We had the opportunity to sit down one of the owners of Bikram Yoga Ferndale, Andrea Davis. This time, it was our turn to turn up the heat! Andrea helped us gain a little insight into how her studio came to be and the benefits of the practice of Bikram.
Victoria: So tell me how this love for Bikram yoga started.
Andrea: It all started when my sister took my mom to a Bikram yoga class on a family vacation in Hawaii 15 years ago. My mom loved it and when we got back to Michigan, she told my brother and I that we were going to Bikram. I was 14 at the time and we didn’t really have a choice. It was like an extracurricular activity. Piano. Karate. Yoga. So (Bikram) for us three- has always been a part of our life, it has always been a part of our lifestyle.
Victoria: So you loved it from the start?
Andrea: Yeah, kind of. We were so young when we started that it was just an after school activity that my parents made us do. My mom actually used it as a punishment for my brother. If he had bad grades or did something bad at school, she would buy a whole package for him and make him go.
Me personally, I actually really did enjoy it. Once I got into my senior year, I would get all the girls from my grade to go as a way to get skinny before prom. We would go to 6 AM classes and then we would go to school afterwards. I even brought my prom date there too.
It was always a part of our lifestyle, it just became a habit. It was something you didn’t even think about- you wake up, brush your teeth, grab your bag, and you go to yoga.
Victoria: So for someone who is intimidated by Bikram yoga, what classes are for beginners?
Andrea: All of our classes are for beginners. All of our classes. I actually recommend Bikram for a first time, beginner yogi. Bikram is such a great way to create a foundation. It’s fully guided from beginning to end, there are mirrors and it’s well-lit so you can see what’s going on, and the teacher guides you through everything. For instance; interlock your 10 fingers, release the index fingers, thumbs crossed- it’s so guided, down to the fingertips. It also teaches you how to listen and apply words to the body.
Victoria: So there is a study based on the benefits of extreme coldness and heat. Could you tell me some of the benefits of extreme heat?
Andrea: First and foremost, before I get into the benefits, your body acclimatizes to that heat. It might be 105 degrees in the room but your body will still be your natural temperature. So it’s not overheating your body, which is why I say that it’s not extreme.
One, you detox, you sweat. You get that stuff out of your body. Better out than in, right?
Two, it is safer for your muscles to stretch in the heat. Think about it as a piece of metal, you can’t take that piece and try to bend it. It’s going to be stiff but when you warm up the metal you can form it, you can shape it.
Three, it creates a level of focus. When you’re in there and it’s 105 degrees and your teacher is talking to you- you’re going to listen to that teacher because it helps you take your mind off the heat, it creates a different method of focusing.
If you are interested in checking out any of Bikram Yoga Ferndale’s classes or learning more about their practice, please check out their website for the full schedule and description of classes. Bikram Yoga Ferndale also hosts a donation class to donate all funds to a local charity, please contact the studio for more information!
By Victoria Tsai
Social Media Coordinator at JMJ Phillip Group