Why I Practice Bikram Yoga

“The greatest challenge yields the greatest possibility for change” – Bikram Choudary

Bikram Yoga is the original “hot yoga” practice consisting of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises to cleanse both the body and mind.

The first time I stepped into a Bikram Yoga studio I was scared, nervous, and clueless about what to expect. I had never done hot yoga and had only a little practice on my own from P90x. That was my introduction to yoga which inspired me to continue practicing over 7 years later.

One this is certain, you will sweat – A LOT!

Bring a yoga mat, a towel for your mat (very important!), and water to have a successful practice.

Once you enter the hot room, simply breathe and listen to your body and the teacher. Your Bikram Yoga teacher will guide you through a mostly scripted sequence while helping you to enter into each posture to the best of your ability for that day.

After my practice this morning at Bikram Yoga Wilmington, I felt it was necessary to share my perspective and some of the lessons I continue to learn every time I show up and embrace the heat.

Commit Yourself and Show Up

Sign up for the class in advance and pay if possible. Whether you are an expert yogi or a first time Bikram Yoga practitioner, don’t give yourself the option to bail. I do this as far in advance as possible to avoid any possible scenarios in which I convince myself NOT to go. This has happened before…

Do something to keep yourself accountable and show up. Arrive 10-15 minutes early, settle into the room, and try your best to calm your mind while preparing your body for 90 minutes of sheer hard work and detoxification.

Again, to show up is the most difficult part of anything we do in our lives. Invest in yourself and embrace the suck. You’ll be glad you did. Just keep showing up as often as you can/need.


Bikram Yoga is practiced using pranayama breathing which is a controlled and calm breath through the nose. The reason for the nose breathing is to help prevent the mind from triggering a “fight or flight” sensation often experienced when you breathe through your mouth. It allows for a deeper and more controlled mind-body connection throughout your practice.

The more you focus on your breath during each and every posture the more you will find peace of mind in positions that are not so comfortable. Don’t worry, camel pose is coming sooner than you think, which means it is almost over!

You will begin to respect the practice the more you show up. The harder you “try” to get into each posture the more difficult your practice will be. When you allow your breath to control your practice, you will use your body and muscles in a way that is only experienced through these techniques that enable deep levels of stretching through pushing, pulling, stretching, and breathing into each of the 26 postures.

Don’t Skip The Final Shavasana

Whether you’re  a beginner or long-time yogi, the Shavasana posture is the most essential part of the practice.

Yoga is as much or even more of a mental practice than it is physical. It will test your mental fortitude to push through incredible levels of discomfort often more than it will test your physical strength. Bikram Yoga is meant to test the body you show up with TODAY and for you to do your best. The real practice begins when you breathe and allow your mind to control your body, not the other way around.

Shavasana is also known as “corpse pose”, simply laying down on your back and relaxing both your body and mind. As you continue pranayama breathing, your racing heartbeat, and mental chatter both continue to wind down as you embrace the necessary recovery between postures of the floor series.

I recommend spending at least 5 minutes sitting in Shavasana before you leave the room.

For me, it allows me to either meditate and embrace all of the thoughts racing through my mind, or to think deeply about my intention for the practice and purpose of why I bothered showing up at all. Or simply sit and embrace the fact that you showed up and put yourself through immense strain and sweat to get to this point. You did it.

The final Shavasana is what will bring your practice full circle.

So sit for 5 minutes, you’ll be glad you did.

Final Thoughts

Bikram Yoga has become an essential part of my lifestyle and helps me to express the best version of myself which is no easy task.

I use my practice to compliment other strength and endurance training. My workouts mostly consist of jump rope workouts, body weight training, mobility exercise, running, and the several hobbies and sports which I enjoy when possible.

It disciplines my mind and forces me to work harder and embrace discomfort and fear. This enhances humility as well as perseverance when things get tough in life.

Would you agree that life is a combination of embracing fear to try new things and continuously challenge ourselves to become a better version of who we are? To become better at what we do and love most?

Lastly, Bikram Yoga is a remarkable community of people who care about their health and lifestyle. You’ll be surrounded by all types of amazing people who work hard and continue to show up to improve themselves for the people they care most about.

Thanks to Bikram Yoga Wilmington  (Billy, MJ, and Angie) for their amazing teaching and support. You guys rock!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Here is another #everydayinspiration post for you inspired by Daily Post and WordPress University.

As someone who is changing careers to pursue my passion for writing, I know how to keep myself busy when I’m not writing. None of which includes; watching Netflix, binge watching a new show, neglecting my health, spending hours on Social Media, or just plain wasting my time. Only to name a select few…

To keep things in the present, I’ll discuss what I’ve been doing since I began focusing on my blog and writing career. I start by writing my three long-hand “Morning Pages” each morning. I then let my goals/objectives dictate my day. If I have a big project I will work on that, but sometimes I’ll schedule a personal day to handle finances, expenses, email, calendar, and catch up on any missed tasks. Sundays are great for this. I’ll then spend my time with constructive activities to stay busy and engaged with the world when I am out and about not writing.

I enjoy many hobbies to clear my mind and get out into the world. I enjoy all things; surf, skate, snow, golf, yoga, and fitness. I do some form of exercise daily to keep my mind and body strong.

I recently purchased a jump rope inspired by ZenDudeFitness – Check out these high energy guys on their website or Instagram. They are inspiring the world to stay in shape, exercise and most importantly jump rope every day or #dothething.

Lately, when I am away from my desk or escaping the Starbucks induced caffeine high, you can find me; walking around the beach, surfing some waves, playing nine holes of golf or at the driving range, skateboarding around town, going for a run, getting some exercise, hitting my local gym, reading, or listening to a book on Audible.

Reading is my favorite constructive non-writing habit. Especially print books which I can annotate and ask questions of. I carry a pencil with me everywhere now. I love this habit. It was inspired by “How to Read a Book“, by Mortimer Adler. Adler explains the benefits of annotating a book as you read. I find myself writing down questions, answers to those questions, underlining and circling words and phrases I like, and more. I now enjoy the process of buying a book knowing that I am going to fill it with my own creative annotations. My proudest accomplishment of this technique is “The Personal MBA“, by Josh Kaufman. I’d never previously physically taken notes ‘inside’ the book before until I read Adler’s book before starting on Kaufman’s. I found myself asking questions about the content, why he said certain things, quotes I liked, new words, reverting back to important pages, etc… Every time I pick it up I know exactly where to look for what I need it. This is why Kindle books aren’t always the best idea. They can be difficult to search, tough to track notes, and hard to annotate. Does anyone have suggestions with Kindle?

Right now I transfer passages, questions, thoughts, and quotes to Google Keep with a specific label for each book. I will take notes in my journal.

How I spend my time when I’m not writing helps me to be in a position to write at my best. I need nature. I need social interaction. I need solitude.

I am a big proponent of ‘accidentally’ leaving my phone in my car or at home. ‘Forget’ it at home and head to the beach. I like to get lost. The feeling of being completely immersed in nature; hiking a mountain, paddling out to surf, riding around town, biking around unfamiliar trails, and escaping the noise of the world. The feeling of being free from technology is surprisingly rewarding, and the freedom from everything else in the world. If I’m going hiking somewhere new, yes I’ll bring my phone but I use it only as needed.

This explains why I love to travel.  The feelings brought on by traveling to new places and far away parts of the world is captivating. When I’m not traveling or exploring a new place, you won’t find me at the bar or out late a night very often. I’m a morning person. You will, however, find me trying to catch a glimpse of a sunset or seeking to find the road less traveled as often as I can.

To summarize, I need excitement in my life.  I’m usually quite spontaneous which helps when I need a day to clear my mind. I’ll go one place and allow the day to take over and dictate what happens. Sometimes I find myself heading home early, sometimes I stroll in late wondering where the time went. I like those nights. The sunny, summer nights where the day escapes you and nights never end.

I practice yoga regularly as well for typically 20-30 minutes a day. This has helped me minimize physical injury and ensure my body can keep up with the demands of the life I desire.

I’m hoping to become a full-time writer (amongst other Entrepreneurial ventures). I love learning, researching, and writing about new and innovative companies, products, services, ideas, people, and more.