Home CommentaryStudent Life The heat really is on at Bikram Montreal

The heat really is on at Bikram Montreal

by Archives September 21, 2005

Bikram yoga is growing in popularity in Montreal, according to Stuart Rubin. Rubin discovered Bikram yoga in Los Angeles and thought it would be a good idea to bring this form of “heat yoga” to Montreal. He opened the Bikram Yoga studio four years ago and has been offering yoga enthusiasts an interesting alternative ever since.

The fundamentals of Bikram yoga lie in the 26 postures that make up the program. The creator of Bikram yoga, Choudry Bikram of India, developed the program using various postures and principles found in other yoga styles. Bikram decided to add heat to the equation and differentiated his particular style of yoga by raising the temperature in the room to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Practicing yoga in a heated room has its benefits. Rubin, who teaches many of the classes at his studio, says the heat helps “to detox… ’cause you sweat for 90 minutes.” It also “loosens up your muscles so that you’re able to stretch a little further.” Rubin does, however, caution beginners to take it slow at first and give their bodies time to adjust to the heat. While the heat ultimately helps yoga practitioners to move freely and attain good breathing and circulation, it can be overwhelming at first and Rubin often tells students to “go slow…watch out, … and take it easy” on their first try. Beginners should listen to their bodies and stop if they feel they are getting dizzy. Anyone doing Bikram yoga is advised to drink lots of water both before and after the class. With all the sweating going on, students run the risk of getting dehydrated if they don’t make sure to replenish their systems with enough H2O.

The benefits of Bikram yoga are endless, according to Stuart Rubin. He says it “just puts you back to normal,” and anyone with a particular medical problem, stress or irritating back pain will find what they need in the 26 posture program. Because the spine is so connected to every part of our body, Rubin asserts that proper attention to this vital bone structure will help with problems that may occur elsewhere in the body. Rubin’s students often come back and tell him of physical ailments that have been cured, or at least improved, through the practice of Bikram yoga. From better posture to relieved back and shoulder pain; better breathing to reduced PMS syndromes, Rubin has seen it all.

“I’ve had girls tell me they couldn’t get pregnant before they started coming in to take yoga, and I know Bikram touches a lot on the reproductive system.” says Rubin.

For those without particular physical concerns, Bikram yoga offers a number of mental benefits as well. While the 26 postures in the program may seem relatively simple, they require a great deal of concentration when executed properly. The combination of the heat, physical exertion and steadied breathing involved help bring your mind to a more focused, yet peaceful, place than it was when you walked in the door. People looking to relieve some of the day-to-day stress they are experiencing will find a valuable outlet through the practice of Bikram yoga.

As far as spirituality is concerned, Rubin says “that comes from praying to God that you’ll still be alive at the end of class.” Bikram yoga is a physical type of yoga that is much less concerned with spirituality than other styles. Rubin says there isn’t any singing or chanting in his classes and the focus is really on working out, feeling better, and then going home.

“The good thing is that everybody can do it. There’s no religion, no colour… You come, you’re fat, you’re old, you’re skinny, you’re short…you come, you sweat like everybody else.”

Bikram yoga is suitable for people of all ages and body types and it is a complete workout unlike one you’re likely to find elsewhere. While other exercise focuses on burning energy, Bikram yoga offers a way to replenish energy and get all parts of the body and mind working together.

Though it is relatively new in Montreal, Bikram yoga is practiced all over the world. It is very popular in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Germany, Hong Kong and Spain. Because anyone teaching Bikram yoga has to have studied with Choudry Bikram himself in Los Angeles, all authentic Bikram classes are taught in the same way. All classes teach the same 26 postures and the same sequence of movements is used wherever Bikram is taught. “Everybody adds in their little twists, but the majority of the class is the same,” said Rubin.

If you’re looking for a new approach to physical and mental well-being you may find your needs met at Bikram Montreal. A $20 intro week pass will give you unlimited access to the studio for one week and you can try out as many classes as you like during that period. Other prices are available for single classes or three to six month package deals.

A mat is supplied for your first trial class. Afterwards mats are available for rent or you can bring your own. A towel and water bottle are essential and remember to dress light. Shorts and a tank top are all you’ll need to wear for your heated adventure with a Bikram instructor and in just ninety minutes you’ll start to see the results. As Rubin will confidently assure you, “It’s just a good thing.”

Bikram Yoga Montreal is
located at 721 Walker
(Lionel-Groulx Metro)

You can reach them
at: (514) 989-7642

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