Me and Bikram

Bikram Yoga is one of the most intense, punishing physical workouts you will ever experience. Each class is 90 minutes long in which 26 postures are performed in humid 105+ degree heat. The format of every Bikram class is the same no matter where in the world you go.

I joined a Bikram Yoga studio in January 2014 and have quickly progressed from knowing little about Bikram Yoga to being a dedicated six-day-a-week practitioner and completing my teacher training certification in April 2015. I feel blessed that there are so many great teachers at my school, many of whom deliver good dialog and also give helpful tips, techniques, and life advice. I always learn something new in every class. If you're ready for a mind-body fitness regimen like no other and are willing to give Bikram Yoga a try, please stop by my studio and check out one of my classes. Namaste!

My yoga journey: classes 1 - 100, 101 - 200, 201 - 300, 301 - 400, 401 - 500, 501 - 600, 601 - 700, 701 - 800, evolation tt, tony sanchez tt


December 28, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 701 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - Three new students in my Beats class. They said they enjoyed my class, but couldn't hear my voice over the music.

December 31, 2017, 10:00am - Core 26

December 31, 2017, 12:00pm - class 702 Budokon Vinyasa with Marisa Lombardo - I was always curious about this class and today I finally had a chance to take it. It is an intriguing mix of Vinyasa Flow sequences in the first third, animal movements in the second third, and floor exercises and meditation in the final third. The flow sequences included Rolling Wave and Dancing Dog. The animal movements reminded me a lot of my children's Aikido classes where they practiced similar animal movements to develop their joint strength. The floor exercises included Camel, Rabbit, and Bridge/Wheel. I liked how the class was structured as an experience rather than a class. Budokon is the brainchild of Cameron Shayne, a martial artisst turned yogi who designed updated versions of classic Hatha Yoga postures. The class was a great challenge for me because it exercised muscles I hadn't used in my previous yoga classes.

January 7, 2018, 4:00pm - class 703 Core 40 - I added the Eagles Series (Eagle, Phoenix, Egyptian Rising), One-Legged Peacock, and three variations of Standing Separate Leg Stretching to today's class. I played some background music, too. The additions seemed to be well-received. I finally did Standing Head to Knee, a pose I haven't done in quite a while, and was coming out of it slowly and steadily, but fell out at the last moment. I used my trace the length of my leg with my eyes technique. I felt a little stiff in Fixed Firm; I need to practice it more.

January 11, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

January 18, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 704 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

January 21, 2018, 10:00am - class 705 Core 26 - I taught my first younger student today, an eleven year old who was the granddaughter or one of my yoga students. She enjoyed the class and said, "I didn't think I would like it, at first, but I did."

January 25, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

January 28, 2018, 9:00am - class 706 with Sandy Robin - The morning after I completed perhaps the most challenging test of my martial arts life - my 3rd kyu Aikido exam - I decided to take a Bikram class in Bikram Yoga Northern Liberties, arguably the hottest, most sweat-inducing yoga studio in the city. I had shaky knees to start, so I was already at a disadvantage. My breathing exercise and the first two poses were pretty good. For Eagle, I decided to go through my Eagles Series. Jackie stood behind and to the left of me and noted that what I did looked very smooth and beautiful. Sandy noted before class that my Eagle is excellent. Unfortunately, the lack of food and sleep over the past few days took its toll on me and the rest of my practice was haphazard. I couldn't even muster enough energy to do a single set of some poses. That was very unlike me. I didn't get my second wind until Rabbit pose. If others were looking to me for inspiration today, I couldn't give it to them. Not today. Sandy admitted that I made her day by being in her class. After class, I was dizzy and lost my hearing for an hour and a half, which was quite frightening. I was a martial artist and weightlifter before I became a yogini. My reputation as one of the strongest female yoginis isn't questioned, but this weekend took me down.

February 1, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I just taught my largest Bishnu Beats class in the studio and it felt great. Considering I was in a hospital emergency room on Monday and took two more days to fully recover, I excelled.

February 4, 2018, 2:00pm - class 707 Core 45+ - My first Core 45+ class based on Ida Ripley's Intermediate Series.

February 8, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

February 11, 2018, 2:00pm - class 708 Core 45+

February 15, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

February 18, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26 - One of my largest classes yet. Everyone loved my "calm, soothing voice."

February 22, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

February 25, 2018, 2:00pm - class 709 Core 45+ - I spoke about possibilities. I haven't backbended so deeply in a while. I was drenched with sweat after class ended.

March 1, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

March 5, 2018, 6:00am - class 710 with Justin Riley - My first class at my old studio in a long time. Something happened to me after my trip to the ER. I felt good through the beginning part of class up until I got to Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee and then I felt dizzy and sat down in Child's Pose. I rested for one side and then proceeded to get up, but Justin advised me to stay down. If I stood up again, I probably would've knocked myself out. I skipped Tree, Fixed Firm, Camel, the third part of Deep Stretching, Spinal Twist, and Kapalbhati Breathing. I tried to get up a couple of times again and saw gray spots in front of me and felt my fingers tingling again. After class was over, I did Spinal Twist. It took me a long time to get out of Final Savasana and I found myself squatting from dizziness while taking a shower. It was probably my worst class ever, but, as Bikram says, "It's never too late to start over again." The good news is I had a vegetarian lunch and dinner today. The bad news is the guy who was participating in my yoga bootcamp postponed his training to deal with an impending snowstorm.

March 8, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - "Listen to your body first and my dialog second, I remember one of my favorite teachers telling me," I said to my class. That quote was from Sandy Robin.

March 11, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26

March 15, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I talked about why I always teach people to "step forward with your left or right foot" in the single-leg balancing series in my Core 26 class. I taught Seated Eagle as a bonus posture in my Beats class.

March 18, 2018, 2:00pm - class 711 Core 26 - I had extra time to teach the Abdominal Series and Seated Eagle.

March 22, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

March 22, 2018 to March 25, 2018 - Pranayama: Theory & Teaching with Yoganand Michael Carroll - Pranayama is the yogic science of breath control, a powerful way to raise energy and channel it into spiritual growth and life mastery. This 34-hour training module introduces students to the techniques and philosophy of pranayama as taught in the Tantric Hatha Yoga tradition. Topics include the kriyas, such as Dirgha, Agni Sera, and Kapalabhati; pranayama categories, such as Surya Bhedana, Ujjayi, Shitali, Sitkari, Bhastrika, Bhramari, Murcha, and Pavlini, and the bandha mudra locks, such as Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha. Since there were an odd number of people in class, one person had to choose Yoganand as a practice partner during the teaching exercises. Everyone seemed intimidated to pick him, so I seized the opportunity and paired up with him on several occasions to get his feedback. Highlights include doing partner yoga with him on the second day and doing Neti Kriya using a catheter to purify my nasal passageways on the third day and my two teaching practice students who said that they love my voice on the final teaching exercise. I am now halfway done with my 300-hour teacher certification!

March 29, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - In my Beats class, I had extra time to teach Dirgha Breathing and Seated Eagle. "I loved Seated Eagle! I had pain in my lower back and it went away after doing Seated Eagle," one of my students said.

April 1, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26 - After class, I taught Seated Eagle. This posture was very well-received.

April 5, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 712 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - One of my new regulars tells me she loves my voice, saying that it sounds soothing. Hopefully, I'll continue to be on a roll with attendance!

April 7, 2018, 9:00am - class 713 with Joel Pier - I cautiously stepped into the studio today and took a spot in the second row. I didn't want to embarrass myself if I had to lie down again from exhaustion and I didn't want to keep pushing myself and risk another trip to the emergency room. I completed the entire class without any issues. I even did my Eagle to Phoenix transition. Yay! It was nice to see people at the studio who still remember me.

April 8, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26 - After class, I taught Seated Eagle. This posture was very well-received.

April 12, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

April 19, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

April 21, 2018 - Namas Day Philly 2018 - The Opening Meditation with Jason Bleu was nice. I was grateful there was still space in the packed room. I learned how to "fly" in Eric Mamuzich's "Magic of Flight: AcroYoga" class. There I met four amazing yogis - MP, Katie, Jenny, and Robin - who guided me into poses I never thought I could do. I learned about legal matters in Aysha Ames' "Yoga Law Basics" class. Aysha was able to answer all of my questions about opening a yoga studio, waivers, insurance, and more. I learned some basic exercises for pain relief in Theresa Convoy's "Yoga Therapy for Pain Relief" class. Lastly, I learned a very nice chakra-based yoga sequence in Corina Benner's "Yin Yoga and the Chakras" class. Corina led us through an awakening of the different chakras - those spinning vortices of energy that exist along the spine in the energetic body - describing the purpose of each chakra in detail while we listened to Thomas Flanagan's amazing sitar playing. My lower back has been hurting all week. Today in Corina's class, I heard crack-crack-CRACK! I think my spine is finally on the mend. I purchased a kitchari kit from one of the vendors, Inner Flame Kitchen, after tasting an absolutely delicious sample of coconut curry and butternut squash kitchari.

April 22, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26 - I spoke about what the mirrors are for.

April 26, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I spoke about alignment.

April 29, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26 - Full class!

May 3, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I talked about the Bandhas and how Half-Tortoise introduces them to students. I kept checking the thermostat to make sure the temperature didn't exceed 95. I had to bring it all the way down to 89 at one point. My students were working very hard and generating a lot of body heat!

May 4 to 6, 2018 - Ghosh Yoga Workshops with Ida Jo and Scott Lamps - classes 714, 715, 716 - My studio, bluedeer yoga, hosted Ida Jo and Scott Lamps, authors of a number of fantastic Ghosh Yoga books that are used in hot yoga studios all over the world. The Building Balance workshop focused on the feet and how we stand as the foundation for our practice. We practiced some foot exercises as well as a Core 26-like class. The Back Pain and Stress Reduction workshop was more about back pain than stress reduction. Scott showed us how to backbend more effectively. We practiced the foot exercises again as well as a different Core 26-like class that focused more on floor exercises. I was able to do Eagle on both sides at the end of class. My back is getting better. Each of the two and a half hour classes had one hour of lecture followed by one and a half hours of yoga class. The Ghosh Lineage and History class presented us with an in-depth history of our yoga lineage (hatha yoga) from its beginnings in the 1700s to its present day state at the Ghosh College of India. "We ended up being accidental historians of this knowledge," Scott admitted. The final Advancing Your Practice class was a three-hour intermediate sequence that included three breathing exercises, Surya Namaskar x 2, Half Moon x 3, Revolving Triangle x 2, Bose and Bikram Triangles x 2, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee x 2, three variants of Standing Head to Knee, Standing Bow x 2, Balancing Stick x 2, Standing Separate Leg Stretching x 2, Guillotine x 2, Tree, Toe, Spider (Beach), Short Man, Crow, Side Crow, Crane, Side Crane, Palmstand, Savasana, Wind Removing, Sit-Up, Cobra, Sphinx Peacock grip warmup, Pigeon, Sleeping Pigeon, Full Cobra, Head to Knee with Deep Stretching, Separate Leg Stretching, Frog, Upward Stretching, and Kapalbhati Breathing. I was able to do Standing Bow at the end of class. My back was feeling pretty good after this class!

May 10, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

May 17, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

May 18, 2018 to May 20, 2018 - Teaching Restorative Yoga with Shelbi Miles - Restorative yoga is a gentle inward form of yoga that invites participants to move towards greater balance, control and participation in their life. The participant’s body is placed in yoga postures that are supported with props. The mind is invited to slow down with the use of pranayama, visualization, and mantra allowing the individual to turn inside. A restorative practice is a complement to any yoga practice or other form of exercise and perfect for almost any practitioner looking to experience a deeper state of relaxation and healing than Savasana or sleep. It is also a perfect practice for those recovering from injury or illness or anyone who experiences stress on a daily basis. In this weekend restorative yoga training created from the Tantric Hatha Yoga Teachings of Herbert Benson and Jon Kabat Zinn, participants will gain practical, hands-on experience and skills to work with a wide range of populations. The program will include posture practice, pranayama, meditation, mantra, mudra, visualization, and use of props to create a safe, comfortable, healing environment. Participants will leave the training confident in their ability to understand the philosophy and science behind restorative yoga as well as lead their students through a complete restorative yoga practice.

May 24, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 714 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - The Memorial Day weekend made class attendance rather light.

May 31, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 715 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - Back to normal class attendance numbers!

My new yoga book is my most ambitious work to date. I've self-published eight full-length books and three tutorial guides on beauty and makeup, but none of them have reached 230 pages with over 86,000 words and I'm still not done! Every time I think I'm almost done, there's more information to add. Sometimes writing is so exhausting I have to put my head in my hands, shut out the world, and try to calm myself. I hope my book will be as good as I believe it is.

June 2, 2018, 9:00am - class 716 with Joel Pier - I stood in the first row today, but I rested for one set of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee and I did a lackluster Camel. I felt the effects of dehydration again so I didn't push myself as hard as I normally do. More people recognized me this time than last. "One day I will be that girl up on the wall again," I said to a fellow student, pointing at an old picture of me. "You will," he said with conviction.

June 7, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

June 14, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 717 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

June 16, 2018, 8:00am, 10:00am - class 718 Core 26 and Core 40 - In the Core 40, I added Beach Pose and omitted the Abdominal Series.

June 17, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26

June 21, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 719 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - My first teaching classes after my lipoma surgery. The only time my back hurt was during spine twist. I must've done a great job with Core 40 last week because I was pencilled in to teach it again this week. Unfortunately, I won't be able to as the Core 40 demands a lot from my body. I opted to teach Sunday's Core 26 instead.

June 24, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26

June 28, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

July 5, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

July 8, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26 - There were two new students in my class today. I managed to sync my teaching of Fish with Supta Vajrasana with no hiccups. It's tough teaching modifications alongside the postures. After class, I felt strong enough to do Palmstand. My son took lots of pictures of me for my new book.

July 12, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 720 and 721 Core 26 Express+ and Core 40 - The class was divided on their opinions of the new Core 26 Express+ class format, a 90 minute class done in 75 minutes.

July 19, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 722 Core 26 and Yin 60

July 21, 2018, 8:00am - Core 26

July 26, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 723 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

July 28, 2018, 9:00am - class 724 with Joel Pier - I cautiously moved through the entire 26+2 as it was ungodly hot in the fourth floor studio. Interestingly, they took down the curtains. Fate has a magical way of bringing people back together again. I found Katelynn standing next to me in class. After many years of watching her, she still has a great practice, the kind that inspires you to push yourself further. I told her I miss her and that was the truth. I miss her voice. She still has one of the very best voices out there for a yoga class. Smooth, silky, and - dare I say - sultry. She tells you to do something and you feel compelled to do it. I miss her Ayurvedic wisdom. She's the one who turned me on to kitcharee. At the end of class, I just felt blessed to be there. I skipped two postures due to a sore ankle, but I did them later on.

August 9, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 725 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I practiced with my one student in Bishnu Beats. I did so very carefully as I was revovering from a left ankle injury, right pinky toe injury, and upper back surgery. My one-legged poses were very shaky.

August 12, 2018, 9:00am - class 726 with Sean Kenny - My ankle got worse over the last week from Aikido Summer Camp, but that didn't stop me from doing Aikido and yoga this week. I mentioned my sprained ankle to Sean at the beginning of class. I told him he could "push me" anyway. This was my first class with him and I'm quite impressed by him. He was energetic and dynamic. His words flew rapid fire out of his mouth like an auctioneer. All of his instructions were super detailed. He moved around the room like a panther offering words of encouragement to push certain people while offering corrections to others to help them achieve their best poses. He reminded me of Justin, but he was a little softer like Cate. He knew some of Cate's dialog in Savasana. At the end of class, he came up to me to find out if I was okay. That was actually mind-blowing to me because nobody ever gave a damn like that before.

August 16, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 727 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

August 17, 2018, 9:00am - class 728 with Chris Fluck - I felt a little stronger today than last Saturday. The pace was faster. Chris finished the class at 85 minutes and maintained the intensity with minimal dialog and lots of coax words like "push!" In fact, the Pranayama Breathing in the beginning had the most detail and then Chris just went into autopilot and let us do our thing.

August 19, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26

August 23, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 729 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

August 26, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26

August 30, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 730 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

September 1, 2018, 8:00am, 10:00am - classes 731 and 732 Core 26 and Core 40

September 6, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 733 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

September 13, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 734 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

September 17, 2018, 6:00am - class 735 with Justin Riley - I exerted even, consistent energy throughout today's class. At times, I could've pushed myself harder, but then I'd probably conk out in the middle of class again.

September 18, 2018, 6:00am - class 736 with Cate Reese - "Slow it down... slow it down..." I repeated to myself, feeling my energy depleting at several points during class. I remembered a tip Justin gave us in yesterday's class during Triangle that I applied today. It was about maintaining the triangle shape inside the torso, thigh, and arm. Many people fold over to make the shape a square. "Good, Clare!" Cate remarked, as I applied Justin's tip. Thanks Justin! I learned something new today about how Cobra and the Deep Stretch relate to one another.

September 19, 2018, 6:00am - class 737 with Maria Spano - I had plenty of energy today, but had to leave the room due to a bout with diarrhea. I've only ever left the room a small handful of times, twice with diarrhea and twice with heat stroke. Not my greatest moments, but sometimes it's better to deal with the problem than deal with its consequences. It was a good class, too, with three teachers in attendance, including the owner who was standing right behind me. I had never seen a 6am class packed to capacity with a third row needed.

September 20, 2018, 6:00am - class 738 with Colleen Hoplamazian - Colleen's class has really matured since I last took her class two years ago. There are a lot more details in the progression of each posture and her dialog now sounds experiential rather than memorized, no doubt due to her exposure to teaching at many different studios. She doesn't hold certain postures as long as other teachers, which is good because then I don't feel like I'm going to pass out. My left ankle was feeling a bit wonky this morning so I didn't dip as low as I normally do in Eagle.

September 20, 2018, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 739 and 740 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats

September 21, 2018, 6:00am - class 741 with Justin Riley - This is my fifth consecutive day of yoga and I successfully did so without drinking water in class. After Eagle, I would uncap my water and bring the mouth of my water bottle to my lips. It's enough of a psychological edge to tell my mind that I got to drink water. In recent times, I've been drinking lots of water in class and sometimes it helps cool me down, but othertimes it greatly disturbs my belly. I started at a rotund 140.7 pounds on Saturday and in just five consecutive days of walking, yoga, and Aikido classes, I got down to a sleeker 134.2 on Wednesday. Sadly, I'm hovering around this weight since Wednesday and my upcoming vacation isn't going to help because my friends and I like to eat.

September 22, 2018, 10:00am - class 742 Core 40

September 23, 2018, 10:00am - Core 26

September 24, 2018, 8:30am, 9:30am - class 743 and 744 with Rebecca Sirman - I signed up for an intro week at YogaVibez in Ocean City, Maryland since I was here on vacation. The first class, Athletic Circuit, was only 45 minutes, but you had to perform 12 little exercises in sequence for 45 seconds each for three sets. Medicine ball twists, lunges with weights, pushups with foot slides, burpees, shoulder lat pulls, medicine ball side kicks, kettlebels, pop squats, biceps curls with knees bent while standing on IndoFlo cushions, hamstring stretch on yoga ball, triceps curls on a balancing board, and jump roping. This was preceded by warm-up exercises and followed by post-workout exercises as well. It was crazy! The second class, AllVibez, was a more familiar Vinyasa Flow class combining asana, breathwork, and meditation. It was supposedly heated, but I didn't really notice as I was sweating my brains out from the first class. Except for the head and handstands, the class was mostly easy and good for beginners. The orange scented oil during Savasana was a nice touch.

September 25, 2018, 9:00am, 10:30am - classes 745 and 746 with Jessica Wineland and Andrea Hoopes - The first class, GoodVibez, was a light flow class focusing on basic yoga elements and alignment. Everyone was in pretty good shape and seemed to know the sequence. The class was geared towards beginners, except for perhaps the transition to Wild Thing, which I didn't want to do since I didn't have a good grip on my mat. We started with Surya Namaskar and moved to various Warrior poses, Standing Separate Leg Stretching, and Frog. The orange scented oil during Savasana, just like in Rebecca's class, was a nice touch. The second class, Beginner Yoga, was a nice cool down to the first class. We practiced a basic Surya Namaskar, Warrior, and Chair and moved to three Yin poses: Spine Twist, Eagle, and Savasana all with bolsters shaped like a T. Andrea asked me to demonstrate Surya Namasakar to the class since I was a visiting yoga teacher.

September 26, 2018, 9:30am, 10:45am - classes 747 and 748 with Carrie Andersen and Travis Lancaster - The first class, AllVibez, promised lots of stretching. I thought it was going to be light and easy, a cool-down to the Athletic Circuit class, but it was anything but that! The first half totally kicked my butt with all of its lunges. We started in Crocodile, which was like Frog but we were resting our foreheads on our forearms. We moved into a bunch of Vinyasas, Warriors, Wild Thing, Balancing Stick (called Airplane), and more. At least Malasana was easy. The second half of class included a leg stretch and a shoulder opener. The second class, 26+2 Vibez, was a Bikram-style class where half the postures were done one set and the other half two. The Cobra series of four postures were done as a flow twice. I was the only student in the second class, so it was nice to have one-on-one interaction. I showed Travis the Tony Sanchez method of balancing on a single leg in the single leg postures.


My yoga journey: classes 1 - 100, 101 - 200, 201 - 300, 301 - 400, 401 - 500, 501 - 600, 601 - 700, 701 - 800, evolation tt, tony sanchez tt

All images and work herein © 2007-2018 Clare Din. No reproduction without permission. All rights reserved.