Newbie Roadmap - Bikram Yoga Five Dock
Hi Yogi, welcome to Bikram Yoga Five Dock!   I just wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Brad Goodchild and I am the studio owner of Bikram Yoga Five Dock.
We understand when starting Bikram Yoga that it can be confronting and overwhelming.  We have designed this page for you to be your roadmap for getting started.  Below is a series of very quick two minute videos.  They contain the most important crucial and important information you need to know to succeed and go on the transforming journey!   
Video 1 - The heat is very intense!  Why is it so hot?

An important part of building a regular Bikram Yoga Practice is making friends with the heat.  It's a big reason the practice is so transforming for the body and mind.  The transforming benefits include:
  • Sweating:  The heat promotes sweating which is very cleansing
  • Flexibility: The heat allows the body increased movement and flexibility
  • Fitness: The heat increases your cardio strength and your fitness levels
  • Mindset: The challenge and intensity is actually an opportunity to build and develop a very strong mind!
It's not easy, but adapting to the heat and building a regular practice has a lifetime benefit.   It's a journey worth taking!
Video 2 - The 90 minute class class is too long.  Can it be shorter?
We get it, 90 minutes is a time commitment!  This not only takes planning to attend a class, it also requires valuing the class a lot to dedicated this amount of time to it on a regular basis.    

If you talk to your fellow yogis who have a regular practice, they will tell you its totally worth it and more!   If you were to do an experiment and follow the journey of two students practicing yoga.  One student is practicing a 60 minute regularly, the other has built their practice on 90 minutes..    The transformation for the person dedicating 90 minutes will be light years ahead of the other student.

Their self control, focus, determination, ability to work hard and be calm, their movement, endurance, vitality and energy in the body is just next level.   There are shortcuts for the best long term results.   
Video 3 - My mind goes crazy being in the room for 90 minutes.  Is this normal?
We get it, 90 minutes in the room can feel like a long time.  It is very normal if your mind went a little bit crazy.   

Also know, this process in Bikram Yoga is a big opportunity to develop a strong mindset.   The more you practice, you will be amazed how much more connected and focused you will feel in the room.   You are actually learning to better deal with life's stress and challenges in a more healthy way!

The best advice, is focus on breathing and just go one moment at a time.  If you rush ahead in your mind it will complain!  If you are present the mind will be calm.    Remember, you are building the perfect marriage between the body and the mind!
Video 4 - I'm very out of shape.  Is Bikram Yoga the right place for me to start?
If you haven't exercised in a while and feeling a bit out of shape, its a common concern to wonder if Bikram Yoga is just too much to start with.   This is normal.

The truth is to turn habits around and get healthy, Bikram Yoga is an incredible place to start.  It is totally suitable..  Just follow these tips
  • Start slow:  Rest if you need to and slowly let your body adapt
  • Be patient: Take one step at a time regularly, you will get great results
  • Support: Your fellow teachers and yogis want you to succeed and are here to support you
Video 5 - I already train hard.  Why should I do Bikram Yoga?.
Congrats on having a training program.  This means your health and fitness is a top priority.   

Adding Bikram Yoga to your health program has lots of wonderful benefits.
  • Increased flexibility and movement
  • Faster recovery from training and sports
  • More energy and vitality
  • ​Give you more longevity in your favourite sport activity
A great tip is after a training session, the next day do a Bikram session.  The combination is very powerful and will help go the next level in your health and fitness!
Video 6 - I'm feeling very wiped out and dehydrated after class.   Is this normal?
When you start Bikram Yoga, or return after a long break, it does take a little time for the body to adapt, your body has been given a little shock.  The symptoms are normally very manageable and temporary.     Here are some tips to help get through
  • Patience - go slower in classes, reduce the intensity and rest more
  • ​Consistency - allow a few classes for your body to adjust
  • ​Savasana - its important to rest a few minutes at the end of class to settle the body
  • ​Hydration is key
  • ​Stay positive! - think about all the benefits for your body and mind.  Its worth a little discomfort!
Remember, the way out is through!   
Video 7 - I have some health conditions and injuries, is Bikram Yoga safe for me?
If you have some injuries or health conditions, its very important to have the right network around you for your recovery.   

Bikram Yoga is a holistic therapeutic practiced designed to restore movement and balance to the body.  Its fantastic  for improve health and energy!  Some tips for working with injuries and health conditions:
  • Patience:  Don't dominate the body.  Rather work slowly and mindfully in the postures.
  • Try The Right Way:  Your main job in the posture is breathe and building a strong foundation
  • Ask questions:  Your teachers are there to ensure you are doing what is right for your body.
Bikram Yoga is very healing, its not a quick fix though.  There is no such thing as an overnight transformation.  Its an accumulation of many small steps over time.  Do this, and you will get great results!   
Video 8 - Self Care:  How do I adapt my body to practice?
When building a Bikram Yoga practice, it does require that you challenge yourself and leave your comfort zone.  Very crucial though through this process is that you take "self care".   To practice "self care" in the hot room, ensure that you:
  • Breathe:  normal breathing in and out through the nose keeps you calm
  • Build slowly:  a good explorer is willing to explore but does it slowly.  You never know whats around the corner.
  • Rest when needed:  If you hit a rocky patch in the room, listen to your body and rest.  You will soon feel a lot better when you do this.
Think of the ocean, if your fighting the current, its really hard and you waste a lot of energy.  Self care will allow you to flow with current and stay connected to yourself.  It really works!   
Video 9 - How do I best hydrate my body for class?

Another crucial step in building a successful Bikram Yoga practice is nutrition and hydration.   Live by these 3 principles below!
  • Hydrate:  Make drinking 2-3 litres of water a daily habit
  • Recharge:  Electrolytes are critical for water absorption in the body.  (Electrolyte minerals include calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium)
  • Cool It:  Choose cooling foods, reduce coffee and alcohol.   
Remember what you do out of the room has a dramatic impact on how you feel inside the room!   
Video 10 - Self Talk:  How do I overcome the mind chatter?
Working through your mind chatter, that little voice in your head is a crucial step to building a successful practice.   The voice will give you lots of complaints like "it's too hard", "it's too hot", "I'm too old", "I'm too out of shape" and the list goes on!    

The best advice is to dig a little deeper and you will find a bigger reason to do it for your health, energy, vitality and mindset.   Try these things:
  • Have a vision: know your why!   It will help you have the bigger picture in mind
  • Initial effort required:  It takes effort to get the boulder moving, then it will get momentum going down the hill!
  • Intention:  Weak intention = staying in the same spot.  Strong intention = change and transformation.
When you do these things, you will train your mind to co-operate with you!   Building the perfect marriage between the body and the mind.  
Video 11 - Next Steps - How do I achieve success in my health and wellness?

The most important ingredient to building a successful Bikram Yoga practice is CONSISTENCY!   It sounds simple, unfortunately over the long term its a minority who achieve consistency with their health and wellness.    It is very achievable though!  Here are some tips
  • Set a goal:  Be specific and realistic.   I personally recommend setting a goal to do your first 30 Bikram classes, you might choose to do this in 2 months, 3 months or 6 months!  Do what is right for you..
  • Accountability:  A great tool for this is the Challenge Board at the studio.  Tick off as you go!
  • Stay on track:  There are 365 days in the year.  Some days you are going to get off track!  The most important thing, over the year to have more days you deposit into your health bank balance than you withdraw!   
All or nothing doesn't build healthy habits.  Consistency does..  Do what is sustainable, and you will get great results!