Yoga For Seniors: Cross-Border Yoga

Canadian and American Flag

Danny‘s mom, Naomi, gives some insight into the differences she’s observed between Canadian and American yoga studios and what Bikram yoga for seniors is all about.

I hate to repeat myself, but I realize now more than ever how I didn’t appreciate BYV’s Cambie Studio when I was there several months ago.

The carpet in the Arizona studio that I’m currently practising at is a bit thick, and I find that I have more difficulty gripping the floor and keeping my best balance on it (even though Bikram says carpet is supposed to be best, and pushes all Bikram Yoga studios in that direction). Danny tells me BYV now has carpet with just the right thickness installed at the Kits and West End studios, and that the feedback about the new flooring in both spots has been positive.

Here in Tucson I’m finding that what was normal, costume-wise, in Vancouver is pretty skimpy by comparison. Everyone here seems pretty covered up – just as I was finally getting accustomed to feeling half naked! (Believe me gals, after 60 it goes that way; when you are the oldest one in your class, like I usually am, you will know what I mean.)

Actually, the spirit of the classes seems different here, too: I would say there’s less of a community spirit here. It’s funny that Canadians are usually considered more reserved than Americans, but the opposite seems to be true when it comes to yoga. My experience has been that the energy in Vancouver’s studios sparkles more.

I’m also finding that I would like more feedback from the teachers than I’m getting. Maybe here in Arizona they’re afraid of someone pulling a gun if they get too critical! Seriously, though, they give lots of positive feedback here, which is good in a way, of course, but I would like more critical feedback, as well. How else can you go deeper?

The latest voice in my head while practising is a reminder to “let the yoga do you.” That, along with “listen to your body,” and “don’t overdo it,” are the mantras that are keeping me on course as I get back into Bikram Yoga again.

Have you noticed any differences between Bikram Yoga studios in Vancouver and other cities/countries? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

 

 

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    I’ve practiced in Nepal, New York, Toronto, Victoria, Seattle, Australia -each one has been unique, but the practice has always been consistent 🙂 Nepal was definitely the biggest change; the room was half the size of the West End and everyone was fully dressed in pants and long sleeves. Everyone there was brand new to Bikram Yoga so their curiosity and excitement was fun to be around. The energy in New York was super awesome -must be the city vibes. I also really loved the Gold Coast because they became like a home away from home. They played music in the room before class and put everyone into the groove before practice. And the new Hudson Yoga studio in Victoria is beautiful!

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    Went to the studio in Seattle…very friendly and welcoming front desk staff. Beautiful yoga room with high ceilings and tons of space. Very speedy practice as we only did a 2-second Savasana instead of a 20 second one! As soon as your head hits the ground, you get right back up. Every time. Maybe it was just that one instructor, I’m not sure. The other interesting difference was that we never turned to face the side mirrors, every posture was done facing forward, so for poses like Triangle and Standing Separate Leg Stretching you simply stand off your mat and your feet are on the floor (it’s a smooth-surface flooring similar to the Cambie studio). I really liked that. As for the instructor: zzzzzzz…she might as well have put the Bikram CD on and left the room. No expression, no interest in the students, no corrections, no tips, no insights, nothing. Good to come back to Vancouver where we get more than just dialogue from our instructors (well, at least with most).

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      Wow, thanks for the story TL. Weird to hear about such a different savasana! Not much benefits in just getting 2 seconds, perhaps they were a little rushed for time.

      When studios are equipped with carpets, most teachers will have the students remain facing forward as they get the good grip from the carpets themselves. Otherwise with floors like Cambie it is important to face the side so that you get a nice grip from the mat and the towel.

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