I am so thankful I found this studio and Bikram yoga two years ago! Being in my 50's, with chronic neck and shoulder problems, I can honestly say that I feel better now than I did in my 30s and my body composition has changed. Being active all my life, this is a form of yoga that benefits you aerobically, anaerobically and also of course increases your flexibility! It will be something I will be doing for the rest of my life!
I have been impressed with the instructors professionalism and knowledge, which has enabled me to make progress in my practice and inspires me to keep coming back.
I've come to realize this form of yoga is unorthodox in north American standards,
practicing in a hot room, "locking your knee", and it is a very physical form of yoga compared to other forms.
But I have made more gains (mentally,and physically) than any other fitness program or yoga practice.
all I can say is THANK YOU!!!
We are all extremely fortunate to have Bikram Yoga Calgary South in our lives. In my work, as a Professional Integral Coach™, I enthusiastically refer clients to Bikram Yoga Calgary South. I like to think of myself as being in the ‘consciousness business’. First and foremost holding myself accountable to my on-going conscious development, and, in parallel, I have the privilege and honour of guiding others in their development towards their most conscious best selves.
As most of us know, body work or the ‘somatic line’ is hugely important in that over-all quest for best self. I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for 10 years, but have only been with BYCS, for a year now. The studio and all things associated with it have improved my life profoundly – physically, emotionally and mentally.
I offer the following perspective of how this studio helps raise the consciousness of myself and all of us who are fortunate enough to be here. Lindsay, Morgan and all dedicated teachers, consistently model discipline and integrity in the actual teaching and execution of class and poses. It doesn’t ever matter where any of us are on the scale of technical competence, they hold us graciously and they simply keep teaching us about how our work in practice is helping our entire life and the bigger system of us in the world! The studio models and offers us an incredible safe place to awaken to what it is to be human – to be each uniquely individual – yet profoundly connected at the same time. We build collective energy, through non-judging, energetic share. We are invited to drop our egos at the door ... and to be filled with compassion for self – huge building blocks for our human development!
All this in parallel to running a tactically, polished, professional business environment where as clients we are treated with utmost respect and excellent service. We are so very blessed to have BYCS in our lives, I hope we can all see, appreciate and nurture this precious community.
With love and gratitude,
I started Bikram yoga after my doctor told me I have severe osteoarthritis and a bulging disk in my lumbar spine. I was in a lot of pain and had difficulty sleeping and sitting. I was prescribed several medications that didn't help and just made me nausea. I was very concerned and looked into yoga. I didn't want to be on medication the rest of my life. My first class I was very dizzy and felt overwhelmed, but that was because my body wasn't used to the heat. The instructor encouraged me to come back the next day. My muscles were sore but I noticed a little change. The heat made it easier for me to move and stretch. I started yoga 9mths ago and today I am no longer taking medication. I practice almost every day and have achieved excellent results. My whole body feels stronger including my spine. Yoga is now my medication. The instructors at the studio are very knowledgeable and approachable. They are eager to help and answer any questions I had. During class you do the same 26 postures every time for 90 minutes but it never becomes boring because there is always room for improvement. The studio offers different information sessions to help with your practice. I would highly recommend Bikram yoga to anyone at any age. It helps to heal your body, makes you stronger and it is good for overall health. Without your health you have nothing.
I’ve been doing yoga off and on for years. I originally started doing Ashtanga yoga. Although I didn’t mind the classes, I didn’t realize that there was more than one style of yoga, so I kept with Ashtanga for a while. One day, I noticed a new yoga studio - Bikram Yoga Calgary South, had opened up and I was intrigued to try it out.
After my first class, I wasn’t sure if I liked Bikram. I wasn’t used to having the instructor talk throughout the class and not correct my posture by moving me. I never had to do breathing exercises before, and I wasn’t sure if I liked all of the postures, as I found tree, cobra and triangle poses to be different.
What I did like about the yoga was how amazing I felt because I didn’t feel tired (as I did when I finished Ashtanga classes) and had more energy, even after sweating so much. What I also liked was that I didn’t have to do vinyasas and downward dog, and I could focus more time on the poses. In other yoga classes, I never understood why I would have to focus more time on vinyasas and downward dog than on the postures. I like the fact that Bikram only focuses on postures and does not focus on inversions such as headstands and handstands in the beginner series.
I was not sure about the heat at first. However, after doing a couple classes, I started liking the hot room, and I have found that over time, the hot room and the yoga has helped me so much, spiritually, mentally and most importantly, physically.
I have always suffered from migraines as an adult, especially over the winter months. After doing Bikram yoga on a regular basis, I have found that my headaches are becoming more and more infrequent. The headaches have not stopped completely, but even when I do have a headache, it is not nearly as bad as they once were. Bikram has helped me so much, and I am so thankfull!
I would recommend Bikram yoga to anyone because I always feel great after class, and I love being there. This yoga isn't for everyone, but I suggest that everyone should at least try it and see how you feel after class. This is the only yoga that has given me energy after class, and it makes me so happy. I hope to see you in the yoga studio - I’ll be the one in class smiling! Let’s get sweaty together! Namaste.
On Thursday Jan 31 I had the joy of delivering my new baby daughter into the world, my third child. I'd like to give many thanks and much gratitude to Lyndsay, Morgan, Megan and all the staff at Bikram Yoga Calgary South for all the support and encouragement they have given over the past 9 months. I can honestly say that thanks to consistent Bikram Yoga through out my pregnancy - my last class was 4 days before delivering - my labour and delivery were much better than my last two pregnancies. The same night I delivered I was up walking around, and moving with much less difficulty and discomfort than i had previously. Two days after delivery I felt a thousand times better than last time as well. No shakiness, or extreme fatigue like I experienced before. I really feel great!!
Eleven days after having my baby, I tried on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. AND I AM WEARING THEM!!! A little snug, but no tears!! Needless to say, this was not my experience with my last two pregnancies! The last two times it took months before I was in pre-pregnancy jeans. I may still have a way to go before I am as fit as I was working towards before pregnancy, but with the foundation I set with Bikram Yoga Calgary South in the months before and during my pregnancy, I know I am on the right path to complete health!
I can't wait to get back to regular practice, but will be treasuring this time with my new daughter and growing family for the next few weeks.
Liz Dearborn (and baby Georgia)
There are many accounts of how hot yoga has helped people with injuries that would not heal through conventional means or with chronic health problems. What stands out for me with the Bikram Yoga Calgary South is how the studio is operated. I was told the best place to put my mat on my first day of classes by the instructor. As I struggled my way through the standing series the instructor would come over to me and tell me we only had a few poses left, then we would be on the floor for the rest of the class. Right from the beginning Megan,one of the instructors, made it very clear that we were to take breaks when needed.
As I continued with classes my fitness has improved and unlike the beginning when I thought class would never end, I now find myself saying "are we at this point already". Regardless the number of people in a class I never felt lost in the crowd, as I would hear my "Pat straighten your legs" I have learned this happens for two reasons. The instructors watch carefully so that people do not move in a way that will harm them, and when they feel you are ready to improve your pose. Technique is stressed over bending further or deeper or lifting higher.
All the instructors are friendly and caring and encourage questions after each session. I have noticed many benefits from Bikram's Hot Yoga. I am able to sleep through the night without pains and stiffness that would wake me up. I find my posture and how I walk has improved and the slacks I wore last summer are too big now.
I encourage you to try hot yoga and to try it at this studio. Pat Fitzsimmons
I had a lot of joint injury from accidents and disease. In my teens and 20's I was an adrenalin junkie - or maybe I was just plain stupid - and I've got the injuries to prove it. From smashing in to a tree while skiing, to crashing a motorcycle, to overtraining for a triathlon, I've had a lot of injuries - and reparative surgeries - to overcome. Then, after my second baby in 2008, I developed severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, my immune system started destroying my joints. It was so severe that I couldn't take care of my babies, who were 14 months and 8 weeks old when it started. Every single joint in my body felt like it was on fire and I had a deep agonizing ache in all my bones. It took 1.5 years to get the disease under control, and it took a huge toll on my joints. Recovering from all my injuries and then RA has been a priority for a long time.
I heard about Bikram yoga from my friend, Kelly, who was doing a 30-day challenge. I decided to see if it could help my wrecked body. I tried other yoga studios, but nothing really compared to Bikram. I just really loved Bikram's intensity, and seeing real, measurable improvements in my practice. I recently completed a 30-day challenge and experienced a quantum leap in my overall health.
I've experienced incredible gains in my joint health since starting Bikram. Pre-yoga, I couldn't straighten my elbows. My shoulders kept partially dislocating. My right leg had just over half the strength of my left leg. My knees had limited range of motion. I couldn't walk without orthotics. Now, all those problems are either gone, or vastly improved. I can straighten my arms, my shoulders stay in their sockets, my legs are nearly equal in strength, I can bend my knees much more, and I can walk barefoot on my hardwood floors without pain. My whole skeletal system is much more stable and my balance is much better. Of course, Bikram also helps to deal with stress and anxiety. And, my skin looks great!
During my first class all I could think about was the heat. And the sweat that felt like crawling bugs. I probably should have taken it easy, but I am pretty competitive, so I was trying to keep up with Kelly, who had been doing Bikram regularly. I tried really, really hard. The best part was laughing with my friend over how difficult it was over freezies after class. The worst part was how very, very stiff and sore I was the next day.
I came back because I wanted to feel better. I thought the heat and the exercise would help work some of the lactic acid out of my muscles. I also thought, "This is so awful, it must be good for me!".
Standing bow is my favourite posture because it's beautiful and powerful. The spine-strengthening series is the most challenging for me because it's just plain hard. And probably because I drink too much water during class.
I've learned to not compare my practice to the practice of others. And to take it easy on the water intake during class. And to not wolf down a huge plate of pasta right before class. I've also learned it helps to practice regularly. Hopefully my knees will improve enough that I can sit Japanese-style.
My goal for the next year? To avoid the orthopaedic surgeon's office - no knee surgery!
Ashton St. Pierre
I originally became interested in joining Bikram yoga after reviewing the web site. I was looking for a way to improve my flexability and to help with my self healing. I also really wanted to improve my technique in my martial arts practice. In the begining I didn't think I would be able to participate in class because of the warm environment and my lack of concentration.
In my first class I was very shaky and unfocused. I also realized that I was not flexable at all. I felt overheated and like I had poor balance. I spoke with Megan, one of the instructors, and she propsed a plan that would one day lead to being able to participate in a Bikram class daily. i stuck with this plan and have achieved many personal challenges and at times have even practiced daily.
My favorite posture nowadays is backward bending. I really enjoy 90 minutes of stretching and I even like the warm environment now. Hot yoga is the most practical sport I have ever practiced. I also use yoga as a self healing art that anyone can do. When I see people sitiing postures out I want to tell them that even if you are tired or burnt out, you should at least try every posture. I understand that each posture has a different healing function.
What the *#&!)! is a Japanese ham sandwich???!
Trust me, enough time in the hot room and you will figure it out. And when you do, you'll want no light and no air to penetrate your sandwich.
Everyone has a story, here's mine:
I was ecstatic to learn about Bikram Yoga Calgary South opening in 2009. I discovered Bikram years prior in Kelowna but never got really into it until I moved to Calgary. I knew there was "something" about this yoga that was different, but I never realized the impact it would have on my life. I have scoliosis - a two fold structural curve in my spine. I was diagnosed at age twelve with two choices, live with it or get a metal rod injected into my spine. A typical pre teen - I ignored it and hoped it went away. Twenty (ish) years later, I lived with constant pain, poor posture, and a disengaged manner of living.
When I practiced Bikram yoga, I could feel the muscles ache and my posture straighten but I never thought about the impact the yoga was having. I did, however take some pictures for the usual fitness challenge that couples embark on each year. My husband and I were going to become the next Jillan and Bob....
Well, then life and a new marriage muddled our plans. I still got to yoga though, as if my body craved it. I was the first person to sign up for a 30 Day challenge last year. My body ached in ways I never thought possible. My soul stretched in ways I wasn't ready for. At the end of thirty days, the sticker telling me I was done was the least of my accomplishment. I struggle with self esteem and confidence. I am working on my awful self body image, and battle eating issues all the time. So to commit to anything where you wear teeny weeny anythings in front of thirty strangers sweating all over you was a big step. But, we've all heard it: the hardest step is getting into class. By the end of the thirty days, I had no choice but to take care of my body properly. No choice but to leave my ego at the door. It was an amazing time that really clarified how important this yoga is for your health and well being.
In January, I admitted to Lyndsay that my practice needed to really be taken care of. "Oo eee" she said - check out the advanced series and competition training. I stood there, for what felt like hours. Someone! Someone ask me what I am doing! I could easily wiggle my way out of this with conversation. No one noticed. No one asked. Must be that darned Universe telling me something. That was a few months ago. Since then, my posture (inside and out of the room) feels stronger, not to mention my fear diminishes every class and I am learning to accept myself for all that I am. Unconditional love is an amazing thing and so is this yoga.
A few weeks ago, I took those same pictures again. No Jillian, but look at my spine closely. There is no photoshop, no editing. Just pure Bikram yoga. This practice will support and guide you in every direction your body needs. Today I live pain free, and couldnt be more engaged in my life.
If you can, you must............see you in the hot room!!!
At the recommendation of my friend, I enrolled in Bikram Yoga on January 10, 2010. As a former ballet dancer in my youth, I especially enjoy the discipline and structure of Bikram Yoga. “Bikram reminds me of the grace, elegance, determination, and strength of ballet, practiced outside of your comfort zone in the conditions of the deeply hot and humid room.”The biggest exterior change in my body appearance has been the shapeliness of my lower body. I went from a size 8 to a 2/4 in thirty days.” The awkward pose has positively changed my legs and hips forever.I fought insomnia for many years and now my sleep habits are deeper than ever. Practicing Bikram Yoga has made me acutely aware of my nutritional habits and now I eat and drink to support my body in this new consciousness of my life.More importantly my inner being has changed dramatically. I have a sense of peace and calm that I had somehow misplaced. My level of natural determination and persistence has been reborn I have an awakened awareness of my surroundings and an even greater appreciation for the small beautiful things in life.Bikram Yoga has nurtured my instinctive nature to stretch my personal limits while having variety and fun in life. I now recommend Bikram Yoga to all of my friends and acquaintances.
I began practicing yoga a little over three years ago to improve my mental and physical health and to see whether I might get some relief to my knee discomfort and pain (diagnosed originally as “Patella Femoral Syndrome”*) through yoga exercises. I first practiced yoga Ashtanga and more recently Bikram yoga. While practicing yoga Ashtanga I also regularly went to the gym and practiced my knees by “walking backwards” on the treadmill as recommended by my Sport Doctor. Yoga Ashtanga and treadmill exercises alleviated my knee problem to a certain degree. However, when I started Bikram yoga, in just as little as three months my knee pain and discomfort have been almost gone and I can now walk over five kilometres daily without my knee brace and what is also important, I manage my daily mental stress better. The yoga practice at Bikram Yoga Calgary South studio has enabled me to improve my general well- being. I recommend the flexibility, balance, and physical/mental awareness aspects of Bikram yoga to be an ideal training program for any person, young, mid-aged, male, female and of all ages or to anyone wishing to improve the quality of their physical and mental life. My personal experience also shows that it can also alleviate some forms of knee pain and discomfort. I will continue practicing Bikram Yoga as long as I can. It makes me feel good, healthy, active, positive, happy and, hopefully, will keep my knee problem at bay. It makes me feel warm inside and warm towards others. I breathe better, walk straighter and feel taller and with a sense of pride to be practicing yoga. I would like to thank all the wonderful teachers for guiding me on how to breathe, relax, how to 'quieten one’s mind' and how to hold oneself in and out focussed at all times. I would like to feel this way all my life and promise myself to continue learning and improving each posture and never give up and quit before mastering any given posture. I am grateful to Lindsay who told me that Bikram yoga was dedicated to those with knee problems and to those suffering from spine injuries and pains. “The 20 seconds treat during “Savasana” allows the yogini to just be."
John & Megan Adams
We started out 30 Day Challenge after 2 days into a 7 day intro to Bikram Yoga with no prior knowledge or yoga experience.
As athletes, many times we had heard how we should incorporate yoga into our healthy lifestyles. Honestly, knowing now what we do, we wish we had many years ago. We were challenged both physically and mentally and consider finishing out 30 Day Challenge a real accomplishment.
The support and encouragement from Lyndsay and all the instructors was awesome. There was praise when you needed it the most, and encouragement when you needed it more. We have noticed positive changes such as increased flexibility, weight loss, gained muscle tone as well as an increased general sense of well being. We are committed on making Bikram Yoga a part of our lives for many years to come.
We can't stop talking about the wonderful benefits to anyone that will listen to us.
Bikram calls his class rooms "torture chambers" and there are times where I totally agree! I really did not enjoy my first dozen or so classes. It took me that long just to learn to breathe properly! My friends kept asking why I was going if I wasn't any good at it and I didn't enjoy it ... the truth is ... my brain/ego hated the classes ... but my body seemed to love them.
I'm not a big fan of pain and for as long as I can remember I have had serious discomfort in my left elbow and shoulder (due to a childhood injury). I have tried all sorts of different therapies and treatments to get rid of the problem ... all with very limited and short lived success. After my very first Bikram Yoga session the pain in my shoulder eased considerably. To test if this was because of the yoga (and I sincerely hoped it wasn't) I didn't come back for a week. The pain returned after a couple of days and nothing seemed to help. So, I tried yoga again and again the pain went away. After about ten or so sessions the shoulder pain disappeared and has not returned. My elbow is taking longer but is much improved too.
As an added bonus ... since starting to regularly attend classes about 3 months ago I have dropped two dress sizes (without dieting)!
So just over a year ago, I tore my acl in my left knee playing ice hockey, and shortly afterward completely tore it playing floor hockey. I have always been into sports,and a bit of a gym rat since I was about 19. This injury took alot of my happiness from me as well as a lot of my physical abilities. When the fall came this year, still waiting on surgery and constantly reinjuring myself at the gym because I was training too hard I realized I really needed to find something to physically and mentally challenge myself because I was really really missing playing sports.
The first time I tried Bikram hot yoga I was hooked. It not only phsyically pushed my limits, but even more importantly it mentally challenged me more then any sport ever has.Every class is different, and if I am mentally not prepared I suffer through an hour and a half of hell. I know I have to bring my A game mentally and I will coast right on through. So wether a good class or a bad class, I feel fantatsic afterward. I have received so many physical benefits with only doing it twice a week for about two and a half months, my body has come leaps and bounds . I no longer have inflamation , and very little stiffness in injured knee/leg. I was having this daily... ranging to quite painful. I openly admit my posture and balance are terrible, I work as a dental assistant leaning all day and have been compensating with my stronger leg for over a year, so with each class I stand a little taller and straighter, and with each class I can hold by balance poses just a little longer. And it feels great. No more lower back pain from work, no more tendonitis in my right arm. I now look forward to walking into that warm hot room whenever I get a chance, and pushing myself as hard as I can tht day!!
Four months prior to my Bikram Yoga journey I was always tired, slightly overweight, constantly ill and very anxious. I craved carbs and ate terrible food all the time, I ignored engaging in any form of physical activity and I worried far too much for being a teenager.
At the end of March, nine days after my 18th birthday and 2 months before my high school graduation I left home to go live on my own. All my life I have been an independent spirit and when I started University in the fall of 2009 I was extremely excited to have the chance to play varsity hockey. During the middle of training camp and evaluations I acquired a lethal staph infection known as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). Since I work part time at a communal pool as a lifeguard and swimming instructor I am exposed to various warm/humid environments where bacteria is known to fester and multiply. This MRSA superbug is resistant to certain types of antibiotics, if left untreated for too long it can enter the blood stream become septic and morph into a severe case of flesh eating disease... I dare you to google it.
The MRSA had found a nice place on my right knee to inhabit and looked like a tiny spider bite, I thought nothing of it until 48 hours later when my knee was extremely swollen and the size of a small apple. I was unable to walk and was in excruciating pain, I immediately made my way to an emergency room where I was told by the emerge doctor that if I had waited twelve more hours to get treatment they would have considered amputating my leg. Luckily they were able to get rid of most of it with minor surgery and a bout of IV antibiotics.
When I knew I wouldn't be able to play hockey that season it really did feel like someone had taken my leg. Hockey is such a huge part of my life and I was not used to having a winter without it. In many ways it is like an appendage to me and something that I needed to have in order to function. Hockey is such a natural and necessary component of my life and it broke my heart when I knew I would have to do without it for a season. From September to January I had become very depressed and suffered from classic symptoms like insomnia, anhedonia, fatigue, internal system imbalance and weight gain.
Over the course of 4 months between September and January, the MRSA had re-occurred four more times on different parts of my body. I had no idea what I was going to do. But in January 2010 my mother had started participating in Bikram yoga and suggested that I do the same. At first I was extremely reluctant and did not want to put myself in any more pain than I was already in; I was far too tired and depressed about not playing hockey, too stressed out about organizing my classes for next semester along with recovering from finals, too busy booking hours at work and trying to recover from this terrible MRSA infection. But since I was blessed with a warrior spirit like my mother, I ended up going to the studio and my first class was ruthless... somehow I lasted through the 90 minutes and when I left the hot room something inside of me changed. I was instantly addicted and went to 13 classes in my introductory week. I could not get enough, it replaced the part of my life where hockey used to be and the yoga made me feel like the kid I was when I first stepped onto the ice and discovered how to put play... I was back and finally feeling like myself again.
After a month and a half of hot yoga I visited the infectious disease clinic at the Foothills hospital where I was swabbed and tested for any existent MRSA, 2 weeks later I received a fantastic phone call with the results from my swabs and they were completely clean. The doctor was shocked, he could not believe that the infection had cleared after one month since my last occurrence. My doctor was so amazed and insisted that I return for another appointment... where once again I was swabbed, tested and free of any MRSA. It was the best 19th birthday present ever.
Before hot yoga I was on antibiotics almost everyday and entering the hot room saved my life. From being extremely depressed and almost losing my leg back in September 2009 to rocking out standing boat pose and sweating the MRSA infection out of my body in January 2010. I’ am pleased to say that with the help of everyone at Bikram Yoga Calgary South the practice of this yoga has made my mind stronger and rid my body of the many demons I had been battling against during the darkest time of my life... Thankyou to Bikram Choudhury for creating this yoga and helping me learn so much about myself. You restored my health and have helped my heart grow in so many ways.
So guys, would you rather suffer for 90 minutes or 90 years? See you in class...
I'll be at the front :)
HOPE THROUGH HEAT
My name is Ruben, and I would like to share my journey at Bikram Yoga Calgary South.
July 2010 my wife and I received bad news about her pregnancy. She had many complications, to the point that they wanted to terminate the pregnancy. To ease the stress, we started looking into prenatal yoga classes.
When we first came to Bikram Yoga, we realized it was quite different from the prenatal classes we'd had in mind. Since my wife had a high-risk pregnancy, we decided it was not the right time for her to start practising Bikram, but I tried a class, and it just felt right. I do not believe it was a coincidence I started practising. I know now life hands us situations, and it is up to us to make choices and find our own path.
In October 2010, I was blessed to become a father for the first time. Our baby boy was premature; he weighed only two pounds and was born with many complications. His first week of life was critical: he got an infection, had a blood transfusion, and underwent test after test. I just watched him in the incubator - I couldn't help but feel useless because there was nothing I could do to help my tiny son.
Not long after he was born, I started Kangaroo Care, a therapy that involved laying the baby on my chest, skin to skin, and wrapping my arms around him. This therapy allows the baby to feel warmth and protection, somewhat akin to being in the womb. One day we arrived at the intensive care unit in the hospital and our baby's skin was grey. I wanted to do Kangaroo care right away. I was cautioned that if the baby's temperature dropped at all, I would have to put him back in the incubator immediately.
His temperature did not drop; after three hours of Kangaroo Care, his skin colour became rosy. The nurse told me I was a human incubator, and I have Bikram Yoga to thank for that.
Every day, until our baby was released from hospital, I would go to Bikram Yoga and set my mat in the back corner to get my body as hot as possible. I would dedicate the class to my son, work hard and then
go to the hospital and do Kangaroo Care for hours.
The baby was released from intensive care six weeks later; his weight was only three-and-a-half pounds, but he was strong enough to leave the hospital.
Through this journey, I saw my life change from being an oil worker to becoming a human incubator. I want to thank all the instructors at Bikram Calgary South from the bottom of my heart for their support, guidance and inspiration. And, to my fellow practitioners, never give up: stick with Bikram Yoga; it is a disciplinary art that will change your life in a conscious or subconscious way.