Updated: Dec 13, 2021
As we age, the capacity of our nervous system rapidly declines, resulting in poor postural control, coordination, agility, balance, which in turn accelerates lack of muscle mass.
The end result is aches, pains and poor mobility.
Bikram Yoga can be one of the best ways to develop and maintain a healthy body, but the standard approach often creates a confused and ineffective nervous system.
Bikram yoga, like most yoga styles, assumes the thinking mind knows what's best and that we must micro-manage our body every step of the way.
But in truth, all we do is set up a whole host of mixed messages that are not in sync with the needs of the nervous system, particularly as we age.
For example, we incorrectly train the nervous system to inhale when coming up into Cobra and to contract the whole body in Balancing Stick.
We incorrectly insist our nervous system conform to a whole host of alignment rules that address the symptom and not the cause.
To fix this problem, all you need to do is to establish a nervous system that makes sure, whatever you do in a yoga posture, your body is always open and fluid, without any negative compression to the joints.
In this way, you eliminate the CAUSE of all yoga-related injuries, and you’re not running around in circles trying to fix a symptom.
When you re-wired this into your muscle memory there are no rules that precisely define how the structure of a posture must be maintained.
The nervous system is free to explore and play, without fixed rules, developing far greater body perception, coordination, balance and agility.
Applying this approach to the classic 26 & 2 Bikram yoga sequence is breathtakingly powerful.
First, you must learn how to breathe in tune with the needs of the nervous system and not the needs of your emotional thinking mind.
Most of us have to relearn our approach to breath control.
That’s where your journey starts.
Experienced students initially find this hard as they have to go back to the start and let go of the mindset they created as a beginner.
Naturally flexible students discover they can no longer hide behind their flexibility.
No matter how old you are, or unfit you are, everyone is able to discover what happens when the conversation between the nervous system and the body centres around being fluid and open - greater body perception, coordination, balance and agility.
If you’re over 50 this approach is the only way forward.
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When doing Standing Forehead to Knee on a wobble board your body must be fluid and open, and the standing leg must NEVER be locked. Locking the knee is a classic example of a rule that limits the nervous system capacity.
Several of my clients are in their 70's and they are all astounded just how easy they can now do a lot of the standing postures on a wobble board. That's what I call true coordination, agility, balance and strength.