The definition of PURE: Not mixed with any other substance or material; without any extraneous and unnecessary elements; free of any contamination; involving or containing nothing else but.
PURE Bikram Yoga is simple: 90-minutes, 26 postures, 2 breathing exercises, 105 degrees and 40% to 50% humidity. Without any extraneous and unnecessary elements. Containing nothing else but.
As a teacher, if you have the patience to stick with it long enough, you’ve probably chosen a life of service to others, like Georgia Balligian from Bikram Yoga NYC, who has been practicing for over 35 years! I overheard her words early on in my practice that really stuck with me. She said, “In my life I want to give more than I take.” She is a shining example of this credo and an example I want to follow.
I am asked all the time why we are so “rigid” in our teaching methods, such as Bikram Yoga’s “scripted dialogue” and repetitive 26-posture sequence. Do this long enough and you’ll find the freedom and liberation that results from not having to think. Remember, the ultimate goal in yoga practice is to “silence the modifications of the mind” (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.2).
The word “discipline” seems to be frowned upon today. In a world full of distraction, we need a daily retreat for ourselves. We need a practice that is simple, pure, and authentic. Bikram Yoga is that. In fact, yoga is essentially self-discipline, of both body and mind (see below). Ask any successful person in any field and a common key to his/her attainment is consistent, self-disciplined practice.
Any person who is not lethargic in the pursuit of different forms of Yoga attains success through practice, be he young, old or even very old, sickly or weak. One who is intent on practice will succeed, not one who is idle. Success is not obtained by a mere reading of Yoga books. -Hatha Yoga Pradipika of Svatmarama – 64, 65
Need “real” evidence? Bikram Yoga Boston hosted last weekend’s PURE Action research symposium: “The Science of Bikram Yoga,” to a packed crowd in Harvard Square. I am fascinated by the vast unchartered waters that yoga research still has yet to map. Think of it: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, back pain, depression and anxiety; vanquished through daily practice of yoga and conscious nutrition. More empowering than swallowing a few daily pills, huh?
In the words of Emmy Cleaves, the senior-most Bikram Yoga Teacher: Practice with frequency, intensity, and precision. Be inspired by our student testimonials and Mardy’s take on the recent Yoga Asana Championships held in Dallas, TX. Yes, Bikram Yoga is for everyone, regardless of age, shape, size, or condition. My seventy seven year old mother practices three times per week. What’s your excuse?
~ Jeff Chen, PURE Bikram Yoga Austin