So .. what IS Core26?
As many may know, Tapasya was originally a Bikram yoga studio. Often people come to the studio and ask, “So it’s basically like Bikram?” And in fact the answer is a little bit more complicated than that. For everybody who is interested in how and why we practice the way that we do at our studio, for anybody who wants to know how we got here and what we believe in, we hope that you will read on….
Core26 is the foundation routine for Tapasya Yoga. It closely mirrors the beginner routine in Bikram Yoga. However, insights and instructions from many other traditions have been incorporated into the instructions which differentiate a Core26 class from a Bikram class in significant ways.
One major difference when comparing Core26 to Bikram is the inclusive and adaptable nature of Core26 the format. Clear instructions are included throughout the practice to help students experiment and find the method and expression of the posture that best fits their individual needs. We have great respect for the fact that every person’s body is different, with dramatic differences in bone structure, injuries, and natural range of motion just to name a few. As such, we do not encourage students to pursue one “correct” way of performing the postures. In the Core26 class, teachers help students find the best possible posture every step of the way to best meet each unique individual’s needs.
Systematic Breathing Instructions
Breathing is central to yoga, and instruction in how to breathe is just as important as instruction on how to move and stretch the body. Without proper breathing, the expression of asana collapses from the inside. In yoga, breathing is the foundation for growth and success. The standard Bikram instructions for breathing during class can be scattered, hard to follow, or just non-existent. The Core26 method systematizes the breathing instructions and in many cases gives alternative or more advanced ways of using the breath to support and energize the practice. When students receive a strong understanding of how to breathe in the postures, the practice effects intensify. With breath, asanas gain the power they need to create transformation, allowing one to grow and change in a positive direction with every single session.
The Backbone of Comparative Yoga
The practices in Core26 were put together with a careful eye towards the larger community of yoga. In developing these practices, we examined Bikram’s version of each posture, alongside of similar methods and practices adopted by other yoga schools, especially the schools of Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Sivananda Yoga and Satyananda Yoga. By comparing, we gained a multi-faceted understanding of the practices. We also cleared away many of the puzzling questions around the standard Bikram Yoga instructions and practices. This means that the Core26 methodology is distinct from the Bikram method, as it has been generated after studying and experiencing the methodologies of several systems. Above all, we believe that the incorporation of insights from other systems has made the Core26 far more wholesome, approachable and inclusive than the standard Bikram instructions.
Importance of Awareness
The instructions and methods in the Core26 are intended to empower students in their personal practice as they deliberately expand self awareness through yoga. We believe that the center of yogic practice, the fundamental unit, is the unique and living individual person. We do not believe in sacrificing depth of understanding in the name of going deeper into a pose. The best results come in yoga not from pushing, squeezing or forcing the body, but by breathing, paying attention, and always keeping up an attitude of curiosity – in every technique, every time. Core26 is meant to support students in that process, instead of forcing them into a one-size-fits-all approach to yoga.