Sunday, March 15, 2009

My new challenge - Bikram

I made a strict promise to myself at the beginning of the year to find a physical outlet for both body and mind. To find a place where I would be able to challenge myself without feelings of inadequacy and competition.

I have found that challenge. It is Bikram Yoga.

It is not the relaxing, bendy yoga. This is 90 minutes of focus or die yoga in a 105 degree room with 40% humidity. It could be described as a breathing exercise consisting of 26 postures done in the same sequence.

I'm using it s a tool to reconnect my mind with my body and bring back the flexibility I have lost from the new hip replacement. My body still feels very foreign to me and it's important that I be able to feel more of the transitions it is making.

While I am still easing my way into the practice I have learned a few very important lessons. After completing a class, I feel completely cleansed and giggle at the way my body oozes steam as I walk outside on a cool morning. I had my first yoga religious experience through Camel pose a couple of weeks ago which sent tears streaming down my face...Now when I reach in to Camel, I smile and my entire body fills with joy and satisfaction. Most importantly, I have learned that a cluttered mind in this environment makes the practice impossible to complete and that lack of focus will bring waves extreme nausea and dizziness over my body.

It's 90 minutes of discipline, but at the same time it feels like an escape. I love the similarities to the dojo in that everyone in the room is stripped of our careers, houses and material things and for the class we are merely students.

While I'm there, the only mandate is that I dedicate the time to myself and that is the kind of challenge and activity that makes me dig deep and get to know myself better. And I'm really liking how it feels to dedicate this time to me...

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