Sweating it out with yoga at UM

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Senior and Bikram Yoga Club President Carl Gardner poses with Charlotte Wyrick, a freshman studying nursing, near Lake Osceola Wednesday. Bikram is a technique that uses heat to stretch the body and calm the mind. Marlena Skrobe// Photoeditor

UM senior Carl Gardner was an ultimate tri-athlete until he hurt his knees. Luckily, he found a hot new way to exercise.

Gardner started the UM Bikram Yoga Club last fall after suffering multiple knee injuries from running. He no longer has to worry about the impact to his knees while running on pavement and Bikram has improved his flexibility and breathing.

“After running for so many years, my knees finally gave in,” Gardner said. “I needed to find an alternative route to exercise and Bikram was the perfect fit.”

Bikram is a yoga technique practiced in a a room that is at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The average Bikram yoga routine takes about 90 minutes.

Although it may seem a little extreme, UM club members like to increase the heat.

“Sweating is good in this practice,” said Edith Freni, the club’s faculty adviser and a lecturer in the theater arts program. “We like it at least 105 degrees if not more.”

The heat is important because it makes the body soft and flexible. Also, when you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin. Bikram devotees say it can have positive effects on the mind.

“Yoga actually becomes addicting,” junior Meaghan Gayner said. “I think the reason why people love it so much is because of the way you feel after. I feel totally calm and ready to take on any challenge that lies ahead.”

Gayner and other members of the club meet several times a week at Bikram Hot Yoga Miami in Coconut Grove. There are currently 30 members who participate in the club.

For more information log on to miamibikram.com.

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