This post might help you when explaining to friends/family how a Bikram Yoga class works 🙂 A Bikram Yoga class is not the place for deep meaningful explanations about all elements of Yoga. We can only ever share ‘snapshot’ ‘nutshell’ insights within the 90 minutes instruction. There is a method in our teaching style. Bikram teachers are taught to teach to an exact minimum standard. It may not be romantic enough for some and others may not recognise the significance of the method unless they practice it for some time. Others seem to just love to refer to Bikram teaching as being scripted. (biiiig ooooold Yoga yaaaawn. Oooops Sorry! I digressed!! 🙂 )
Bikram teaching is a process/method that works and must’nt be interfered with lest something vital gets lost: Simply: we give succinct instructions. WHAT TO DO. HOW TO DO. WHEN TO DO. Full Stop. We use the plainest language so that this Yoga remains accessible to anyone. There is no ambiguity. No choice. No problem 🙂 .
We work the room but do not always demo every posture or do hands-on adjustments.
At YM we endeavour to permeate the method with quick demos and 10 second summations do punctuate instructions here and there. All kept within the 90 minute time frame of course. These demos/summations are our choice. The method does not require them in order for an AMAZING Bikram experience to be had; but depending on class dynamic we may provide such a pause where we think the students might benefit from a few extra slow deep breaths in between asanas or we get that sixth sense that they are right in the moment. We keep our ‘hands off’ because it is YOUR Yoga class not ours!
Generally speaking ‘tho, long, meandering explanations take time. THERE IS NO TIME. We have to keep the whole class on track in their MOVING MEDITATION. If the student doesn’t get it in the moment, we move on. This is the deal with Bikram Yoga instruction. We KNOW the dedicated student will ‘get it’ when they are ready 🙂 . If we deem it essential to them to get it quickly we will speak with them before/after class.
If is a student is experiencing injury or has a condition, in the first instance the technique calls for a modification of depth without loss of technique. Alternatives are discussed/provided on an individual basis with discussion on this often taking place outside of the 90 minutes. We prescribe the method/modification/alternative. We will explore every avenue and do everything we can to keep the student moving in the direction of the method’s postures and we will do everything we can to keep the student successful in their practice.
Through repeated attendance at a Bikram class with its consistency of instruction and the absence of choices to be made (Lock the Knee – NO CHOICE 🙂 ), the practitioner learns the exact behaviour required to get results. The constant instructions occupy the conscious minds of the practitioners. This occupation helps keep the ‘monkeys out of the temple’. Whilst occupied executing the essential instructions the mind has an opportunity to slow down, focus and be in the here and now. Because this is where it is all happening. This is what is important. WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE CAN’T HELP YOU NOW AND THE BURDEN OF ‘NEXT’ HASN’T HAPPENED. In this process you are acquiring the ability to quiet your mind. Nevermind the fact that the class is rigorous. This is the BEST REST you will have had all day. There is no room for stress as STILLNESS becomes the order of the moment.
Om Om Om “We know what we are but know not what we may be!”