Sunday, 8 April 2012

A Different Yoga Groove

I have been practicing Bikram Yoga almost exclusively for 4 years now.  I love the peace of mind which comes from practicing the same series of movements over & over again.  In Bikram classes, the instructor guides students through a series of 26 poses in a room heated to 40C.  The words spoken are roughly the same each time.  It sounds very prescriptive but the reason for this is to guide students verbally to increase depth and flexibility.  At a Bikram studio I can do some of the poses well because I have practiced them so often.  Repeating the same poses every class has improved flexibility, posture and range of motion.
The last signs of winter in
Whistler 2 weeks ago.  

On a recent family vacation to Whistler, while my boys skied I practiced yoga at a non-Bikram studio because there is no Bikram Studio within 30 minutes of Whistler.  I wasn't sure what to expect because I have been practicing Bikram for so long now.

The sequence of poses at this new studio was rather Bikramish, with some variety.  I really enjoyed practicing a different yoga because the variety shook my body out of its usual groove in a good way.  The Mountain Series (where I usually do Triangle) was especially challenging and rewarding.  The instructor corrected me during this sequence by twisting my hips, a change from Bikram's verbal-only corrections.  Unfortunately, I can't remember what I was doing wrong in this pose, so this experience got me wondering ...

Does my brain remember verbal yoga corrections better than manual ones?  Another question, is it better to repeat the same yoga poses over & over again and become an expert, or to vary poses each lesson?  Just like my usual classes, I felt very refreshed at the end of the session.  And to answer my question, I think change is mind-expanding, but still believe that practice makes perfect.

I spy with my little eye, something that is ...  Happy Easter!

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