“Never too sick, never too old and never too late to start yoga and start from scratch again” ~ Bikram Choudhury
Bikram yoga to me is like real life. When it gets hot, and I mean really hot, you can’t jump or leave. I can’t really explain the feelings I receive from yoga but I do know it comes from a place deep inside. For me, it is so much more then being able to touch my toes. It is what I learn on the way down.
I didn’t expect to feel what I feel with bikram. I thought that I would just try something new and improve my flexibility. The lessons I am learning and the mind control (or lack thereof in the beginning) is really having an effect on me.
Going to my very first session I felt feelings that I have never felt before in any training. I was prepared with the physical part of it. I had water, wore little to nothing, had my hair pulled back and pinned, yoga mat and two towels. I thought to myself, how hard could this be? I’m just holding positions and following the instruction of the teacher.
We started the class with at least ten minutes of breathing movements and from that I already was feeling the effects in my shoulders and back. I was not very flexible and at times felt like the more muscle I had on my body, the harder it was to keep my arms raised or to contort my body into a pretzel-like position. I kept looking at the clock and couldn’t believe that I had only been there for 30 minutes. I was drenched in sweat and so badly wanted to walk out. (They say that if you feel sick, lie down and calm the mind. DO NOT LEAVE THE CLASS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY). That was difficult for me because my MIND is my most challenging body part. As I was lying on my back, my mind raced with thoughts of wanting to puke. I was slightly dizzy, my body was in pain and my heart rate wouldn’t calm down. All I wanted to do was leave, walk out or give up. But I didn’t. I stayed and once I felt well enough, I participated in the exercises again.
As I came toward the end of the class, there was one particular pose whose name escapes me. I started to feel a burning sensation in my chest, up to my throat and then it moved up to my face and eyes. I started to feel an overwhelming feeling of emotion and I started to cry. I didn’t mean to cry or become emotional like that but the feeling was uncontrollable. It burned and I couldn’t control it. It was very interesting and I wondered why I had these emotions. It seemed to be an emotional detox and I felt like the positions unlocked the emotional stuff inside my body. It was incredibly tangible to me that in pushing past my physical limitations I was 'unlocking' parts of my body that had emotions locked in them for years. Sometimes I didn't even know what the tears were really about; it just felt good to let them out.
So I will continue with Bikram yoga and hope that some of you reading this are inspired to try something new, face inner demons and to fight the urge to want to quit. You never know where it could lead. Only good and positive things for me~ thoughts become things.
Thank you for reading! Xoxo