Sometimes in class you will hear an instruction in the dialogue, and you are already doing that instruction. Then what?
Then, that instruction is not for you. Then, it’s a checklist.
“Hips more forward, upper body back more, weight in the heels.” Check, check, check.
If you were to do, you would overdo.
Posture Tip: Half Moon
After bending to the right, continuously push your hips to the left beyond your flexibility.
It’s the pushing of the hips that turns bending into tremendous stretching.
At the end of the posture, come down and push, and push, and push…your hips.
Don’t ever bounce, push your hips.
Bikram Yoga is not easy. We all struggle in class. It’s the struggle that reveals our strength.
Not only do we have to struggle, we have to watch ourselves as we do.
We have walls of mirrors to ensure it.
Imagine for a moment you saw me, struggling in class. What would you feel? Empathy? Kindness? Compassion?
And what if you saw yourself struggling?
Be Kind To Yourself.
Shout out (love) to my Karma Yogis who keep the mirrors at my studio extra clean, so that our students can always see how amazing they are.
When I was a kid, my Dad would tell me that if I kept making that twit face every time I was upset, it would freeze, and I would look like that forever.
Relax your face.
I don’t wanna be held responsible if you’re forever walking around town with Full Locust Face.
Chiropractors will manipulate and adjust you.
Acupuncturists will work on your meridians with needles.
Doctors will give you a checkup and perhaps a prescription.
Massage therapists can work out your muscles.
They are all useful and can be a wonderful part of your wellness team.
What I love most about Bikram Yoga is that you do it yourself.
If you have chronic pain, injury or illness, you can create positive changes to your well-being.
Nobody is going to do it for you. Just you. Toes on the line. Making it happen.
If you are every lying on your stomach in Savasana and find yourself looking at someone in the eye it could be 1 of 2 things.
1-Its true love.
2-You’re just facing the wrong direction.
Hearing is a gift. You can’t improve it, it can only degrade over time.
However if you can Hear, you can Listen. And that you can improve.
Listening is a skill. A skill we all strive to get better at.
At the start of class, I will often ask my students to “Please listen very close, and try your very best.”
There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth.
Posture Tip -Locust Pose
Don’t Compromise Technique For Depth.
Locust is practiced with the knees locked and feet together.
The student on the left gets 100% benefit of the pose. On the right, the benefit is lost. In the back, a 7 year old making faces at her sister.
Note-Ruth gets a pass on her feet apart here. She is deaf and was still on her intro month.
Imagine a Tree. A Yoga Tree.
There are 8 limbs on the Tree, and as outlined in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, they make up what is called Raja Yoga.
Sanskrit to English, Raja means Royal, King.
Raja Yoga, the King Yoga, is control over the mind and emotions.
In Bikram, there are 5 of these qualities that we develop.
- Self Control
In that order.
These are the things that can change us the most.
I run a blacksmith’s shop. We take steel, and with it we make swords.
With the right tools and a bit of effort, steel can be bent, twisted, and stretched into many different forms. The first tool you need is heat. Hot steel becomes pliable, malleable, changeable.
Too little heat, and it remains stiff and ungiving.
Too much heat, and it loses all strength, unable to be worked.
Our swords are the finest quality available.Sharp, straight, unbreakable and true.
A consistent practice is the best.
A sharpening and realignment 3-5 times per week will yield the greatest results.
Stop by the shop anytime.
We are here to serve and open everyday of the year.
The best dancers don’t start off dancing.
They start by working a routine, step by step, mastering each move with pinpoint exactness until each step is practiced and precise.
Only then, with body conditioned and mind relaxed, can a dancer truly dance.
Posture Tip – Awkward
Stand up on your toes maximum like a ballerina! Mhmm…
That photo is me showing off. #lookatme
I can only do it for about 8 seconds. It’s not sustainable, and it’s not how I practice in class. It’s exaggeration. It’s exercise.
Don’t do so much Yoga that you are no longer doing Yoga.
Imagine for a moment, I had a #2 pencil and I asked you to Grab it.
Now Hold it. Now Grip it.
Now imagine it’s not a pencil at all, but your foot and you are in class. See the difference?
Grab it like you mean it. Hold it like a baby bird. Grip it like something you hold dear to you, and don’t ever lose your grip.
Don’t settle. Try the right way and be a #1 pencil.
Posture Tip-Standing Head to Knee & Standing Bow Pulling
In both postures first you have to Grab your foot. For the beginner, its hard to do, so don’t think about it just Grab it. If you think about it, you might convince yourself otherwise.
Then you Hold it. That’s the ultimate destination. Very little weight of the foot in the hand. Hold it like a baby bird.
No one has ever walked into my studio and said “Hey, I’d like to join. I have a goal of touching my forehead on the floor and I heard this is the place to do it.”
It doesn’t happen. That’s not what it’s for.
We started for our bad knees, bad backs, bad attitudes, broken hearts, loose screws…you know yours.
Not to touch our exactly foreheads on the floor and then #showeverybody.
What’s it for?
Posture Tip: Kapalbhati Breathing
Make sure your arms are straight and elbows locked, so your spine stays straight while you relax the entire abdominal wall.
Those abdominal muscles help support our spine, but they must be relaxed here so you can pull your stomach in and out and effect the diaphragm.
Now you can blow very strong, and the inhale happens automatically.
Ps if you’re 7 years old you can do it before the dentist to make it less scary.
School Teaches Us failure isn’t an option. Satisfactory means you are on the cusp of ineptitude and might not make it.
Good is never good enough.
Bikram Yoga Teaches Us failure is essential. You cannot affect great change without the risk of failure. Satisfactory will get you all of the available benefits, if you try the right way.
Too good, is no good.
Posture Tip-Eagle Pose
If you pull your elbows down towards the floor, until your fingertips go below your nose, you will likely never stop trying, thus always getting the benefit of stretching the upper back.
If you lift your chin, or crank your wrists to get the fingertips below the nose, you lose that benefit.
Your Standing Head to Knee will thank you.