I always try to enter the Bikram Yoga studio with a positive attitude, knowing this to be the only way to experience a successful class; perhaps the edge needed to inch me closer to a personal breakthrough.
But there are those days where class is just tough. When the first set of Half Moon feels like it’s being held 2 minutes – per side; when you may as well attach a 10 pound weight to each ankle in all parts of Locust pose because regardless, my legs feel like lead. It’s when the part in the dialogue about pushing the hips forward in Camel sounds crazy, and my foot seems too far to clasp in Standing Head to Knee. And don’t get me started on balancing in Standing Bow pose. Add to that, racing thoughts that constitute the ‘monkey mind’ throw the mind-body-spirit union further off kilter.
Having the support of Bikramites (thanks to @MissCopey for inspiring this post) as well as achieving a sense of comprehension through the words written down by yoga masters makes navigating this sometimes overwhelming practice that much easier. Such positive back-up puts things into perspective and reminds me that as long as my intentions are positive, I just need to keep the faith. Bad days do happen. If they didn’t, how would we be motivated to continue our search for meaning; to grow? This is so easy for me to express at this moment yet I do forget this concept occasionally.
I recently read a passage from Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar that resonated with me so much that I put highlighter to page so it would stand out anytime I’d flip through the book’s pages. Please do read through it all – I promise Guruji Iyengar’s writing will give much food for thought.
Thank you readers, for reading and allowing me to share.
Yoga does not look on greed, violence, sloth, excess, pride, lust, and fear as ineradicable forms of original sin that exist to wreck our happiness – or indeed on which to found our happiness. They are seen as natural, if unwelcome, manifestations of the human disposition and predicament that are to be solved, not suppressed or denied. Our flawed mechanisms of perception and thought are not a cause for grief (though they bring us grief), but an opportunity to evolve, for an internal evolution of consciousness that will also make possible in a sustainable form our aspirations toward what we call individual success and global progress.
Yoga is the rule book for playing the game of Life, but in this game no one needs to lose. It is tough and you need to train hard. It requires the willingness to think for yourself, to observe and correct, and to surmount occasional setbacks. It demands honest, sustained application, and above all love in your heart. If you are interested to understand what it means to be a human being, placed between earth and sky, if you are interested in where you come from and where you will be able to go, if you want happiness and long for freedom, then you have already begun to take the first steps toward the journey inward. ~BKS Iyengar