While many have sought relief from summer's scorching temperatures, committed students continue to come out to Bikram Yoga Reston to take 90-minute classes a 105-degree room.
Rima Hinnawi, Bikram yoga instructor and owner of the Reston studio, says devoted students come to practice the Bikram method despite any conditions because it is a healing, almost magical, sequence of poses that works every system in the body. Bikram Yoga Reston offers 47 multilevel classes a week.
Hinnawi said she has tried all types of exercise and different kinds of yoga, but Bikram was the first yoga she immediately wanted to practice every single day.
Hinnawi says Bikram yoga, designed by Bikram Choudhury, is transforming, as it cleans the body from the inside out.
Bikram instructors complete 500 + hours of training in the method. Each class starts out with two breathing exercises, which help students warm up and improve their lung capacity, followed by 26 postures that are always followed in the same order. Postures are generally repeated twice during the class.
The high temperature is critical to Bikram, says Hinnawi, because it helps with the overall transformation that takes place during the poses, and allows students to go deeper and safer into the poses.
She gives an anology of working with a piece of steel: if you work with it in a cold environment, it may break. In a hot room, it can be transformed and molded. If students tried to do the poses in an air conditioned room, they could much more easily injure themselves.
If students are devoted and consistently come to the classes, they will notice their bodies improving, Hinnawi says. Poses help different systems and points on the body such the nervous system and the spine. This leads to healthier mind and body, more focus, and improved circulation.
"It's about going deep inside," she says.
The key elements to recognizing the benefits are precision, consistency, and intensity.
"Some people give up too soon; you just have to work at it," Hinnawi says.
Reston resident Sonja Wyche, says she originally thought Bikram yoga was going to be a waste of her time, but she soon discovered it was a work out that delivered the biggest bang for her buck. She said she has seen improvement in her scoliosis, and is trimmer now than she was before her two children were born.
"It's a workout that is out of this world," she said. "I can just do this one exercise instead of 18 other kinds. I feel euphoric after class."
There will also be a workshop at Bikram Yoga Reston at 7 p.m. Admission is $25.