News High Temperture a Hallmark of Yoga Form


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

High Temperatures a Hallmark of Yoga Form Feeling the Heat

By KAITLIN LEARY, Telegraph Staff

Bikram Yoga Nashua owner Miranda Chicklis, center, gives instructions during a class at her studio on Monday.


Staff photo by Dan Williamson
Bikram Yoga Nashua owner Miranda Chicklis, center, gives instructions during a class at her studio on Monday. Order this photo

NASHUA - Miranda Chicklis has taken the yoga craze to a new level - not to mention temperature.

Chicklis is the owner of Bikram Yoga Nashua, a new yoga studio that specializes in Bikram yoga.

Bikram, also called “hot yoga,” is a form of yoga that was recently developed in India. It is a 90-minute yoga session that combines 26 different stretches with two breathing exercises to stimulate the organs and nerves and increase circulation in the body.

Like traditional forms of yoga, Bikram is said to increase a person’s patience, concentration and flexibility. Unlike other forms of yoga, however, Bikram is performed in a room at a temperature of 105 degrees or higher. According to Chicklis, this keeps the muscles warm, increases flexibility, and rids your body of toxins through sweat.

“When you first start Bikram, it’s tough,” said Chicklis. “But you get used to it.”

Chicklis, a Nashua native, started practicing yoga six years ago to relieve some of the injuries she sustained playing sports in both high school and college. A year later, she was introduced to Bikram yoga.

“I knew it was what I wanted to do right away,” said Chicklis.

In September 2001, Chicklis attended Bikram’s Yoga College of India in Los Angeles and studied with the form’s originator, Bikram Choudhury.

During her stay at the college, Chicklis endured what she called “yoga boot camp.”

According to Chicklis, she trained from eight in the morning until midnight, with only Sundays off. Each day consisted of two 90-minute yoga sessions, followed by classes in Bikram nutrition, theory and anatomy. During the evenings, she and the other students listened to Choudhury lecture on his form of yoga.

“The training was grueling,” said Chicklis. “But it made me realize that if I could do it, I could do anything.”

Chicklis has been teaching Bikram yoga for three years now. Because there were no Bikram studios in southern New Hampshire, she traveled to Portsmouth, Boston, and Woburn, Mass., to teach.

On June 1, Chicklis opened Bikram Yoga Nashua, the first studio in southern New Hampshire to offer the form.

“I don’t look at this like a job,” said Chicklis. “Teaching yoga makes me peaceful.”

Chicklis offers classes seven days a week. Currently, she conducts only one class per day, but says that could increase upon demand.

And there is a demand, judging by class members’ comments.

“Bikram is addicting,” said Cambridge, Mass., native Jody Johnson.

Johnson turned to Bikram to heal aches and pains.

“I am just able to do more things,” said Johnson. “I am not achy and my energy is through the roof.”

Chicklis’ brother Ian ruptured his medial collateral ligament while playing hockey. His doctor told him that he might need surgery, but he turned to Bikram.

“My knee healed itself,” he said. “I never needed surgery.”

Bikram Yoga Nashua also offers its patrons message therapy.

Karen Favorite, owner of Peaceful Pathway Message Therapy, performs the massage therapy at Bikram Yoga Nashua. She offers Swedish, hot stone and chair massage.

Favorite also offers craniosacral therapy, a gentle, noninvasive massage technique that is believed to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

“Bikram has countless benefits,” Chicklis said.

Among its benefits, Bikram is said to counteract asthma and other related breathing illnesses, regulate blood pressure, alleviate aches and pains associated with arthritis, strengthen and tighten muscles in the body, promote and maintain weight loss and improve circulation throughout the body.

“It just keeps the body in harmony,” said Chicklis.

For more information on Bikram Yoga Nashua, go to www.bikramyoganashua.com or call 880-9642.

Kaitlin Leary can be reached at 594-5860 or at learyk@telegraph-nh.com

 


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