News Some Like Their Yoga Hot , Daily Lobo 02-23-2005

Some like their yoga hot

Workout boasts a safe way to improve flexibility

By Alyson Rimsha Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Instructor Shea Rollins, far left, leads a Bikrham yoga class on Monday. The temperature in the room is kept at around 105 degrees during the 90-minute class.

Instructor Shea Rollins, far left, leads a Bikram yoga class on Monday. The temperature in the room is kept at around 105 degrees during the 90-minute class .Media Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

Temperatures of more than 100 degrees bear down on practitioners of Bikram yoga.

The heat causes the body to become more flexible, allowing people to get into more challenging positions.

Bikram yoga brings balance back to the body, said David Rogers, owner and director of Bikram's Yoga. He said the yoga is better than any other workout.

"It's made for the human body," Rogers said.

Bikram yoga is a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. The 90-minute class takes place in a 105-degree room with 50 percent humidity.

The heat allows the body to go more deeply into poses safely, Rogers said. The temperature also

promotes sweating, which rids the body of toxins, he said. Rogers said the workout takes people out of their comfort zones, and Bikram yoga requires dedication. "It's hard in a good way," he said.

Rogers said Bikram yoga stretches the body's muscles the way they should be stretched.

"This type of yoga uses the body in the way it is meant to be used," Rogers said.

He said it takes three to four classes to get a sense of why it's so special and what it's about.

Shea Rollins, an instructor at Bikram's Yoga, said the yoga provides energy and flexibility.

"I felt alive again and full of energy," she said.

Rollins has been practicing yoga since she was 12 years old, but Bikram yoga is unlike any other, she said.

"It's better than anything else I've tried," Rollins said. "I can really see what I am capable of."

Julie Steele, a UNM graduate student, said she has been coming to Bikram's Yoga for seven weeks.

"The workouts are amazing - much more disciplined," she said.

Steele said expectations are high in the classes, and her workouts feed off of her classmates' energy.

"You can just feel the energy in the room," Steele said. "It's really a group effort."

Steele said Bikram yoga workouts stretch 100 percent of the body and are addicting.

"It becomes a rhythm," Steele said.

Rollins said it helps people who are recovering from an illness or injury. Many of her clients have been physically and emotionally healed through Bikram yoga, she said.

Rogers said Bikram yoga is also popular among athletes.

"They injure themselves less because of the heat," he said.

He said the yoga is better for people because it focuses on the body as a whole.

"Unlike just working one body part at a time, it works your whole body in a balanced way," Rogers said.

Greg Weare said he has been practicing Bikram yoga for three months. Weare also lifts weights and practices martial arts. He said he likes yoga because it provides a balanced workout.

"You just relax and do what they tell you," he said. "Before you know it, the hour and a half is over."


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