe savasana. All the postures have something that we love/hate about them.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
We both have had on-going back issues for years. Bikram is definitely helping with alleviating back pain and preventing any future back problems!

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
At least try it once! I was very intimidated the first time. Bikram is perfectly suited for whether you are super fit or just getting started with working out!

JANUARY 2018 STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Jess Dietch

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
I’ve never tried this yoga practice and my workout partner suggested we take a class to shake the brain from all the cross-training I was doing to lose weight. When my brother (who has a mental disease of schizophrenia) found out that we were going he joined us. He had taken a couple of classes a year prior and lit up when he found out I was considering hot yoga as a practice. I was excited to see him take interest in an activity that we could both bond over in our journeys.

Q: How long have you been practicing?
I began practicing Bikram Yoga September 2017

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
My goal is two days a week

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
I LOVE eagle pose. It makes me feel like I’m squeezing out my ego

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
I was having really bad headaches on the left side of my head prior to September 2017 due to stress and my own anxieties. My injuries of being an athlete from playing high school and college sports were surfacing in my shoulders, legs and feet. Since September, I’ve noticed that the cramping in my feet, legs and shoulders has began to diminish. My head is more clear and I feel more sharp.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
I’ve always been taught that success comes from consistency. Bikram has the same poses for 90 minutes and every time you practice you learn something new about yourself to become consistent. But, I also want everyone to understand that when you learn to let go of your ego the practice becomes euphoric. I encourage all new yoga gangsta rockstars that if my brother who copes with a mental brain disease of schizophrenia can practice Bikram Yoga then u can too! NAMASTE

DECEMBER 2017 STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Erik Gladish

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Ventura?
I don’t have the discipline to do a 90 minute practice at home alone without distractions, but I do have the ability to get myself to the studio on time. Shannon is always welcoming and encouraging so I feel comfortable showing up regardless of my condition.

Q: How long have you been practicing?
I took a semester of Yoga in college 19 years ago- I remember walking from class feeling lighter, floating almost. After years of weight training and combative wrestling it was so foreign to feel so loose and free in my body. I was a scholarship athlete and had a lot of ego around my physical capabilities but when the Iyengar teacher had us hold downward dog for 5 minutes- and my arms and legs were shaking after a minute- I was humbled and perplexed, "how could doing something so static and simple be so challenging?" Years later when I had debilitating sciatica yoga really saved me.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
I shoot for 3 but often fall short.

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
shavasana- completion. There may be something to the integration of all the effort and settling of all the movement that is very calming and restorative.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
I am inclined to make healthier choices after I practice. The entropic forces are abated and I am empowered to make better decisions which has rippling affects through out my life and relationships.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Hydrate and think long term. Like Sunny says, "aim to be a sexy octogenarian!"

SEPTEMBER 2017
STUDENT OF THE MONTH Mario del Nagro

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga?
I was desperately seeking a way to rehabilitate my body. I wanted to prolong my sports competition and career. My ex-wife suggested I try it.

Q: How long have you been practicing?
Since 2003 almost 14 years

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
I would practice 7 days a week if possible, but 4 or 5 days each week is probably what I get

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
Maybe Toe stand? I like the mental challenge of lifting off the floor and looking up.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
So many benefits; Strength and Flexibility but the stress of my day is gone when I practice, and my health is overall better. It makes me less prone to injury and I rarely get seasonal colds or flues .

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Escape your thoughts. Leave your day outside the room and listen to the instruction. I have been coming for 14 years and I often hear something new in the dialog that I maybe wasn't ready to hear until this day.

JUNE 2017
STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Paula Mecke

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga?
Was walking by and saw the beautiful courtyard and Studio and peeked inside, made me curious.

Q: How long have you been practicing?

I don't actually remember the month, but it has been a 12-14 months or so.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?
Right now 3-4 days a week, due to my work schedule. My preference is 5x a week if I can fit it in.

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
Right now, my favorite is half tortoise pose. I haven't always felt the pull of my shoulders coming out, blood circulation in my neck and pulling back to sit on my heals.and trying to squeeze my knees while tightening my abs.. so, many things going on. And, of course, the benefits of the pose as recited in class!

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
Personally it has helped me to feel more centered and balanced, in all areas of my life along with providing calmness in my thoughts and an inner peacefulness.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?

Give it more than a 1x chance; get the intro package and try coming at least 2 or 3x's a week for the month to really feel and experience the benefits.

MAY 2017 
STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Nathan Ohren

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga?
A friend invited me to try it. I thought she was crazy, but I got curious. The only thing that kept me coming back for awhile is that I was astonished that, as a full grown adult, I was not able to balance myself on one leg for more than a few seconds. I told myself "I have got to fix that!"

Q: How long have you been practicing?
Since last October. I keep thinking I should be getting better at this, but the longer I do it, the more of a novice I feel. I'm still trying to find my pearl necklace and Japanese ham sandwich.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?

I'm quite a parsimonious person. I've calculated that at four times per week, my cost per class is only $6.00. I wish that didn't motivate me, but if I can get an awesome workout at a great deal, then I feel both healthy and smart!

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?
Actually, I'm finally starting to become able to put my forehead onto my knee in some of the poses, so I find myself looking forward to those lately.

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
1. NO MORE CANKLES! I finally regained a sexy definition between my calves and my feet. Ankle bones are visible and gorgeous!
2. I've lost 17 lbs!
3. I crave WATER all day long! I drink about a gallon of water each day, and loving it! Just a small amount of vitamin powder in each water bottle ... I'm quenching my body's thirst around the clock.
4. CORE STRENGTH! I actually feel my core muscle strength when I move around. I notice my posture is more straight when I sit and walk, and DANCING is so much easier and more fun. I can't sit at a computer for more than 20 minutes without needing a good, relaxing stretch.
5. Improved focus and attention. I have been off Adderall (for ADHD) since the beginning of the year, and I don't feel I need it any more.
6. Better sex
7. Pride and confidence in knowing that I've conquered a myriad of excuses, sticking to a habit that pushes the boundaries of my mental and physical resistance.

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Be very patient with yourself. Especially for goal-driven people like myself ... avoid comparing your performance from one session to the next, or even one week to the next. Keep a beginner's mind. Every day is like Day #1.

APRIL 2017 
STUDENT OF THE MONTH
LISE BARRETT

Q: Why did you decide to try Bikram Yoga?
Having practiced other forms of yoga before, I had heard about Bikram Yoga and how healing a heated practice could be. I had fairly major joint injuries that I had sustained in a terrible accident and, was suffering from depression as a result of all of it. So, I decided to give it a try-the first class was so humbling-I couldn't lift my arms above my waist (double shoulder dislocations), my knees were a mess, it was HOT-I suffered immensely that day and continued to the first few weeks yet somehow knew that I was exactly where I belonged. With consistent practice my body healed, flexibility and strength returned. The depression lifted and my Spirit began to soar-the rest is history! I am so Grateful each and every day for this practice.

Q: How long have you been practicing?
This is my 8th year of Bikram practice. I had to take a break after suffering a major illness recently but I've been back to it for the last 9 months and have once again healed, grown stronger and found great Peace here.

Q: How many days per week do you practice?

My standard practice is 5 days per week with an occasional push toward a consistent daily practice for long stretches of time. Right now I am on a bit of a Vision Quest and am practicing each day for 108 days. April 1st is the 34th day within that quest.

Q: What is your favorite posture? and why?

That's a tough question! The truth is, I ADORE this practice and see and feel beauty in all of the postures even those that I find difficult, so the answer changes constantly. Right now, I'm in love with Standing Head To Knee because it's so challenging! Recently I've made great progress and am FINALLY moving toward full expression in the posture. Now if I could just hold my head to my knee for longer than 3 seconds!

Q: What are the benefits you have received from your Bikram Yoga practice?
It has helped me heal physically and spiritually and seen me through so much! Injury, loss, depression, divorce, illness-this practice has saved my life many times over and seen me through some tough life circumstances. I have been able to heal from injuries that might have kept me from doing the things I Love. My shoulders are better than 100%, my knees are infinitely better-I am more flexible than I've ever been. All of this healing, strength and stamina allows me to surf, hike, enjoy the outdoors and live with relative ease on the physical plane. We should mention the Spiritual aspect of this practice. There really aren't words to describe how Beautiful this journey has been. If you seek Peace, if you hope to soften this world, if you desire to live a more Heart centered existence, dive in! There is something so powerful about the way the series works, guiding you deeper into the physicality of the asanas while also guiding you deeper within. You give yourself the gift of a Sacred 90 minutes to gather yourself, nurture yourself, go deeper into your Heart, while releasing your mind. I call it stretching into stillness and it is pure magic!

Q: What one thing would you tell someone who is brand-new to Bikram Yoga?
Congratulations! You've made a life changing decision! Yes, this practice is challenging but the benefits that You are going to receive physically and spiritually are transformative in ways you cannot imagine. Stick with it, commit to a regular practice, don't be frustrated or impatient, practice with trust and joy in your Heart and surrender to your journey.