The world’s most popular form of yoga, Bikram, owes it’s popularity in large part to it’s distinct sequence of 26 postures and that you’re almost guaranteed to get the same type of class no matter where in the world you practice. As with every kind of exercise, there are critical elements to become proficient with in the beginning. Let’s take a closer look at a few Bikram yoga tips that will help make everything easier when just starting out.
One important thing to get right in the beginning is the idea of “form before depth”. It’s more crucial to get a solid foundation set for each posture before moving into greater depth with the pose. This is often hard for newcomers because in class we often see people nearby who seem to do each posture with seemingly very little effort. As hard as it might be, we have to ignore how others people perform the postures and simply concentrate on listening to our own body.
First and foremost, get the preliminary form of a posture solid before worrying about depth. For example, in the opening standing series it’s highly critical to be sure our standing legs are steady before bending down into the full expression of the postures. Bikram yoga dangers our bodies only if we don’t get this basic foundation rock solid. So be sure to hear your teacher when they say “form before depth” and you’ll be in good shape.
As with all other schools of yoga, the underlying part of the practice is the breath. We often instinctually hold our breath during difficult poses, but this is the worst thing for us. If a posture feels like it’s making you hold the breath, back off until you feel the air flowing again. Remember, the important this is not about how deep you go into the pose, but that you remember the essence of yoga — strong, consistent, deep breathing.
Everybody has a unique physique — individual tensions, injuries, strengths and weaknesses. While everybody can practice yoga, no two bodies can perform each posture exactly the same. Remember it’s a journey instead of destination and you’ll be fine.