02 July 2006
Separated at Birth?
I've often wondered whether there was any relationship between Bikram and Po. We'll never know for sure, will we? Now I'll never be able to be certified in Bikram yoga....
Bikram makes the claim in his Beginning Yoga Book that his copyrighted style of yoga (see USA Today article re the copyright issue) exercises every single muscle in the human body. Bikram has obviously never used a chain saw in his life. If he had, he'd have discovered that there are several muscles that his technique does not exercise. And even if he does exercise every muscle in my body, his series doesn't involve holding a running chainsaw whilst performing the asanas. This, Mr. Choudhury, is quite different. No, no, no - we did not use chainsaws at the shala yesterday, rather I used a chainsaw all day to take down dead trees around the place. A little forestry management as it were.
This morning I could not even bend over to do Pada Hastasana (aka Hands to Feet Pose). Not that I can ever touch my nose to my kneecaps, but ususally that is not because someone has used a staple gun in my back to limit my range of motion. Second try was better (nice thing about Bikram, you always get a second chance). But still felt stiff as a board.
Bit by bit I got those metaphorical staples out and was able to make it through the series.
And just now got up from practicing savasana pose in my bed for three hours. Much better!
As for Bikram's claim to own a series of asanas, the way one might own a series of notes comprising a song, Bikram has confused the piano with received folk wisdom and culture which no one owns.
While I like the Bikram approach, I doubt that he was the first to whistle this particular tune in the (at least)three thousand years of yoga history.
Om Shanti y'all!