I have been practicing yoga for a few years now and the most important thing that I have learnt is this:
“When I practice yoga, I feel good. When I don’t practice yoga, I feel like crap.”
The difference is obvious across all aspects of my life. I know and feel the difference between my yoga self and my non-yoga self. With each class I try to learn and understand more about yoga so that I can pin point exactly what is having such a dramatic effect on me. I can’t say that there is any one thing. Yoga is not a pill that you can take and expect a quick fix. One class on its own will not make you skinny, fit or healthy. However, after one class you will notice instant change.
Yoga can create instant change in your body, in your mind and in your life. The change may be really slight but it is always there. You shift as a person and you grow.
I learn something new about myself after each and every class. These lessons make me more aware and encourage a greater sense of self. Yoga encourages and facilitates self-awareness.
I have practiced many different styles of yoga but Bikram yoga is my favourite. It is very different to other yogas. Bikram yoga is practiced in a hot room and once you choose to go in to the room, you are not allowed to leave. You are ‘forced’ to stay in the room and as a result you will benefit from just being around all the energy of others. In Bikram, you need to look at yourself in the mirror in order to correct your postures. This ‘forces’ you to look at yourself, accept yourself and smile at yourself. In Bikram, the teacher does not practice with you, instead the teacher uses a dialogue to guide you. You are ‘forced’ to shut off your mind so that you can listen and follow.
When I use the word ‘force’ I don’t mean for it to sound negative. In fact I truly believe that it is this ‘force’ which pushes you to try harder, do better and learn more about yourself.
In Bikram, you practice the same routine of postures in the same order every single time. This means that you always know what to expect. You know how well you are doing and you know what you need to do in order to improve. This in itself ‘forces’ awareness of your practice.
Bikram yoga inspires so many creative ideas. After one class, I write millions of potential blog posts in my mind. I don’t always get to write these posts here on my blog, but i would like to write more often. Perhaps I will from now on. Perhaps this will also help me to become more self-aware and to actually pin point the reasons why yoga makes me feel good.