First Time

Bikram’s Beginners 90 min class is suitable for all ages, and all levels of ability. The postures are the same in the 1 hour and 90 min classes, but the 90 min class has a slightly slower pace so will be easier to follow for your very first time. You need to try more than one class to truly appreciate what this yoga can do for you. Most of our students start with the 30-Day Intro Package.

Check-list for your class

You do not need to have any knowledge of yoga to take part in this class, the teacher will explain every posture very clearly and you will be able to join in with most of the postures, even for your very first class.

These things will be useful to bring along:

  • Comfortable clothing. We practice in a hot room so you WILL sweat. Synthetic, stretchy materials are generally more comfortable than cotton in this environment. Shorts or capri pants, a sports bra/top or tank top for women. 
  • Yoga mat. The best mats for hot yoga are the ones with a closed cell structure, which do not soak up sweat like a sponge. We provide mats for rent at the studio if you do not wish to bring your own. Yoga mat rental is £2, or £3 to rent mat and yoga towel together.
  • Yoga towel. A long towel that covers your mat. Non-slip yoga towels can be rented at the studio. It's £2 to rent a yoga towel, or £3 to rent mat and yoga towel together.
  • Shower towel. You can rent one at the studio if you don’t want to bring your own. Shower towels are £1 to rent.
  • Water bottle. We do NOT sell water in disposable plastic bottles, as we do not want to add to the tons of plastic packaging going into landfill and polluting our oceans. You can fill your own bottle with cold, clean, filtered water from our bottle filling station, for free. If you’ve forgotten to bring a bottle you can borrow one from reception for free, but PLEASE give it back!

FAQ's

Do I have to be flexible to do yoga? Can the heat be dangerous? Can I practice if I have a cold? These are some of the questions frequently asked by new students.

Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class will build up your strength and flexibility. The heat in the yoga room will help relax your muscles and ligaments, making it easier to stretch and bend. If you are very stiff, this type of yoga will be particularly beneficial. In the words of one senior teacher: "Saying you're too stiff to go to yoga is like saying you're too dirty to take a bath."

The yoga room is a carefully controlled environment, where we keep and even and constant temperature of 40c and we keep the humidity at 40%. Often when we perceive a temperature as being "vey hot" it is not just because of the high temperature, but because of the high humidity. In fact, the average outdoor humidity for Leeds is around 70%. Because we maintain the humidity level of the yoga room relatively low at 40%, most people do not perceive the heat to be "unbearable". And most people do not go into the yoga room fully clothed, but instead choose to wear light, skin-tight clothing similar to swimwear. When your body is not covered in clothes, the sweat your body produces will act as a natural cooling system, helping you to cool down as it evaporates. This is why you should not wipe the sweat off when you practice, as that will just counter-act the ability pf your body to cool itself down.

You don't need to be fit to start practicing yoga, practicing will MAKE you fit! It IS a tough workout, but we utilize a gentle range of motion, which means that even if you are elderly or recovering from an injury you will be able to join in with most of the postures. We sometimes say that "it never gets easy if you're doing it right", which means that as you improve your technique you will be able to go deeper into the postures. That means that the experienced partitioner who has been doing this for ten years will find the series of postures to be as much of a challenge as the beginner does.

On the contrary. The heat will dilute the blood vessels, which in turn will lower the blood pressure, making it easier for the heart to pump fresh oxygenated blood around the body. The exercises will help strengthen the heart and the heat will improve circulation.

It is very common to feel nauseous or dizzy during your first few classes, or to get a headache during or after class. This yoga is like a litmus test of the shape your mind and body are in at the moment. You may find that you need to start taking better care of yourself by drinking more water, changing your diet or rearranging your life to reduce stress. If you practice more than three times per week you might find that you need to increase your intake of kalcium, potassium, salt and magnesium. As you start taking better care of yourself, and as you start to be more mentally present in the yoga room you will find that you start to actually enjoy the heat. You may still have the occasional class where you feel dizzy or nauseous, and when that happens just stand still, take a break, if needed sit down on your knees, and when the feeling has passed join in with the class again.

Yes. Hot yoga strengthens the immune system and helps keep us healthy. Many viruses, bacteria and fungi are sensitive to heat, and prefer a temperature of 37c. The heat in the yoga room creates a hostile environment for these pathogens, inhibiting their ability to grow and reproduce. These pathogens also need to metabolize nutrients, but as your body utilizes more water during class, the pathogens are starved of water. The most important thing to do if you have an infection is to listen to your body. If you have a fever you may find the heat too overwhelming, and you may need to wait a few days before you practice again. If your sinuses are very blocked you could try just doing the standing series, and to just rest in Savasana during the floor series. Stay in the room. The relaxation and the heat will help you recover. Take extra care keeping your hands clean when you have an infection, and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with your hands, to avoid spreading it around.

That depends... how good do you want to feel? Most people who practice regulary typically visit the studio 2-5 times per week. If you are only able to practice once a week then that's preferable to not practicing at all. However most people find with time that practicing 3-4 times per week will keep their health and fitness at the desired level. The best way to achieve noticeable changes is to try practicing every day for 1-2 months. Because the stretch is built into the postures, and the training is not high impact, it is not necessary to take rest days.

Emmy Cleaves, now in her late eighties, has been practicing and teaching this yoga since 1973. This is the answer she gives: "People ask me if I ever get tired of doing the same posture flow. My answer is that the practice is never the same because I am continuously being changed by the practice. The daily practice challenges you on many levels. Concentration and attention are quickly sharpened. Character issues of patience and perseverance come up each time. The practice offers a chance to explore deeper levels of Self and develop awareness of the emotions and thoughts that the postures evoke."

Yoga Etiquette

The yoga room is a place to share energy and space with other people. The following points will help make this a good experience for everybody.

  1. First time students should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of class to register and receive instructions. 
  2. Regular students need to be IN the yoga room ready for class at least 5 minutes before it is scheduled to start. 
  3. The only things you need for your practice are: yourself, your mat, towel and water bottle. No bags, purses to mobile phones in the yoga room. 
  4. We form three rows of mats in the yoga room. Please be mindful of the people behind you when placing your mat, and make sure they can see at least a portion of themselves in the mirror. 
  5. The front row is for regular students. If you are in the front row you CHOOSE to be a role model for the entire class. That means stillness in savasana, drinking water at appropriate times and using good form while in the postures. If you are feeling under the weather or you are working through an injury, choose the second or third row instead. 
  6. There is NO talking in the yoga room at ANY time. People arrive come early to do stretches or lie in savasana (feet facing the back wall) to prepare mentally for class, and they should be able to do this in a silent room. Same thing after class. 
  7. When we lie in Savasana feet are always pointing to the back wall of the yoga room. We honor the ancient yogic tradition of not pointing your feet at your teacher. 
  8. Drink water ONLY between different postures, not in between the 1st and 2nd set of the same posture. 
  9. No perfume or scented body lotions when in the yoga room. 
  10. Please wear appropriate attire: yoga, swim or sports clothes are appropriate, underwear is NOT. 
  11. The yoga studio is a place to disconnect from the world. Once you have passed the reception desk please switch off your mobile phone and other electronic devices.