I tried Anusara yoga at Yoga Oasis last week. I did the YogaHour at 4:15 where for only $4 you get a relatively fast paced yoga flow class with music. The class was crowded but the vibe was nice and the studio is beautiful. I’d recommend it for anyone with a modicum of yoga history who wants a good cheap yoga class.
After a year of doing the 26 poses of Bikram, it was fun to do poses that I hadn’t done in a long time. Hello downward dog! I’ve missed you, pigeon… And part of me enjoyed the casual chatty atmosphere and the more Eastern oriented philosophy. I’ve always thought that at some point in my life, I’d get very seriously into yoga. It feels like a good plan for the decade of my 60’s when I’d probably welcome the combination of stretching, strength training and spirituality. If this turns out to be true, I might consider Anusara because I like the Hatha style and Friend’s philosophy.
But last week I realized that Anusara, like most yoga classes, emphasizes breadth. Breadth of understanding of a wide variety of poses, a broadening of your mind with the element of surprise that each new teacher brings when they teach their own series of poses, an acceptance of individualistic ways of doing things (within reason) and an accompanying realization that in one lifetime, it’s impossible to master “yoga” because it encompasses too many different teaching styles, philosophies and poses.
This is not the kind of physical expression I need right now. I need something demanding and difficult but with more boundaries. I need something that forces me to excel and something that I can wrap my mind around. I want some level of predictability and depth instead of breadth.
In short, I don’t want yoga. I want Bikram.
Thursday: why Bikram isn’t yoga…