November 25, 2011


I practiced Bikram yoga this morning for the first time in a month.  It was...nice?  It's strange, I'm not over the moon for the practice anymore.  It was good.  I can see the benefits.  I liked how it felt but something was missing.  I don't know why I feel like I need to make a decision.  That I need to know 100% which yoga I want to continue practicing.  I don't know why I feel like I need to work all of this out right now, after all it is the journey of yoga, it doesn't matter what happens at the end.

It was wonderful to be at the studio this morning.  My mum was there which is the reason I got up at 5:30 am, to practice with her.  I love practicing with my mum and I think it's the biggest thing I miss about my Bikram practice.  One of my favourite teachers was teaching which gave me another reason to get up in the cold and the dark.  Before class I made sure to tell myself that there was no need to try to go as deep as I may have a month ago.  I didn't want to hurt myself.  I felt strong and solid during class.  The heat felt nice and the asanas were comforting, my body knew what to do even if it hadn't done some of those movements in a month. 

It was also nice to just listen, to not think about what came next.  I simply had to listen to the dialogue.  I don't think I ever appreciated this before.  In my Ashtanga practice you are responsible for your practice, you need to learn, to embed the practice into your body and mind.  You are responsible for your alignment, your body.  Of course there is a teacher there but is not the consistent reminders that we receive through the dialogue in Bikram yoga.

I felt no need for water this morning.  I have never been a water chugger but I would always sip on my water.  I didn't take one sip until after final Savasana.  I attribute this to the Ashtanga and the fact that there are no water breaks in the Ashtanga practice.  For a month now I have been practicing yoga with no water until after my practice.  I was curious to see how this would translate into the hot room and I can see now how the need and craving for water while I practice yoga is all in my head.  Regardless of the heat or how much I'm sweating because I tell ya, I sweat just as much in my Ashtanga practice as I do during a cooler Bikram class.

It felt absolutely luxurious to be able to lie down in Savasana in between the floor poses.  It was strange not doing a Vinyasa between the poses.  I felt as though I was cheating a little bit :).  But I really noticed how they both have the same goal, to clear and release the blood through any limbs or organs that were stretched or bent or compressed during the asana.

So here I am comparing and contrasting the different practices.  Yes they are different but they all stem from the traditional Hatha Yoga.  I really just need to do what I want, what my heart tells me.  



Anonymous said...

I have been practicing for over a year and I was feeling the same way you have been about my practice, you know, ' is okay still but should I try something else now' type attitude. I always am glad I went but it was starting to creep into my mind that perhaps I should go back to running instead.
I knew I had to get out of the 'rut' (for lack of a better term) because Bikram is not something you do for awhile and then move provides too much benefit to do that.
I attended some competition training sessiosn at the local studio where they break down the postures and tweak the details...made for some new learnings. I also experimented with my eating and noted what affected me how in my practice. These sorts of alternate angles on the same practice helped to breathe new life into Birkam for me.
Hope you keep with it!! Namaste.

Anonymous said...

I've struggled between Ashtanga and Bikram as well.
I've stuck with Bikram, doing advanced helps with variation and things to work on. One of the cool things is that advanced always brings you back to beginning class. It's always back to work on the foundations, which is amazing.
On the other hand I love the steadiness of Ashtanga. I love that you control a bit more of it.