On Yoga (Part I)

When you tell someone that you practice yoga (you have to say "practice" – it's way cooler), there's always that point where you have to discuss what kind of yoga you do. So I'll just come right out there and say it: I do Bikram Yoga.

If you're not aware, there has been a certain amount of controversy surrounding Bikram Choudhury and his yoga – a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises – that is practiced in a room heated to approximately 104 degrees Fahrenheit and a fair amount of humidity.

I'm going to address the controversy in part two of this posting tomorrow, because when I wrote everything out, it was getting rather lengthy. Today I'll just explain why I like Bikram Yoga, despite the insane heat factor. I'm a big fan because it's very predictable – you do the same postures in each class. Some may thing this would be boring, but it works for me. Firstly, because you can really see your progress week-to-week. Secondly, this is helpful for someone who has a hypermobile (bendy) body like me. I need to make sure I know what I am doing and am not surprised by some over-eager teacher trying to get me to do a handstand (I'm still not ready to do any weight-bearing postures, in fact, including downward facing dog). Also the teachers in Bikram are excellent for the most part – they don't push you to do things you don't want to do. I think this is superb. Correcting a posture is one thing, but as everyone knows their own body best, I don't want someone telling me to go further into a back bend than I can – or would actually benefit my body.

The postures are done slowly so that you can really think about your positioning and using the right muscles. And as far as I can tell, the series builds up the right muscles to promote better posture and to prevent future injuries. The heat feels great – especially in the winter – and you don't worry about how much you're sweating because everyone else is dripping too. Plus, it takes my mind off any worry at all. It's such a hard 90-minute class that you seriously can't think about anything other than just making it through.

I can only manage it once a week right now, but this helps me look forward to it. I feel much calmer after it's done and it's a really good cure for the Sunday Night Blues (when done on Sunday, or even on Saturday – so long lasting are its effects). But the best part of Bikram is when it's over. I always look at the students coming in for the next class and think: suckers.


  1. Sorry, I should have googled it before I posted. I found the definition on Wikipedia:

    Sunday night blues is an acute condition, mostly affecting nine-to-five workers and students. This condition is characterized by anxiety about the week ahead and a sense of helplessness and depression. It most often occurs on Sunday afternoons and evenings. It is also referred to as "school bus blues" or "Sunday night depression".

    Yes, Bikram sounds like a better alternative!

  2. I didn't realize that it was a well-known expression, I honestly thought future hub had coined it. I also find there's an existential bent to it as well -- as in another week of our short lives has passed! I like school bus blues as well, but I think it continues long after our schooling is over.


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