As a part of today’s Ohio Blogging Association Cleveland November Blog Swap, I’m happy to introduce you to Danielle from Namaste Or Should I Go?  Today, bloggers from around Northeast Ohio are guest posting on one another’s blogs as a way to get to know others in our blogging community. For a full listing of blog swap participants, please visit Poise in Parma today.

Getting Started with Bikram Yoga

Hello Life Lyn Style readers! Allow me to introduce myself – my name is Danielle and I’m a teacher at Ohio’s first Bikram Yoga studio, Bikram Yoga Cleveland ( in Shaker Heights.

On blog swap day, Lyn suggested that I write about starting yoga, since it’s something she’s never done, due to fear of doing it wrong, weight trouble, knee issues, and so forth. Well never fear, LLS readers – I’m hear to tell you all about Bikram Yoga, how to get started, and why it’s the perfect form of yoga for beginners!

As Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, likes to say:

“You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to do the yoga and start from the scratch once again.”


Bikram Yoga Cleveland in Shaker Heights


We start, of course, with…What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga is a sequence of 26 Hatha Yoga postures (and two breathing exercises) selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury.  These postures, performed in the same order each 90 minute class, systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, ligaments, and muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function.

And yes, it’s hot in there; we heat the room to 105 degrees with 40% humidity.

Wait, what?  105 degrees?! And you’re saying this is GOOD for beginners? Please explain.

Bikram likes to use the metaphor of forging a sword to explain the need for heat (I’m quoting from his “Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class” book): “Suppose you are going to make a sword.  You start with a piece of fine steel and the first thing you do is put the steel in the fire and heat it up.  When the steel is hot, it becomes soft.  Then you can hammer it and slowly you make it change shape to the sword you want…now, if you don’t heat it up and start hammering the cold steel, nothing is going to happen to the steel, but you break your hand, the hammer, your arm.  The same thing happens when you do any exercise, even Hatha Yoga, in a cold environment.”

The heat makes you less likely to strain, to pull a muscle, to hurt yourself.  You’re more flexible and malleable, just like that fine piece of steel. For beginners, especially those with old injuries, scar tissue, tight muscles, etc that’s a fantastic way to stretch your body without aggravating it.

Also, when you exercise in a hot, humid room, you sweat.  You sweat a lot.  And that has such a wonderful, detoxifying effect on your whole body.  When you walk out of that room, and you’ve worked every muscle and joint in your body and sweated out every toxin, you will feel AMAZING.  There’s no high like a Bikram Yoga high, I promise you that!


Bikram Yoga Cleveland’s studio space


Won’t the class be full of skinny, bendy young people? I’m worried I’ll feel self-conscious about my weight/tummy/legs/<insert body issue here>.


Nope! The great thing about Bikram Yoga Cleveland is that because we’ve only just opened, we have a wonderful mix of beginners and advanced students alike. In every class you’ll see all shapes, sizes, and abilities. The heat and structure of the class make it easier to just focus on yourself and not worry about what people are doing, feeling, or wearing around you. Plus, Bikram Yoga is FANTASTIC not only for weight loss, but for building muscle and, especially, improving overall health. It can change your life!

And don’t worry if you can’t do all the postures right away – because every class is structured the same, you’ll feel more familiar with the poses and start seeing improvements in balance, strength and flexibility within only a week or two!

Besides, in Bikram Yoga it doesn’t matter how flexible you are, how close you can get to the full expression of the posture – as long as you’re doing it 100% the right way, you’re getting 100% of the benefit, regardless of how deep you can go, how long you can balance.  Bikram Yoga is for everyone!


Danielle in Half Moon Pose (in Napa Valley)


Okay, I admit it, I’m intrigued.  How do I learn more?

There’s lots of useful information on our website,   And stop by or call, we’re happy to answer any questions!  We’re located on Fairmount Circle by John Carroll University.  There’s plenty of free parking in the adjacent lot.

See you in the hot room!