Bikram teachers by and large generally seem to push students more than they push themselves. I’ve seen the extreme frowning upon leaving the room, excess water drinking and sitting out a pose. I’ve also seen a few teachers that are more laid back and suggest that you the student may know your body best.
I have mixed feelings about it. I do like being pushed and like a personal trainer, I find a teacher can get more out of you. I personally prefer an encouraging tone vs. a military command. I’ve heard a teacher ask “Are you dead yet? No, then get up.” That didn’t sit too well with me.
In my head, the following dialogue takes place, whether the teacher is talking to me (usually not) or someone else, “How do they know what’s going on? What if the person is sick? How does the teacher understand if this person is at their capacity or not? Why does this have to be so hard all the time. If they need to sit out a pose, they should.”
Despite being told never to leave the room, I’ve left 4 times so far in the last 6 months, each time to throw up. I’ve had one class where I literally had to sit out most of the class after triangle. The teacher, one of the toughest I take, saw I was really out of it. After his usual, “Get up, this means you” he realized I was struggling and told me to to lie down and relax. He opened the door several times to make sure I got air and even came and checked on me during savasanas.
I do think we (I) often need a kick in the ass that teachers can provide, at the same time, I pretty much follow my gut. From what I’ve heard Bikram gives a lot of tough love, so seems like this is what many teachers learn in training.
What motivates you the most?