Vinyasa Krama (Start Where You Are)....and a little Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga....I finally get the craze...

I'm a firm believer that different types of yoga serve us during different times of our lives. Yoga is not one-size-fits all nor does one practice serve all the days of our lives

When we're wound tight as a rope with stress, some of us are served by a passive, gentle practice like Yin Yoga and others perhaps more so by a vigorous Ashtanga practice.

My "usual" personal practice is a combination of sun salutations in the Asthanga tradition, slow flow vinyasa and gentle restorative postures. I don't premeditate my practice, I just kind of let it flow. Sometimes I think I'm going to do a very yang (active) practice and when I get on my mat, my body lets me know that it wants a few gentle pigeon poses and and extra long savasana.

And this free form approach where I let my body tell me what to do has worked for me for years. But this past month, it wasn't really working for me. I was feeling edgy after my yoga practices and I sometimes couldn't figure out what would serve my body best because my mind was racing all over the place.

Right around that time a friend suggested I try a Bikram class.
I'd never practiced Bikram because I thought it would feel too restrictive.
Bikram is a sequence of 26 postures, each practiced twice - the same 26 postures every class in a 100F degree hot room.

I decided to give Bikram a try. It was exactly was I needed to settle my mind. I've been practicing it daily for the last several weeks.
Here's why I think Bikram is working for me right now:
I've been working furiously for the last 8 weeks on publishing a book, finalizing details for a charity trip for disabled veterans, planning fundraiser for families of fallen firefighters, and running our yoga retreat business on St. John.
The common theme of everything on my plate at the moment is that I have to make all of the decisions and set all of the plans in motion.
So I realized what I'm loving right now about the Bikram practice is that I don't have to make any decisions about the sequence, my level of effort (110% according to the practice) or length of practice. It has all been decided for me, by Mr. Bikram Choudhury. And right now, at this moment, I need to have a space where I am not the person calling the shots. And that's exactly what Bikram is providing me.

So thank you Mr. C for a practice that is serving me brilliantly for the moment.

I'm curious to learn what draws other people to this practice....please share your experiences with Bikram Yoga....


Suzann said...

I practiced Bikram yoga 3 times a week for about a year and a half. It was actually my first real exposure to a dedicated yoga practice. I benefited from it tremendously! The initial breathing helped me with some sinus issues and the overall series helped me with my spine and posture. I agree with you that it's nice to have 26 postures to count on sometimes. You don't even have to think about the sequence. Now, although I prefer kundalini and ashtanga, I remain grateful for my Bikram practice.

Lindsey said...

I found hot yoga to do the same thing. It's a nice respite, a time to just be, not even think...which I also need in busy times. I've found the need this past week to take my daily morning practice into a studio class, too...being uber busy has interfered with my ability to complete a full practice on my own. Working from home in a bachelor affects it, too!

p.s. would you do me the honor of being my next Yoga Insider? examples here: