Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I go to any class?
Yes. All Bikram classes are 90 minutes with 26 postures wrapped up in 2 breathing exercises. Every class has all levels of students.
- Can anybody do Bikram Yoga?
Yes, anyone can. In your class there will be levels of experience, all ages, sizes and shapes. It’s not about doing the poses perfectly and it’s not about how you look, it’s about trying the right way. All you have to do is try and you will get results.
You might practice next to people who are recovering from hip or knee replacements, chronic back pain, new mothers, professional athletes, carpenters, bankers, teachers, firefighters, retired couples or high school/college students.
- But, I’m not very flexible…
Of all the comments we hear from first-timers, this one wins hands down! 99% of our students are regular people like you who first turned up to class and didn’t think they were very flexible.
- What is the first class like?
Your first class is primarily to get an idea of Bikram Yoga. At any point you can rest till you feel able to start again. As a first timer, you’ll be in the back row of the yoga room. In front of you will be students of all levels of experience. You can watch these students and follow along. The teacher will guide you, but there are no expectations upon you at all. You simply do what you can do. Every class has all levels of students, as a beginner you will certainly not be alone! We’d like to encourage you to come along and decide for yourself.
- What should I expect in my first class?
As a first timer, you’ll be standing in the back row of the yoga room. In front of you will be students of all levels of experience. The front rows will generally have the most experienced students. You can watch these students and follow along.
The teacher will guide you, but there are no expectations upon you at all. You simply do what you can do. Your first class is primarily to get an idea of Bikram Yoga.
At any point in class, you can rest and perhaps watch till you feel able to start again. It’s up to you to proceed at your own pace.
It’s OK to sit down at any point. Please don’t talk though out of respect for your fellow students.
Expect to feel hot, but know that you will become used to this and eventually not even notice the heat.
Expect that this may be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but know that you can sit down when you need to, drink water and rest.
It is very common to feel overwhelmed or a bit odd during your first visit. Please take it easy. And don’t expect too much of yourself.
- So why should I do Bikram Yoga?
The surprise about Bikram Yoga that you realise after you’ve taken a few classes is that flexibility is not the main thing. In fact it’s simply one of the benefits you will receive when you start coming to class regularly. You’ll probably get the best cardio workout you’ve had for quite a while, you’ll be stronger, you’ll have better posture, toned muscles, a calmer outlook, better sleep patterns, and yes definitely more flexible!!
- What do I wear?
Wear comfortable close fitting clothes suitable for hot conditions. Loose clothing is harder to move in and can show a little more than you (or your fellow yogis) might like. First class, we’d suggest a singlet and leggings for girls and for boys, boardies are the most popular option. You’ll get an idea of what other students like to wear as you come to class over your month.
- Will it get me fit?
Undoubtedly, yes. If you feel time-poor and fitting in exercise can be a struggle, Bikram Yoga is a great option for you because Bikram Yoga is the single best form of yoga to achieve and maintain optimal health, a sharp mind and your ideal body.
- Will I lose weight?
Bikram Yoga is a very effective way to lose weight and get in shape. Because it is low impact, it’s perfect for all ages and abilities. You can burn 600 to 1,000 calories per class, depending upon your work rate. Yoga helps to balance your metabolism, so whether you need to lose some weight or put on some healthy muscle mass, Bikram yoga will help you tone and strengthen your body in all the right places. A Bikram body is a healthy body!
Bikram Yoga is also effective in rehabilitating old injuries and complementing peak performance training.
- I have lower back problems. I’ve heard Bikram can help?
We have a strong emphasis in Bikram yoga on back health. Many, many regular students first came along because of the reputation Bikram yoga has in helping with back pain. The heat warms the body and enables the joints to move more fluidly. The 26 postures are designed to build strength through the whole body and especially the back area. The beginners postures work through every range of motion, increasing flexibility. In the beginning you will take it a little easy but you will quickly start to notice increased range of motion and reduction in pain in your daily life. Let us know about your condition so that we can advise you accordingly.
- I’m 58 years old. Am I too old for Bikram Yoga?
Many of our students are in their 50s, 60s and 70s. This goes for several of our teachers too.
Bikram Yoga is specifically designed to be accessible to all ages. It is not a contortion exhibition, it is beginners’ yoga. It will give you a non-impact cardiovascular workout at the same time as it improves the functioning of your joints and the strength of your spine. It builds up strength, helps with balance and maintains bone density. Many of our students first come to yoga in their middle years nursing chronic ailments. Bikram Yoga has been developed to help rehabilitate the body, whatever your age.
What should I bring?
- A BIG water bottle (we suggest 1 litre minimum)
- A Yoga mat
- A beach towel or similar sized
- A second towel if you want to have a shower in our studio afterwards
- Change of clothes for after class
- How much water should I drink before class?
We always say “be well hydrated” and we’re often asked – how much is that? For a morning class we recommend you drink between half a litre and a litre from when you wake. Practising an afternoon class make sure you’ve had a couple of litres of water through the day. Of course these are general guidelines and will vary depending upon environmental conditions, metabolism, weight, activity.
- Can I drink water in the class?
Of course, you can drink any time during your class. Your body takes around 30 minutes to absorb water into your system, so it is best to arrive well hydrated and not rely on sips in class for hydration. Also, filling yourself up with liquid then moving your body backwards, forwards, upside down etc, not unsurprisingly, can make you feel a little bit sick. Be prepared and come into class with a full bottle. If on the rare occasion you need to refill, please try to do so between postures, not during.
- Should I eat before class?
Don’t eat a big meal less than 3 hours before class. A small snack, (piece of fruit or handful of nuts) an hour or so before is fine.
- Why the heated room?
The heat, combined with the sequence of postures, makes Bikram Yoga special and unique. The hot room warms your muscles, enabling you to work safely and with more efficiency towards a deeper stretch, whilst also healing and preventing injuries. The heat raises your heart rate and so provides a safe environment for a cardiovascular workout.
Yoga is not just about working muscles. True health and fitness begins from the inside. As you work deep within your body, Bikram Yoga systematically works to improve the function of every organ and every system in your body.
- I feel nauseous/ dizzy during class and very tired after my first class. Is this normal?
It is not unusual to feel nauseous, dizzy, disorientated or like you need a good nap after your first few classes! This is because your body has begun to cleanse itself as a result of the yoga practice. Don’t be scared. After your first few classes this sensation will pass. The more you can relax as you give 110% effort during class, the more energised you will feel throughout the class and throughout your day.
- How often should I attend class?
For best results, we encourage a regular practice of 2-3 times per week minimum.
- How much water should I drink?
We recommend that you drink plenty of water before and after class. A minimum of 2 litres per day is best. You are less likely to feel light-headed or dizzy during class if you hydrate yourself during the day. It is best to drink only a little bit of water during class or even, if you’re feeling brave, none at all! This allows for your body to receive the full benefits of the yoga positions without your digestive system having to work overtime in order to absorb the water.
- Will Bikram Yoga help me lose weight and tone up?
Yoga helps to balance your metabolism, whether you need to lose some weight or put on some healthy muscle mass. Bikram’s yoga series will help you tone and strengthen your body in all the right places. A Bikram body is a healthy body!
- Will Bikram Yoga make me fit?
Yes! Bikram Yoga is an effective cardiovascular workout. Apart from strengthening your heart and lungs you will heal and restore the functioning of every system of your body. To get the full cardiovascular benefit we recommend that you practice regularly and consistently.
- I can’t do the postures very well, will I still get the benefits?
It is not important how far you can go into the yoga pose. What is important is that you do the pose with the correct body alignment – putting all your effort into the pose whilst still breathing and keeping a cool head. In yoga there is no standard of comparison. Perfect is the best you can do that day.
- How soon will I start to see changes?
How quickly you progress will depend entirely on you – upon your natural ability to a small extent, but mostly upon the honest time and effort you give to your yoga practice. To give you an indication though, most people are surprised by how quickly things start to change in the room for them after only a few classes.
Bikram Yoga Brookvale has created a safe environment enabling you to stretch, strengthen and nourish your body, mind and spirit. Our mission is to support you along your path.