Thu | Oct 6, 2022

Bikram Yoga Jamaica helping persons achieve a healthy mind and body

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2022 | 12:07 AMKerese Oakley-Williams /Gleaner Intern
Yolande Lloyd-Small (left) teaching the ‘triangle pose’ at Bikram Yoga Jamaica.
Yolande Lloyd-Small (left) teaching the ‘triangle pose’ at Bikram Yoga Jamaica.
Separate leg-stretching pose that helps to calm the nervous system and improve brain function.
Separate leg-stretching pose that helps to calm the nervous system and improve brain function.
The full locust pose, to help increase spinal strength and flexibility.
The full locust pose, to help increase spinal strength and flexibility.
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Tried and proven to transform lives, Bikram Yoga, otherwise known as ‘hot yoga’, offers effective movement and open-eyed meditation in a heated room.

“It is the balancing of the mind, body, and soul. And so, the benefits I find is that it is both calming of the mind and forms a connection between the mind and the body,” says the owner of Bikram Yoga Jamaica, Yolande Lloyd-Small.

Inspired by her own health journey, she decided to switch from running to another activity that would provide a similar rush of energy and familiarity for her mind and body. “I was on my own personal health journey, and then in 2013 I decided that I couldn’t run anymore, so I needed something that would give me the same feeling of the high I get from running, so I stepped into yoga and I found this one, and this particularly attracted me because of the heat,” the marathon enthusiast shared.

Bikram Yoga Jamaica provides beginner classes for persons who have a desire to balance a healthy mind with a healthy body. “Bikram yoga is a beginner’s class and it’s the same 26 postures and two breathing exercises within 90 minutes. It is the same thing every time. And so, you just have to decide that the heat will not be a bother, because the room is heated to 105 degrees. So, it is stretching a warm body versus stretching a cold body ... you have to quiet your mind to stay in what is initially meant to be an uncomfortable position,” the lawyer shared.

Her yoga sessions aid in treating a wide array of health issues. In Lloyd-Small’s classes, you will be taught stretches and poses that aid spinal strength and flexibility and calm the nervous system. Attendees will engage in external and internal workouts by doing poses such as the ‘head to knee stretch’ or the ‘triangle pose’.

To dismantle the negative misconceptions about the practice of yoga, Lloyd-Small shared that it is a workout and not a religion. “It is not closed-eyed. In Jamaica we are a heavily religious country, and people have a lot of misconceptions about yoga, and say that it is a religion. It is not. We are not trying to get into your belief system. It is really a matter of you paying attention and staying present for 90 minutes with your eyes open. It is both an external and internal workout,” she shared.

As a Bikram yoga student, you will be challenged to maximise your potential by engaging in activities such as the ‘100-hour challenge’. “Right now, we are having what we call the 100-hour challenge. So people would make a commitment; so by the time the challenge is over, you can measure and say that I have committed a hundred hours to self care.”

Currently, the studio is working to provide more classes in September, with the maximum class size being 20 participants. “We presently have three classes a week; however, we are planning to add more classes come September. We kept it at three, and we are keeping the maximum to the room at 20 because COVID is still keeping. We don’t want to pack everyone in the room like sardines. We want to be responsible and have everybody feel safe,” the yoga lover shared.

The studio has been in operation since 2014; however, it only recently reopened last August after being locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes are held currently on Wednesdays at 5:30 a.m., Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 9 a.m.

kerese.williams@gleanerjm.com