It’s probably been 1-2 years since I have done Sivananda Yoga.
My Hoodie Disappeared
something really weird happened. In Macon, GA I was living in an AirBNB and I noticed a person offering some yoga vacations in the area. As I did research on her, I eventually came across a system called Vamadheva Yoga. He considers Sivananda his guru. For some reason, I started doing his yoga… and my Sivananda hoodie disappeared! I was living by myself and I looked everywhere. But it was gone, gone, gone!
From Vamadheva to Dhirendra Brahmachari
Again, I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I noticed a youtube video of Dhirenda Brahmachari and felt the pranayama was more powerful and effective, so I switched to that for awhile.
The desire for flexibility
The desire for flexibility led me to want to do hot yoga. So I left my parent’s house in Loganville, GA and found Hotworx Hot Yoga in Charlotte, NC. The yoga set could be called “bikram lite” – it forced me to stay on one leg longer than I was used to, so it was tough at first. But eventually, I felt the yoga set was not challenging enough.
I got sciatica and heat stroke symptoms from Bikram
So, once I left Charlotte, NC after 23 days (my landlady at AirBNB threw me out), I was in South Florida and confident I was going to do Bikram yoga and love it.
I gave myself a case of sciatica from overdoing the postures and the hot room with no ventilation caused major problems for me… even after hydrating heavily, it was taking 4 hours to recover from the class… I knew something was wrong
So I have been enjoying doing hot yoga in the outdoor sunshine along the beach.
Return to Sivananda
Today, May 17, 2023, 6 days after my 54th birthday, I did a Sivananda yoga set because I did not have time to go to the beach and also did not want to spend several hours recovering from Bikram… even in the outdoors the Bikram set works so much of the body inside and out that it takes me a long time to recover… It wasnt this way when I was younger, but it is now.
Here is what I noticed in my return to Sivananda
The sun salutations are orgasmic!
When I arch my back, I get a very deep backbend thanks to the practices I have been doing since leaving Sivananda
The sun salutations are the main cardio part of the set
besides locust pose, very little of the Sivananda set raises the heart rate… but you do get a small cardio workout
No shoulder work?
One thing that concerns me is that we dont do eagle pose, or any other pose to open up the shoulder blades – I’m sure that Swami Vishnu could do them, but the set does not directly address shoulder flexibility.
I enjoyed chanting
One thing about Sivananda is that you are putting vibrations in the body every day. And the inversions are turning the fluids of the body every day. I was so glad to chant once again.
My bridge pose is strong
my knees do not suffer in bridge pose. so the other yoga I was doing has improved that.
I enjoyed triangle
the triangle pose really opened up my inner thighs nicely.
the star of the show was sivasana
When I did shavasana, I went off into my subtle body and had a dream where I was 6 years old and was playing piano for someone… a very beautiful song.
No other yoga set leads to subtle body experiences for me beyond Sivanananda yoga.
When I look over the 26 postures of Bikram, I worry that Sivananda is not doing enough physically… but if you look at the Complete Book of Yoga, you will see that Swami Vishnu is just as capable as Bikram…. Swami Vishnu admitted that it was because of his guru that he could do the postures. It had nothing to do with physical culture.