Why do a 30 day challenge?

Commiting to a thirty day challenge doesn't mean you have to kill yourself or do 30 classes in 30 days. At our studio, we invite you to choose your challenge, pick a number of classes 15 - 30 and give it a try.

Some of the benefits of a challenge like this are obvious, the more you practice the stronger and more flexible you become.  However, the mental and emotional benefits are certainly not to be overlooked. When you tell yourself that you taking 30 days to care for yourself anything is possible. We learn the mental srength of not giving up, and showing up even when doing anything else seems more enticing. We are telling our organism that health and healing come first.


Maybe you feel stuck in some aspect of your life; in a job or a relationship that doesn't seem to be serving you, or a way of thinking about yourself or others that could use a flip?  When we tell our minds we are taking 30 days of self care the subconscious steps up to the plate ready to do the work.  

Give it a try! What do you have to loose, a bad habit pehaps?!

In honor of selfcare, anyone who signs up for the challenge receives $25 OFF a massage/bodywork session.  To redeem, please contact leah@bikramseportland.com

See you in the hot room!

Leah & the BYSE Portland team


I love this TedEd talk!

Whether it be yoga, personal improvement or learning an instrument, it's applicable for all types of practice.

We can step onto our mat and do (or don't do) the same moves we always perform then wonder why our practice never changes. This eventually leads to boredom and/or frustration. How can you expect something to change if you don't change yourself? The yoga we do truly has the ability to change your body and your life, but you have to be willing to do the work. Practice effectively and presence what your current weakness is. Connect with it. Play with it.  

This can change your practice.

Remember, effective practice:

  • Is consistent
  • Is intensily focused (presence the task at hand)
  • Targents content or weaknesses that lie at the edge of one's current abilities


Namaste Notes - Words of Challenge

Everyday a reminder: you want the impossible.
Everyday a salute to myself: si se puede. 

I dream of soaring still in eagle and gracing in bow. Now, I'm a clumsy turkey and awkward bow tie and it's ok! I do this everyday cuz I can't wait for me to get out of me so I can discover that tranquil cosmic sea, hush that neurotic ego yelling at me, and prowl in the world as a vagabond tiger of control, power, mirth and other precious things. 

So everyday a pledge: namaste.

Namaste Notes - Stop the Thirst!

Welcome back, fellow yogis! This month we are not going to embark on a new chapter just yet, instead I want to extend our previous glistening dialogue to include hydration and the importance of electrolytes. Hydration and electrolytes work synergistically to help us feel how we want and should: good! So...if you are not feeling good, this could mean something is out of balance.

New students are informed they might feel dizzy, nauseous or experience cramping and these all can be symptoms of dehydration. Sadly enough, most of us are dehydrated on a regular basis. 

Our thirst is often mistaken for something else like fatigue, hunger or a headache.

But actually, all the above signs can be symptoms of dehydration. Every cell in us needs water to operate correctly and this need is magnetised after a detoxing and rejuvenating bikram class.

Proper hydration cannot happen during class! It must happen before and after.

It takes our body almost an hour to fully process our water taken in one sitting. So the water we sip in class is not meant to hydrate but more to refresh us.

If we are craving water from the onset, or feel the need for water between many poses, it is a likely indicator of dehydration. Drinking water outside of class should be done by schedule and not by our thirst.  If we are thirsty during class, we are already behind in proper hydration.

The truth is, water alone is not enough for us far-reaching-always-striving-& breathing very devoted yogis. Our water needs fuel to really power us and that fuel is delivered by electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals that, when dissolved in water, break into small electrically charged particles called ions. Electrolytes regulate our body's fluids by maintaining our Ph balance  and creating the electrical impulses essential to all our physical activity. Water then serves as a conductor, allowing ions to move across membranes and carry fluid, nutrients and waste. In this process, electrons signal nerve impulses and voluntary muscle function. So replacing lost fluid is just as important as replenishing the lost electrolytes, and not doing so will not only hinder our potential as glorious yogis, but it would also put us at risk for harming ourselves.

I have an excellent reminder to a DIY remedy that will not only help us catch up, but also keep us ahead with electrolyte power! Electrolytes are so essential! I will share a life saving potion with you:

Hocus pocus, all yogis focus
Shake some water with salt and lime
Only helps us to feel divine

Electrolytes can be taken in supplement form like in Emergency C or NUUN tablets, but less processed forms can be found like in my pagan potion formula above or in the never disappointing force of coconut water.

Coconut water!!!! It’s is like holy juice for the yogi!

In Hawaii, coconut water is called "noelani" and that means dew from the heavens. I would love to elaborate on the magic of this fruit but alas that's another namaste note. The better hydrated we are with fluids and electrolytes, the more we will sweat and feed our self-made feeling good space in our practice. We are masters of our own yoga fate and there are simple ways to live so that we may fulfill the destiny we want to create.

Always with breath,

www.mindbodygreen.com "Hydration and Replenishment for hot yogis" by Marina Chetner

www.bikramyogaparkslope.com "The Ultimate Hydration Survival Guide for Bikram Yoga" by Admin

www.waterbenefitshealth.com "Bikram Yoga and Electrolytes" by Julia H.
www.active.com "Electrolytes 101" by Emma Williams

www.articles.mercola.com "71% of Those Who Drank Coconut Water Lowered Their Blood Pressure " by Dr. Mercola

www.npr.org "Coconut Water to the Rescue? Parsing the Medical Claims" by Eliza Barclay

Namaste Notes - Sweat 101

Greetings happy yogis!

Welcome to Namaste Notes!

I am a kindred yogi myself, warmly embracing our studio as my yoga home. I hope to share each month some lessons learned, and even unlearned, in Bikram practice. This unique yoga form changes how I live and its rewarding effects are so pivotal and transparent that I will strive to occupy this written space as a communal platform to relate just some of these paramount revelations.

Well, I hope you are all happy and if you are not, by the time you finish this post, you may find yourself treating your dismay with a naturalEy high dose of...sweat! Sweating is the lube of this awesome high and it doesn't get much more indulgent than the sweet, sexy, and sane self-care through Bikram.

Drip drip drip. We haven't even reached our first water break. Drip drip drip. Personally, those audible out comings get me really motivated. I try to make myself alone in class but when I hear the team not far from me working just as hard I am, I know...I am in the right place; and sweating in class is the right way to pull us through till the end.

That sparkling scented glow is SOOO good for us and its benefits might resolve some of your concerns in your practice. Our sweating is our personal AC and it’s obvious why we appreciate that in class of 105 degrees.

The more we drink water before and after class, the more we sweat and stay cool in class. The more we keep ourselves hydrated, the better we feel in class.

Dehydration can cause dizziness, nausea, and over all, a not- so-fun time pulling through class.

Concerned of overheating?
Drink plenty of water to upkeep your inner AC. Hydration produces sweat and our sweat ultimately helps us with our endurance.

The advantages of B.O's tears go beyond class too. Sweat is a key contributor in detoxification. Sweat releases alcohol, cholesterol and salt. Sweat helps terminate several toxins our body creates and improves the skin. Our skin is our largest organ so it makes sense to keep it healthy and happy. Sweat naturally unclogs pores and controls acne. Sweat also plays a pivotal role in decreasing the accumulation of kidney stones. Sweat demands our bodies to stay well hydrated and this in turn keeps our kidneys flushed and cleaned. Sweat also rids our body of modern chemicals like BPA and DEHP. Sweat is our own natural antibiotic. Sweat produces dermcidin and this is a very powerful tool against harmful invaders. Dermcidin is a protein and anti-microbial peptide released through our sweat and acts on the skin as a part of the instinctual defense of the immune system. dermcidin can help fight germs and injuries ranging from annoying insect bites, deserved cat scratches, or even the still existing tuberculosis. Sweat and the immune system are in synergetic friendship and gratefully, all we have to do to let this blossom is to come to class and sweat: sweat out the bad while we also sweat out the good.

Our sweat produces endorphins!

Endorphins are a quenching and refreshing cup of ‘happy juice’ we earned after all our hard work, producing a naturalEy high! Endorphins are hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system that activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic and euphoric effect. When class is over and we lay in savasana, that self made glory we feel comes from the endorphins we have been prized with for our focused and determined practice. It's not exercise generally speaking that produces happy juice but vigorous exercise instead, exercise that makes us sweat. A casual promenade around the block will not give you that cerebral bliss that can be felt all around and down deep. Touching O zones and producing endorphins act as natural painkillers for us. These sweaty byproducts can even soothe a sore neck we had before class. Being natualEy high is the best place to be in my book. I hear our awesome teachers often say that the worst class is the one you missed. I am reminded of that every time I finish class and experience that pure elation I have made for myself. I am always so glad I made it to class despite whatever may be going on in my tired and fun and busy life. I hate to demystify that rapturing intoxication but it primarily comes from our sweet, sexy and spiritful sweat.

Xoxo, Solasana

www.medicaldaily.com; Surprising health benefits of sweating that actually don't stink by Lizette Borreli

www.lifehack.org; 10 amazing benefits of sweating you didn't know by Lisa Stewart

www.fitnessmagazine.com; Sweat health benefits by Ayren Jackson-Cannady

www.fitness.mercola.com; The many health benefits of sweating by Dr.Mercola

It's all about having the right tools.

I love to snowboard and it takes a lot of gear to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Construction and demolition require the right tools to be thorough and efficient. Buying a set of tire levers to fix a flat changed my bike commute completely. My husband Stephen always says, "work smarter not harder."

For Bikram yoga, the (physical!) tools you need are pretty simple: mat, towel, water, clothing. Our average class temperature is 105˚F, so it's important to dress appropriately for the hot room. Shorts are ideal, and a bra top for ladies is helpful so you can see how you're breathing in the mirror.  

Oh, the mirror. Looking at yourself in the mirror is part of the Bikram class. Many students, myself included, wear leggings and a tank top when they first start practicing or T-shirts on the guys that quickly get torn off after half-moon pose. For me, the thought of wearing shorty shorts and a bra top wasn't even in the equation of my comfort level. I arrived to class one day mentally prepared to practice only to find that I forgot my leggings at home and reluctantly purchased a pair of shorts from the studio rack. I started class mortified and incredibly self conscious but once I started practicing in shorts I never went back to leggings, ever. I was shedding the layers, from the outside in. Looking at my own eyes in the mirror? Well...that's another blog post.  

Being dressed appropriately for class not only gives you and the teacher the ability to see your anatomy, but also gives you one less thing to "worry" about. Having properly fitted yoga clothes allows you to focus more on your practice and less on tugging things into place or worrying about flashing some side boob. Try to go from leggings to shorts. You'll be able to see your knee locked and adding that visual component to your practice gives your nervous system the added visual to the physical feel of what it means to be locked.  

Before leaving for the studio I'd go through my checklist: clothes, mat, water bottle. Keep it simple, and your practice will thank you.  

We're still in the process of setting up our retail, but to help set you up we've collaborated with Portland based Evolve FiT Wear to get you 15% off your online order. Happy shopping, and see you soon in the hot room!