Do what is right, not what is easy

Do you want to start a blog? Write and share your own creations, thoughts, content; don’t mimic the work of another.

Do you want to create more financial freedom? Dedicate time today towards cleaning up your spending and researching how best to invest your money, rather than thinking its too difficult, boring, or can wait for another day.

Do you want to change your work environment? Face your fears and do so, even if it means leaving the familiarity of the current.

Do you want to change your physique? Get up and move your body every morning, even if you want to stay in bed or watch TV

Do you want to enjoy the benefits of a meditation practice? Sit your butt down everyday and meditate, even if you’re tired, un-interested or only have 5 minutes.

Do you want to achieve deeper levels of intimacy with your partner? Openly and clearly communicate with them, rather than accepting and desensitising yourself.

Do you want do what is right? Do you want to move towards greater levels of freedom, transcendence and joy, and not be limited by control, security or familiarity? Then just do it. Let go of the easier option. Let go of excuses. Go after your dreams – accepting it might be challenging along the way, but relaxing into the intrinsic knowledge that this is what you’re meant to do and it will ultimately deliver to you what you greatly desire.

Namaste

Kundalini Yoga

You may have seen (or attended!) some of our Kundalini Yoga Workshops over these last few months with Kylie. They have been a big success – many attendees saying they have felt more creative, enlivened, all-embracing, and clear-thinking after their Kundalini class. So we are listening to you and keeping them on our regular schedule! You can keep up to date with our latest classes on our app.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the practice, we’d like to take the time to explain it to you here –

Kundalini Yoga is an uplifting blend of movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and chanting of mantras. The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. It does this through strengthening the nervous system, increasing willpower, clearing brain fog, improving breath, enhancing visualisation, imagination, and creativity, opening the heart, upgrading communication skills, boosting compassion and gratitude, awakening intuition, and developing wisdom. Now that’s a list of benefits!!!

Like all yoga, Kundalini yoga is not to be taken lightly. It is like an express train that shakes and wakes you up. Some classes will leave you feeling high and totally blissed out. Other will really provoke and confront you. What’s important is to stay present and accept pleasure and pain as part of the same journey to health and balance. Our ego naturally leans toward pleasure and comfort. It takes concerted effort and discipline to begin to release the ego’s grip on our consciousness. This effort is the work required to begin to access the truth of who we are, to create a strong connection to our soul and to start to take great strides towards being more at peace and in harmony with ourselves.

We sincerely encourage you to experience Kundalini yoga for yourself. It will add depth to your existing practice and to your life. This Saturday, 7th September we are offering a special Kundalini Meditation and Gong Bath Class. The class will be 90 minutes, from 10:15am to 11:45am. It’s suitable for all levels – beginners and expecting women are welcome! The cost is free for members and $28 for non-members. You can book and pay direct to the studio, or contact Kat o 0439 068 058, or Sherry on 0422 684 789. We recommend wearing loose, comfortable clothing, preferably white or light colours, bring water, mat, bolster / cushion and small blanket. Come a few minutes early to get settled in, we start on time.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Namaste

Yoga can help to close (yes close) your heart after grief.

Grief is the heart-breaking feeling people experience after they’ve suffered a loss. This loss may be from an illness or death, somebody leaving home or moving away, someone changing, physically, emotionally or mentally, and is no longer what or how we expect they should be. It could perhaps also be due to a change of residency, getting married, or becoming pregnant. Regardless, we grieve the significant changes that take place, as we come to realise life as we knew it, will never be the same again. Even if we have a tremendous gain as a result of the change, such as moving to a beautiful new home, we can still grieve the loss of the comforts of the old – the friendly neighbour, the favourite cafe nearby, the customs we had in the home. We somewhat expect grief to arise around death, but it also shows up ‘unexpectedly’ in other areas of life.

While everyone experiences grief and loss differently, yoga can help with the process of moving on and healing for all. The combination of both the heart opening backbends and the nurturing forward bends work together to heal and mend your broken heart. The backward bends help to stretch and ‘crack open’ your chest – allowing suppressed emotions to flood out, flow freely and pass naturally. This can be confronting and challenging – even emotionally painful – but the breath-work that comes with your asana practice helps support you through this process, and return you to a place of calm. It’s very important to allow these feelings to flow freely, rather than trapping them inside. The longer you hold onto them, the deeper they will ingrain. The more you let them free, the quicker the healing process will be, and the lighter you’ll feel.

Taking a longer savasana after a backward bend will be extra nurturing for you, as will the forward bend that usually follows. Forward bends give your heart the added comfort, love, and support it needs as it rebuilds and restrengthens itself – as it starts to put the pieces back together. Forward bends are like giving yourself a giant hug. It’s not surprising in Bikram yoga, the deepest backward bend of the series (Camel / Ustrasana) is followed by the deepest forward bend (Rabbit / Sasangasana).

The asanas, breath-work, and stillness that comes with your yoga practice all work synergistically to support you through your grieving process. It’s a safe, wholesome space for you to feel your emotions, set them free, and gently put the pieces back together.

If you don’t feel up to a dynamic practice, we also offer a slower style, Yin Yoga. Yin also offers forward and backward bends, and gives extra time within the asanas for you to release stored or trapped energy.

We hope to be of service and support to you always- but especially through difficult periods of life, such as when you’re grieving a loss or experiencing significant change in your life. If this is you right now, please prioritise your yoga and self care. It’s tremendously important.

Namaste

Yoga and Sleep Quality

(Hopefully) We all know sleep is crucial to our well-being, and it’s quality is a big determinant in how happy and healthy we are day to day – there’s no question we feel better after a good nights rest. However, most of us will encounter sleep disturbances through out our lives – in fact, one out of three people will experience insomnia at some point in their life.

A mere week of unrest or sleep deprivation can cause severe changes in mood: depression, decreases in emotional regulation, and obvious depletion. On the contrary, it seems that a good night’s rest can enhance the positive feelings and states of being. There’s really something to the idea of “sleeping off” difficult experiences.

So what does affect quality of sleep? Well, three common factors include stress, hormonal imbalances, and obesity. When you are experiencing one or more of these, your body is going to be operating more in the sympathetic nervous system state – also called ‘fight or flight”. This is a more heightened state of being, and it’s very hard for your body to relax, ‘let go’, enter sleep onset (the natural oncoming of sleep), and stay asleep through the night. You see, the body cannot tell the difference between an external and internal threat or imbalance – it only see that’s something’s not right and in order to survive, it must be switched on and ready to either fight or run away from the stressor.

How Yoga can improve sleep quality is that firstly, it helps move you into the parasympathetic nervous system – this is when you’re functioning more in a rest and digest state of being. The long slow breathing exercises, combined with stretching and stillness, help increase parasympathetic dominance. This is where stagnant energy has shifted, the mind has calmed, physical tension releases, and emotion dissipates. The stiffness has gone and in this state, its much easier to move into the natural onset of sleep.

Leading on from this, a second therapeutic benefit of yoga is that in this parasympathetic state, your body is more receptive to change and healing. Your endocrine (hormonal) system is gradually rebalanced, your muscular skeletal system is realigned and strengthened, leading to body transformation, and your mind-body connection is increased, improving awareness and confidence. You really do leave with a renewed mind and body, each time you come to a yoga class.

Researchers seem to agree. In one study on yoga and sleep, participants practiced Bikram yoga regularly over a two week period, and results showed they woke up fewer times in the night, a sign of better sleep quality.

A regular yoga practice can greatly improve your overall health, including the quality of sleep you achieve each night. Have you noticed any positive changes in your sleep or general health since practicing Bikram or Yin Yoga at our studio? We’d love to hear your stories and feedback!

Bikram Yoga Helps Improve Bone Mineral Density

In our last post, we looked at how Bikram Yoga (BY) helps with physical fitness. This week, we will discuss how BY improve bone mineral density, which is important all through out our lives, but especially as we age.

Maintaining bone mineral density (BMD) reflects the strength of bones, and is important in reducing instances of osteoporosis and falls-related fractures. Healthy lifestyle choices such as nutrition, regular exercise – especially resistance training, and impact based activities, help minimize BMD loss and reduce the risk of fractures later in life.

Yoga can be an excellent tool in helping maintain peak bone mass and slow down bone loss. We know some of the main components of the BY practice is balance, flexibility, lubrication of joints, increased range of motion, spinal alignment and a significant improvement in lower-limb strength. It’s also a weight-bearing exercise, where students use their own body weight to create resistance in the postures and torque on the bones to build bone density, much in the same way you build muscle strength (through Wolffs Law). Bones get stronger and stay strong when they are called upon to do more. Given all of this, your yoga practice helps keep you more stable and sturdy, helps reduce the risk of falls and fractures, and helps maintain BMD, especially for those who cannot engage in high-impact or more dynamic activity such as running.

A study in 2010, “Bikram Yoga as a Countermeasure of Bone Loss in Women“, clearly shows this link between BY and a higher BMD – saying that BY practitioners had above average bone mineral density at the lumbar spine, hip and in total body scores. Even more impressive, each of the subjects had a total body calcium Z-score one standard deviation above the norm for their age and ethnic cohort. Please click on the highlighted title to read the article yourself.

If you have a story you’d like to share on how BY has helped with your own body, we’d love to hear, and if possible, feature you in our newsletter or on social media! Please talk to Sherry at reception, or send your story to info@bikramyoganorthbrisbane.com.au . You can follow us on Instagram @bikrambrisbane

June ’19 News

A warm hello to our community! We hope you are enjoying your time at the studio, and look forward to seeing you more in the hot room as the cooler months set in. We’ve added two state-of-the-art humidifiers to the hot room (you may have noticed the extra mist inside!), ensuring that we are still getting our sweat on each time we step on our mats for Bikram or Inferno Hot Pilates. Our Yin classes are still on every Thursday at 6:30pm, and Sundays at 6pm, our monthly silent class is on the last Sunday morning at 7am, and our Kundalini workshops have been added to the schedule every month now, by popular demand. We are even looking to at putting them on fortnightly, so please let us know if this is something you’re interested in.

We’d be so grateful as well if you could please post and check in on your social media when you come to class. Did you know, Before Yogananda died in 1952 he whispered to his student- “something called social media is coming… and if you don’t post and check in, it’s the same as not doing savasana at the end of class” but worse 😉  Help us promote our family business, we really appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you to our teachers, for the knowledge and care you share to your students in your classes, carrying them through from start to end, and helping them feel better in themselves and their bodies. Thank you to our angels, for keeping our studio clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy! And thank you to our students, for coming to the studio and taking positive action towards being the best version of themselves possible. You are a big inspiration!

See you at the studio soon! Love Sherry and the team at BYNB xx

June Special – Members can bring a friend for free to our Yin or Inferno Hot Pilates Class

We invite our members to bring a friend complimentary to one our Yin or Inferno Hot Pilates class. It must be your friend’s first time to our studio.

Thinking of doing two Bikram classes in one day? Here is how to pace yourself:

Back to Back

So you’re going to do a double, good for you! There are two kinds of doubles that you could do: back to back (only 1/2 hour between classes) and a split double (one in the morning, one in the afternoon/evening.)

– Take it easy in your first class, pace yourself. Gently remind yourself that you are doing a double during the class. It can help give you perspective and keep focus. If you didn’t get through standing bow without falling out a lot, remind yourself that you are going to be doing it again in the next class, so don’t sweat it, just take note of what you want to focus on the next time. As it’s coming right up!

-Second class you may notice you’re more flexible. You might have more energy or you might be fatigued. Just notice how you are feeling and listen to your body. The second class usually feels as if it goes by quickly.

– Have something to drink in between classes that will replenish electrolytes and give you a little sugar. Fresh juice or coconut water is ideal. You might even try raw dates (just one or two), they digest very quickly and provide immediate fuel for your body to burn. Some people can even have a banana or some fruit, just not a lot – and give yourself at least 15 mins before the next class is going to start. Don’t ingest any protein or large amounts of fiber (like a smoothie) as it can take your body a while to break this down.

– Eat a fresh and balanced meal afterwards to replenish electrolytes and drink more water than usual.

Split Double

– Replenish your electrolytes after your first class. Drink water throughout the day. Set a goal of maybe two or three liters before your next class. Don’t drink it all at once!

-Try not to eat a really large meal in between your morning and evening classes. Try a couple of small meals instead. Have a snack two or three hours before taking your second class. Make it a healthy one. (nuts, fruit, veggies)

– The second class can be a bit of wild card depending on what you did with your day in between classes. Some people will feel more flexible others may feel rather tight in places they didn’t expect. Just take it one posture at time. Remember something you did in your morning class that worked for you and see if you can bring your attention to it.

-Have a juice/electrolyte drink or smoothie waiting for you after your second class.

Doubles in general:

-Avoid drinking alcohol on days that you are going to, or have done a double.
-Avoid excessive caffeine. (skip the afternoon latte before your second class!)
-Get to bed early the night before.
-Be proud of yourself!

They’re not as scary as your mind makes them out to be!

Anyway

This weeks blog – guest author, Mother Theresa

ANYWAY
Mother Theresa

”People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway!
If you do good, people will accuse you
of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway!
If you are successful, you will win
false friends and enemies.
Succeed anyway!
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway!
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway!
What you spend years building may be
destroyed overnight.
Build anyway!
People really need help
but may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway!
Give the world the best you have, and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway!

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.”

Are you struggling to find time to do your yoga?

Are you struggling to find time to do your yoga?

We are all so busy now a days that even doing our yoga can just feel stressful! I totally agree! And being stressed to do yoga really defeats the purpose. However, the amazing thing about yoga is that if you do make the time, the other parts of your life will run smoother and feel less overwhelming. So, it’s worth it, even 10 minutes a day will help, trust me!

But, where to start?

The first question you need to ask yourself is; do you truly want to do this? From the heart! Because if you do anything half-heartedly, it will fizzle out. If you do truly know this is what you want to do, then you will find a way. Otherwise you will find dozens of excuses not to do the yoga practice. There is always a good reason not to do it. I’ve heard them all – many from my own head. I don’t feel good, I’m tired, I’ll start tomorrow, I have to just make this one phone call or email, I need to shop for….

So, take a moment, close your eyes, relax, take your time and ask yourself, from the heart, “do I really want to make this time for myself, to care for my body and mind, is it important to me?” If you say yes, then tell yourself “ok, I will do it, I’m able to guide my life, I’m not at the mercy of my circumstances, I can make it happen!”

From here, it is a matter of being realistic, organized and disciplined. For example, at the start of the week, schedule in your classes to your calendar. Make it a non-negotiable that you will go to the 9:30am class Tuesday , Thursday and Friday, and you’ll do your grocery shopping, laundry, and catch ups with friends after that time. Even better, why not invite your friend to do class with you and grab a coffee after?. Do your banking on Mondays, volunteer at the school tuckshop on Wednesday mornings, have that dinner date on Friday night, and you’ll catch the sport matches Saturday morning.  Decide on the number of classes you want to do per week, and when it realistically will work for you – nights, mornings, or early mornings (we think early mornings are the best as it gets it done before 7:30am! You just have to commit to getting up earlier in the day).

Organising yourself at the start of the week helps to give you structure, rhythm and clarity. It helps in your decision making and to get stuff done! On the nights before your yoga class, pre-prepare your bag – put your yoga clothes, towel, mat and water bottle inside, so in the morning, you’re ready to go without any excuse or delays.

Want more tips on how to commit to your yoga class? Ask any of our teachers at the studio! They are here to support you.

Namaste x

Michael stays smoke-free and mentally calm through Bikram yoga

“I started Bikram yoga last January because wanted to lose 10 kilos of sexiness and to make sure I didn’t start smoking again. I still haven’t smoked yet and I owe that to Bikram yoga for sure. In 20 years I’ve never gone this long without smoking. Being able to breathe and heal and be good to myself physically and emotionally through practice has been better than smoking ever was.

The greatest benefit I’ve gotten from Bikram yoga is how it quiets the crazy inside me. Bikram calms my mind unlike anything else. Amongst the sweat and poses and savasanas, the jagged edges of my thoughts become smoothed and rounded, feelings become clarified, and the voice inside me becomes kinder and gentler. Bikram is like a sweatier version of Zanax.

I love how no two classes are the same, how a pose one day can vastly differ the very next in feel or fluidness, in difficulty or ease. I love when a breakthrough happens with a pose. It’s the sensation of falling or moving through water, as if the pose is happening to you. You find a new ceiling and a new you.

I love how if I miss class, my whole body feels it, misses it. It’s like driving and slamming on breaks. My body is at rest but feels like it’s still in motion, longs to continue the forward momentum from the previous day.

I love every teacher that has instructed me, corrected me, and encouraged me. More times than not, it has been their encouragement that has kept me going.

I love the sense of community you share with a group of otherwise strangers. It’s the feeling of having survived a great storm, some indescribable test and done it together in one collective spirit, while in your undies.”


I used to think Yoga was a joke until this one moment

“Take a deep six count breath in… and exhale it out. Pranayama deep breathing…”  

“Uh, pranayama what?”  I was in my very first yoga class and couldn’t help but think: This is ridiculous. Did this yoga instructor just randomly make up a fancy-sounding word to describe the simple concept of breathing? *eye roll* Not only was I sweating profusely, suddenly swimming in a puddle of perspiration on my mat, but I also felt like I was stuck in an eleventh-grade foreign language class. Still trying to wrap my head around pranayama-this and trikonasana-that, I came to the defeated conclusion that this was not my jam. I just had to make it through this one class without drowning in my own bodily fluids and pretend to understand the gibberish meant to guide the wacky practice.  

I didn’t get into yoga because I was “broken” or going through a breakup or even seeking spiritual growth. I simply wanted a supplement to my already-involved training regimen. I perceived yoga to be physically challenging yet a more gentle workout for rest days… and that’s about it. 

I spent the first two years focusing on my physical practice. I didn’t have any interest in “feeling” or being compassionate, loving, and kind to myself. My main objective was to get a recovery workout in on the days I didn’t have functional strength training, and to keep my body supple. Every time an instructor would preach about vulnerability and the idea that “you can only love others as much as you love yourself,” I would cringe. Rather than embrace all of the tools that would contribute to my growth and emotional freedom, I resisted them and became increasingly frustrated with what I considered to be absolute bulls#*t. To be honest, I just couldn’t comprehend why every single instructor felt the need to create an emotional upheaval when I was just there to get in a good workout.

Despite my journey not following the common trend of turning to yoga post breakup, two years into my practice, I found myself going through the worst breakup of my life: my divorce.

All of a sudden, the emotional wall I built came crumbling down. I felt like everything the instructor was saying resonated with what I was experiencing in my personal life. The emotions came on full force, and my mat was soaked with a mixture of sweat and tears after every practice. I felt a loss of control and power I didn’t experience in my other workouts, as I was forced to deal with the hurt, sadness, anger, and regret. My formerly-jaded self might have scoffed, but this new, vulnerable version of me felt a shift. 

The exact moment it happened was in trikonasana during a grueling practice. I heard the instructor say, “Your access to power is through your breath. Follow it, feel it, hear it, be with it.”

As much as I look forward to the hip-opening poses, those are also the ones that are most sensational and regarded as the area in our body where we hold on to our emotions. With the discomfort intensifying, I decided to take the advice that changed everything for me: I started to breathe. I counted my breath. I visualized my breath. I listened to my breath. I just breathed.

It wasn’t that my breath magically made everything better—not even close—but what it did do was make the discomfort manageable.

It wasn’t that my breath magically made everything better—not even close—but what it did do was make the discomfort manageable. It allowed me to stay with the sensations, recognizing that I was in full control of how I chose to respond. In that moment, my breath—this simple, basic thing that we all have access to—became my most useful and powerful tool. Breathing reminded me that all emotions, good and bad, are temporary.

Learning to breathe through discomfort, be it physical or emotional, allowed me to create space for healing and vulnerability. It made me responsive rather than reactive, and it gave me the ability to recognize that I always have a choice. As the saying goes, the only way out is through. Through yoga, I realized I can either choose to avoid uncomfortable sensation and suffer, or I can breathe my way through it, trusting that it will pass in due time.

When I think back to that very first yoga class, I was not only completely confused by pranayama breathing, but I was also annoyed by the loud, obnoxious sound. It’s kind of funny now that what I once resisted is now my sacred tool of survival. It grounds me, soothes me, nurtures me, and allows me to create space to feel and to let go. It’s helped me find myself and is the most powerful component of my yoga practice. It reminds me not to be so quick to judge new experiences, new people, even myself. It reminds me that there is no challenge or difficulty that you cannot overcome—one breath at a time.  

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