This is my first post in a series titled, “What Bikram Teaches” – a personal reflection on lessons learned in the hot room
Lets all try a relatively simple exercise.
Stand up out of your chair
Touch your toes. And don’t bend your knees.
Easy ‘peasy right? Go ahead. Try it. I’ll wait.
In theory – most of the postures in Bikram look easy – especially for those of us who have had some basic athletic training. In other exercise classes (I’m looking at you Zumba), I’ve even done Spine Twisting Pose to warm up. Granted – Awkward Pose is called that for a reason – but looking at these simple outlines doesn’t seem daunting.
And while many are turned off by the idea of the “hot” room – we all go to the beach every summer. In the throngs of a New York City winter, we long for the days of 98, 99, 100 degree weather – with short shorts and cold showers.
From the outside – Bikram isn’t as scary as CrossFit. (It’s just as addictive – but no where near as scary). It’s not as insurmountable as biking across the Swedish Alps. It’s not as improbable as winning the New York City marathon.
From the outside.
I was an outsider once. I thought I could easily handle these 26 postures.
- Triangle pose? – No problem.
- Standing head to Knee – Simple!
- Cobra pose? – Easy as pie.
Then I actually tried Bikram….
The more I practice, the harder the poses become. The pose isn’t a singular pose – it disguises it’s self as the singular – but in reality – it’s comprised of multiple poses, in multiple parts of the body.
It’s not “Half Moon”
It’s suck the stomach,
center the hips
raise the chin
arch your upper body back
weight in the heels
push and push and push and push.
The more I think I know – the more I realize I don’t. And Humility joined me on my mat.