Many people come to Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Waikiki for yoga classes to experience the physical benefits of the practice: flexibility, mobility, greater strength, etc. These are very good intentions for practicing yoga, but yoga has deeper benefits and intentions that go beyond the physical: patience, stillness, deeper awareness, presence, and focus. These can be practiced when you attend your hot yoga classes. When you have a mindful intent to follow some basic steps during class, you will begin to experience these deeper meanings and intentions of the yoga philosophy.
Practicing yoga takes a lot of discipline. Not only in paying attention to your body while moving from pose to pose, but in other basic ways that can deepen your yogic experience. These are some etiquette tips to be aware of when you come to practice yoga. They may seem menial, but being mindful of these practices will only make your dedication to yoga more meaningful.
1. Hydrate Before Class
Because you are attending a hot yoga class, it is important to be well hydrated. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water before you come to class. Further, try not to bring your water bottle into class. And most importantly, refrain from drinking water during your practice. When you stop to take a drink, you interrupt your focus and attention; it is a distraction that pulls you away from your practice and it can be disruptive to the other students around you.
Of course, you will sweat during your class. Be prepared: lay your yoga towel over your yoga mat before class. Wear the appropriate clothing including a headband, for example, to catch the moisture from your face. Do your best to remain fully in your yoga poses focusing on your breath. Try not to wipe sweat away. This, too, is a distracting gesture that moves you away from your deliberate practice. Allowing yourself to sweat is a good practice of discipline and focus. It acknowledges that you are able to let less important things to move swiftly out of consciousness so you can concentrate more on remaining in the present moment.
3. Being Still
Another way to remain fully focused on your practice is to hold still in your yoga poses. Once you have made your way into the intended posture, do you're best to hold the pose. It can be easy to get distracted by the other students in the room, the heat, the sweat, etc. To understand and experience the relevance of being present and aware is to be completely devoted to each moment, to each pose. To help, focus on your breathing and choose a dristi (focal) point that will keep you present while in your posture.
4. Listen (To Your Instructor)
If you're familiar with the poses of your practice, it may be easy to anticipate the next posture and begin to move into the pose well before the teacher gives you the instruction to do so. Instead, remain very still, as mentioned above. Your task is to remain present rather than anticipate the future. Wait for the direct instruction from your teacher to move out of your pose into the next.
These are just a few simple examples of how you can have a more meaningful yoga experience. These tips help to highlight the full reason why you're practicing yoga: to be more mindfully connected, aware, and present.
If you would like to try Bikram yoga taught by highly trained instructors, visit Bikram Yoga at Hot Yoga Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii at 449 Kapahulu Ave. Ste. 208. The yoga studio is kept at 105 degrees and classes are 90 minutes long. Regardless of your prior experience or skill level, there is a class that’s right for you. Take advantage of discounted pricing by purchasing a class pass. To book your lesson today, visit them online or call (808) 468-9642.