Category Archives: Daily Feature

Inspiration: Bikram Yoga Forest Hill’s Challenge

As January gets rolling, many new and regular yogis are getting started on their New Year’s resolutions whether it is by making new commitments to their practice or starting 30, 60 or 90 Day Challenges. To help all you yogis get inspired and in the mood, OMB brings you coverage of the most consistently successful challenge in Toronto (perhaps even Canada): The Bikram Yoga Forest Hill 30 Day Challenge.

The Bikram Yoga Forest Hill Challengers

Each time director Janice Guertin throws up a 30 Day Challenge, her students rush to sign up. This past November, over 65 yogis signed their name to take part in BYFH’s bi-annual challenge. Some of them chose to sign up because they wanted to see a change in their lives, bodies or well being, others wanted to step up and challenge themselves, but all were looking forward to the wonderful sense of community and excitement that fills the studio each time Janice throws the event.

OMB went to their fun and exciting 30 Day Challenge Party to see what all the buzz was about and to chat with some of the students who made it through their 30 Days. Continue reading

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Filed under Bikram Yoga, Bikram Yoga Forest Hill, Bikram Yoga News, Bikram Yoga Toronto Events, Daily Feature

Vote for the next OMB logo

With the help of designer Lee Travaglini OMB is coming up with a new logo. We’ve narrowed it down to one design but now we need your help to make the final call. Tell us which one you like best!

Logo #1

Logo # 2

Logo # 3

 

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Posture Clinic: Rabbit Pose

Rabbit Pose

Sasangasana

Rabbit Pose photo: Bikram Yoga San Antonio

The progression between Camel Pose and Rabbit Pose is one of the most stimulating and beneficial parts of the Bikram Yoga series. Both poses open the spine deeply, helping to stretch and stimulate the inter-vertebral disks. This helps to not only ensure proper spinal alignment but helps to maintain the spongy nature of the disks which helps them absorb shock from daily movement to prevent back pain. Highly theraputing for the nervous, skeletal, digestive and glandular systems this is pose that is difficult to master but well worth the effort.

Strengthens:
Abdomen

Stretches:
Muscles of the back
Shoulders
Scapula
Medulla Oblongata

Stimulates:

Thyroid
Parathyroid

Physical Benefits:
Provides maximum longitudinal extension of the spine.

Stretches the spine to increase proper nutrition to the nervous system.

Improves the mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles.

Helps balance and regulate metabolism.

Balances hormones.

Improves digestion.

Helps relieve glandular problems.

Helps improve conditions of the sinus, common cold and chronic tonsillitis.

Emotional Benefits:

Helps with depression.

Helps with insomnia.

Releases issues with taking on responsibility for the happiness of others.

Energetic Benefits

Opens the back of the heart chackra.

Posture Tips

Rabbit pose is one of the most challenging postures to master in the Bikram Yoga series. This is a posture where it is especially important to pay attention to the dialogue.

Always start with the right grip in the pose. The thumbs should be included with the rest of the fingers, thumbs on the outside, fingers on the inside.

Once you are in the posture, do not move to correct it. Fix the posture in the set up, not when you are in it. – Bikram

The biggest misconception beginners have about rabbit is that there should be no weight or pressure on the head. In fact, about 15% of the body weight should be in the head.

The dialogue will always encourage to lift the hips up, which is important to the pose. But it is important to never sacrifice the grip to get the hips higher. Remember,it is the grip and pull that create the force to stretch the spine.

If there is too much pressure on head, grab lower on the foot – Craig Villani

The harder you pull on the feet the better of a compression you will create benefiting the organs.

Try to eliminate any gap under the ankles and work to have the heels together through the pose.

While pulling on the heels, lift the shoulders away from the ears.

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Filed under Daily Feature, Posture Clinic, Posture Tips

Studio Sneak Peek: Bikram Yoga Hamilton/Dundas

Alexandra Evans opened the doors of Bikram Yoga Hamilton/Dundas early this November. This beautiful facility has been designed by a feng-shui designer for good flow and energy, features green appliances, an ionized-alkaline-PH balanced water filter, full shower rooms with lockers and the first headset microphone in Ontario. Such a beautiful space should not be missed, take a trip to visit Alex today!

The AMAZING ionized, alkeline water filter.

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Filed under Bikram Yoga Hamilton/Dundas, Daily Feature, Studio

Diary of a Yogi: A boxer stands alone on the mat

 

by Peter Wood

I’m 57 and I’m standing on a yoga mat. I’m in a Bikram Yoga class sweating bullets, more so than the middle-aged woman wearing a two-piece leotard on my left, or the thin young man in white shorts on my right. The room in cranked up to a hot 105 degrees and my heart is racing. My towel is sopping wet. I haven’t sweat as much since I was fighting in the ring.

I’m standing in a warm puddle of sweat and it brings me back to when I was someone else—that angry eighteen-year-old middleweight slugging other middleweights in Jersey City. Back then, boxing was my yoga. I didn’t realize it then, but punching felt good because it purified me of my anger, fear and hate. All of that negativity during every training session was good because it spewed out of my fists and never coagulated in my mind. Unknowingly, I was purging myself. Today, I have a smile in my heart because of boxing.

One big difference in this yoga class is that there is no coach barking, “Dig deep!” or “Get tough!” Another big difference is that, thankfully, I don’t see anyone in here who wants to punch the tip of my nose into the back of my brain. Now, it’s only me on my yoga mat beating myself up, gasping for air, pushing myself to stretch and strengthen my old muscles.

I’m new to yoga and I’m enjoying its gentle, meditative philosophy. Om, and its mind-body-spirit thing. At this stage of my life, I enjoy having a supportive teacher who is happy to guide me through various postures, while reminding me to breathe deeply through my crooked nose. I appreciate her encouraging me to release negative thoughts and to avoid all judgments. This gentler, more enlightened coaching is so refreshing. My old anger-fear-hate thing, which worked so well for me as a fighter, has no value here. And, quite frankly, there isn’t much left in me any more. After all, I am 57 years old. Continue reading

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Filed under Daily Feature, Diary of a Yogi, Guest Blog

Dreamin’ Big: the birth of Onzie

by Lauren Balefsky


I was born into a generation of dreamers.

My dad told me to “be happy,” and my Mom told me to “make my passion my career.” Sound familiar and slightly unrealistic?  I took these simple guidelines and, after some trial and error, chose the career of “yoga teacher.” If you also practice Bikram Yoga, you can understand how this yoga became my obsession, and in turn my passion.  I thought my calling was to teach yoga.  I had found happiness and passion.  I was set for life…sort of.

Some people are completely content to just teach yoga, but not this is necessarily true of a BIKRAM Yogi.

Allow me to introduce myself:  I am an overly emotional, type-A, perfectionist with a degree from Northwestern University.  (Though now that I am a yoga teacher those qualities are much less intrusive in my life).  Are you relating yet?  

I soon discovered that to make my yogi euphoria last for a lifetime, I would have to take it to the next level.  I started truly dreaming.  THIS is what my parents meant.  I realized in order to be successful you must allow yourself to find greatness in the passions you possess.  I started by asking the universe for something more that involved yoga.

Bikram Yoga became the facilitator of my dreams, instead of being my dream.

I searched the jobs online, and opened myself to new possibilities.  In early 2010, I got a call from my friend Miriam from Teacher Training.  A fellow Los Angeles resident and a second mother to me,  she was starting a clothing line with her daughter based around a simple one-piece leotard.  She knew that I loved wearing one-pieces and immediately asked that I be involved.

Onzie was born.

Let me tell you about my fashion history.  In high school I was the girl that did not quite fit in.  When everyone shopped at J Crew, I would find black shiny leggings and a cool top from a trendy store.  It wasn’t that I lacked style, I just did not conform to the “norm.”

This repeated itself in my yoga practice.

The day I decided to do the Southern CA competition three years ago, I went to a dance store to buy a leotard.  Since I was not a dancer I was not used to the fit.  I immediately loved the sleek feeling of practicing in a one-peice but was uncomfortable with the high cut bodice.

I started buying a size bigger so that I could pull the bottom of the leotard down to make it look like a 50’s bathing suit.  Compliments poured in.  At the time, I had to explain that I was adjusting a dance leotard, but not anymore.  Onzie has answered my yoga prayers.

Onzie is bringing back the original Bikram Yoga “costume” in a modern way. Starting small we designed two styles, a “classic” and “shortie” leotard in one size with to slowly add new styles.  To flatter all body types, we used solid colours and breathable, durable, Free Flow Fabric.  This fast-drying material keeps yogis feel cool and comfortable throughout class.

Our debut was at the International Yoga Competition this past year: a perfect launch platform.  We attracted a lot of women, young and old, that were curious about practicing in a one-piece.  Many girls tried it and were pleasantly surprised.  We collected feedback on sizing, cut, color, lining and alternative style options.  Being new to the fashion industry, I was surprised how one must be on their toes.  With all this feedback we got right to work designing prototypes and quickly turned around to launch the official spring/summer line within weeks.

Miriam’s garage (no joke) became a makeshift showroom, office and shipping center.  Since April 2010, we have sold out of that line!  You can spot the Onzie brand all over the US and Canada.  Our fall/winter line comes out November 1st, 2010!  (You can view it on www.theonzie.com)

The inspiration behind Onzie will always be the classic women’s yoga costume, but we decided to branch out even more.  We want our women to feel comfortable, cute, and excited when they wear our collection.  We have already added a bandeau top and matching shorts per requests of customers.

Our fall collection includes more modest selections for women who don’t want to show too much skin, as well as a new short for the men.  We are learning more about yogis who inspire us. We visited teacher training and talked to so many types of women from all over the world.  Each of them had ideas and opinions.  Most importantly, they were so happy to get a new outfit.  It seems so juvenile, but I know that feeling!  I love yoga, fashion, and making people feel good!  Onzie is an outlet for all three.

I hold high expectations for the future of our small clothing business. I believe in our cause.  The three of us love what we do.  Each day presents new challenges, ideas, and careful investment.  I never feel that hours are wasted pursuing sales and making contacts.  I love meeting new people, especially Bikram Yogis, all over the world!

Onzie was a blessing that came because I opened myself up to greatness.  If you are looking to start a business, whether in the fashion industry or not, it is important to dream big.  Anything is possible, especially when you have Bikram Yoga on your side.

5 tips to help you start your own clothing line:

1.Think of a niche that is missing in the current market, or a way you can bring back an old trend.
2.Have a partner.  It is always good to have a sounding board for new ideas.
3.Get feedback.  Do not be afraid to ask for help and ask potential customers what they want!
4.Prepare a 5-year plan.  Plan to NOT make your main income from this business right away.  It takes time to build a network.
5.Use the Internet!  Modern technology is mainly free and there is so much opportunity out there.

Contact Info:
Lauren Balefsky, Onzie Sales Manager
Lauren@theonzie.com
323-420-6589
http://www.theonzie.com

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Filed under Bikram Yoga, Daily Feature, Guest Blog

Studio Sneak Peek: Bikram Yoga Mississauga

Its been a good month since Lisa Macinnis opened the door of Bikram Yoga Mississauga. This beautiful, bright and cozy studio is quickly growing and always ready to welcome new students. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the studio, OMB has a sneak peek at the beautiful space. Check out more info on BYM’s web page and stop by for a class soon!

 

The washrooms…

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Filed under Bikram Yoga Mississauga, Bikram Yoga News, Bikram Yoga Toronto Events, Daily Feature