The Demanding Intensity of Bikram Yoga

March 19, 2011

Designed by Bikram Choudry, Bikram yoga consists of 26 postures and 22 breathing exercises. The movements stretch every part of the body including joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It was developed in California and then brought to Los Angeles, and this then gave it the nickname of ‘hot yoga’ as the postures were performed in a minimum temperature of 40 degrees.

It is fair to say that Bikram yoga differs to the other styles in that it is probably the most demanding and intense style of hatha yoga, however the benefits of studying this style are great. The heat ensures that the body is warmer and more flexible even at the start of the class; this is beneficial as there is less chance of injuries such as pulled muscles. As the body is more flexible, the stretches become more pronounced and so the rewards are greater.

Understandably, when students perform demanding postures in a hot environment, it would be very easy to become dehydrated so it is necessary for students to drink copious amounts of water before and after the session to prevent this from occurring.

Bikram yoga is considered to help correct and improve sleep patterns, promote better digestion, improve cardiovascular functions and metabolism, so it is no wonder that there are dedicated followers to this style.

Having a qualified Bikram yoga teacher on hand to guide and to encourage is always beneficial. As with any other form of yoga, ensuring that the postures are correct is vital. In a class there is usually a mirror so that students can self-correct and perhaps it can be said that correct alignment is more important than reaching advanced positions.

Other benefits include a feeling of walking tall, improved posture, clarity of mind and increased confidence. Attending a class several times a week and then supporting this with yoga practice at home, will enable the student’s progress to be vastly accelerated.

The sequence of movements in Bikram yoga tend to flow and are perfectly balanced to compliment each other, it is then finished with a cleansing and energizing breath called Kapalbhati

The breath is very important in any yoga style but an important tip is to breathe through any difficult postures and learning to recognize negative thoughts, which may also impact your yoga session. The mind can sometimes tighten up at the thought of a difficult or less favorite posture, so by recognizing that this happens and using the breath, the mind can be controlled and the body will then open up to the demands of the posture.

Bikram yoga adds additional dimensions to a usual yoga practice and the feeling is much more intense than in any other style. Some people find the heat and the intensity a problem but others revel in the style and their progress may be much greater than within a usual class and there is always a new challenge for them to strive towards.

The Five Reiki Tenets

March 5, 2011

The five tenets of Reiki were adapted by Mikao Usui who was a reader of the works of Emperor Meiji. These principles came straight out of Meiji’s writings. Usui took these principles a step further and incorporated them into his Reiki practice. The good news is you do not have to be studying Reiki to apply these principles to your life.

The first principle is “Just for today, I will not worry.” This is probably the toughest principle listed. It is hard not to worry about things which we have no control over. But in meditation and prayer, we can learn to hand those worries over to a higher life force and become more open to trust and have faith about th world we live in.

The second principle is “Just for today, I will not anger.” Sometimes when we get angry, we need to figure out what is causing the real issue. Is the person who cut in front of you or is it the person in line at the store with ten returns? Sometimes we can find behaviour in other people that mirrors our own self. That is sometimes hard to accept. Look at other people as teachers and try to figure out what lesson they are there to teach you.

The third principle is “I will honour all life.” You should honour all creations of God. You can help by planting trees and flowers, appreciating the food you have, the love from your family, the very air you breathe, and all the animals, rocks, and oceans.

The fourth principle is “I will live my life honestly.” Did you skip the family picnic because you were sick or because you were too afraid to tell Aunt Martha you really didn’t want to go? Ask in prayer for guidance in your dreams. You must honour the truth of your emotions and not keep it all bottled up inside.

Th fifth principle is “I will give thanks for everything.” Trust that love and happiness are supposed to be in your life and find yourself becoming grateful for the smallest of things and the gift of being here on Earth.