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What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram’s beginning yoga class is a series of 26 demanding postures completed twice in a heated room for 90 minutes. Classes are suited for all ages and levels of ability. Each posture stretches and strengthens specific muscles, ligaments and joints stimulating the organs, glands and nerves to move fresh oxygenated blood to 100% of the body. With regular practice, the Bikram Yoga system will improve health, increase energy, help prevent illness and injury and limit the effects of aging. As a physical challenge, the Bikram yoga method will change the body’s shape, developing muscle tone and losing inches.

As a mental challenge, this system combines the skills of concentration, patience and self-control to improve mental clarity and reduce stress.

Who is Bikram?

Bikram Choudhury began learning Hatha Yoga poses in his native India at the age of 3 under the study of Bishnu Ghosh, the brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship. Bikram quickly became a yoga champion and at age eleven was the youngest contestant ever to win the National India Yoga Competition. At age 20, a weightlifting accident crippled Bikram. With the guidance of his guru, Bikram created this 26 posture series which restored his health. Through his experience, he became known as the world’s most knowledgeable yoga teacher. Combining the Eastern discipline with Western medicine, Bikram perfected his comprehensive system suitable for all ages and levels of fitness and brought it to the United States 1973.

Why the heat?

The room is intentionally heated to approximately 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit to protect the muscles for safe deep stretches. The heat helps to detoxify the body by opening pores in the skin to flush out toxins. The heat increases the heart rate for a better cardiovascular work-out, helps to improve strength by putting muscle tissue in its optimal state, and softens collagen around the joints for more freedom of movement.

How does it work?

The heat in the room helps ignite our body’s own heating system. Breathing exercises in the beginning of class coupled with the heat in the room, begin to warm the body from the inside out. The metabolism starts to speed up, preparing all systems to start working. As the lungs fully expand and take in more oxygen, the heart starts to pump oxygen-rich red blood cells.

The 26 postures are sequentially designed to isolate portions of the body a section at a time by closing off circulation to a group of muscles, organs, and glands for a few seconds. Once released from the posture, oxygen-rich blood returns at a high speed to the closed part of the body, sending in nutrients and flushing out waste. By this method of stretching and contracting, circulation is improved and we open up blocked areas of the body.

By the end of 90 minutes, Bikram Yoga has given you a full body work-out: every cell has been re-vitalized, the spine is strengthened, and all systems are restored to their intended 100% working order, giving you an energized body and a relaxed mind.

What if I am not flexible?

This is the most common misconception that prevents people from coming to a yoga class. Yoga is not about how flexible you are already, but about strengthening your body and spine in all directions and, gradually, improving flexibility. Through consistent Bikram Yoga practice, your flexibility will improve, but it is not necessary to be flexible before coming to class.

What kind of benefits will I see?

To get the optimal results from Bikram Yoga, expect to practice at least 3 times a week. Over a short period of time, with this frequency of practice, you can expect to see and feel the reshaping of your body. Physically you will lose inches, gain muscle tone, and improve strength and balance. Mentally, you will notice improvement in concentration skills, willpower, and a reduction in stress. Medically, you will notice that you are sick less and not as prone to injury. Bikram Yoga is proven to help those suffering from insomnia, depression, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, shoulder, knee and back injuries. Through these changes in the body, there will be changes in the mind, attitude and behavior–all positive changes to help improve your quality of life.

It's my first time. What do I do?

Arrive 20 minutes before the class time. Check in with our front desk staff and let them know you are new and they will take care of you.

What should I wear to class?

Wear comfortable clothing: tank tops, sports bra, breathable tees, yoga shorts, or running shorts are ideal. Avoid pants, sweats and long sleeve shirts. Undergarments or see-through garments are not permitted in the yoga room.

What do I need to bring?

Only bring yoga mat, large towel, and water. Please leave the rest of your belongings outside the yoga room.

Are mats and towels provided?

Yoga mats and towels are available to rent. Mats are $4 and towels $3 each. We also have mats and special yoga mat towels for sale.

Where is your studio located?

We are located on Sunset Hills Rd between Reston Parkway and Wiehle Ave. The red brick building we are located in is between Whole Foods Reston and the Reston/Wiehle metro station. Parking and entrance to our space is around the back of building


What if I'm late for class?

Each class begins on time.  The practice is most beneficial and effective when practiced without skipping any postures.  Students arriving late might not be permitted into the yoga room. Thank you for respecting our late arrival policy. We have this policy for health and safety reasons It is not good practice to launch into the postures without the proper warm-up of the breathing exercise.

What should I eat and/or during before, during, and after class?

Come to class on an empty stomach – but don’t starve yourself all day! You burn a high amount of calories in class and your body needs fuel to be able to work! Most people find they need to allow 2 hours between eating and taking class. However, some people with high metabolism need to eat a little “something” (like a piece of fruit, yogurt, nuts, etc.) an hour or so before class. As a regular practitioner, your own innate wisdom will emerge and guide you as to what is right for you.

Please come to class well hydrated. You need to drink a lot of water throughout the day to ensure you’re properly hydrated for class. Once class begins, hold off on drinking water until the end of the warm up series (the teacher will announce) to allow your body to heat up and for your mind to stay focused.

How often should I practice?

Aim to practice 3 -5 times a week. The more often you practice, the quicker you will see results and the better you will feel. Sometimes it takes a few classes for your body to get used to the heated room. We encourage new students to practice 7 times in 7 days. This is why we offer the introductory one week special for new students!

What are your prices?

Get started with our introductory special.

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For more information about our pricing, see our pricing page.

Can I practice yoga with an old/new injury?

In general, Bikram yoga  is a very therapeutic practice. It helps heal old injuries and prevent new ones. The heat is therapeutic for your muscles, joints, and tissue. For existing injuries and certain medical conditions, the healing process can be supported with the continued practice of Bikram yoga. Check out our benefits section for more details on how Bikram Yoga can help you.  We ask students to notify the instructor so they can help you during class and make sure we have an alert in your file. The general guide when practicing with an injury is: listen to your body and perform postures with extra mindfulness. All you have to do is try the right way and focus on what you can do – form over depth.

Can I practice if I am pregnant?

Maybe. If you have been practicing consistently for at least 6 months and you have permission from your doctor, then yes you may continue to practice. Please notify our staff as soon as you find out so we may discuss the Pregnancy Series.

I run or do other forms of exercise. Should I do Bikram yoga too?

Yes! Bikram yoga is excellent for helping align and strengthen your body and is a great compliment to all other forms of exercise. Many athletes practice Bikram yoga to heal and recover from stress their bodies experience performing high impact sports or other workouts.