Category Archives: Bikram Training

bikram yoga teacher training

Bikram Yoga Teacher Training–What to Expect

Congratulations!bikram yoga teacher training

You are about to embark on an experience of a lifetime.  Bikram Yoga Teacher Training is a crazy two month journey!

You will challenge yourself.  You will physically do more Bikram Yoga Classes then you ever thought possible.  Your mind will go crazy reciting dialogue day in and day out!

You get to learn from Bikram himself.  Hear his isms and sayings straight from his mouth.  You will also get to learn from some of Bikram’s own hand picked lecturers.  Ones to look forward to are Emmy Cleaves, Jim Kallet, Jon Burres, and Dr. Jim Preddy.

You will take yoga from world renown instructors such as Rajashree Choudury, Cynthia Wehr, Joseph Encina, and Emmy Cleaves.

You will eat a lot of nuts, goldfish, popcorn, and tuna.

Who Knows What Questions You Have

I can’t even begin to imagine the questions you have.  Write them below in the comment section, I will answer them!

Commonly Asked Questions:

Q. What do I need to pack?

Q.  What are most days like?

  • Each day you wake up in time to sign up for class at 8:30.  Sign in starts at 8.  You don’t need to be there right at 8 unless you want to wait in line to get your spot in the yoga room.  (It doesn’t matter, you will be assigned a line to practice on, yet people still lined up every day!)
  • Class run from 8:30-10ish.  After you normally have 2 hours to shower, eat, nap, and study dialogue.
  • At 12 you usually check in for either a lecture or posture clinic.  Don’t plan on having time between lecture/posture and class.  Bring a snack if you will need one!  Lecture or posture clinic normally runs until 4 or 4:15.
  • At 4:30 you have check in for evening class.  This is normally the class Bikram Teaches if he is in town.  Emmy usually taught Thursday mornings, and if Rajashree is in town she teaches one morning class per week.  Class will start at 5pm Indian Time and often ran past 7.
  • After class you have time to shower, eat dinner, study dialogue and relax until about 9.
  • Sign in for evening lecture, posture clinic, and/or movie nights usually was at 9 or 9:30 and evening session would last until 11, 12, 1am….who knows how late.  It’s up to Bikram.   I will say most weeks we were only up past 2 one night a week.  They like to keep the fear of late nights constantly on you, but they rarely do late nights back to back.

Q.  Is it every day?

  • The above schedule is the normal schedule Mon-Fri.  Saturday you only have class at 8:30 unless you are late or don’t sign up.  then you will have to do a makeup class at 11 called Team Saturday.
  • After Saturday Class you are free for the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday!

Q.  Do I need to know my dialogue before I get there?

  • I didn’t know one posture before I went to training and I did fine, however, if you are someone who stresses I would try to memorize as much dialogue as you can before you get to training.
  • You will have to say half moon posture in front of Bikram within the first week.  You might want to have that one memorized!
  • It takes a week and a half for everyone to get through half moon.  The sooner you go, the sooner you can use the time to start working on the rest of the dialogue.
  • That being said, if you don’t know it, wait until you do to get up there in front of Bikram!  He will rip into you if you haven’t put in the work!

Q. What are some tips for memorizing the dialogue?

  1. Line by Line:  This was the best tool for me.  I would pace in the hallways, or at the beach on the weekends saying one line at a time until I had it memorized.  Then I would move onto the next line saying the previous lines first.  Repetition was my best tool!
  2. In lectures or posture clinics I would write the first letter of each word over and over for a posture using the line by the line technique.  It helped ingrain it in my mind.
  3. Record yourself!  I would listen to the postures as I showered.  Make sure when you record yourself you leave a gap of time between each line.  Then you can work to say the next line, with a correction instantly following if you say it incorrectly.
  4. Many people liked round robin.  There are two ways to do round robin.  The first way is to say one line, then the next person says the next and so on and so forth.  Another way to round robin is to have the first person say one line.  The second person will then say the 1st and 2nd line.  The 1st (or 3rd you can play with many people) then says the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line and so on and so forth until the posture is complete.  ***Round Robins are helpful tools to ingrain the words in your head, but they are kind of useless if you don’t know the posture well yet.


Q.  What do I eat?

  • Stock up on food on the weekends.  You will eat a lot of dry packaged, canned, and dried foods.  You will have  a mini fridge to share with your roomie.  The mini friedges surprisingly store a lot!  
  • Sample Grocery List: A Yogi’s Groceries

Q.  Where can I get food?

  • Walking Distance Grocery Stores: Trader Joe’s and Ralphs
  • Bikram Shuttle on Saturday and Sunday:  Target, Whole Foods
  • There is also a Subway, Taco Joint, In-N-Out Burger, Starbucks, ToGos, Thai Food, and Chinese Food within walking distance.
  • On the weekends I recommend taking the trolley to Manhattan Beach and hitting up real food.

Q.  How hot is the room?

  • The hot room depends training to training.  
  • At my training, the boiler was broken for 2-3 weeks.  We had a couple scorchers, but it wasn’t that bad.
  • I hear Fall Training 2011 sucked!

Q.  What’s with the no green rule?

  • Bikram will tell the story to your training.  It is a personal story about a personal friend as well as an Indian Wives Tale.  
  • I have heard in previous trainings he gets very upset if you wear green.
  • He didn’t really yell at anyone in our training…but I still never wanted to risk it.  LEAVE THE GREEN AT HOME!

Q.  Will Bikram really keep me up all night?

  • I was never up all night, but I was up until 4 a couple times.  
  • Don’t stress about the late nights, they don’t do them in a row and often if you were up late they will go easy on you the next day.
  • The worst part of the late nights were the anxiety over how tired you would be the next day.
  • Let it go.  Live in the present.  The Bollywood movies are fun!

Q.  What’s posture clinic?

  • Posture clinic is where you learn the dialogue.
  • You will be divided into groups of 20.  2 groups will be together at a time.  One by one each person gets up and delivers the dialogue for a given posture until everyone has completed the posture.  Some postures spam over 2-3 days.  Other times you will give 2 postures in a day.  Always be ready to give the posture you are on and the next one!
  • Don’t stress about posture clinic.  If you mess up the dialogue the worst that happens is you have to do it again.  Often they just check you off and tell you to work on it.  You put the pressure on yourself to memorize the dialogue because you want to teach!
  • You deliver your dialogue to 3 students doing the posture and 1-3 teachers who have come to visit and/or the staff.
  • Bring clothes that you want to teach in.  I brought many options to practice in, but few for lectures and posture clinics.  I wish I had brought more long and capri yoga pants.

Q.   What should I do in my free time?

When you get free time, WORK ON DIALOGUE.  That being said here are some fun things to do:

  • The beach!  Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Venice Beach, Santa Monica all are easy to get to via bus or trolley!
  • Venice Beach has awesome street shopping.
  • Santa Monica has a fare on the pier!
  • Disneyland
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Lights exhibit at the LA County Museum (It’s Free!)
  • The Getty Museum (It’s Free!)
  • Take a class at Headquarters
  • Hermosa Beach offers free classes to Teacher Trainees



Veggies and Ravioli

I know I am always writing healthy recipes and most of my readers probably think I ALWAYS eat healthy. (except for my known love for beer!)  I too though crave carbs on occasion.  Part of this is because if you follow a Cyclic Ketogenic diet your body will tell you when you NEED to eat carbs.  When I do crave carbs though, I make sure I do it smart.  I don’t go out and order the Linguine Alfredo. I eat Veggie with Pasta.  Or better yet Veggies with Ravioli (a pasta with cheese so I get more protein!)  If you eat Veggies with Pasta rather than Pasta with Veggies, you will still get your carb fix, but the veggies will help will you up so you don’t overdo it on the pasta.

Normally I would make homemade sauce with extra veggies and meat, but here was how I satisfied my carb cravings at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training.



1 cup Frozen Broccoli

1/4 Cup Trader Joes Ravioli

1 Cup Red Pepper Soup

1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese (Parmesan is fine too I just kept my grocery list to a minimum so I only had cottage cheese)

Microwave the Broccoli, boil the noodles in your electric kettle, top with the soup and cottage cheese and you have a carb satisfying meal that has:  460 Calories, 8g Fat, 50g Carbs, and 35g Protein.–Not bad for getting a pasta fix!

autobiography in 5 short paragraphs

Autobiography in 5 Short Paragraphs

An Autobiography in 5 Short Paragraphs
By Portia Nelson

I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I fall in.  I am lost.  I am helpless.  It isn’t my fault.  It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I pretend I don’t see it.  I fall in.  I can’t believe I’m in the same place, but it isn’t my fault.  It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it is there.  I still fall in.  It’s a habit.  My eyes are open.  I know where I am.  It is my fault.  I get out immediately.

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it.


I walk down a different street.

autobiography in 5 short paragraphs

Do you like where your health is at?  Maybe you should do something different.  Don’t keep falling in that hole!  It isn’t enough to walk around your bad habits.  You have to learn to take another street.  Until then, you will keep falling in the hole.


quick healthy meal

A Quick Healthy Meal: Meatless Meatball Dinner

One of my favorite quick healthy meals during Bikram training has been Meatless Meatballs with Broccoli, cottage cheese, and Roasted Red Pepper Soup.  It is a great mix of healthy complex Carbs and Protein to help your muscles recover and fuel for your next class.  Remember, protein is what helps muscles refuel, but you also need carbs to replenish your glycogen stores in between workout bouts.

 quick healthy meal

This is also a great quick healthy meal for weight loss and eating on the go.  It has 420 Calories, 32g Carbs, 35g Protein, and 11g Fat Which is great for keeping you within your ratios.


electrolyte replacement

Electrolyte Replacement

electrolyte replacement

Electrolyte replacement becomes very important if you are doing Bikram yoga doubles (or any hot yoga or workouts where you sweat a lot!)    When we sweat, we sweat out electrolytes; primarily Sodium (Na+) and Potassium (K+).  These two electrolytes are key to muscle contraction and relaxation.

It is important to make sure you drink water, but water alone will lead to cramps.  After a workout bout, our kidneys work to get our body back into balance.   Our kidneys function by the laws of osmosis.  Osmosis is the process of a less concentrated solution moving into a heavier concentrated solution.  Our blood is continuously filtering through our kidneys.  When we are properly hydrated, our body has the proper level of electrolytes so excess water filters out along with any waste products, leaving the body with a consistent electrolyte concentration.

When we sweat out electrolytes, the gradient system becomes messed up.  The concentration of electrolytes has become smaller in the blood, so your kidneys filter more fluid out to make your electrolyte concentration lower.  This leaves you with less blood plasma volume to fuel your muscles on your next exercise bout and less fluid available to sweat to keep your core temperature down.  Both effects will lead to a decreased athletic performance! Consume green Malay capsules for better health as they act as antioxidants and improve the immunity and strength of body to battle with the damaged body cells.

For those getting ready for Bikram Yoga training, it will be very important to make sure you are getting enough fluids and electrolytes to help you sustain your 2x a day yoga classes and the use of supplements from sites as could also help with this.  For anyone doing double workout bouts here is what proper fluid replacement should look like for a 120-140 lb woman:

  • Wake up Drink 1L of H2O
  • Drink 1/2L Electrolytes before class or workout bout
  • Following class drink 1L Electrolyte replacement over the spam of time between classes or exercise bouts + 2L H2O
  • Have 1/2L Electrolyte replacement + 2L more following your second class or workout bout before you go to bed to get you ready for the next day.
        *If you are male you should have 1-1/2L electrolyte replacement +1-2L More water distributed throughout your day.
Some good electrolyte replacements include:
  • Gatorade:  I prefer G2 because it is lower in calories and sugar.  If you are lean or prone to low blood sugar, regular Gatorade will help restore your blood sugar levels so you don’t get light headed.  Runners also should have regular Gatorade following a running to help replace glucose stores to maintain running at a high level in their second exercise bout.
  • Coconut Water:  My favorite electrolyte replacement.   Coconut water is really high in potassium (especially compared to Gatorade) so it is great to help prevent muscle cramps!
  • Homemade solutions.  One I often do is 2 Cups H2O, 1 TSP Powdered Greens, 1 Lemon, and 2 shakes Salt.  The lemon, helps restore blood pH level, and the powdered greens are a good way to get in some extra iron.  Many women (especially around your period) and runners tend to have low iron levels.  Iron helps build hemoglobin which is the component in blood that transfers oxygen.  If you let your iron get too low you may feel fatigued!  **If you are feeling fatigued get your blood iron levels tested.  Powder greens are fine to use without blood work testing, but never start iron supplementation without doctor’s recommendation.  Iron levels that are too high are toxic.

If you are doing multiple bouts of exercise stay ahead of hydration.   It is easy to stay hydrated, but harder to re-hydrate   Symptoms of low electrolyte levels may include headaches and nausea, fatigue, poor concentration and reduced muscular function.  If you have these symptoms start adding more electrolytes into your fluid mixes!

Funky Monkey Protein Smoothie

protein smoothie


  • 1 Banana
  • 2 scoops protein
  • 1 tbs Sunflower Butter
  • 1/2 cup Coffee
  • 1 cup ice

Combine in a magic bullet and you have an awesome 320 cal 31g Protein, 31g CHO, and 10g Fat protein smoothie to refuel your body and keep you awake for boring office meetings or in late night lectures!

mind body connection

The Mind Body Connection

When people talk about the mind body connection, we get the sense that they are speaking of some spiritual thing.  Yoga was definitely the first place I really became aware of this concept.  It was something I was always trying to work for.  I needed to stay present, calm, and focused to find this Mind Body Connection.  While at Bikram Yoga teacher training, this abstract idea all of a sudden made sense.  The Mind Body Connection isn’t an abstract idea.  The Mind Body Connection is simply your spinal cord.  We all have a spinal cord.  What we don’t all have, is the power to control our own bodies to the degree we want to and that is how our Mind Body Connection deepens.

mind body connection

This is a simple explanation of what the spinal cord controls. Imagine if they listed the individual muscles, not the muscle groups. Then Imagine if the listed the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and what they do!….I bet you would take better care of your spine!

Let’s break this down to something simple, drinking your cup of coffee in the morning.  In order to do this, your brain needs to tell you Aductor Pollicis, and your Flexor Carpi Radialis to grab the handle of the cup.  It also needs to tell those muscles HOW tightly to grab it, because I am guessing you don’t clench your cup as hard as possible.  Then a combination of the Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis need to move your arm, hand, and cup up towards your face so your mouth can take a sip.  But before that happens your Pronator Teres and Protator Quadratus get a message to activate to a certain extent so you actually get liquid in your mouth, but don’t spill the liquid down the front of your face and chest burning your body.  And all that happens before the complex facial muscles take over to help you swallow!  All of that to take one sip, and I bet you didn’t even know you had those muscles!

Now imagine the complexity it takes to do a Standing Bow Pulling Pose.  I guarantee that person’s mind body connection is a little more developed than your average Joe’s!

The good news, is we can all deepenour mind body connection.  Even those lacking control of  parts of their body due to inactivity or a traumatic event can get more use of what they already had by consciously thinking about the movements they are trying to do.  Science doesn’t fully understand it yet, but these “miracles” where someone gains use of limbs they weren’t suppose to gain use of usually occur because the person WANTS it so badly.  I bet that person who WANTS it so badly is thinking about what it would FEEL like to move those limbs, over and over again.  Why wait until you don’t have it to strengthen it?



Normally I wouldn’t recommend eating a large amount of sodium in your diet.  High sodium levels can lead to high blood pressure, bloating, and water retention.  If you are exercising in heat, however,  you need to consider fluid replacement and electrolyte replacement. Sodium is the the number one electrolyte you sweat out so it is imperative to replace it.  .  This is especially important if you are doing multiple bouts of exercise in a day, such as two a day practices, a morning and evening run, or a double yoga!


One of my favorite lunches while I’ve been at yoga training has been Ramon with Egg.  It is easy to make, has a good mixture of Carbs to Protein when combined with some canned salmon, and has enough sodium to keep me from cramping in my evening class

electrolyte replacement

A good refuel while studying dialogue!



  • Ramon
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Sriacha

This meal is especially nice because you can make it in your hotel room with just an electric kettle!  Add Ramon to a bowl with 1/2 a cup of liquid egg.  Pour boiling water over top both as desired.  Season with soy and sriacha for more flavor instead of the salt packet that comes with the ramon!  Depending on your sodium needs you can also use low sodium soy.

By itself this meal has 430 calories, 22g of Protein, 54g Carbs, 14g of fat.  If you are eating between workouts, this is a decent mix of Carbs to Protein, but I added a can of Salmon to my lunch to pack in an extra 20g of protein to aid in muscle recovery.  Remember, if you are working out hard you have to fuel you body for energy and muscle restoration to keep training at a high level!

The Invitation

This poem was read to me during my Bikram Teacher Training By Rajashree Choudhury.

I know it isn’t the typical post on exercise, but it spoke to me.  If we want to succeed at anything (exercise endeavors included) we have to be fully invested in it.  You have to believe in yourself and be sure 100% what you want to do.  Your actions have to be driven by whole hearted passion.

The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer: Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.


What things are you passionate about that you don’t give time to?  What things do you do that you could give more passion to?  Don’t wait til next week, start today!

Yoga Mantras: Tips to Improve Your Yoga Practice

Yoga Mantras

We have heard over and over again that having a mantra can help you, making your performance stronger.  Often times, positive affirmation allows us to do things we didn’t believe were possible.  Mantras can also help us do something as simple as clearing the mind.   We as humans are great multi-taskers.  We are constantly thinking of multiple things at once:  our job, how we don’t want to be at our job, what to make for dinner, worrying about a family member, ect, ect, ect.  You name it, at one time our brains could be juggling 10+ different topics!


Yoga Mantras

If you have ever taken a yoga class, you have probably heard your instructor say in some shape or form, “Quiet your mind.”  “Let go of your thoughts and be present with your body.”  It seems like it would be so easy to clear your mind, but we fight it so much.  A good way to let go of your thoughts is to have a yoga mantra and to exercise some power yoga at Hot Yoga of East Nashville.

I would keep it short and simple.  A Mantra *Lisa Johnson recommended to me that I love to use is, “I am.”  I am, can mean so many things.

  • I am present.
  • I am love.
  • I am grateful.
  • I am happy.
  • I am strong.
  • I am a fighter.
By itself, it means whatever you are in the moment, helping you be strong and present in your practice!
Another great simple yoga mantra is to repeat the focus of each asana (posture) you are in.
For example:
  • Half moon : “Push, Push, Push!”
  • Awkward pose : “Spine Straight Spine Straight Spine Straight.
  • Standing Bow : “Kick, Kick, Kick”
Whatever you feel you should focus on, say that word over and over throughout the posture.  You will be amazed at how quickly your postures improve and how clear your mind will be using a mantra!  It is when you clear your mind that the real yoga starts!


*Lisa Johnson has been a Bikram Yoga Instructor since Fall 2002.  She found Bikram yoga when her Chiropractor referred her to a class to help her recover from extreme whiplash caused from a car crash.  Lisa opened 2 yoga studios in Las Vegas and now spends most of her time teaching at Bikram Headquarters and serving as a judge for the National and International Bishnu Ghosh Yoga Championships.  “Lisa believes that helping others change their lives, and learning to create peace within, will create a domino effect so that ultimately through yoga we can attain world peace.”-Lisa Johnson Bio