The Tenets That Distinguish Bikram Yoga

The Bikram method’s unchanging FEATURES are:
> 26 postures TWICE
> unique unchanging ‘sequence’ of asana
> ‘dialogue’ present in instruction
> Bikram certified teachers only
> heat and humidity
> 90 minutes
> being uber hydrated
> no water before Eagle 😉
> wall of mirrors
> verbal adjustments
> lock the knee

Bikram Yoga has been around a LONG time.  It is THE Original Hot Yoga.  In recent years more and more other styles are using ‘HEAT’.  This is TOTES understandable to us Bikram Yoga instructors! OBVIOUSLY because the heat WORKS!  That said, the heat is not the only distinguishing feature of Bikram Yoga. The heat and postures and order of events in the 90 minutes make each of these features (in their own right) desirable to many but adding heat to what you do doesn’t make it Bikram Yoga!  IF ALL THE FEATURES LISTED ABOVE ARE NOT PRESENT IN YOUR CLASS YOU ARE NOT PRACTICING THE BIKRAM METHOD.

Some of the postures are unique to the method.  It is a general wellness / maintenance prescription with set modifications that can and will be prescribed as appropriate by the leading instructor on an individual basis.  Click link for more information on Hydrating DURING Class .  It is normal for new people to take visual cue from those around them in the early days of their practice; they will become more introspective and tune into the detail of the verbal instructions in time.

More experienced students taking places in front few rows should be aware of the newbies placed behind them and try to LEAD BY EXAMPLE remembering not to insert extra movements/quirks/flourishes as new practitioners may copy what they see ; please do not be surprised if the teacher picks up on anything out of the ordinary (i.e. any action that has not been instructed) especially if you are an experienced practitioner (read DON’T NOURISH THE FLOURISH and MIRROR MIRROR ), Often these ‘extras’ that creep in and feel necessary are a ‘mind’ thing; a habit that can be broken in 1-2 classes if it is just given a bit of attention (habits were just made to be broken after all 🙂 ). Where possible permit those placed behind some view of themselves in the mirror. Lay tall bottles on their side so that they don’t obscure the vision of those placed behind (when in the floor series). Be aware of YOUR space allowed. Please keep personal belongings on the mat so that they don’t get trod on or accidentally kicked by the instructor.

Re-read the class logistics/etiquette every now and then to refresh your memory; they were written to enhance your experience. Please remember you signed up to these on first entering Yoga Matters studio.

But a few key reminders:

~ Allow yourself adequate travel/parking time to get to class; it starts promptly and cannot be held up; the people already ‘in’ the room before you will want to be getting out on time to go about their life tasks. Travel safely.
~ Ensure you bring adequate water supplies with you, filling up from tap during class is distracting to other students and is not allowed. YM cannot guarantee the quality of its water supply ‘source’ (it is an old building). Please bring your own water.
~ Ensure you use the toilet just PRIOR to class starts; leaving the room during class time is distracting to other students and is also ‘catching’ 😉 .
~ If you experience symptoms of light headedness or nausea that can be associated with new to/infrequent practice depending on whether you are un-acclimatized or recovering from an illness, hangover or have had a break from Yoga; you most take charge of yourself and rest as needed in the room (the instructor will have given/prescribed the resting positions to you prior to your very first class).  It is not ‘uncommon’ to feel like this so please don’t think the instructor is unsympathetic; the sensible thing is for you to stay in the room and they can keep a close eye on you and be making quiet assessments about how you are faring, but must continue teaching the class at the same time.  If you do think what you are feeling is so unusual that you need to alert the instructor then please do so.
~ Remember EVERYTHING YOU DO DURING THE 90 MINUTES IS YOGA, including how you move into and out of the postures and what you do/don’t do 😉 in between.  Always consciously CHOOSING what you do (not auto/habit), always MINDFUL of what you do.
~ Ideally you would take 1 minute Savasana for every 10 minutes of practice. YM have ‘built in’ a 2 minute conscious relaxation at the end of class to prepare for this Savasana.  If you cannot take Savasana take the 2 minutes to slow your heart rate down and get your breathing back to normal.  It is TWO MINUTES!

Om Om Om AT YM ‘IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL THE SINGING BOWL SINGS’ 😉

Namaste ~ Trisha

1/10/12