Finding our own expression in Yoga

Recently, I had trouble interpreting one of my student’s responses. “Jack” is the husband of a friend of mine. They had a private session with me at another studio a year ago, and that was that until I bumped into them a few months ago. We catch up. I find out that while she dropped out of Yoga, he had not, and has continued on. So I invited him to my Senior Men’s Yoga class.

men at gymJack checks out the class, enjoys it and signs up with a 15 card pass. This is great. He fits in well with the guys and this has been a hard class to establish. However, around this time I lose a couple of newer fellows for various health related reasons. Jack has had two hip replacements and he is still taking class from “Becky,” an experienced teacher I very much like and respect.

Well. This combination does nothing for my pervasive insecurity and leads me to wonder if Jack is getting anything out of my class. So I checked in with him briefly at the end of class and he indicated he was fine. Yet he must have sensed my angst, and gave the query more thought, because later that day he sent me an email. And that led to us chatting after class the following week. Continue reading

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Everybody’s a Critic (of Yoga)

In the last month or so, I’ve run across three separate articles dressed up as criticism of western presentations of yoga.  The trouble is, they come across being more narcissistic and envious of the “culture” they are supposedly now boycotting, and end up sounding resentful of fame and success rather than offering true criticism.

So here, with a grain of salt, I’m criticizing the critics.

better bunsOne article focused on the sensationalistic, commenting on the launching of a Yoga porn site, and Yoga for Better Buns to make his point of capitalism infringing upon this spiritual practice.  But then this very same poster is blogging at the HuffingtonPost.com and he is also an author of two books on Mindfulness and Meditation, both with a handy link to the Amazon Store right after his article.  And, by the way, he’s written many other articles in such a style.  If you didn’t already know, bloggers at the Huffington Post don’t get paid for their articles.  They do it for exposure.  Can he be any more of a shill?

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Jim Kallett and Bikram Yoga

Jkallett posterim Kallett – Lecture
Friday, January 4, 2013
Corvallis, Oregon

Jim Kallett was invited to town by my local studio to offer a posture clinic.  He also gave a lecture the evening before.  As a Bikram Yoga aficionado of 8 plus years, I was interested in what he had to say and looking forward to the Q&A.

The talk started out as I would have expected; a biographical review of Bikram Choudhury, his youth, his training and the history behind the sequence and bringing it to American.  As one who has read his books, I knew much of this and was a little impatient at the pace.  However, not everyone is as geeky about Yoga as I am, and lineage is a major element of Yoga.

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Studio Roll Call

This series, the same postures again and again, tends to attract those with some OCD type behaviors.  I’ll admit I’ve got some tics; I keep track of how many classes I’ve taken and I do like to check out studios when I travel.  I haven’t traveled much lately.  But here’s a list of where I’ve taken a class with links, comments or reviews.

08/06/2003 – Corvallis Bikram Yoga, still my home studio!  Strictly Bikram.

11/30/2005 – Eugene Bikram Yoga, now Sweaty Ganesh Yoga no longer affiliated with Bikram, other styles also.

04/01/2006 – San Louis Obisbo, nice folks, funky room, no showers.  Other styles as well.

05/18/2006 – Bikram Yoga Fremont Street, Portland, OR.  Strictly Bikram.

06/10/2006 – Bikram Yoga Mount Vernon, WA. Closed May 2013.  Facebook page and more info.

06/14/2006 – Bikram Yoga Tacoma, WA. Closed June 2015. There are other options in Tacoma.

12/22/2006 – Bikram Yoga Reston, VA.  Strictly Bikram.

04/20/2007 – Bikram Yoga SE Portland, OR.  Strictly Bikram.

08/07/2007 – Bikram Yoga Seattle, now Sealevel Hot Yoga.  Strictly Bikram.

08/21/2007 – Bikram Yoga St. Johns, Portland, OR.  Strictly Bikram.

02/27/2012 – Boston Bikram Yoga, Historic.  Strictly Bikram.

03/26/2015 – Blue Moon Yoga, Fresno, CA.  Small, nice, no showers.  Bikram and Vinyasa.