I love taking classes from different Bikram Yoga teachers. Each is unique in his or her own way, and each brings a special dimension to my practice. I have experienced four basic styles of Bikram yoga teachers: By the Book, Spiritual, Let’s Get Physical, and The Drill Sergeant. Of course, some teachers combine several of these aspects. I enjoy learning from them all.
1) By the Book: These teachers rarely deviate from the dialogue and hold the postures for exactly the proper amount of time. They rarely give personal corrections or demonstrations. Typically, newer teachers are like this, as they work on developing their own voice within the dialogue. I enjoy the simplicity of these classes and try to focus very specifically on the dialogue to see if I can pick up anything I have missed in previous classes. I often find some new detail.
2) Spiritual: These teachers emphasize the meditation aspects of the class. They will sometimes share inspirational quotes during savasna or anecdotal examples of how the yoga can benefit your state of mind. These teachers are very warm and encouraging, and remember not only your name, but where you are in each of your postures. I always leave class feeling soothed and peaceful — like I got a 90-minute hug.
3) Let’s Get Physical: Here, the focus is on the physical execution of each asana — making sure the alignments are correct and that each step of the set-up is done properly and in the right order. These teachers run vigorous classes and will provide personal corrections frequently. I almost always learn something new in each class.
4) The Drill Sergeant: These teachers mean business. They move between postures at a rapid pace and may even hold some postures a little bit longer than is typical. These are tough classes — my heart is always pounding and I feel like I am being pushed to my very edge, but afterwards I feel like a champ.
During each week, I try to take classes from teachers with a variety of styles. That way I am able to work on my alignment, my mind/body connection and get a great workout. Thank you to all the Bikram Yoga teachers for sharing a part of themselves with us in each class.
Fellow yogis, do you like to take class from different types of teachers?