What is the Bikram Challenge?
Several times per year we offer Studio-Wide Bikram Yoga Challenges designed to inspire you to bring more yoga into your life with the support of the entire studio community. There are different challenge options offered depending on the season.
Challenges are FUN and REWARDING! You’ll set a goal to complete a certain # of classes within a set # of days. You’ll keep track of your progress using our assortment of stickers (it becomes quite a satisfying ritual to pick your sticker each day).
Others will be on the Challenge with you, and the camaraderie and group support will help you stay on-track. So step out of your comfort zone and surprise yourself! Commit to your best health and increased vitality by participating in a Challenge.
The studio also hosts a party at the end of the Challenge to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments (yep, medals will be awarded)!
PS- There’s no extra charge to join the Challenges. Use any of our packages to complete your Challenge goal!
Let’s Shine Summer Yoga Challenge begins June 1st!
Why a Summer Challenge? Because a regular Bikram Yoga practice helps you feel your best all seasons of the year including summer! In fact the summer months are a great time to make faster progress in your postures since your body is already more malleable from the warmer outdoor temperatures.
Bikram yoga will also help you stay in your best shape for summer recreation. A regular practice can help you be less prone to injuries, improve your sports performance and increase your ability to handle the hotter conditions of the season in general. You might even end up with a lower air conditioning bill since you won’t need frigid temps to feel comfortable:)
You’ll look great and feel more comfortable and confident all summer long with a regular Bikram practice of at least 3 times per week! Commit to your best health and increased vitality by participating in the Challenge this summer.
We’re offering two Challenge options this summer. Both begin June 1st!
40 classes in 92 days (months of June, July and August). Take class 3 times per week to complete this Challenge.
60 classes in 92 days (months of June, July and August). Take class 5 times per week to complete this Challenge.
Challenges are FUN and REWARDING! Your name will go on the Challenge Board and you’ll keep track of your progress using our assortment of stickers (it’s really all about the stickers -LOL).
You won’t be doing this alone! Scores of your fellow students will be on the Challenge with you, and the camaraderie and group support will help you stay on-track. You’ll even have the option to join a team!
Mark your calendar NOW and get ready for your best summer yet! More details and sign-up information coming soon.
This video features students from our 2016 New Year’s 60-Day Yoga Challenge sharing their experiences! Video by Christian Davidson.
Bikram yoga has become an integral and invaluable part of my life. Over the last four years I have lost 2 inches off my waist, lowered my cholesterol and made a huge dent in overall stress. When Naedra introduced the idea of the October challenge my first thought was to pass. There was no way I’d be able to make enough time and get to enough classes to get even close. I had been doing 2-3 classes per week and felt that I was at my limit. But, as Naedra and my fellow yogis kept talking about the challenge I finally got the bug. The motivators were threefold:
1. I’d have to force myself to build a schedule that included a rigorous month of practice, leaving the office by 5:15 to make the 6:30pm classes.
2. It would be a great chance to improve my practice with the increased repetition.
3. With the support and camaraderie of fellow “challengers”, this was the best opportunity to try.
I signed up for, and committed myself to, 20 classes in 30 days. It was a fantastic experience. I told my team at the office what I was doing and ended up getting great support for “no late meetings”, and the support at BYM was equally amazing. Putting completion stickers up on the calendars after each class became a fun ritual.
Over the course of the 30 days, some days were tougher than others, but, interestingly, many of those days when I just dragged myself to class were the days when I felt my best during and after the 90 minutes. In class, I found myself noticing new things in the dialogue to focus on and practice. As a result, I was able to take another few steps forward on my Bikram journey.
On balance, the challenge re-affirmed for me the power of perseverance and tenacity, and the importance of teamwork and the support of team-mates. The BYM team, staff and class-mates alike, were all incredibly supportive and the real keys to a fun and successful challenge.”
The commitment to this challenge started off kind of slow for me but after several days of practice in a row I realized I had more focus and got out of my head long enough to truly listen to the teacher’s words. Each teacher had a different focus and delivery and every class was different. Concentrating on the present moment made the most difference to me but when I was able to finally bring my forehead to the ground in ‘standing separate leg head to knee’ it was a pleasant surprise.
During this challenge I’ve deepened my commitment to yoga and to my future self. The benefits have become clearer to me now than ever before. I take what I learn on the mat to the outside world in the form of confidence, strength and compassion.
During the challenge, the hardest part for me was just showing up on the mat, because once I’m in the room there’s no turning back!
PS: Thanks Christian and Naedra for making me laugh out loud during class. It took the wrinkles off my forehead and helped remind me that “it’s just yoga!”
Yesterday, I started going over in my head all aspects of the challenge. From the ‘whys’ to the ‘whats’ and then to the end results, so many things came to mind – the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly, but not necessarily in that order. For me, the good came in after the bad and the ugly, because there certainly was no good at the beginning, but a whole heap of bad and ugly (smile).
But then every ‘why’ evolved as the challenge progressed, for example, at first my whys were: why commit, why practice, why do I want to do this!!!?? Why would ANYONE want to do this!
Then as I continued in the challenge the whys expanded to include things like: why do I want to sweat, why must I shuffle my life, why do I want to be in a room stuffed with a bunch of sweaty people, why is class so full, why is that person in my space, why is that person blocking me, why why why why why!!!!!!!!!!!
Now at the end of the challenge none of these whys really matter, as little did I know that it was not only my physical health that would be affected, but my mental health… mmm Go figure!
After getting to know my fellow students I found that my whys were shared by many. I found that I now understand when an instructor thanks us for sharing our practice saying that the class energy was good. At first, I thought they were simply being polite, but now I too find that I am grateful for the energy of my fellow sufferers (smile) as their effort pushes me, even when I want to just drop down or better yet OPEN the door and let in some air!!! lol
What can I say, today I smile, I answer the phone happy (it makes my family wonder about me) but then I no longer sweat the small stuff on a daily basis and I have the sufferings of class to thank, as it is because of those horrible times when we are told to keep still, don’t drink, don’t wipe the sweat, do not scratch, lay still, look into your own eyes, stay in the moment, follow the words, if you have energy to move then you have energy to get into posture … yes, those!!!
It is through these that I have learned to smile through the discomfort, stay in the present, not to project and most of all keep a smiling happy face through it all!! (I’m still working on that one!!).
This brings me to our celebration of this challenge, and I smile again, not only on the outside but on the inside, because I made it, I made 40 classes in 60 days and now know the importance of this challenge. For me, it is that the challenge has not ended, nor will it ever end, as I have gained, or it could be said that I have added a new part to my life.
I have added something that can be accomplished, something doable and something that I will be able to do for myself for the rest of my natural life – so it could be surmised that in the end I gave myself a pretty cool gift.”
For the past 30 years I have been a devoted ‘exerciser’. Aerobics, step, weight training, jogging, competitive sports, zumba, vertical dance, stationary cycling… I guess I was somewhat of a “gym rat”. But when the 50’s started knocking on my door, recovery was longer, injuries were more often and the “benefits” were not immediate. I knew I needed to do something different for my body, and that something has turned out to be Bikram Yoga.
Earlier this year, my daughter, Menika, began to seriously practice Bikram Yoga. She was always talking about the poses, the benefits and Bikram’s philosophy. Her passion and persistence is what inspired me to pursue a Bikram Yoga practice.
It was tough for me in the beginning, but as I continued to attend, the dizziness, nausea and awkwardness began to subside. That combined with the smiles from behind the desk, the professionalism of the instructors, and encouragement of fellow Bikram members, changed my perspective and attitude.
But nothing was more inspiring than seeing the twinkle in Menika’s eyes, and witnessing her dedication to completing her first personal challenge. I was proud of her accomplishment and impressed by the changes to her body, mind and spirit.
So, on April 19th I started a personal challenge of 30 classes in 30 days, that expanded to 60 classes in 60 days that has expanded to 120 classes in 120 days… scheduled to end a few days before my upcoming 55th birthday. It was an added motivation that the studio’s summer challenge would run concurrently with my personal challenge! And this is how I have already completed 50 classes for the Summer Challenge. The question I have asked myself is “Why?”
My mind has strengthened – for 90 minutes I can focus and meditate on postures regardless of the heat, humidity and concerns outside the studio. My body is not bruised and battered even though yoga demands as much, if not more, physical exertion than other “exercise” activities. I have learned to embrace patience as my practice has progressed and I experience gratification every time I pose properly. Through my practice I now have inner peace. I am no longer stressed with being perfect ‘at’ what I am doing… just perfect ‘in’ what I am doing. Moreover, I feel an accomplishment every time I complete a class.
Control of my thoughts, patience, stress management, inner peace and a healthier body, resulted from, or were enhanced by, my practice. For me, Bikram Yoga magnifies that a person only needs to be the best he or she can be, at any given time, to attain elusive perfection.”
I have to be honest and confess that being asked to share my recent Challenge experience is possibly more demanding than the Challenge itself! I sit here looking back at my yoga journey and ask myself, ‘Why did I decide to do the Challenge?’ I think turning the clock back a few months is key to answering this question.
My first class was September of 2012, and I was immediately hooked. I attended regularly and focused on trying to do the postures correctly. I tried to be patient and focus on ‘progress vs. perfection’ (hard for this girl!) yet I knew there were some postures that needed a lot of correction. In light of this I took a few private lessons to make sure I had the proper alignment, and I can attest that having this one-on-one time with a teacher was absolutely priceless!
As the months passed, I realized I was rarely more focused, centered or determined than when I was in class. I was doing very few things that infused me with such a sense of accomplishment, joy, peace and strength every single time.
So I guess when the Challenge came around in January I had no choice but to join in as I was officially in love with Bikram Yoga yet I really needed the discipline of the Challenge. Despite my longing to be in class 24/7 I could easily let life take over and edge out my now treasured practice. I’ve heard it called the Tyranny of the Urgent – responding to the loudest things in life instead of the most important.
The Challenge did exactly what I hoped. I found myself planning my days around my practice and trying out class times which I had never tried before. I completed my first double (one class right after another) and lived to tell about it! In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it :) The Challenge called on resources I had within me but often bypassed out of fear, thoughtlessness or a combination thereof! It brought me Joy, Balance, Struggle, Purpose, Discipline, Peace and Sweat….buckets full! So glad I did it! Namaste.”
I started my first 20 classes in 30 days Challenge January 16th. It was tough for me to complete because I kept making excuses the first couple weeks. So many times I wanted to be lazy and sleep in, or not attend because it was too cold out or too far, or I had the attitude, ‘Awh, I can do it another day!’ In the end I had to work my ‘bum bum’ off to make those 20 classes, but I did it and still feel elated! In fact I’m currently on a personal challenge to continue my practice 20+ days each month even if I have to double up to make it happen! There are NO EXCUSES or EXCEPTIONS as long as I’m in good health.
I encourage anyone and everyone to give it a go. My 67 year old mom comes with me. I will rest during a class, but she rarely rests at all. She’s my motivation!
One of the catch phrases that I will attest to is that the yoga ‘heals from the inside out’. I suffered rotator cuff injuries in both my shoulders which required physical therapy and cortisone shots to alleviate the pain. At times, this made my injuries more tolerable, BUT NO HEALING! My testimony is I’m healed! I can bring my shoulders over my head while keeping my arms taut without pain and lower them to the sides without dropping them! I can swim again! My pain bothered me for over 31/2 years, and in less than a month my Bikram practice healed me from the inside out with its ‘tourniquet effect’! Now, I’m working on my 20 year carpal tunnel, knee, and ankle issues!
Thank you Bikram Yoga Marietta for the opportunity and challenging me to be a better all around Me! I love you all! Namaste!”
I originally signed up for the Challenge with a goal of 20 days in 30, assuming I would be out of town for a week at the end of the month. When those plans were changed, I decided to aim for 30 classes in 30 days. The energizing feeling from all the other challengers in those classes was a great motivator. As the last two weeks approached, I realized that in order to make my goal I would have to step it up with a few doubles classes. Of the last seven days, I did five days of doubles! I have never even considered that before, much less attended two classes a day more than just occasionally! One of the greatest gifts of this Challenge event has been the reawakening and access to the power and reality of my own determination and focus, aka ‘Bulldog Determination’.
With the act of setting an intention, I was once again reminded how powerful it is to declare an intention as opposed to just ‘thinking it’ or just nonchalantly saying I’ll ‘try’. My intention was to move deeper into the poses and to improve strength and balance. This intention is now on-going in my awareness and I am more focused on ‘doing it the right way’. This focus has brought me more fully into the room and onto the mat. I am once again experiencing my ’90-minute meditation.’
In January I will have been practicing Bikram Yoga at our Marietta studio for five years. This yoga has changed my life and, while I might wish I had discovered it sooner than age 60, I am thankful that as Bikram says, ‘It’s never too late, it’s never too bad, and you’re never too old or too sick to start from scratch once again.’ Thank you to Bikram, Naedra and all of our dedicated teachers for giving us a challenge and the opportunity to change our lives!”
My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in early 2012. After a very difficult few months he passed away on June 25th. I attended more than my ‘usual’ number of classes during his illness – unable to ‘turn off my thoughts’ I wrote his eulogy from my mat and was grateful for the sweat as it concealed the tears that were so often streaming down my face during class. I realized a few things during this period of time – so many of the qualities helpful in the practice are traits I learned from my Dad – focus, determination, always giving your all – he was not the easiest of Fathers – but I have to credit him with much of the person I am today.
One of the other, less attractive qualities I inherited from my Dad are my toes…..they are very ugly – double jointed – rather clawish. As we spend so much time looking at our feet during the practice I am so often reminded of him.
I dedicated the challenge to the memory of my Dad. It seemed very fitting – and there was no room for ‘failure’ – just not an option. As the months have passed and life goes on I feel my Dad slipping away – so every time I approach my mat during the challenge I say hello to him – and enjoy some memories. I don’t see this as a ‘challenge’ but as a gift – one that I will treasure. Sogni d’oro, Dad – sweet dreams.”