Those of you who’ve been in class the last couple weeks can attest that we’ve been focussing on the LEGS!
Legs are one of those things that our fashion/beauty culture obsesses over but the focus in Bikram yoga is on building a better foundation for your body. The fact it makes your legs firmer, stronger, more flexible, more injury-resistant and sexier is just a bonus!
Proper standing postures in the Bikram series begin in your head. That is to say, with mindfulness. I have so many students — even experienced yogis — who approach each pose with the intention of getting into the “right” stance and then getting out again. The key to deepening your practice is to concentrate not on the end result but on the movements required to achieve that. In other words, don’t rush into your standing head to knee, or balancing stick, but move mindfully, paying attention to each muscle group as you work towards the full expression of the posture.
When I say “lock the knee” do it! Bring your full attention to the quad muscles, imagine them tightening, picture them supporting your knee, then as you move into the next part of the pose keep your thoughts on the critical role of the legs. This might mean you move a little slower, or you don’t go as deep, but that’s okay. Bikram practice is about continuous small improvements, always increasing your awareness and working to perfect your postures.
Bringing consciousness to your legs during standing practice will pay major dividends in improving your postures, injury prevention and recovery, and becoming more connected to your total practice.
If you have any questions about particular postures, or leg problems, ask in the comments.