As human beings we anticipate everything. And I do mean everything – we anticipate that call that we’ll get everything nailing a final interview, meeting the love of our life, or even a great night out with friends. It’s in our nature. We always want to know what is coming next and with Bikram you know what’s going next every single time.
Bikram is the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises every single time – no matter where you go in your city, the country or the world. It’s hard to not anticipate the next posture or second set. As a practicing teacher I do it all the time. All the time. I have to make a conscious effort to not repeat the dialogue in my head while practicing so that I can stay present with the teacher (or Bikram’s recorded dialogue) and the class.
I noticed that students were anticipating what I was saying after only a few weeks of teaching at Bikram Yoga Cleveland. Students were anticipating when the posture would end especially in balancing stick. Balancing stick is one of my favorite postures, it’s so beautiful to see when students lock both knees and bring their bodies down parallel to the floor like a T as in The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!). There are benefits to holding this posture including increase circulation (flushing out your heart and arteries), stretching lung capacity and heart muscle, flexibility improvement, stregthen and tone your shoulders, upper arms, spine and the hip joints. Not only that but balancing stick is a therapeutic and preventive posture for heart conditions – got a heart problem get in the hot room. Want another reason it also burns the most calories from the other yoga poses plus you’re sending rejuvenating flood of fresh blood to brain!
But students know this posture ends with “stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch…” so by the time I get the second stretch out of my mouth most of them have come up from the posture! But I’ve figured out a way to trick them into staying the posture longer! I want my students to stay in the posture for the correct amount of time and I also want them to be PRESENT in class not just ANTICIPATING the posture – I want them to really listen to me as a teach. (I’ll tell you a story about one time a student really listened and I made a mistake next time! It was funny!)
Sometimes I’ll add more stretches and sometimes I’ll only say one stretch! The first time I added four stretches you should have seen the look on their faces as they started coming up and I was still yelling stretch stretch stretch stretch! I got them good on the right side. A few of them even smiled at me and I just winked back. One the left side I only said one stretch but I prolonged the posture with more dialogue focusing on the alignment so when I said “stretch, inhale breathing come up!” They were shocked! Couldn’t believe it.But in both instant they held the posture for the required 10 bikram seconds (which is more like 30 human seconds!).
What I’m trying to convey here is don’t anticipate your class – don’t think if you’re going to have a good class or a bad class, if you’re going to have a good day or a bad day, if you’re going to everything that you want out of your life. Just make the decision that you’ll have a good day, a great class, and you will get everything you want out of your life and you might just pleasantly surprise yourself and get exactly what you need!
See you in the hot room!