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What I’m Learning from Bikram Yoga

Posted Sep 14 2012 4:51pm

Last night, I went to a new-to-me Bikram yoga studio in Stoughton with my friend Jenn. We hadn’t seen each other since my birthday at the end of June, so we basically attacked each other at first sight. It was Jenn’s first experience with Bikram and she loved it! I’m really starting to fall in love with the practice and it fits in seamlessly with my new workout schedule.

The two of us brought dinner with us to the studio and, after class, laid our yoga mats outside in the parking lot and ate under the stars. It was rather romantic, actually. We had a long overdue girl chat; the air was mild and crisp and we were riding the post Bikram yoga high! It was kind of perfect

Post-Bikram sweaty glow!

Note to self: food phone photography at night is not successful. Case in point…

I dined on Brussels sprouts and tempeh with a generous dollop of organic ketchup. This is one of my all-time favorite meals. It’s so easy, delicious, and satisfying!

This morning was a self-proclaimed rest day. Bikram had me feeling pretty sore so I rolled with some meditation and deep stretching before getting ready for work at the clinic this morning. I worked through the early afternoon and then came home to make a pretty stellar salad.

Looks wimpy. Tasted awesome! Into the Tupperware container went raw kale, broccoli, green beans, hemp seeds, and Trader Joe’s tomato basil hummus. Lordy, was this good.  I was also craving rice cakes (I know, random) so I had a couple of those with my salad. Hit the spot!

What I’m Learning from Bikram Yoga

It’s no secret that I’ve fallen in love with Bikram yoga. During my first class, I couldn’t (for the life of me) figure out how or why anyone would endure such an uncomfortable practice. I was hot; I was overhwhelmed; I found it difficult to breathe properly. I was so uncomfortable. After class, when I stepped outside and felt the cool, sunny day wash over my body, my uncomfortable state turned into a peaceful one. I felt so in control and relaxed. My mind was clear; I felt like someone had taken an eraser and wiped my mind clean. It was utterly freeing.

At this point, I was reminded of the ever-wise quote “Change is uncomfortable” and realized that Bikram was something I could use to challenge myself in a new way. That’s what life is about anyways, right? Since I knew what to expect from my next class, I was much more at ease and open to letting my mind go and focusing on holding the poses correctly.

After class number two, I realized something new: I was paying attention to solely what my body could do. I love this about Bikram. Not once do I think about what I look like. The practice really demands your full attention to the poses that you have no space left in your brain to worry about anything else. We worry less; we pose and relax more. I’m a big fan of that exchange. ;-) Bikram also makes me feel so grateful for my body and the strength it possesses. Your body is the only thing you own for your entire life – all you can do is love it. Every inch of it.

I’ve decided to continue practicing Bikram on a regular basis. It’s giving me so many tools that I need right now, as I’m dealing with a whole bunch of personal life changes. It has helped me to release so many of my fears, worries, and anxieties. I honestly haven’t worried about anything in the past two weeks, thanks in part to Bikram. There’s only room for love in my heart. I think that is truly the best gift we can give ourselves.

Namaste!

Stay lovely,
Heather 

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