I love summer. Overseas travel, lazy days in the country. A respite from the daily grind. But also from my regular Bikram yoga practice. I usually practice 4 – 5 days a week during most of the year, so summers are disruptive. Especially this summer, since I couldn’t find any Bikram yoga studios where I was traveling (usually I try to squeeze in some classes when I am away) and my now tween/teenager kids were less excited to attend the day camp near the closest Bikram yoga studio upstate. Leaving my children home for the 3 hours it would take to attend class (including showering and travel time) was hard to justify.
I didn’t want my yoga practice to suffer so I needed to mix it up. It turned out to be a very good thing.
I tried vinyasa flow. The room was not heated, but I was certainly working up a sweat. The level II classes were challenging and engaging, and I learned a lot. I could feel different muscles working and my shoulders and chest opening in new ways. My arms and wrists were really feeling the downward dogs, while my legs were working in the lunges and warrior poses.
The hip openers like pigeon posture were also a new experience. My hips were so open after the first class, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to walk to the car! It felt so strange.
The classes were small and the teachers were liberal with their hands-on adjustments — something I greatly appreciated since I don’t know the more traditional yoga postures very well. I learned a lot about alignment and balance. I felt sore (good sore like after a workout) in new places and made mental notes about adjustments I would like to try in my Bikram postures.
Now that I am back in NYC, I am wondering if I should keep mixing up my yoga — Bikram most days, but with a vinyasa flow class thrown in for good measure once a week. What do you think?
Readers, do you mix other yoga styles into your primarily Bikram Yoga practice?