Quick Saturday observation: Those Bikram yogis sure looked miserable

Bobbie and I just returned from a quick Los Angeles excursion to find some good Mexican food (success! Thank you, Atwater Village), and as we were walking toward the little hole-in-the-wall spot, out the doors of a Bikram studio came a class full of students.

It’s been a while since I ran against a tide of Bikram that way, and I was reminded of one thing: They looked miserable.

Now, I’ve only taken a few Bikram classes, and it was maybe eight years ago now. But I remember that feeling. The post-class moments, when you’ve sweated so much, can be awful. But you feel like you’ve exercised.

That’s the point, as far as I understand it. And there certainly is something cleansing about it, about such a full and hour-long or so sweat.

But … I don’t know. Something seemed missing compared to how I feel like Ashtangis seem after practicing. I know I’m biased, but … it isn’t something I can put my finger on, precisely.

It may have to do with how Guruji’s asana practice fits into the eight-limbs of yoga. While trying to avoid getting too touchy-feely, I guess I would say it is that un-graspable magic of the Ashtanga sequence. I know it doesn’t hook everyone, but I think everyone it does hook knows what I mean.

It’s what keeps the Ashtanga asana from just being gymnastics or exercise.

It did seem like all those Bikram folks had had a good workout.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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