Bikram Yoga San Diego
Sunday 4/12/20

Hello BYSD students,

It’s now been over 3 weeks since we had to close our Yoga school, and one week since we began offering Online Live Stream classes. Those classes have been going very well and have been appreciated by those who have participated in them. I am posting this as reiteration of what we are doing, how we are approaching this, and as invitation to join us if you haven’t yet.

As a Bikram Yoga teacher and school owner, sticking to the primary principles of Bikram Yoga, long term safety and effectiveness are the essential things I am concerned about. So I felt it has to be done right, not just used as an opportunity to try to make money while closed (and beyond), as a knee-jerk reaction to this situation. That being said, your practice is as important as ever right now, as the practice will keep your immune system strong (by proper  exercise and lowering stress response) as it’s ultimate result.

Maybe sometime in your practice of Bikram Yoga you acquired a copy of the original Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class book (©1978 or it’s 2000 reprint). If not, I don’t know if it’s possible to find but would still enthusiastically recommend it. In the appendices of the book are recommendations for those who don’t have access to a Bikram school (which was pretty much the whole world in 1978 – only 4 schools existed worldwide), or for those traveling away from their school. They are abridged sequences that are suggested as temporary practice until you could return to the full 90-minute class in the proper environment of heat, with the idea of maintaining as much as possible the cardio-vascular, respiratory, and neurological benefits as well as some flexibility, making the return to regular practice easier and safer. In it, there is provided warnings and precautions about doing those abbreviated “classes” as a substitute or replacement for a regular and proper practice. This Yoga works by both consistent, and uncompromised practice through it’s comprehensive attention to every aspect of your self (“inside-out, hair to toes, bones to skin”). Cutting it short or otherwise compromising it is essentially compromising your self.

It’s only of my opinion (though based on 25 years of thorough study, practice, teaching and observation of Bikram Yoga, etc.) that just jumping onto the bandwagon, hype, and following the crowd of downloading Zoom and starting classes willy nilly, that anyone would be better served just to use the Bikram CD (or a simple, straight, proper Dialogue tape by an instructor you respect), and do your own practice in a “best you can create” set up (heat, full length mirror, vaporizer, carpet or rug with mat). But with technology (eg; Zoom), there is the advantage of having a trained, certified, and experienced instructor seeing you and offering constructive observations and holding your attention to help you “keep your mind in your brain.” You simply cannot replace being in the presence of a qualified, good, personally uninvested Bikram Yoga teacher, and in a proper environment. But as I have been taught: “Something is better than nothing — Anything is better than nothing.” I still qualify that with: as long as it’s done safely and correctly, not recklessly or haphazardly.

We have set a limit of 10 people per class so the teacher can pay attention to everyone. All classes offered are real  Bikram Yoga, so 90 minutes with very straight, clear Dialogue. This will actually be an opportunity for you to really listen, hear and tune into the Dialogue as you are doing the Postures, and get even a better connection to how it works (without the distractions of the big room, other people). It has the potential to allow you to really focus in on your self, your actions, your responses, starting with your body and including your mind — your time with your self…if you choose to accept my suggestion for that. Our teachers are sticking to that more than ever, and really limit extraneous personal ideas, etc., offering only direct individual observations as the only thing beyond that Dialogue. It has to be about you, not the teacher. Again, we have set it up this way, whether that’s what happens I will have no pretensions about — it will be what it is. There are literally thousands of online classes now being offered out there in the “clouds,” if you are looking for a cult of personality, or a “teacher” to follow.

Our Recommendations on how to prepare both your “set up” (environment, room, etc.) and your self:

Secure a small room in your home, as small as you have room for Balancing Stick and Standing Bow-Pulling, Triangle and Standing-Separate-Leg-Head-to-Knee Poses comfortably (min. 6 ft. by 10 ft., plus room for what else you need), so that you can heat it up and keep it hot more easily. “The hotter, the better.” Or as I would put it: “The hotter, the safer and more effective.”

  • Full length mirror (at least 5 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide, ideally at least minimally secured to a wall, can put up on something less than 1 ft. high). Like a closed door mirror. [Home Depot, Target]. Set up so you can stand at least 5 ft. from it.
  • One or two space heaters (be careful not to blow circuits. You may need separate 15-20 amp circuit for each if you have two, with little else on each circuit you are using). [Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Lowes, Kohl’s, Amazon]
  • One Vicks warm steam vaporizer (one to 1.5 gallon), which one fill up will last a class (empty, wash out and refill for each class). [Amazon]
  • Carpet or 6×8 area rug taped to the floor so it doesn’t slide. Your Yoga mat, with towel over the mat. You can move the towel sideways for the 3 Separate Leg Poses.

You can probably invest in all this for less than the price of one month of our Membership that is now on Hold, or maybe one 10 Class Pass.

  • Heat the room ahead of time as Hot as you can get it.
  • Take a very Hot shower before class. Maybe wear sweats.
  • You want to sweat!!! Ideally right from the Pranayama Breathing exercise, and throughout the class.

We will help you do the rest to ensure you are warming up properly and progressively under the circumstances. If you believe as I do what is being said in some of the information about the CV-19 virus, it may not be able to survive in high heat and humidity (ie; 102º fever). Making your room hot may perhaps disinfect you (?) of any residual virus that you may have been exposed to and has adhered to you during any public wanderings (ie; grocery shopping, etc.).

Finally, all BYSD Memberships and Class Plans continue to be on Hold (since 3/20/20), so the school is bringing in zero income and even though bills will be minimized (most things unplugged, turned down or shut off), we are losing rent time, personal income, and other bills that we have to continue paying. Also, I will not ask the teachers to  articipate as teachers without compensation, so we are making these online classes a separate thing. Since we don’t know when we will reopen, the charge will be on a per class basis. We will begin to offer One Week Passes later this week.

  • We have posted on the Home Page of our website the process to pay for and book  yourself into any of the Live Stream classes.
  • We will not honor refunds, so this way when you do one class, you will be committed to one class only, and can decide class to class if you want to do more.
  • There will be no free trial. We are doing this for those who only  and really want to practice, not just “sample.”

I know many of you take your practice very seriously, which means to me that you take your life, your self, your health seriously, and that inspires me. So join us in these Live Stream Classes, which we are striving to do the right way. And let’s hope this is truly a temporary thing and we can get back together in the real “Hot Room” (even 6 ft. apart!) sooner rather than later.

Our website: www.bikramyogasandiego.com. For questions e-mail: info@bikramyogasandiego.com.

Stay well and safe.

—Jim K., director
Bikram Yoga San Diego