Monday, August 19, 2013

Bikram, without the heat

Image compliments of
When the heat is off, the teacher forgets her keys, and practice starts a good fifteen minutes late on a Sunday morning, it's a wonder that everyone is happy, grateful for the opportunity to practice.  Seriously, the room was full of people who got the benefit of the extra rounds of pranayama at the end of the second set.

Just a few extra rounds at a quick pace filled the body with heat.  There was pointedly little break between the postures and sets.  But the instruction was clear, calm, and challenging.  The teacher and I discussed her experience - she said that when she saw sweat beads - she knew she had done well by us.

I so rarely get to practice at a studio, with a teacher.  Usually the ultimate luxury of that practice is the heat in the room.  It's such a rich and juicy experience to get to bend and twist in the heat.  However, the luxury of practice yesterday was to be in a room, focused on the practice, given over to the practice.

My mother attended class (her first yoga class ever, of course she nailed it!)  It was comical to be driving back and forth with her, expectations for the morning rapidly changing.  I live pretty close by, so my mom and I drove back to my house to get my keys to the studio.  There was a crew waiting for us when we returned.  I jingled the keys through the window and opened the door.  A parade of happy yogis marched through to comments like, "We would have practiced in the park if we had to." and "I'm so happy to see you.  I was about to unroll my mat in the street!"

There was a true hunger for the practice.  I am one of those who enjoy my Sunday morning Bikram fix - it's a very positively addicting thing for some of us.  I'm just so grateful to have had the chance to practice.

But, Practicing without the heat has made for a different kind of soreness leftover sensation today.  When I woke today, I felt my ribs and intercostals as alive with sensation.  It's different with the heat, they open more easily and leave less trace in terms of soreness.

Bikram practice, practiced with the attention and skills I've learned in Viniyoga, is a tremendous tool for healing my bells palsy.  It addresses a number of cascading issues I'm passing out of to a much stronger place.  I now focus on keeping the right hip and jaw over to the right, so that the weight in my body is evenly balanced from right to left.  My postures may not be as deep as they could possibly be, but I'm much stronger in them and am getting fuller internal benefit of the practice (because spine is in better alignment).

No comments: