After your first Bikram class, what was your impression?
First class? I had thought I was walking into the average gentle
yoga session during a vacation week...as we know, something very
different greeted me! It seemed so alien, still, I had to grant it
made common sense. Throughout the 90 minute session, I struggled
to keep going but felt respect for the practice's demands.
That morning I experienced the most exhilarating and challenging
exercise of my life. Even on that very hot summer day, after the class
I was full of boundless energy & planted a full garden in my
back yard. I couldn't stop 'doing' and 'going' and felt I had
stumbled on the fountain of youth! I know now that my physical
& emotional capabilities had been awakened.
What drives you to continue to practice? What keeps bringing you back?
The endless discovery behind the postures, the rhythmic
meditation, emotional balancing, and respect for the human body
and soul which underlies the entire practice. I have a sense that
thousands before me over many centuries are speaking to me through this
practice. It has been a great gift & revelation esp. as I have
entered a birthday milestone this year.
What are some of the benefits and changes you've seen in yourself?
Practical implications: improvement in my body and shape at a
rate and manner I have not known before despite being an
active person in a number of sports. Quite nice - but it really is
a side-benefit - not the prime reason for my continuing, believe
it or not.
This practice slowing teachings patience and command over physical
and mental difficulties and fears. As they emerge and strengthen,
these skills are yours for all aspects of life.
A mundane benefit - as I told Miranda - I attended a lovely
summer wedding this August and wondered why fellow churchgoers
were complaining so; I was feeling perfectly comfortable wearing a
jacket over my sleeveless dress - albeit in 90+ humidity. I like
to think this demonstrated how the Bikram yoga practitioner can
over time develop control over physical limitations.
What is your favorite posture in the series and why?
Just after the teacher announces "turn to the middle of your
towel for Rabbit" I always said to myself "I hate Rabbit". I
was at the point of announcing this to class - as who could not
hate this throat-choking neck bending monster? - when I finally felt
the great opening of the vertebrae this posture provides. Like
Bikram says, Rabbit will soon be your favorite pet.
I learned from this is that I can find something to love in
the hardest postures if I let go of my prejudgements and negative
attitude about the pose. So it's Rabbit, Bow, and Separate Leg
Standing I now look forward to. Go figure.
What is your greatest challenge about the yoga? Yourself?
Balance in all things. I am a hurry-up, overly stimulated Westerner
and I need to sit with and be with each posture one at a time. The
mental and emotional challenge is the biggie for me. The postures are
to me the vehicle for this challenge - not the be-all and end-all,
although I thought intially that was the case because they seemed
so tough to do and even outlandish.
What advice can you give to a 1st timer after they complete the class?
GO within and see how you really truly feel. Do not be put off
by the difficulty of the poses, length of session, heat or OTHERS'
SEEMING PROFICIENCY WITH POSES.
Celebrate because you have found something you will soon
value greatly. Our bodies are all we take with us - materially -
through life for sure and you have found out how to take care of this
'vessel'. You will discover so much from continuing to show up.
All you have to do is through your stuff in a bag and drag
yourself in, Miranda and Bikram will take care of the rest! Just
show up one more time...and one more time...and again...then
you will tell me why you keep coming!
Is there anything you would like to add?
We don't talk in class so here are my thoughts generated during
and after our sessions. Thank you so much for establishing the Nashua