Should You Always Listen To Your Yoga Teacher?

I was visiting family in California recently so had the chance to practice at a nearby Bikram yoga studio. I had been to this studio before and always enjoyed my classes there. This time was no different, except that the teacher was giving me corrections that I did not understand. I usually enjoy learning from new teachers and am open to all sorts of adjustments, but this time it just felt wrong. I did not know how to do what she was asking me to do or even what exactly she was asking me to try.

I felt uncomfortable so I decided to disregard her comments and continue on with my practice as is. It felt strange doing so. She did not seem to be bothered by it, so I relaxed, but it got me thinking — should you always listen to a yoga teacher when he or she gives you a correction?

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Do Crowded Yoga Classes Have Better Energy?

Crowded Bikram Yoga classes can be annoying — it is harder to see yourself in the mirror, your neighbors keep spraying sweat on you and the temperature is usually hotter. Plus, it can be embarrassing to fall out of a posture and land on someone else!

But they are also wonderful. The energy is electric, the teacher is usually more dynamic, and it is exciting to witness our disparate bodies moving together through the postures as one. Incredible and inspiring.

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I Fell Down in Bikram Yoga Class

Have you ever fallen down in Bikram yoga class? I recently did. It wasn’t pretty, but I survived. I had woken up that morning with a bout of vertigo and an annoying ringing in my left ear (this happens to me sometimes because of my hearing loss) so I knew it was going to be a rough day. I thought class might help reset whatever was out of balance. Maybe that was a mistake.

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Yoga Helps Me Put My Own Mask On First

I always chuckle during the airline safety announcements when they get to the part about putting your own mask on first before assisting others. There is usually an image of a smiling woman putting on her mask while her grinning children sit waiting patiently for assistance. When I was younger, this seemed reasonable, but once I began flying with my own children, I started to find it amusing. First of all, children don’t sit quietly smiling on airplanes (at least not mine), but more importantly, I wondered if I would be able to do it — leave my children without oxygen while I fiddled with getting my own sustenance in place.

The more I thought about it, the more it reminded me of my Bikram yoga practice.

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Mixing Up My Yoga This Summer

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.

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