Above all else, Bikram Yoga emphasizes personal growth and development—not competition and comparison. That means newcomers are welcome to attend alongside experienced practitioners. Although the sessions at Bikram Yoga St. Louis may seem like a more physical challenge at first, the goal is for students to recognize and strengthen the connection that exists between the mind, body, and spirit. This progress does bolster physical fitness, but also creates a restorative and relaxing experience.
Every 90-minute session consists of the exact same sequence of two breathing exercises and 26 standing and seated asanas. These physically demanding postures use deep bends and twists to work muscle groups and organ systems throughout the body, pushing oxygenated blood where it's needed most and building strength and stamina. If you're having trouble with any pose, that's no problem: the instructors can recommend slight modifications. For more advice, visit the studio's website.
The instructors heat the practice space to sweat-inducing levels for each class, increasing circulation and aiding in the release of toxins. In addition to loosening tight muscles—which allows students to sink deeper into each stretch—this heat also has profound mental benefits. The extra challenge encourages attendees to focus on each posture's alignment and orientation while learning how to accept the heat, concentrate on breathing, and practice a calmer mental state. After class, separate changing rooms with showers are available for those looking to refresh themselves.
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Valley Vinyasa’s experienced and certified instructors guide aspiring contortionists through a relaxing gauntlet of flexibility-boosting poses that encourage synchronizing breath with movement. Each five-class card is valid for three months, and the 60–75 minute classes are available during the day throughout the entire week, making it all the easier to get one’s "om" on. The beginner-level class is appropriate for beginning body benders and moves at a comfortable pace while focusing on breath and alignment. More advanced classes offer a higher-paced flow and include basic arm balances, inversions, and binding postures that aspire to stretch participants like a game of Twister without the awkward eye poking. Modifications are always offered for students to individualize their sessions and cater poses to suit their needs while still providing a challenge.