Bikram Yoga Missoula Newsletter
May, 2015     
Quick Links

Like us on Facebook





Monthly Ordering


We like to order from Onzie and Mika once a month, so please let us know if you would like to order something for yourself. You can check them out here and here.








"May and June.  Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.  The discussion of philosophy is over; it's time for work to begin."  

-  Peter Loewer  




"The world's favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May."

-  Edwin Way Teale















As I write this, it is almost May and everything is in bloom. The mountains are turning green, the trees are pink, the air is blossom-sweet, and the rivers and trails are full of people eager to get outside. After many rounds of feedback from you, we're excited to present the summer schedule. We think it will make it possible for you to get in your yoga and your summer adventures.


Can't wait to see you in the hot room!

Warmest Regards,
and the BYM crew


May Donation Class: Nepal Earthquake Relief


The recent earthquake in Nepal has taken the lives of over 4,800 people and has left over 9,000 injured. One news report said that there were over one and half million people at risk - without access to food, potable water, and shelter. For many in the yoga world, Nepal holds a special place. We hope you will come to our special donation class on Monday, May 11 at 6 pm. There will be a $5 minimum for class. All checks should be made payable to the Adara Group.




New Summer Schedule


Warm air and sunny, blue skies mean it is time to for the new summer schedule, which will go into effect on Friday, May 1. You can view the whole schedule, but here are a few of the highlights:

  • No more 6 am.
  • 7 am class on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday
  • 9:30 am every day
  • 4 pm every day except Saturday
  • 6 pm on Monday & Wednesday only



New Class: Technique Tuesdays


Based on feedback from you, we've decided to offer a new class: Technique Tuesdays. On Technique Tuesdays we will have one teacher on the podium and another teacher walking around during class, offering adjustments to your postures. Our vision of the class is that it will offer you some more personalized help with individual postures; we hope that it might inspire you to understand your own postures differently and ask questions after class about what the proper form looks and feels like.


Technique Tuesdays will happen on the first Tuesday of every month. The first session will take place on Tuesday, May 5 at 4 pm. with Cheryl on the podium and Jess making adjustments. Since this class is the first of its kind in our studio, we'll be very open to feedback. We hope to see you there!




A Free Year of Yoga? 

Summer Challenge Reminder


We are counting down to the summer challenge! The summer challenge will begin on June 1, so study the summer schedule and make a plan to get here three times a week. If you can do it, you might win a free YEAR of yoga. Here are the terms:


  • runs from June 1- October 1
  • you must come three times/week EVERY WEEK
  • you can have one freebie week (for vacation, etc.)


Schedule Updates:

Stay up to date with our daily or weekly schedule HERE.



Posture of the Month: 

Standing Head-to-Knee Pose


Standing head-to-knee is the first posture after the warm up series and the "party time" water break. It is the first in the balancing series and challenges us to focus, balance on one leg, and put all of our attention toward not pushing ourselves past the correct form.


Standing head-to-knee is a hard posture - one of the most advanced, in fact - and it's one that so many of us cheat in. OK, we don't often realize that we're cheating, but we are. In the dialogue we hear many cues about the standing leg. We are instructed that the standing led ought to be "solid, concrete, lamp post, unbroken" and we are told to "lock the knee, lock the knee, lock the knee."


Despite these instructions, guess what so many of us do? Bend the standing leg! There are a lot of reasons we do this (I'll be you can think of your own reason), but it in order to preserve the form and prevent injury, it is vital that the standing leg stay strong, straight, and contracted. Bending the standing leg can put your lower back in a very compromised position by allowing you to stretch with your back rather than your hamstrings. 



When you first begin Standing Head-To-Knee Pose, you can notice the following things:

  • Is my foot facing the mirror? Is my kneecap facing the mirror? 
  • Where are my eyes? In this balancing posture your eye gaze will help determine your balance. Focus straight ahead.
  • As you round down to pick up your foot, check in on your neck, shoulders, and lower back. Are they tight? Don't force the grip.

Answers to all of these questions can help you work with where your body is today, right now. They will also help you attend to the subtle details of the posture and will help you avoid some of the common ways we lose the integrity of the posture.



Beginners' Tips

  • Focus your energy initially on your standing foot. You should feel the foot equally anchored on both sides and your weight should be slightly forward, into the ball of the foot.
  • Contract your thigh muscles in order to raise the kneecap and keep the leg strong.
  • Lift your other leg up so that your thigh is perfectly parallel to the floor, with your foot hanging directly below the knee. Pause here briefly to check in on your balance.
  • Before you round down to pick up your foot, strongly contract your stomach muscles. When you contract those muscles, they press your organs against your spine so that it is properly supported. In order to breathe in this position, imagine the air moving into your back when you inhale; then let your exhale continue the abdominal compression.
  • As you reach down to pick up the foot, go slowly. Resist the urge to bring your knee up toward your chest. If you have to pull your knee up to your chest in order to hold the foot, then you need to back off; that position is not good for your lower back.
  • If you are ready to kick the foot out, go slowly and keep a mental eye on your standing leg. If it begins to bend, back off and be patient. Don't bend that leg!

Finally, don't worry if you spend the posture simply standing on one leg with the other leg raised off the ground. This is an advanced posture that requires very subtle, strong muscular work in the legs, hips, and spine. It can take years of practice to get into.



  • Builds strength through the body
  • Improves flexibility of sciatic nerve
  • Strengthens tendons
  • Prevents wear and tear of knee cartilage though strengthening of soft tissues around the knee
  • Helps clear and prevent problems with digestion, including flatulence
  • Helps to develop balance
  • Helps maintain sugar levels through compression of the pancreas
  • Improves blood circulation throughout the body
  • Tones abdominal muscles and thighs
  • helps to decrease varicose veins by exercising the long vein (great saphenous vein) running from the leg to the heart