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Booking online is not compulsory, but a simple way to ensure you have a space in class. We rarely reach our capacity, so whether you have booked your class online or not, there should, almost always, be a spot for you in the room.
The Online Booking Rules:
- Come to class well hydrated. After Eagle Pose, you can drink between the postures, but try to take small sips of water. The closer your water is to your body temperature, the quicker it can be assimilated by your body to hydrate you. That’s why we don’t advise bringing cold or iced water into the room.
- Make sure you come to class fully fuelled. Everyone has a different eating window: some can eat straight before class, others need to leave it 3hrs. Rule of thumb: make sure you’ve eaten something at least 2hrs before class. Never come on an empty stomach, you need the fuel.
- Leave your hand towel at home – you do not need it! Of course your hands will feel sweaty, your brow will feel sweaty, but practise allowing the sweat to fall. If we use a towel to grip, how are we ever going to get strong enough to work without one? Practise makes.. well, more practised and able! Following this ‘path of least resistance’ can help you achieve incredible strength and focus. Everytime you wipe the sweat away, it will just return. Conserve your energy for the postures and learn to let your sweat do it’s job. It’s your bodies way of keeping you at the right temperature. If you notice yourself getting frustrated, see if you can be aware of that feeling passing through you and let it go!
- It’s advisable to avoid the front row in your first class, however, as you progress, please feel free to move forward, don’t be scared. The front row can be an invaluable visual guide for new people practising behind. You don’t have to be perfect, (who is?!) but we simply ask you know the postures, before you make the move.
- Try to practise in different places around the room – mixing it up is fun! Come to class without preconceived ideas about where you’ll be in the room or about what the class will deliver. Let life surprise you!
- If you need to take a break during class, kneel down or sit down and join back in when you are ready. Stay in the room, that way you are still getting the benefits of class and building your stamina for your future classes.
- Be still between postures. Learn not to fiddle with your mat/clothes/hair in class, conserve your energies between postures. Focus on regulating your breathing in and out through your nose, calm and slow. Breathing is the key to your class. Master this and you will fly, quite literally 😉
- Listen to your teacher. Everything you need to know is in their words. Every class you will hear something different because, as your practice deepens and your body opens, you will find yourself building deeper connections between the words and your body.
- Breathe (we’ve touched on this already but, it really is quite important this breathing malarkey! So, worth a second note). Never hold your breath in postures. Breathe in and out through the nose for the entire class.
- Make sure you come to class clean and fresh, in comfortable, appropriate clothing. Feel free to shower before class.
- Respect each other. If you need to blow your nose during class, please keep the tissue you use ON your towel.
- Don’t worry about what anyone else in the room is doing – focus on yourself and your breath for 90 minutes. When in life do we ever get 90 whole minutes to focus on just ourselves?
- Let go of judgement: of yourself, of others – every class will feel different. It should – you are evolving all the time!
- Be mindful of your fellow yogis. As a wise yogi once said ‘Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.’
- Always try your 100% best. Whether you are doing 1% of the posture or 99%, if you are following the correct alignment and giving it your all, you are getting 100% of the benefits. This is not to say push into anything that is painful or past your capabilities. Be honest with yourself and always listen to your body. We spend so much time listening to our minds, in class, listen to your body, it is speaking to you in so many ways.
- Come to class ready to accept whatever happens, with commitment, focus and patience.
- Move together and with the words – group energy in yoga is a powerful thing. Once you know the postures, if you move out of time, it means you are letting your mind get in the way. You aren’t present. You are cutting yourself off from the benefits and asking your fellow yogis/inis to work harder to maintain their focus.
- Everybody is different and every journey is different – enjoy yours every class.
For anyone wishing to practise with a diagnosed heart condition we ask that you first check with your doctor as to whether Bikram Yoga is a suitable form of exercise for you. When you come to practise your first class, please bring in a note from your doctor confirming that you are well enough to participate in Bikram Yoga classes. We ask all Angina sufferers to carry their spray on them at all times while practising in the studio.
We are unable to provide parking at the studio. Meter parking is available on the streets around the studio. As we are close to the end of a ‘no-through’ road, please be extra careful that you are not blocking in local residents. We are within walking distance of three stations and many buses stop outside the studio.
Our local Sainsbury’s store in Chiswick kindly allow our members to park for 3 hours (instead of the usual two), so they have time to practise their 90 minute Bikram Yoga class and do their shopping.
For the time being, to claim this extra hour of parking, you need to adhere to the following steps:
Park in Sainsburys.
Practise your class.
Shop in Sainsbury’s (MINIMUM £5 SPEND).
Take your shopping receipt AND your BYC Sainsbury’s Orange Parking Voucher, available at BYC reception, to customer services for parking validation.
You will need to hand in this Orange voucher to the Sainsbury Customer Service desk as proof you have just practised.
If Sainsbury’s barriers are broken, please continue to adhere to the steps as lined out with the addition of putting a BYC purple timetable card, logo out, visible on the dashboard of your car.
Leave Sainsbury’s carpark WITHIN the 3 hour time limit.
If you stay over 3 hours a £50 fine will be payable.
In order to keep this collaboration into the future, please always treat the staff at Sainsbury’s kindly and only take advantage of this generous offer on days when you visit BYC.
This offer is only available during Sainsbury’s customer services opening hours. Please check opening times with Sainsbury’s.
We have a set capacity which we do occasionally reach at the busier evening classes.
Once we reach that capacity, which has been set for your comfort and safety, we are unable to admit anyone else into class.
We cannot offer refunds or extensions if you are unable to get into these classes, but we have recently increased our timetable to offer you as much choice and opportunity to fit your practise in.
Please make sure you arrive in good time for weekday evening classes at 6.15pm and 8.15pm, as these are our busiest sessions.
Latecomers Policy at Bikram Yoga Chiswick
If it is your first time practising at Bikram Yoga Chiswick, you need to be in the Yoga room from the very beginning of class. This is to ensure that the teacher knows you are new and if you are working with any illness’ or injuries, so they can take good care of you.
Latecomers, who have practised at Bikram Yoga Chiswick before, need to be in the room before the 1st breathing exercise has finished or at the discretion of Managers And Reception staff.
This is for your own safety and to cause least disruption to the class.
Perfect! This Yoga is for you! This is one of the most common misconceptions that prevent people from coming to Yoga classes. Yoga is not all about how flexible you are, it is about stretching your body and spine in all directions. There are very few people that start Yoga perfectly healthy and flexible.
You just need to try the right way and go to your own edge and you will get 100% benefit.
There are so many more benefits from practicing Yoga as well as improved flexibility.
Yes absolutely! In time the yoga will help you lose weight; with regular practice you will lose inches and develop muscle tone. Do not be surprised if at first you do not seem to be losing weight on the scales even thought you look lighter, do not forget muscle weighs more than body fat.
As you are losing weight you are building strength and stamina with the Yoga.
The Yoga provides a strong cardiovascular work out. Some of the postures speed up the heart rate in the first few seconds thus strengthening the heart. A good sign of health is that you can speed the heart rate up quickly and then slow it down quickly. You will learn to practice the postures with your breath.
The heat in the room supports your cardio work out.
Muscles, fascia and connective tissues become more elastic allowing for greater flexibility with less chance of injury.
It promotes sweating which assists the detoxification process using the body’s largest elimination organ: the skin.
Your blood becomes thinner, which clears the circulatory system.
When the body is between three and five degrees above normal temperature, T-cell output from the thymus gland is multiplied 20 fold. T-cells fight infection which in turn helps to keep the immune system functioning properly.
Warmer temperatures produce a fluid stretch that allows for greater range of motion in the joints.
Heart rate becomes elevated improving the cardiovascular system and fitness.
Warm muscles burn fat more effectively. When we stretch, the fat has no room to sit, so it redistributes to the blood stream. We can then use it as energy.
Capillaries respond to the heat by dilating. This allows more oxygen to muscles, tissues, organs and glands helping to remove waste products from the body.
Higher temperatures improve the function of the nervous system, meaning that messages are carried more rapidly to and from the brain or spinal cord.
The heat improves strength because proteins can be utilised more effectively.
It speeds the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids.
It strengthens willpower, self control and determination through the challenging environment.
All this giving you a wonderful glow from head to toe. The heat combined with the sequence of the postures is what makes Bikram Yoga so special.
You will need:
Water – we sell 500ml Belu Water for £0.60p. (All of Belu’s profits – yes ALL – go to WaterAid. To date, they have donated £1,003,290 transforming the lives of 66,920 people.)
Two bath Size Towels – Towel Hire £1.50/towel
(one to place on your mat during class and one if you choose to shower here after class)
£1 for our coin lockers.
We supply Yoga mats, but you are welcome to bring your own.
Stress.org mention that regular exercise like Bikram Yoga, not only ‘keeps the heart healthy and gets oxygen into the system, but it helps deplete stress hormones and releases mood-enhancing chemicals, endorphins, which help us cope with stress better.’
Whether you are building muscle or stamina (both in Bikram Yoga), all types of exercise relax tense muscles and tissue.’ (Stress.org)
We may not be able to give you a weeks holiday in Mauritius, but we can give you 90 minutes of life-enhancing yoga to assist you to build the tools, so that everyday is as stress free as a holiday!
Avoid loose fitting clothes. Women mostly wear sports tops and shorts or leggings. Men wear shorts. T shirt optional.
Please dress appropriately for class, make sure you are properly covered!
For inspiration on Yoga workout clothes, maybe take a look at our online or in studio shop.
Here are a few What not to wears we have learned about from years of experience…
The yoga class lasts an hour and a half.
We ask that you come with the mind to practise the full 1hr & 1/2 class.
Come as often as you can.
Yoga is the type of exercise you can do daily. The more you come the greater the benefits. Bikram advises a daily practise for the first two months to allow your body to really get used to the heat and build the strength needed for postures.
Don’t be put off if that seems like a daunting prospect, the harder this Yoga is for you initially, the more you need to do it and the more you are going to benefit from it. The time and effort you put in to Bikram Yoga will be returned to you tenfold. Its fun, it works!
You will find that lots of positive changes take place which will keep you wanting to come back. The key is to listen to your body. The teachers are always available before and after class if you want to talk about your practise.
You should drink plenty of water everyday.
It is estimated, for optimal well-being, we should drink at least 2 litres a day.
When you practise Bikram Yoga you should aim to drink more. It is important to stay hydrated so your elimination systems (bowel, urinary, and skin) can support your efforts.
Though you will drink small sips of water during class, the real hydration happens before and after. Herb teas, fresh fruit and vegetable juices and coconut water can all aid hydration.
Hydrate your life!
Hydration is key to Bikram Yoga! And life, for that matter.
The key to hydration lies in water & salt…. Yes, salt.
Hydration isn’t about guzzling a litre of water right before class starts. Having a belly full of water is likely to make class feel even more challenging. Ideally, we should all be drinking at least 2 litres of pure water every day. That’s why all BYC teachers advise you to sip small amounts of water during class and to do your main hydrating throughout the day.
And of course, water alone does not equal hydration. We also require the right balance of electrolytes, which can be found in rock salt, sea salt or Himalayan salt.
When you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. To help you do this, you could perhaps add a pinch of Himalayan salt to your water (with a squeeze of lemon juice for taste). Coconut water, Emergen-C or Nuun, all sold at BYC reception, also do the job nicely.
Why do we not sell or advice you to drink cold water in class? Just think: you are doing all this work to try to warm yourself up, if you hit your stomach with a blast of cold/ice water, your body gets confused… Hot? Cold? Whats happening?
Room-temperature water is easier for your body to assimilate than cold water. Our bodies have to use valuable energy to warm the water to absorb it, so drink room temperature water and, instead, use all your energy for your postures!
Water really is the stuff of life: it transports nutrients, hormones and other important molecules to where they are needed in the body. Did you know that we are 75% water and that the human brain is 85 % water (explains a lot of post Bikram happenings, if you ask me!). Medical research has found that when our bodies are dehydrated over a long time, it can develop symptoms of diseases such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, migraine and many others. If we drank enough water daily, according to the experts, many cases of these debilitating diseases could be prevented or even cured! Water for thought, huh!?
For more information on how to fuel your body for class see ‘Can you eat before class?‘
You should come to class on an empty stomach but not hungry. It is best not to eat anything heavy 1 to 2 hours before class.
So, in order to get the best out of each and every class, we advise:
Come to class well hydrated,
learn to breath in and out through your nose for the entire 90 minute class
Proteins and complex carbohydrates are great sources of energy. Energy derived from sugar, in all its many delicious forms, will provide you with a quick burst, but will see your energy levels dip and crash in class.
So, ladies and gentlemen, porridge, bananas, nuts, fish/chicken (not fried), whole wheats, veggies, eggs, hummus, lentils, the genius that is the avocado… to name a few. These are where our pre and post Bikram fuel best lie.
For more information on Hydration and for those of you who would like to know a little more about what we mean when we say electrolytes see the question ‘What about drinking water before class?‘
* Muscles are contracted, strengthening at a cellular and biochemical level. When the muscles increase in strength, they become balanced. This then returns the skeleton to its original balanced position. We all loose this through age, bad posture, injury or sports.
* Lipids and proteins reorganise optimally in stretching, allowing better circulation.
* Joint mobility is increased, reducing the risk of arthritis, aches and pains.
* Blood and calcium are brought to the bones; by working against gravity they become strengthened, without additional weight and stress.
* Lymph nodes are massaged, pumping lymph into the body, making the lymphatic system work more efficiently.
* Organs of the immune system are boosted.
* Circulation to the nervous system is improved.
* Endocrine glands are encouraged to secrete appropriate hormones.
* Communication of hormones amongst various glands and systems of the body is perfected.
* The thymus, spleen, appendix and intestine are compressed and extended.
* Toxins are flushed out and waste excreted.
* Lungs, heart and arteries are flushed out by increased blood circulation.
* The brain is stimulated by increased circulation and varying blood pressure.
* Nerves are stimulated by compression and extension, supplying fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to the body.
* Strength is built by using the body’s own resistance against gravity.
Bikram Yoga is suitable for all ages and levels of ability above 14 years old (the ability to sweat is essential to prevent overheating). It may be more challenging to some and certain modifications may need to be made. Always check with your doctor if you have a concern and inform the instructor prior to the class.
Times that it is not recommended doing Bikram is:
* If you are fasting
* If you have a fever
* If you are already doing an intense detoxification
* If you are pregnant and have less than 6 months of regular practice of Bikram Yoga
* If you have had recent chemotherapy
Please let the Teachers and Staff know.
During the delicate and critical time of your first trimester we ask you to refrain from practising at BYC.
If you are pregnant and have never practised Bikram Yoga before, we suggest that you find a gentle pregnancy yoga class and come to regular Bikram Yoga classes about eight weeks after the birth of your child.
If you have had a regular Bikram Yoga practise of no less than 1 year before becoming pregnant, please talk to a senior teacher after your first trimester, about resuming regular classes. Any less than this and we would again advise you to find a gentler yoga class for the duration of your pregnancy.
In regards to resuming your Bikram Yoga practise or taking up a practise postpartum, we advice waiting approximately eight weeks after the birth of your child (including C-sections). We ask that you have been signed off by your GP/ health practitioner as ok to resume exercise, prior to your first class after birth.
If the senior teacher says you are okay to practise, please ask the reception staff give you the modification sheet to take into class with you.
When you are pregnant your body temperature is already higher; therefore you would need a cooler part of the room. In addition, compressions or lying on your back are not recommended.
Please inform your instructor to enable them to work with you. Rajashree’s Pregnancy DVD is available for purchase at BYC for £25.
We always recommend that you speak to your doctor and any health workers supervising your pregnancy about what type of exercise is right for you and your baby.
Unstable or high blood pressure responds very quickly to diligent Yoga practice. Initially, when tested a week after your first class you may see a slight rise. By the second week this should be closer to normal and will remain there with regular practice.
Speak to your doctor and use common sense.
Don’t push too hard initially.
Use caution in the following postures until the blood pressure normalizes:
* Half Moon, backward bend
* Standing Bow Pulling
* Balancing Stick
* Third part of Locust (both legs)
* Full Locust
* Floor Bow
In the beginning only hold these postures for 5 seconds, building up to 10 seconds after 2 weeks’ continual daily practice. For the first few days if you are flexible enough to go all the way back in Fixed Firm pose, only stay there for 5 seconds also.
Make sure that you rest in between postures. It is also essential to breath normally (in and out through the nose) throughout the class.
Never practice alone or without the aid of a qualified instructor.
Bikram Yoga will be good for you in several ways:
The heat helps to relax the muscles and nerves.
The intensity at which you practice is up to you, appropriate for your needs.
If you are concerned about overexertion triggering an attack, use less effort. Sit down and relax whenever you need to.
It will relax your mind, letting go of tension, toxins and negativity.
Your lungs and heart are strengthened, improving our lung function.
In the long term you will be able to breath easier and deeper.
We ask all Asthma sufferers to keep their blue inhalers with them when they practise.
Bikram Yoga Chiswick operates a booking facility to guarantee you a space in the class. However, it is not essential for you to book in advance for classes you would like to attend.
Doors open 30 minutes before class starts (45 minutes for 6.15pm classes). If you are new to class please come 20 minutes early so you have time to fill out a Registration Form. You can save time by printing and filling out our Registration Form from the website.
As of 1/1/12, MINDBODY stopped supporting Internet Explorer 7, and as of 1/1/13, it will stop supporting Internet Explorer 8.
This does not mean that everyone who uses the older version of the browser will experience problems, but it does mean that we cannot offer Technical Support when the issue is occurring on IE 7or 8.
To ensure you don’t experience any problems signing in to your account and purchasing online, please update to Internet Explorer 9.
14 years old. Under 16′s must be accompanied by an adult (over 18 years old) each time they practise. Their parent/guardian must sign their registration form. We offer an £8 Drop In rate for under 16′s.
16 and 17 year olds must be accompanied by an adult (over 18 years of age) on their first visit. Their parent/guardian must sign their registration form. After their first accompanied visit, they are then able to come to class on their own.