Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blissful Bikram

Ok...as you may have read, I hated Bikram yoga when I did it last Thursday. But today I was feeling the love of my love-hate relationship with it. That love was followed by a sense of achievement and feelings of clarity and calm that I normally only experience after a day of fasting. Yay!

What a difference this day was! - not as much dizziness, no bitchiness, a sense of control and ease at the same time, and I was able to hold the poses longer and really get into them more fully...It helped that I hydrated more throughout the day (and resisted an urge for coffee), that Heath force-fed me watermelon before class (typically, you're not supposed to eat several hours before class...but I figured watermelon was probably one of the only foods that would count as an exception), and it also made a difference that I warmed up with a quick lymph brushing (with a warm washcloth) and a bikeride to class.

And did I mention that, this time around, I had the best instructor ever? Megan at Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia was kind and encouraging, with just the right amount of strictness to keep me honest. I actually worked better and harder in this atmosphere. She was very good at explaining how to have correct posture and how to properly get in and out of poses. And Megan also made a point of telling us what each pose was doing to our organs, spine, muscles, and systems. She'd say, "this pose is good for the pancreas...that pose is good for the intestine"...etc. This motivated me to really work the poses. She scored big points for reminding us to get out of our minds and to use them only for positive thoughts related to our practice - "Stretch." "I am strong." "I'm going to rock this pose."

I made it to the end feeling so much stronger than I did at Thursday's class. I have to remember that some days will just not go as well as others. According to Bikram Choudhury, when you are feeling less like being at yoga, that's when you need it the most.

And as we laid on our mats, soaking up all the benefits, Megan asked us to reflect on why we come to Bikram. Her reason? To move her body; it feels better after movement. My reason? To engage not only my muscles in a workout but all organs and systems as well...to detoxify....to get out of my mind...to get out of my comfort zone and focus on my breath.

There are only three things you can control in life:

*Your Breath
*Your Mind
*Your Body

What activities help you in attending to these parts of you?

P.S. Another brownie point for this Bikram studio, aside from an awesome instructor, is the kick-ass vegan snacks they gave out for FREE. When you don't eat as preparation for a class, it's possible you'll be starving afterwards. The snack was a godsend.

1 comment:

Elle Bieling said...

Congrats on your journey. I haven't yet had the courage to try Bikram. I do love yoga and holistic health. I especially liked your comment about doing yoga to detoxify - to get out of your mind. That's what it is about for me. Moving into the stretch is what allows me to go inward and escape my mind for a short while! It is very healing indeed.