In an age of instant gratification, it seems like almost everything we need is accessible at record speeds, including workouts–not to say science hasn’t proved that short workouts can’t be beneficial. When it comes to Bikram yoga, it is important, rather make that essential, to practice the full 90-minute session. Bikram yoga isn’t a “workout” so to speak. Yes, you get physiological benefits including a toned body and incredible strength and cardio benefits, but yoga is a total mind, body, spirit practice–not something that can be achieved in an abbreviated 45-60 minute “power” yoga practice.
There’s a reason it is practiced in 90-minute sessions–what used to be an hour and 45 minutes–to allow for full Savasanas. A full 15 minute Savasana was practiced and now students rarely stay for the full two full minutes recommended after class. This is a posture as important as any other including those that get your heart rate up and those requiring the most strength.
In a “gym culture” day and age yoga has gone from an educational experience into a service, like using a trainer to be guided through reps. Yoga is a practice that goes far beyond the physical attribute. With these abbreviated classes, the purity of the practice becomes dissolved. It is up to the student to seek and out and take advantage of the true teaching of yoga; to be interested in, and benefit from, its complete practice and not just practice it as an exercise regimen.
Its essential for the student to take the time for themselves and allow instructors who are willing and interested in teaching true yoga. This is “you” time to calm your mind, let go of thoughts of pressing to-do lists, and to become a kinder person to yourself and others. If you can’t allow for the full 90-minute experience, it is best to save your practice for when time is available to do so. Not implying to skip out on taking care of your body all together, but rather passing on the abbreviated “yoga workouts.” You’re not enjoying or even allowing for the benefits of what emerges from a complete practice – a clear, calm mind, more controlled deeper breathing, a relaxed overall physical and mental state, and so much more!