Friday, April 13, 2007

It?s getting hot in here

Experience hot yoga with Jimmy Barkan

Express Staff Writer

The Barkan Method style of hot yoga is practiced in a heated room and is designed to stretch and strengthen every part of the body.

Traditional yoga invigorates the body, but when you turn up the heat a routine yoga practice will take on an entirely new feel and perspective. From Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jimmy Barkan comes to Studio Y in Ketchum for a weekend of hot yoga and posture clinics he calls the Barkan Method, beginning at 6 p.m. today, April 13, through Sunday, April 15.

The Barkan Method is a style of Hatha yoga that originated from Calcutta, India.

"There is no such thing as "hot yoga" in India, but we do it in the West to create a distinction," Barkan said. "If you put the heat on and do an Ashtanga class, it's Ashtanga in a heated room. We put the heat up as if we were in Calcutta, which is 120 degrees with the humidity of Florida."

The Barkan Method yoga practice is designed for balance and optimal health, which brings together cardiovascular strength, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance and flexibility. With consistency, the Barkan Method will promote physical, mental and spiritual harmony well-being.

"Bikram brought hot yoga to this country, so I call the Barkan Method the evolution of Bikram," Barkan said. "I'm not particular about a routine. I change it up, but there is a format and I target certain areas."

Barkan hopes to inspire people to continue their own practice and daily routines as well as educate participants, in general, to particular types of yoga. "I am hoping to shed some light on several aspects of yoga. There is going to be a lot of variety such as a short lecture, demonstrating poses from beginning to most advanced, and getting specific on alignment."

Those participating in any or all of the weekend's yoga workshop should plan to sweat and work hard. Bring towels, clothes to sweat in, a sticky mat and plenty of water.

"There will be a lot of added insight and information, and we will work out," Barkan said. "You will get more out of it with awareness in what we are doing such as with understanding body alignment and philosophy."

Barkan believes the whole idea of yoga is to expand mentally and spiritually, even though the body is used as the vessel to achieve this. "So people get to see the big picture, I like to bring in the spirituality of yoga and that goes way beyond the physical. Physically you will get in very good shape, feel invigorated, and eliminate tension," Barkan said. "We hope to offer techniques to quiet the mind's chatter because that's where we get into trouble. It is profound."

For more information about classes and times, call Studio Y at 726-8829.

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