Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Yoga Instructor's Bag O Tricks

Went to hot (bikram) yoga again tonight, and got the instructor that knows exactly how to trick you into working super hard. As a fellow instructor, I was fascinated, but as a participant in the class, I was totally tortured (but oddly satisfied afterwards). Here are a few things she said:

"I see a lot of you aren't giving 100%. What's that all about?" (then once we gave 100%, she said, "Now give me a little more in the last 5 seconds...!!")

"It gets easier once you start working harder." (I found this to not be the case)

"Do you believe you can do this pose? You don't seem to believe you can do this pose. I believe you can do this pose! Now DO IT!" (This was said specifically to me, and I almost threw up on her in response)

"You guys are all screwing this up. Now watch Hilary in the front row and then I expect you to show me you learned something."

Pushing your participants is always a tricky thing to do but in a room that is 105F it's extremely tricky, and I was very impressed.

Last week, the teacher pushed us in a much gentler way. After the camel pose, which is a scary backbend pose, he said, "when you let the tension slide out of your muscles then you will drop another 1 or 2 inches into this pose as your muscles relax... I saw two of you do this today, the rest of you should try to do this next time." So I did! And it worked! He had an interesting approach too.

In case you're into observing some good teaching skillz or just getting an awesome workout, this all took place at the Minneapolis Bikram Yoga College of India

For a more detailed review and description of the hot yoga experience, click here.

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