Giving Thanks

By Anne Marie

While each day brings me moments to be thankful for, taking this time at thanksgiving is great to collect all of those gems and marvel at the collection. Life is so rich, no matter what may be going on, there is meaning in everything and it's important to reflect.

This year, I can truly say that I am thankful for my life here in Sheffield. With a job that enables me to develop myself creatively, and spiritually, and give what I can (and all I am) to others, I can't imagine existing in a world where this freedom would be denied. I am thankful for a deeply connected and loving relationship with my man Luke and our sweet feline child 'Baby K'. We have almost purchased our first house and I am delighted to know that we can make it our own with good old time and effort. I am thankful to have the integrity of a solid yoga practice and spiritual grounding in self awareness to know - that despite how the events of the world are unfolding, it is possible, and inevitable for things to change, and that we make a difference in this world every day, in each moment, in the way that we relate to ourselves and others. I am thankful for the values I hold for seeing things through, and trusting in life and the divine order of the universe. I trust in the stuff we're made of, and know that to hone in on our personal path for Truth, we can and will cultivate a life of pure majesty. If I didn't think this were true, I wouldn't have moved to England, studied yoga, married a beautiful soul, worked for what I believed in, and created a life of gratitude, wonder, and learning. With a community of beautiful people, fascinating ideas and imagery, what's not to be thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving.

By Koreen

My family growing up - where laughter and silliness was an everyday thing. My husband - whose steadiness and strength has been like a lighthouse guiding me home. Our four daughters - who are amazing young women finding their place in this world. My girls’ dad - who despite our differences has put the girls first and made parenting them a fun adventure. My son - who reminds me everyday of how to be present and live in the now. Our cosy home - we have all we need and a little more. A job I adore that doesn’t feel like work; colleagues who are a pleasure to work with and an amazing community of the best yoga students on the planet - attentive, dedicated, respectful, supportive and seriously good fun.

Bikram Yoga - What you need to know

By HYS teacher, Michelle Shenton

I love teaching Bikram at Hot Yoga Sheffield. It’s an absolute pleasure to teach this series of postures to such a fantastic community of yoga students and so far all I have seen is focus determination and discipline in the hot room. This is what Bikram is all about!

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram yoga is a set sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. It is conducted in heat – 40 degree heat and 40% humidity to be precise. Most of you probably already know but the heat helps you to get deeper into postures without hurting yourself. The humidity is present the assist in sweating – yeah, you sweat A  LOT! Detoxing through sweat will help you to take in more water, it can change your appetite, and it can help you to sleep better. There are a multitude of health benefits!

All true Bikram instructors are trained by Bikram himself in a grueling 9 week teacher training course where they practice twice per day for 6 days per week. Its hard, very hard, but the lessons learned in that 9 weeks are invaluable in order to become a good teacher.

Where did Bikram Yoga come from?

Bikram yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury. Born in Calcutta, Bikram began studying yoga at the age of 4 and was a yoga champion in his teens. In the 1970’s he was left wheelchair bound from a crippling accident and was told he would never walk again, but Bikram made a complete recovery thanks to heat and yoga.  It was out of the remarkable regime that he developed his sequence of yoga postures and breathing exercises that he still teaches today. Bikram has over 2 million students and hundreds of schools worldwide.

Why Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga is a challenging class but it is intended for all abilities from beginners through to advanced.  Through challenges in the class room we learn that our breathing is our best ally and our mind can be our worst enemy. We learn to use the breath to calm the mind, in turn, we can then focus more on the postures and concentrate our attention on the instructions promoting a mind-body connection. Lessons in the yoga studio can help us in our daily life as we learn more about our ‘Self’, we will be more relaxed, focused, patient and have a greater connection with our body than ever before.

It is 90 minutes of ‘open eye’ active meditation where keeping the eyes open keeps us in the present moment. This will help you to feel like you have nothing else to think about and nothing else to do.

What if I feel like I need to leave?    

Your only goal in a Bikram class is to stay in the room. Remember, sit down when you feel like you need it and come back to your breathing slowly through the nose, we have our whole lives to master these postures and each class is a journey, a process – it’s a journey for you and your body only on your mat on that day at that time. Each day is different, we quickly learn that about our body, amongst lots of other things. There is no pressure to complete any of the postures, ignore the ego and let it go…..

How will Bikram yoga benefit me?

Through regular practice a student can expect to lose weight, look younger with a clear, glowing complexion, and develop stamina, tone muscles, and speed up recovery from injuries with increased blood flow. It can help to relieve asthma, improve digestion, and stabilize blood pressure.