Interview Olga Allon on Bikram Yoga

by admin on August 26, 2013

Post image for Interview Olga Allon on Bikram Yoga

Interview Olga Allon on Bikram Yoga

 

How did you first come across Bikram Yoga & what do you love about it?

I was working as an architect and had always been interested in fitness and sport.  I was always suffering aches and pains, working at a desk job.  I was living in an area where one of the first Bikram Yoga studios opened in London and I regularly cycled past it and saw all of these sweaty people coming out and thought, ‘Oh what’s going on there?’

I’d done other forms of yoga but whatever I did I was always up for a challenge and within 1 class I was hooked because it was such a challenge: it was so different to anything I’d ever done before.

And the more I did it, the more I got out of it and it never became easy, every class was a challenge.  That’s probably the thing that I love about it the most: it challenges me in so many different ways and every class always feels like I’m giving my body something back… So many other sports I do have been depleting my body in some way: of course I feel stronger and fitter but it feels like I’m using up my resources whereas this just feels like I’m healing my body and I’m being very kind to my body.

 

How would Bikram Yoga help someone improve their fitness & stamina if they were embarking on a challenge or adventure?

So we get a lot of people coming to do Bikram Yoga who have come from other sports in quite a big way: lots of triathletes and people doing marathons: during the Olympics lots of people were using it as a support.

No matter how fit you are, when you try something new it challenges you in a different way: It improves your fitness in a different way.  So yoga fitness – standing on one leg – you might get top athletes trying to do it: we’ve had professional footballers, Andy Murray’s been in…  No matter how fit you are, when you’re doing something completely different that your body’s not used to, it will challenge you in a different way.  So that’s the first thing: It’s always good to challenge yourself in a different way.

It’s cardiovascular.  As I said, standing on one leg can be incredibly cardiovascular and challenging in its own way.  You’re working under intense conditions: you’ve got intense heat and humidity.  So obviously when you’re working hard in those conditions and then you train outside of those conditions it will build you stronger.

You’re working your body in a very different way to how it’s ever been worked before.  And the set of postures done in the sequence that they’re done in are incredibly challenging.  They are also in that order to build fitness and stamina.  You’re working your heart & your lungs to their full capacity.

Olga Allon

Does Bikram Yoga build your will power?

So much of it is learning to stay still: Learning to stay focused.  So, for some people one of the biggest challenges is lying in Savasana: lying still without rubbing the sweat, without twitching, without moving.  That can be an incredible challenge and it’s about building mental focus and finding the stillness in the mind to focus on your breath and letting worries and thoughts slip away and again that takes time.

You develop your mind to have peace and quiet.

When you first start Bikram yoga it can be very, very physical.  As you get used to the practice it starts to become more of a moving meditation.  You start to focus more on your breath and start to have moments of clarity and thought and then it becomes a much deeper practice.

We spend so much of our time thinking with a chattering mind and the class helps you to start to lose that chatter in the mind.

 

What are the top benefits of Bikram Yoga, in your opinion?

It depends on whom you’re talking to.  In general it improves flexibility.  It’s really good for both preventing and healing injuries.  It really supports anything else that you’re doing (like endurance sports.)

It builds lean muscle strength: not bulking but toning and strengthening in a way that’s right for your structure and it’s also amazing for general well being: stress release and feeling good.

 

MMTO is about helping people achieve their goals & ambitions… What goals and ambitions could people use Bikram Yoga to achieve?

Literally everyday I get email testimonials through from people, telling me how Bikram Yoga has helped them in so any different ways.   You’ll go into a Bikram Yoga class and there’ll be everybody there from complete beginners – exercise virgins – to top athletes, working together.

It supports you and gives you the strength & focus & determination to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve.  For some people it’s their main form of exercise and for others it’s a supplement to what ever else they’re doing, to help them achieve their goals: like a support for endurance events.

 

Are you living your dream in life?  Setting up more studios and introducing more and more people to the healthy lifestyle that Bikram Yoga offers?

I’m not scared to follow and believe in what I really want to do.   I was an architect and then I wanted Bikram Yoga to be my life.  I wanted the flexibility: I wanted a family & I wanted to be my own boss.  Bikram Yoga kind of gave me the strength and courage to do that.

 

What would you say to anyone who wants to achieve something – like maybe set up their own business or make changes in their life, from career to fitness – but is nervous or anxious about any risks involved?

I’ve always felt that I’ve made calculated risks.  I never see myself as a huge risk taker.  I’m not scared to try something new as long as it’s within a framework that doesn’t leave me too exposed.  So, yeh that goes for everything I do…

I do triathlons but would I apply for a marathon?  Not yet, I don’t feel I’m in that place.  I’ll take challenges and push myself, but in a calculated way that feels measured.

I walked away from a career as an architect in order to open a yoga studio but I had a support network around me and I had an understanding of what I was going into and I felt like it was a measured decision.  So, I’m not averse to taking risks but in a calculated and measured way.

Olga Allon Bikram Yoga

What are the secrets to your success?  Are there any rules or routines that you live by or shape your day around that help you to achieve your goals & ambitions?

As soon as I achieve something… As soon as it’s achievable I’m already moving onto my next goal.  Maybe that’s a good thing and it’ s helped me get to where I am, but I also think I need to get to place where I’m happy with my lot as well, so I’m working on that too, to get that balance in my life.   But I guess that part of me is an adrenaline junkie… I’m always looking for the next goal, the next project.

I’d say… I don’t quit.  I like to see things through to the end.  I’ll stick with something until I achieve it.

I commit myself.  If I commit myself to something then I’ll stick with it.

 

I think that quality of ‘sticking with something” is also something that can be learned…

I’m a big believer that if you commit to something – eg, every day for 30 days – you can make it a part of your life: even big changes.

 

(Article source: mymilliontoone.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/interview-with-olga-allon-bikram-yoga-studio-director-triathletes-world-yoga-expert-runners-world-yoga-expert/)
 


 


 

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