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Hot Off the Presses: Lefferts Studio and Sizzling Specials

Get ready Lefferts Gardens…the schedule for BYPS Lefferts is here! And we’re revving up for some special classes too, including donation/community classes, women’s only classes, and some welcomed renovations to our current studios (Hint Hint:: Hygienic and snazzy eco-friendly cork flooring, anyone?)

To celebrate the opening of our new studio, we want to show our love to all our BYPS students with an incredible deal…

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY get our Grand Opening Special:

One month of unlimited yoga for only $50!! ($175 value)

FINE PRINT:

Purchase by May 15th, use at all three locations. Already have a class package? No problem – purchase by May 15th and activate your Unlimited Month when your current package is used up.

Good for current students and new students (That’s YOU!)

**New students who purchase the $50 Unlimited Month special are no longer eligible for the regular New Student Special: $20/$80 Unlimited week/month.**

Notice something else brand new? Our class card packages NEVER expire. That’s right, buy a 5, 10 or 25 class card at any of our three studios and your classes will ALWAYS be there for you.

***Not applicable to unlimited packages, ex. Month Unlimited, 90 day Unlimited, or Annual Unlimited**

Stay tuned for more specials every month to keep BYPS Yogis hot all year long.

Hotly,

Bikram Yoga Park Slope/South Slope/Lefferts

Special thanks to our studio photographer Monica Felix and graphic designer Idalisse Sepulveda!

Bikram Yoga 30 day challenge hydration

The Ultimate Hydration Survival Guide for Bikram Yoga

Every cell in your body needs water to function, especially after the refreshing detox of a Bikram Yoga class.

Many of us are dehydrated and don’t even know it, making these first few classes of the summer season feel like you’ve been hit by the yoga mac-truck. And if you’re on a 30-Day Challenge, proper hydration is even more critical.

Many believe that base level hydration is drinking half your body weight in ounces – and that’s BEFORE you even step foot inside the hot yoga room.

So how do you know if you’re dehydrated? The room will feel overbearingly hot, you’ll experience dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, post-class headache and dry mouth.

Don’t let it happen to you! Check out these 4 hot tips to help you re-hydrate, replenish and realize your full health potential in every Bikram yoga class.

1. Hydrate FIRST: since  your body can only absorb a minimal amount of water in one sitting, there’s no time to hydrate in class (and if you guzzle water it feels like you just ate a burrito before Dandayamana Janushirasana. Yuck). Drink on a schedule, not only when you are thirsty – apply as much discipline with your water intake as your practice!

2. Supplement Your Electrolytes: Electrolytes, or charged molecules, conduct electricity in the body and help regulate muscle contraction, heart rate, balance of body fluid, and pH levels. For a Bikram practice in the summer or a 30-Day Challenge, water alone isn’t enough to revive the electrolytes lost in sweat. Supplement with Nuun (flavored tabs available at BYPS), Emergen-C, Ultima Replenisher, or mineral drops.

3. Coconut Water is nature’s miracle for rehydration and supporting your body for Hot Yoga. Stocked with 5 essential electrolytes (potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium), coconut water is also rich in vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants (and naturally low in sugar!).

4. Eat The Right Stuff: Foods to help replace lost minerals and water – kosher sea salt, bananas, cucumbers, melons, celery, tomatoes, green peppers, watermelon, spinach, strawberries and grapefruit (just to name a few!)

With proper hydration – replacing both water AND electrolytes in your body – it’s going to be a GREAT season at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.

Studio #3_3rd visit-67

And the Final Countdown to BYPS Lefferts Begins…

Get ready for the grand opening of Bikram Yoga Park Slope’s best studio yet: BYPS Lefferts! As we prepare for our mid-May opening, some amazing progress is making it impossible to contain our excitement.

The mirrors are up and the sunlight is bursting through the windows already…

The grand yoga room (photo by Monica Felix)

Enter in style (photo by Monica Felix)

For all the grand windows and spacious rooms, we know that it’s all about the details. The signs of love that make a yoga studio feel like home…

Photo by Monica Felix

Photo by Monica Felix

And the artistry that inspires us…

Jessica's Upcycled lighting sculpture in progress

Paint highlights (photo by Monica Felix)

And the innovative products that drive us to constantly improve…

Eco-Friendly cork floors

So you can relax your mind and transform your life at the hottest Bikram yoga studio in Brooklyn.

Stay tuned for more photos, specials, and updates!

New Lefferts studio

Special Announcement: Bikram Yoga Park Slope LEFFERTS

It’s been a long winter here at Bikram Yoga Park Slope, because we’ve been biting our tongue.

Keeping a secret.

Planning something HUGE.

But not just planning – we’ve been busy gutting, sawing, nailing, measuring, framing, installing, building, sheetrock-ing, painting, sweating, toiling, and getting really excited to unveil our big secret. And now it’s finally time!

Presenting to you, Brooklyn, our loyal students, and our new community…

Bikram Yoga Park Slope: Lefferts

our BEST yoga studio yet

What started out as a massive and empty space…

New Lefferts studio

became the framework…

Lefferts Studio

for a complete transformation into our new studio…

Lefferts Studio

11 Lefferts Ave was designed with the best features from both BYPS locations (plus some new surprises), culminating in our grand masterpiece: ample but cozy yoga room, large windows, eco-friendly cork floors, spacious changing rooms and a sunny lounge. It’s everything you’ve been asking for in your yoga studio, and everything we’ve always wanted to give you.

It’s an honor to serve the Park Slope community, and for 11 rewarding years we’ve watched your yoga practice grow and transform. Now we’re proud to make the transformation with you; expanding the reaches of our community to Lefferts Gardens and improving our current studios to help you reach even new heights in your yoga practice.

To celebrate our grand opening, we want to honor the commitment and dedication of our students that have sweated with us for all these years. To honor YOU, we are offering improvements to our current studios, better class packages, and more specials – to give you even more value and support your journey.

Stay tuned with us to get the latest on finishing touches on Lefferts Ave, grand opening date, catch our spectacular upcoming specials, new classes, new website, and more ways to welcome in spring with some new heat!

10th Anniversary 2013

“10 Years at Park Slope.”

We opened the doors to Bikram Yoga Park Slope located on Flatbush Avenue on 3/16/2003. Quickly, Bikram Yoga Park Slope became a neighborhood hot spot for a diverse and eclectic community of yogis. Bikram Yoga Park Slope makes up for it’s small size with huge personality and artistic touches. BYPS has come a long way from it’s roots when Jessica could be observed with swaddled infant and toddler in tow flyering the town preaching the benefits of hot yoga and Roody could be found teaching most of the classes. We now claim a manager, veteran yogis, the next generation, a workstudy program, and a full roster of dynamite certified Bikram Yoga instructors.

We later open Bikram Yoga South Slope in December of 2007. Housed in a former bank lobby, the practice room has abundant architectural detailing, high ceilings, and windows on two sides. We brag the same roster of certified and dynamic teachers. Students often claim the South Slope as their favorite studio in New York City.

However none of this would be possible without our amazing teachers and yogis. Big Thanks

GET THE FALL BACK SPECIAL:

It’s a very good feeling….. I wish everyone would try it and see the benefits.

Interview by Jessica Senecal, Illustration by Nancy Cuervo

“It’s a very good feeling….. I wish everyone would try it and see the benefits.”

What brought you to Bikram yoga?
I was walking along Flatbush Avenue looking for a restaurant. I saw the studio, and I was curious. I took a peek inside and saw Aimee. She invited me in, showed me around and talked about Bikram Yoga. This was in 2009. I came months later….I didn’t know if I could do it…

What took you so long to come back and take your first class?

105 degrees! My goodness that’s very hot!…but still..I thought, let me try it.
Then in 2010 I did a week. LOVED it! Then I did a month. Not long after I became sick, having to be hospitalized and have my gall bladder removed. After I recovered I was thinking about the yoga. I missed it. I came back in March 2011 and never stopped.

Why do you come every day?

Because I enjoy it so much, it does a lot for me. For example it lets me sleep at night, a peaceful sleep. I was experiencing pain in my back, belly, knee, joints, and of course it helps. It is all gone. My appetite, eating habits, have changed for the better. My breathing used to be out of whack. I couldn’t breathe. If I climbed six steps, I would have to stop and rest. My heart felt like it was coming to my mouth. After Bikram I find myself doing 100 steps back and forth, I walk over 2 miles, my breathing has improved a lot. I lost 80 pounds, I’m now stronger, calmer, much friendlier, and patient!…Especially when I’m driving! Those drivers that would cut you off! Before, I would speed up and let them have it, but now I say “ok go ahead, go ahead, or if I’m at the supermarket, if someone cuts in front of me again I say “go ahead.”

You said your favorite postures are both Camel and the first Half Moon Backward Bending posture, You can breathe in those postures?

Yes, my breathing is good, a teacher told me once to breathe 6 counts in and 6 counts out. My breathing has improved a lot.

Can you tell me how you think Bikram Yoga has made these changes in your life?

No, I thought about it, but I really can’t give you an answer. I do know that all the positive changes are because of Bikram. I know that for a fact. It’s a big change in my life. Remembering the first day I did yoga, I took a shower and I went home. Girl, it was like a burn came out of me, like a light. I was so happy the whole day, in and out. It was a good feeling. My body feeling light, like I won the lotto…nice.

Are people saying / noticing anything different about you?

Yes, yes people are asking if I had a facelift, stuff like that. My skin is better, I don’t wear any make- up. You can preach to them, but they will not know until they try it for themselves and see what I’m talking about. Talking gets me excited, because you don’t know the feeling to be pain free. Every day you get up and there is no pain, its normal! That’s how I feel now. I use to get up in the morning, my knees would hurt, my back would ache. I don’t take any medications. No vitamins, just Bikram. And the food that I’m eating now—more vegetables, fresh fruits, baked salmon. If I show people the brochure, they ask “can I do that?” I say “yes!” I see people doubting me. However, then they will see me on Facebook doing these poses at 65 years old! Girl, please…..! Nobody knows what it feels like! You have to truly go where I have been to understand what I am saying. It’s a nice feeling.

So you find you come to a peaceful place in the yoga class?
Oh yes, by the time I step into the studio, it’s all smiles because I’m happy to be there. It a good place to be. Always I’m smiling. People even have been drawn to me. A couple of times students have asked to practice next to me, so they can receive my energy.

How did you feel about that?
It’s a very good feeling….. I wish everyone would try it and see the benefits.

Another wonderful day in paradise

Interview by Carly Miller, Illustration by Nancy Cuervo

For Solitaire Macfoy, every day is “another wonderful day in paradise.”

What are your greatest challenges and successes in the hot room?

To get as far in every pose as possible. I have a limitation: i can’t bend the right leg because it’s fixed at the knee. Balance is an amazing thing. I can now balance on either leg, on the atrophied leg or good leg, and I have achieved the whole posture of standing head to knee.

It’s also very hard, it hurts. The hips, thighs, gluts, knees, all just hurt. It’s just the way the arthritis is deposited now. It used to hurt in all of my joints, but now it’s getting a lot better. This [Bikram Yoga] has made the pain much less in my shoulders, wrists, elbows, I can almost ignore them now. My hip joint still bothers me, but I’m walking.

How did you find Bikram Yoga?

Someone in my squad at the Park Slope Food Coop recommended Bikram Yoga, even though I had been doing Vinyasa yoga 5-6 times a week before. When I came to the studio I was greeted by Michelle A who said, ‘whatever causes you to walk on your crutches, come to Bikram Yoga and it will help.’

On my first day I saw Natalie, who is my good friend now, doing Ardachandrasana, her body at a right angle and thought, “you expect me to do that?” I couldn’t even get my arms to go straight.

It’s great that you had a sense of humor about it…

It was plainly obvious I wasn’t doing that right then and there, but it didn’t stop me going for it. I didn’t feel overwhelmed. Robbin, you know, she would be very encouraging, telling stories and talking to people, she generally had the room. She is phenomenal.

What role does your Bikram Yoga practice play in your daily life?

Awareness, mindfulness, consciousness, are all aspects of making the community that you’re in, people that you’re with. Making mindful choices, being present, it’s all yoga.

You certainly contribute to making this place a community!

The real deal is what’s in the Vedic scriptures by Pantanjali: the essence of anybody is everybody else. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about the community. That’s who we are, and to expand that: the more you embrace community, the more of you is in everyone else. Serve other people, and they will be more in you.

What drives you back to the hot room, day after day?

I come every day because it’s the best thing I can do any day. If this improvement continues it will come to a point where i can get a connection with my body, in every muscle and every pore, then there must be a way to levitate. And that is a pain free state. So that’s my goal – to get my body right, to get my body light, to take flight. It’s clear to me that it’s mind over matter. If I get my mind right, and practice with focus, concentration, and meditation…I mean, the things I do now, two years ago, were not happening!

I got into the habit of counting when 1,000 days will be – and by then I should levitate. Just take it 500 days at a time.

So you’ve decided to embark on your 30 Day Challenge…NOW WHAT? 5 tips from a survivor.


Congratulations for showing up to class, the hard part is already over. Or is it? It takes incredible patience, determination, and courage to show up in the hot Bikram yoga room day after day, pushing through mental and physical resistance, schedule conflicts, and self-inflicted limitations.

Meet Malkia Stampley: actress, mother of three, and conqueror of the 30-Day Challenge.

Malkia practiced at Bikram Yoga Park Slope for two months before diving in to the 30-Day Challenge. After taking four classes in one week she thought, “I can do this!” and made the commitment to 30 consecutive days of practice.

Driven by her 30th birthday, Malkia wanted something to heal body: an old knee injury, and spirit: re-focus her priorities on what’s really important in life.

1. No excuses allowed, create a warrior spirit

Working as a freelance actor and mother of three kids, fitting class into her schedule was a major challenge. Doing what seemed impossible, Malkia created the time in the morning by attending 6:30am at South Slope with Robbin. Consistency was part of her momentum for creating a positive routine, but once she got into the hot room it was anything but routine.

2. Find a teacher that challenges and inspires you

Robbin guided Malkia to the spiritual and personal side of Bikram yoga practice. Robbin focuses on the mind-body connection, and infuses spirituality into her dialogue. Malkia also thrived on physical adjustments Robbin made in class, nuanced changes that opened up the entire posture. Malkia has incredible respect for all her teachers, admiring their ability to be simultaneously loving and firm.

3. Meet your smiling happy face in the mirror, every day

Malkia remembers to celebrate her accomplishments in the postures, and enjoy the practice in the present moment, without taking herself too seriously. Even though every class is the same sequence of 26 postures, every class is entirely different. Malkia would eek out a smiling happy face, even when she was struggling, and that’s when the change would begin.

It wasn’t always easy to wake up early or to deal with things coming up during the class. Sometimes you just don’t want to be there. Some mornings Malkia would look for a way out, asking her husband “are you sure this is okay with you?” but he’d provide his unwavering support and care for the kids, making the decision to continue all her own.

4. See the bigger picture: 30-days builds your mental power on the mat and off

For Malkia, keeping it real meant finding emotional balance. Sometimes taking class would instill a resolute, inner calm that she carried into her life. Sometimes she would leave class feeling angry, emotional, ready to burst. Taking it day by day, Malkia challenged herself to be present with what’s real at every moment, and through consistent practice she found her power to control these emotional reactions. For example, Malkia’s practice positively affected her parenting, calming her temper when reacting to her kids or her husband.

5. Expect the unexpected: change your practice, change your life

Whether it’s your newly toned, lean muscles; glowing skin; restful nights; creative energy, or mental prowess, the 30-Day Bikram Yoga Challenge is designed to change your life from the inside out.

For Malkia, her physical form improved throughout the challenge, but the real challenge is mental, and she now knows it’s only just beginning.

Interview with Amanda Baisinger, Bikram Teacher, Musician, and 3rd place NYC Asana Champion

Interview by Carly Miller, Illustration by Desiree Stavracos.

Why Do You Practice Bikram Yoga?

I started practicing Bikram for the physical benefits, but I was drawn in immediately to other challenges. Bikram’s Guru was the brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi) that’s some serious lineage it’s coming from. I have faith in that. I like the simplicity, the repetition, I like that it works.

How did you build and maintain such a strong practice?

Practicing consistently is so important. You can take the pressure off yourself and just show up everyday, without taking any day too seriously. You can take risks, fall, it doesn’t matter cause you’re going to do it again tomorrow. And even if you can’t see it, you are getting better. I like to be challenged, so the thing that changed my practice the most was the championship.

What helped you place 3rd in the Bishnu Charan Ghosh NY Yoga Asana Championship this year?

Having the right intention. The first year I competed I wanted to do it because it scared me to death. The second year, I was just out of training and wanted to prove myself. And I wasn’t even able to do standing bow pulling, my focus was all over the place. I entered again the next year, but with a better intention: just to share the yoga, without my ego or any attachment to how well I did, and no matter how I did just be cool with it, be proud of myself. My coach Georgia reminded me “it’s not you doing the postures, it’s god doing the postures.” I’m just a normal person – not a dancer, not a gymnast. I developed the flexibility and strength from doing Bikram yoga. Within this practice, if you put your mind to it you can really accomplish a lot, you’d be surprised, flexibility, strength, and mental focus.

What are your goals as a Bikram teacher?

I’m teaching this yoga because it works for me. I’d like to share what I’ve learned and help other people help themselves. Part of teaching is about finding the balance between how much you focus on the individual and how much you focus on the group… The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

How do you find that balance?

Try again. Take class every day. You don’t want to dumb it down, people are intelligent, and when you get in front of a mirror, sweaty, uncomfortable, and hot, it pretty much brings everyone to the same level. So in class it doesn’t matter if a person is successful, rich or poor or this or that, I try not to talk to that part of who they are, I try to just talk to their body, really.

I don’t like people to be too serious in the room. Focus is great, but there’s a difference between taking your practice seriously, and taking yourself too seriously. Bikram always says, “With your happy smiling face,” this takes the tension out of your body so you can connect with your breath and access your strength.

What’s unique about Bikram Yoga Park Slope?

Every studio has a different feeling, attracts a different crowd, which creates a different energy. Bikram Yoga Park Slope is a community, a neighborhood. There are varied ages and ethnicities, which is what I like about it. It feels like home to me.

How do you help students overcome their ‘limitations’ (injuries, etc.)?

I have type-1 diabetes, and my practice is integral to regulating my blood sugar levels. It’s hard being diabetic but at the same time, I’m way healthier now than I was before I was diagnosed (almost 5 years ago). Living with type-1 diabetes has forced me to bring better awareness to my daily choices with food and exercise. Through my consistent yoga practice and diet I’ve been able to maintain a better balance every day.

In class I try to encourage, instead of force. Always focusing on what we can’t do is a very classic mental syndrome. I try to help people start to change their thinking, focusing on what they can do, so they can start to try new things. The dialogue is great for that, it’s action-based, which gets us out of our analytical heads. If you hear “lock your knee, kick your heel out, pull your toes back,” the simple commands put you into action and cuts through all of the questioning: “Am I ready for this? Am I strong enough? Do I feel like it?” And now you’re locking your knee, kicking your heel out and pulling your toes back! The goal is to get you to be present for 90 minutes, just with your body and to simply try your best that day.

Aside from your exceptional positive energy, there is another exceptional element to your class: singing in Savasana. What inspired you to incorporate music into your teaching?

People have told me that it helps them relax. I try to remind myself right before I sing in Savasana that this is something I’m offering as healing, it’s not about impressing anyone, just keep it simple, sing from your heart.

Bikram sings when he teaches and at the most magical moments he’ll sing beautiful old Hindi songs to us, when he does I just melt open. I’m planning to put together a CD of meditations. [Read more...]