In a typical vinyasa flow yoga class there is some instruction but there are lots of moments of turning your attention on to yourself and feeling what is happening within your body. In Bikram there is constant instruction and although it is your time you are really moving not with your own breath or intuition until you get really good at it but more moving to the instructions of the instructor. A couple times a year when we have an early morning class where there is a lower number of attendance we will have a silent practice.
These silent practices are my favorite. We dim the lights and stand looking the mirror and it is just quiet. Since we start with a breathing exercise we move through the next 90 minutes using our breath and the only words uttered are “start and change” from the instructor. The remaining time is us looking at ourselves in the mirror making adjustments that suit our needs and enjoy this quiet time that virtually belongs to just us. When we hit the floor for the 2nd part of the class I can really find my breath and feel what my body is doing. Today I noticed my hips were extremely tight so I took some extra time opening them up.
In these silent practices the heat isn’t that noticeable and there aren’t distractions of other people. No one leaves the room because there is no need for panic or being uncomfortable and the energy is calming and quiet. We had 2 people that had not done a silent practice before and although after class they admitted they were nervous once they heard it about they found themselves really enjoying it. I think it should be a monthly scheduled part of the practice. Having regular silent practices would add so much benefit to regular practices. Technically it is not the “Bikram way” but sometimes we have to have to change it up to get the real benefits or enhance whatever it is we are doing.