Apart from the first and last breathing exercises, breathe in and out through the nose. Breathe calmly, smoothly and continually – never holding your breath. Think about the breath at all times, including when you go into and out of the postures and during the rest in between. This sounds easier than it is – especially during your first few classes, when you are learning the basic mechanics of the postures. Be conscious of your inhaling and exhaling as it which would keep your mind alert and would enable you to have a stronger and deeper practice.
If you focus purely on how far you can go into a posture, you will most likely lose the proper alignment of the posture. Initially, you will look at others in the room and wish you could achieve the same expression of a posture as them. You have to lose these thoughts. As you focus more on the proper alignment of the posture, you may find you cannot seemingly go into the posture as far as you previously did. Don’t despair. By doing it correctly, the body will open quicker and you will gain the full benefits of Bikram Yoga which would lead to a deeper stretch. It is not about how far you can go but all about achieving proper alignment.
Always remember: It is your yoga, not anybody else’s.
Stillness between postures:
When coming out of a posture, bring yourself to a total stillness, with a calm and smooth breath. Don’t fidget, move around, or wipe sweat. Fidgeting not only distracts others, it stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, promoting a ‘fight or flight’ response. This is great when on the playing soccer or sprinting for the finishing line – but not wanted here. Stillness is the key to gaining a calm and focused mind, your ability to listen to your body and your ability to push yourself to your edge.
Bikram Yoga is sometimes referred to as a “90 minute moving meditation”. As you become more experienced with your practice, you will eventually experience this. Your practice is all about you and only you and focusing inwards is essential to get the best out of every session.
It is when you begin this practice is when you really fall in love with yourself ~ Rajashree Choudhury
A focused mind is an important part of Bikram Yoga. Though everyone is focused purely on their own yoga, the effect of everyone working together provides an amazing group energy that benefits everyone.
Stay in the room:
In order to achieve maximum benefits from you class, it is best to stay in the room for the entire 90 minute session. Leaving the room is very distracting to others and has a negative effect on the group energy created. The more experienced student is better able to be unaffected by such distractions, remaining focused and energized. A less experienced student, who may be having a challenging class, can be easily distracted. For this reason please ensure you visit the toilet prior to class. If you really feel you must leave, then please do so only in between postures. Similarly when you return, please return to your mat in between postures – not during a posture.
Bikram Yoga is a very challenging form of yoga and is designed to make you work. We encourage you to go beyond your limits and work hard. However, you need to be very mindful of what your body is telling you. Never push yourself to injury and always distinguish between good pain and bad pain. It is ok not to do a posture if you are feeling dizzy or nauseous. During the standing series you can kneel down and the floor series you can lay in savasana always maintain your focus and rejoin the class when you are ready.
As well as sharing your experiences of Bikram Yoga with family and friends, share your positive energy with everyone –it’s infectious!!