“Bikram Beginning Yoga Class” Delivers on More Than Just Stretching
You might wonder to yourself, “Why is this guy blogging about yoga on a career information site.” Well I attribute much of my inner strength and creativity at work to my efforts to stay fit.
Years ago a friend from work who knew I trained for marathons (Yes, I’m one of those nuts who runs alot), asked if I had considered yoga. I was very polite in my response, but inside I was thinking, “What’s all that navel gazing got to do with running? If I need to stretch, I stretch.”
Fast forward a few years and I underwent minor knee surgury (if you can believe any sort of knee surgury to be minor). Because of my travel schedule, I knew I’d have trouble attending twice weekly physical therapy sessions and the rehab was important for making a proper recovery. I needed some strength training, but it had to be exercise I could do while on the road. Yoga fit the bill.
My first yoga class was a Bikram Yoga class. I can honestly tell you that the class ripped this in shape, marathon running idiot to shreds. I couldn’t believe you could get your heart rate well into the triple digits standing still. That was seven years ago. I have since practiced yogo avidly.
I’ll blog another time about my yoga adventure, but this blog is about the book. The book is written by Bikram Choudhury, the guy that invented this style of yoga. The photos in the book are taken by Bizwanath “Bisu” Ghosh. It sounds like its written by someone out of Slumdog Millionaire” with the Indian accent coming through clearly.
And Bikram is hillarous. He knows this stuff is hard especially for beginners so he sprinkles conversations with his students into the description of the poses. He addresses in a banter with his students how you might be feeling and then pushes you anyway. He even taunts you which had me cracking up. He must be a trip to have as an actual instructor.
The tone and his commentary are what make this book a great read. He shows you how to start a beginner yoga practice with step-by-step instructions with simple photos of people doing the poses. He makes a point to reach you definitely assuming you are no lithe former dancer/gymnast.
Even the photos deliver this message. Many of them are of kids or older people doing the poses even if imperfectly. He includes cameo appearances of Hollywood actors who practice his yoga and some of these folks are not necessarily in great shape (read that as fat).
Bikram does stress that you do each pose as you can do it. This is no race or competition. Whose keeping track of your performance anyway. And that’s another lesson you can grasp from the book…and yoga too.
Yoga has great physical benefits with interesting spiritual benefits as well. Consider making it a part of your lifestyle.