Artistic Yoga –What is it?
I talked in length about Bikram yoga and the experience I have had with that. Before I started Bikram, I had the opportunity to experience and learn Bharat Thakur’s Artistic Yoga. I got a private teacher for about one week in Chennai and the first session completely blew me away. I was expecting a good workout but what Vinod, my teacher, had me do was incredibly hard! He started off the first session quite simply to judge my energy and endurance levels. After that, he went to town. The class went something like this:
Warm up for 5-10 min: running in place, jumping jacks, side twists, downward stretches, right leg stretch,bounce ten times on a lunged leg, left leg stretch, bounce 10 times on a lunged leg
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)–the first day we did 50. The next day 80 and from then on he made me do a variation from 50-80 and finally 108! This lasts anywhere from 10-18 min. Doing 108 in 18 min we are going very fast. The first 10 are slow and the concentration is on breathing since that will determine how much stamina you have for the 98 left to go. The following link shows the 12 steps in completing one round:
At this point, I got such a workout, I thought we were done. Guess what. The class was just starting. 40ish more min to go!
Concentration of the day– He picked 2 body parts a day and did poses based on this. Now the poses were held for 10 counts, and we quickly went to the next pose. Sometimes he would trick me and he would count to 10 and say 10 more counts. So depending on the day, we did lower body/abs, arms and back, etc.
Cool down Stretch: He would stretch me out completely for about 5-10 min. This would involve him pulling my hands and legs so hard I thought they would dislocate. But they did not. My back cured it self from this!
Kapalbhatti: started off with 50. As I became stronger,we did 2 sets of 500.
Now Vinod didn’t believe in any drastic meal plans or weight loss. He told me right away–we can do this for a whole year and more than likely you will not see a change in weight. But you will tone up. He endorsed healthy eating. He also said some of his clients would do a session like this with him in the mornings or evenings and do a one hour cardio to supplement it. I couldn’t imagine this! I was beat by the time I was done with his one hour session.
Vinod also gave me a challenge. He said for most of his clients, he would say you should practice this 5 days a week. Out of the 5 days, 4 days the SuryaNamaskar bit would be 50 and 1 day a week you could do 108. However, he said if I did 108 every week 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks, I would see a huge difference in my body type. I have not yet done this, but who knows….! Maybe this is coming up very very soon!
He also suggested a great how-to book complete with suggested workout plans by body type and a description of each pose we did in a book by another student of Bharat Thakur that Vinod worked with–Payal. The book’s link is:
There is one “cardio” workout on this that is absolutely fantastic. I will be posting it soon as it is my favorite! By “Cardio” I mean yoga cardio!
So that–in a nutshell is my artistic yoga experience.