I’m always interested in learning more about yoga, most especially how different branches approach basic practice. My own sadhana began at a Moksha studio, which based its routine on Bikram’s basic series, but which put slightly greater emphasis on “hip-opening.” It’s been many years since I followed a Moksha routine, but I recently started practicing with Bikram’s twenty-six postures to see how they feel. It’s amazing how our bodies become accustomed to patterns; after only a few minutes of going through the asanas, I suddenly remembered instructions and tips that my first teachers gave. It was a pleasant surprise to come back to material that I haven’t experienced in such a long time, but that was at once familiar.
To go through the Bikram series as it appears on paper isn’t sufficient to give you an idea of how dynamic, yet how solid, a practice it provides. Strict Bikram schools won’t deviate from the series, but I recall my first school using it primarily as a foundation, and not as a rule-book. Though it might seem blasphemous to purist practitioners, I believe that the twenty-six asanas can very effectively be used as a skeleton, so to speak, and not taken as a whole. While I was studying the poses, both physically and on paper, I realized how much potential there is for intermediary asanas effectively to lead the series toward a vinyasa-Hatha style.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting my forays into playful Bikram, and I hope that you’ll give some of the sequences a try.