Going back a week ago seems like an incredibly long time but since I do Bikram yoga virtually every day by myself it is so much fun when I practice with my sister. When she first asked me to meet her at the studio on Thanksgiving morning for a Bikram practice my first reaction was that I had way too much to do and couldn’t get it all done and be where we needed to be in time. My extremely level headed sister reminded that all would be fine no matter what time we started our Thanksgiving festivities and that was a special moment for us. We went and had a wonderful practice.
I was not surprised to see the room fill up fast with people but I was surprised that it was filling up with faces that were not familiar to me. I don’t pretend to know everyone that goes to that studio but I am there enough to have real sense of who practices in the mornings who practices at night and who are the weekend warriors. This particular day was all new people and brand new practices. Some had fluid practices therefore I knew they were practitioners and not newbies even though they were new to me.
My sister has been practicing and has a very nice practice. She is focused and stable during to the standing postures and pushes herself with a gentle hand and takes care of herself when she needs. These are important aspects of this practice. Many people have one of the aspects I listed above but she has them all and it shows in her practice. We were so energized and ready to eat when we left there.
It wasn’t a hot practice but once all the bodies got in and our mats were close the humidity went up quickly and I rather enjoy practicing with higher humidity then higher heat. I don’t mind a hot and humid room but if I had to choose I would choose humidity every time. My lungs particularly like the humidity versus the dry heat and I feel as though I can take deep long breaths during the entire practice. They say that Bikram is a 90 minute meditation using breath and I use mine. Even in the postures designed to make it difficult to breath there is a certain practice to knowing how to breathe in those difficult postures and keeping the mediation steady.
Mediation for me in this form is exactly what I need. I find myself falling asleep every time I do a sitting type of meditation and did it quite often at Kripalu. Matthew would mention that he could tell the moment I fell asleep since my breathing changed. In Bikram there is no way I’m going to fall asleep but I have to stay so incredibly focused and use my breath to keep me going for the entire 90 minutes. Since the Bikram practice is always the same my body and mind do become familiar with the postures and therefore the focus becomes even more important. Breath becomes even more important to ensure that I’m focusing on my breath and not letting my mind wander in the postures that my body has become accustomed too. The postures are the same but the practice is different every time and I rather enjoy my practices the most with my sister next to me sweating her stresses out right alongside of me sweating out mine. It was a wonderful day and I look forward to her coming home and us doing it again soon.