Bikram Yoga Studio Director, Anita Cole, says there are probably more types of yoga than there are types of ice cream, and what makes Bikram special is the well thought out series of "26 postures and 2 breathing exercises".
Suffering from Wilsons Syndrome, a condition that involves chronic back pain, plus respiratory issues, thyroid problems and carrying 20-30 extra pounds, Anita was told by doctors there wasn’t a lot they could do for her.
After taking a 90-minute Bikram Yoga class with a friend, Anita says she left the class feeling fantastic. “I knew I would do it for life. I knew I would teach it after that first class.”
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, how bad you think you are or how sick you are it’s never too late with Bikram Yoga to start from scratch. When we’re dealing with beginners who have never done yoga before or even if they have, we’re concerned with moving the body and all the systems of the body."
Anita says the main thing that happens with Bikram is that maximum oxygen gets supplied to all the systems of the body and right away the cardiovascular system, the heart and the lungs are improved.
“This makes it safe for beginners and even if you can do very little, doing it correctly and to the best of your ability gives you all the benefits. The further away you are from doing the posture correctly, the more benefits you will receive”.
Bikram is the original hot yoga. It’s practiced in a room with the temperature about 40 degrees Celsius and a little humidity. Anita says the humidity is important because it helps you to sweat and opens up the glands “so it’s cleaning you from the inside out. It’s like washing the inside of the body.”
Yoga does not require any props. Anita says it’s simply using your body to heal your body. “You can use the yoga as a diagnostic tool and when your body improves, your posture is improved.”
Anita calls yoga a prescription for chronic ailments in the body she says people with spin problems, joint injuries, mental problems, depression, arthritis are encouraged to attend.
A powerful way to start is with a 60 day challenge where you take classes…six days on and one off but Anita says most people in our culture find this over-whelming. "We encourage you to do as much as you can even if it's a 2-3 day a week practice, as long as its continuous you will see improvement. (60 days will be for the person who will try anything to get out of chronic pain.)
"Results are certain if you stick with it and listen to our guidance we have learned from our teacher. It's a proven plan that has been taught for over 50 years by him.
"We don't make things up as we go along. This yoga is like a prescription for health and happiness. Oh, and a lot of hard work…nothing fancy, no standing on the head or made up postures. Just real Hatha Yoga from India…simple and extremely rewarding."
Once you get to the point where you can do 90 percent of the postures correctly it’s time to move to a maintenance plan of two to three classes a week".
Anita does say Bikram Yoga is an intense practice in the sense that it is extremely thorough and disciplined and teaches you to focus and concentrate.
“If you can stay in the room and focus on yourself for 90 minutes, your mind gets so strong, you can do anything in life”.
Bikram Yoga is located at 905 8th Street on Kamloops North Shore. You can try an introductory special of two classes within five days for $20.
“I highly encourage people to come and try it. Our goal is to provide great yoga stay true to the work and help people help themselves”.