I wanted to do a yoga post a few days ago when I just come back from an amazing class, but I felt that it would be a little frou frou for my tastes, so I gave it a miss. Well, today’s yoga lesson was not so awesome, and now I feel like I have to remind my self why I’m doing this is the first place. Please allow me to share the things I love and loath about Bikram yoga.
Certain poses, such as standing boat pose,
and awkward pose.
There are certainly more than 3 poses that I really enjoy, but these are the ones I look forward to. Boo to having a stress fracture in my foot though, I can’t do awkward pose for another few weeks.
Certain poses, such as triangle
Fixed firm pose
And rabbit pose.
The first two just don’t jive with my knees at all. I guess rabbit isn’t sooooo bad, but I don’t look forward to doing it every class.
The instructors. On Sunday, I happened to do a class with the owner of the studio, and it was fantastic. Her voice was calm, clear, and collected. She offered great tips on how to improve certain postures, and was very encouraging. She felt like my cheerleader and I really liked that positive energy. Probably best of all, she did not talk AT ALL during savasana.
There is another instructor whom I’ve had a few times who is also very good. She’s a bit louder and very peppy. She knows what she’s doing and I feel very comfortable in her class.
The instructors. Today’s instructor was not great. She was extremely pushy and although she was trying to encourage, she wasn’t doing a great job of it. In fact, I would go as far to say that some of her teaching will injure her students in no time flat. I certainly experienced it months ago when she badgered me to do a toe stand before I was ready to do one. My knees hurt for days afterwards. It really taught me to listen to my body. I know the difference between good pain and bad pain.
Today, I was appalled at her ‘encouragement’. A woman who was having trouble with camel pose (due to back pain), was badgered by her to do the pose. For those of you who don’t know what camel pose is, it is a backward bend, and one of the more difficult ones in the series. Finally, a woman beside the instructor and the victim said ‘She doesn’t want to do it, her back hurts!’ I think the instructor was embarrassed, but she deserved it. There is a difference between people who are unwilling to try the poses and people who can’t do them, she needs to start paying attention to which is which.
The stories that some of the instructors tell. I get inspired when I hear of successes in yoga, and I love the encouraging attitude.
The shaggy dog stories some of the instructors tell. Just because Bikram said it, doesn’t mean it’s true! Some gems I’ve heard over the course of my practice are ‘Yoga is the most natural movement the human body can do, it’s proven by science.’ When I heard that, I was literally screaming in my head SHOW ME THE STUDIES THAT PROVE IT!!!! I’d imagine that eating, shitting, sleeping and walking are probably more natural human movements than yoga. I didn’t come out of the womb in tree pose, I wanted to eat, damnit!
Another one is that half tortoise pose gives you more rest and relaxation than 8 hours of sleep. Ummm…. No, I don’t buy that. Why do I sometimes come home from yoga and go back to sleep then? Although… if I started doing that pose in lieu of sleep, think of the things I could get done without wasting all that time sleeping! Right?
The way it makes me feel. When I have a good class, I feel just wonderful. Even with today’s not so stellar instruction, I am really glad I went. Yoga is beginning to make me feel strong and capable, and I want to hold on to that feeling for as long as I can.
In conjunction with the swimming that I have been doing, it has helped me to sleep better, feel more clear headed, and overall, just happier. I have to hang on to this feeling when I have a bad class.
This is why I practice yoga.