If you have ever taken a Bikram Yoga class anywhere in the world you will notice that the teacher seems to a have a problem with verbal diarrhoea! I had to laugh when a student (who is now an amazing teacher) likened it to a “rap” when he attended his first class with me! Yes I agree when you are not used to it it can seem a bit intrusive but after this post you may think a bit differently.
There is a reason for everything in Bikram Yoga – e.g. the heat, the order of postures, the timing and definitely the detail and that is probably why it is the most comprehensive series of postures that work every inch of you – inside and out – from bones to skin – from the fingers to the toes – to quote the Founder himself!
Every posture comes with a detailed set of instructions. Why is that so? Partly to ensure the correct timing (those last few seconds are the most effective) but also because we can get very “creative” in adapting postures to suit ourselves and thereby avoiding the whole point of the posture! I know I was guilty of this for years, like Eagle Pose for example, being told to suck in my stomach at the same time as twist myself into a pretzel was going a bit too far I thought! Come on Bikram – really??? Yes really!
Awkward Pose – the same thing – when your legs feel like jelly and then you have to make sure your stance is an exact “H” not even a slight hint of a “V” in there – oh PLEEASSSEE! (Don’t worry if you have never done Bikram Yoga before and you think I’m talking gobbeldy gook – come to class and all will be revealed!)
I found out many years later how incredible each line of the dialogue really is and that is why I decided to teach this yoga again. I took a break for a while and concentrated more on shifting the limitations of my mind / consciousness, and then when Bikram Yoga “came” to me again I was able to see everything with a fresh perspective and definitely new awareness and understanding of the postures. I was amazed that much of the information that I had learnt and the awarenesses that I had gained in later years from many, many other body/mind modalities (I was a workshop junkie!) was actually already included in this series of postures and I was inspired once again.
I truly believe the detail, the timing, the order and the precision of the postures is one of the biggest gifts of Bikram Yoga. I have taught this Yoga to many students over the years in various places around the world and I see first hand the difference that the Bikram detail (once applied) makes in anyone’s yoga practice and body and it is simply amazing.
Of course I understand if you have some bodily or physical challenges there may be much you cannot do and that is OK! Just do the postures to the best of your ability in that moment (and never forget that things can change in any moment too – never limit yourself with your thoughts). Concentrate on what you can do and do not judge yourself for what you can’t do right now and you will still get 100% benefit. That is why anyone can do Bikram Yoga.
Even if you have practiced for many years and are proficient in the postures, make the effort to “re-hear” the instruction and see for yourself how many “short cuts” you take in your practice – as I said – we can get very “creative”!
There are gems hidden in the detail I can assure you.