Why did you start practicing Bikram yoga and how long have you been practicing?
I did a handful of classes a few years ago but came back to the practice in November 2014. As an avid runner, I was looking for ways to take care of and preserve my body so I could continue running in the most healthy manner possible.
Bikram also offered the challenge of practicing something that I was not an expert at with instructors who could help me improve my skill. It appealed to me that my mind and spirit would benefit as well, which is important to me.
How has your practice affected your life?
I am more flexible. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve when it comes to relaxing. I believe I walk a little taller; I haven’t measured myself, but perhaps more importantly, I feel taller.
What keeps you coming back for more?
Seeing progress is motivating! I value the practice of strength, concentration, and letting go. I find the work you do in class stays with your body and I love that feeling.
Do you have any advice/insight for new yogis?
They call it “practice” for a reason. Think of the teachers as coaches. They provide insight into things you can’t see or are not yet aware of in your body. Their voices serve as an anchor for your mind during class.
The teacher says, “Take the opportunity to focus your eyes on your own in the mirror.” Typically, when I look in a mirror it is in a more calm state for information and assurance. In this yoga, the mirror also can provide a source of power. It is not often we take the time to look directly at ourselves when our determination and concentration is so present on the surface and raw.
You are with people of different strengths and we are all doing the best we can and we do better together.