NotSoZen YogaJen

Posts Tagged ‘Bikram

Not to be a fickle-hearted yogini, because I know half the time I am professing my love for Bikram (especially when I am not getting along with Vinyasa as I recover from an injury) but I don’t think Bikram yoga and I can ever have a deep, committed, monogamous long-term relationship.  I just love Vinyasa too damn much.  It was the first kind of yoga that I practiced, and I don’t think I can ever get over my first love.  Nor do I want to.

Here’s the thing.  Bikram is easier on my injuries.  My muscles don’t tweak out or seize up in those 110 degree studios.  And the post-class yoga bliss is better from Bikram:  my mind is quiet and clear, and I feel energy shooting through my body.  If ever there was a yoga high, Bikram will give it to you.  But the 90-minutes in class are absolutely brutal.  I struggle through them, and once I’m out, I generally don’t want to go back.  Unless my craving for the Bikram high overrides my resistance.  Which happens sometimes, but not often enough for us to really get to know each other, in like, a meaningful way.

Then there’s Vinyasa.  I still get the post-class yoga bliss, it’s just less intense.  And sometimes really really subtle.  When I have injuries, my muscles seize up and tweak out in class.  But the class.  Oh the class.  How I adore those 90 minutes.  The flowing and the moving and the music.  The candles and the incense and the chanting.  The bearable temperatures.  All those things that are not present in Bikram class.  And enjoying actually being in the class instead of fixating on when my yoga fix is going to kick in makes me be present.  Which is one of the main purposes of yoga for me – dragging my mind out of the past, pulling it back from the future, and steadying it here and now.

On Friday night I went to one of my favorite Vinyasa classes.  I hadn’t been there since before I hurt my foot in December.  When I walked into the studio, the familiar scent of incense greeted me as the teacher welcomed me.  In class, under the dimmed lights, I flowed through poses breathing deeply, as “Purple Rain” by Prince played.  And in that moment, I felt so happy to just be there, exactly where I was.  Practicing yoga at the end of the week, night falling outside, moving in this familiar way, music playing, winter turning to spring.  That’s yoga bliss.  That, is true love.

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