Yoga Immersion: Technical Class and Asana Talk

Move your practice to a new level of understanding

Dave will lead a 2 hour Bikram Yoga technical class where he breaks down each postureBikramsBrookie (148 of 53) to help you understand what you are aiming to achieve in the 26 and 2. Dave’s clear and easy to understand style of teaching will change how you practice. He’ll offer insights, tips and reasons WHY to help move your practice forward.

 

Dave’s technical understanding of the asanas and the anatomy and philosophy emerges from having immersed himself in yoga for almost 15 years. He studies nothing but yoga, he eats, sleeps and lives yoga. Dave is Yoga. Ask his wife, she’s Linda.

Ever wondered what your postures look like?`

We’ll be taking pics through the class and go through them afterwards over supper to extend your understanding at a very personal level.

 

After the class and showers, we’ll retire to the Chillout and over shared supper, have a look at the posture photos we’ll take during the class and review some more on the asanas, this will really give a chance for reflection and questions.

We encourage every student who’s ever been curious to join us for this journey. The class will be longer than usual but the room will be slightly cooler and there will be plenty of time to sit, ask and be adjusted.

Open to absolutely anybody with a Bikram Yoga habit. Students early in their practice will find this an invaluable tool.

As Dave would say, “What are you waiting for?”

The Evening

5pm – 7pm Technical Class

7:30 – 8pm Supper (please bring a plate to share)

8 – 9pm Yoga Asanas Photo Review and Talk

0

Why Locking the Knee is so important in Bikram Yoga

How many times in class do you hear the teacher shouting  “Lock the Knee, lock the knee, lock the kStanding-Head-to-Knee-2.jpgnee!!”?

Locking the Knee is possibly one of the most misunderstood principles in Bikram Yoga.  In this blog, we’ll unlock (no pun intended) some of the myths by explaining why locking the knee is so important.

First let’s clear one thing up.  What it is NOT. Locking the knee is NOT jamming your knee back as far as you can and trying to balance on it.

Physically, when you “lock your knee” in a balancing posture in Bikram Yoga, you are contracting your quadriceps muscles in the front of your leg, and therefore releasing the hamstring sending the message via the nervous system for it to stretch.

In the beginning this may feel uncomfortable, even painful because the nerves are not used to the stretch and will send pain messages to the brain.  Our first impulse is to pull back, to avoid pain at all costs. However, if you want to improve stretch tolerance i.e. get more flexible, you may need to take the stretch to a point of pain. “Pain kills the pain”.  This is not to say that you should be in tears, gritting your teeth and holding your breath but if you don’t take a stretch to a point of pain, you are not likely overloading your nervous system well enough to improve stretch tolerance, to get more flexible!

A key principle in Bikram Yoga is that you are trying to overload the nervous system to increase your stretch tolerance. That is how you become more flexible, decrease the risk of injury and relax your nervous system so that it is less sensitive and therefore your body will stretch.

Put simply, the only way to improve your flexibility is to improve the function of your nervous system.  You’ll notice that when you are concentrating on locking the knee, you are less likely to fall out of the pose.  Why, because you ARE concentrating!

What does Locking the knee look like?

You know you are locking your knee when you see your kneecap raise and muscles bunched above the knee, this indicates that the qkneeuadriceps muscles are being contracted.

There are 4 muscles in the quadricep femoris muscle group in the front of your leg. The one that is hardest to “turn on” is the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) on the inside of the leg just above the knee.  Its job is to extend the length of the thigh and to stabilize the patella (knee cap) so your knee tracks correctly.

The VMO muscle is a common centre of weakness in many people because it will not become fully strengthened unless the leg is regularly extended fully.  It becomes more fully activated when the knee is at a greater angle, especially when the leg is completely extended.

As we age, the VMO muscle is the first muscle that we will start to lose.  As it weakens this can bring problems with the knee, surrounding structure and cause chronic aching pain.

The good news…

Locking the knee is a highly effective way of building your VMO strength while also building density as you are standing and weight loading at the same time. And, you are completely normal if you find locking the knee very hard.  It is hard.  That is why you must CONCENTRATE to try to do it.  This is how concentration improves your physical health!

The struggle in your mind as you try to keep the knee locked instills discipline. Learning discipline in the room helps us apply discipline in our lives.  Ultimately, how we apply ourselves to the job of locking the knee is a metaphor to how we apply ourselves to the job of living.

 

0