Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Have Some Fun

Recently, two different friends of mine expressed some misgivings about continuing to practice Bikram yoga, at least temporarily. One of them had some disagreements about particular teachers and the other one is just a little burned out and wants a break. I completely understand both of their points and it reminded me of something extremely important in practicing Bikram. It's supposed to be fun.

The fact is, many hours per day each week are spent on things that wouldn't necessarily be considered fun - work, paying bills, dealing with traffic, personal drama, whatever. Above all else, the hot room should be a place of respite, of calm and somewhere you want to be. If it stops being someplace you want to be and something you want to do, then by all means, change things up a bit.

I know exactly what it feels like to be burned out, and I've blogged about it more than once. One thing that worked for me was to stop coming every single day. I've settled in to a pretty good groove of coming "only" six days a week, sometimes five, sometimes seven. I also like to get a nice variety of teachers every week, so I'm not just taking one or two teachers in a week. My studio has enough variety that it works out ok. Plus now with my work schedule, I get to take at different times and see a larger variety of other students, which is nice. Above all else, I just don't take things too seriously in class. I try my best but I don't stress over the postures. I certainly pay close attention to what I'm doing and always try to improve, but yoga lasts forever, so I'm not going to get too concerned if I'm having a rough class on a particular day.

Of course, what I describe above is what works for me. Plenty of people could be burned out coming six days a week or need to do something else to keep things interesting. If coming to class isn't fun anymore, then by all means, do something to change it up. Talk to your teachers about it, talk to other students and see what works best for you. If you've been coming a long time, you already know the benefits, but sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing.



  1. Aww, that makes me sad! Let me know if I can help. I miss you guys! Too much UNLV, not enough yoga, makes Jen a sad girl ;-)

  2. I recently took a "sabbatical" from Bikram. I had rough class after rough class (the humidity of summer was killing me) and I was dreading going. I decided, after a 2 year, 4x/week practice, to take a month off. It was actually a difficult decision to make - am I still a yogi if I don't go for a whole month??? Well, I made it almost 3 weeks before I was dying to get back in there. Now I'm more in love with the practice than ever. It was just a break, not a break up. : ) Thanks for the great post.

  3. When the yoga is fun I can see and feel the improvements every class, but when the yoga is a burden there is no improvements it is just a struggle.

  4. I've only been able to get to 4 classes a week since coming back, but it's better than not going. I still can feel the benefits. Boy did I miss it! Hail to the mighty groupon! :)