Yoga for True Health and Happiness
I started practicing Bikram Yoga in May of 2011 when I was 21 years old. I had seen a news segment about the many benefits of Bikram Yoga and I decided to give it a try. What I experienced in that first class is what I can only describe as death and then rebirth. I had no idea just how intense the class was going to be - I felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest, I had never in my life sweat so much, and I was unbelievably uncomfortable. What’s more, the 70-something year old woman in front of me seemed to be having no issues whatsoever with the postures nor the heat. I left that first class somehow feeling both exhausted and invigorated, and I was inspired to go back and improve. Thus began my love affair with Bikram Yoga. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
You see, I thought that I was in good health and great shape. Before yoga, I regularly went on 3+ mile runs, ate what I thought was healthy food ( low fat and low calorie foods), and I looked as though I was “in shape”. What I’ve learned so far on my 10 year yoga journey is that health is not just about the size and shape of your body, it’s about the total package - how are you emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually? In college (when I began my practice) I was under a lot of stress, I regularly experienced anxiety, and I wasn’t sleeping enough. What’s more, I was actually eating crap - I ate a lot of processed foods, and I drank my fair share of alcohol. Bikram yoga brought all of that to the surface. In the beginning months of my practice, I would have great classes but I also experienced classes where I felt nauseated, angry, sad, tired, and/or weak. Once I started to make my way through some of the emotional and physical blockages that I was dealing with (and trust me, there are still plenty there), I began to feel truly amazing. I felt better than I even knew I could feel.
Now that I am a teacher, I often see students dealing with their own barriers, and some of them end up quitting. It’s easier to blame things outside of ourselves for how we feel, but yoga teaches us to look within. If you are having a rough class where you don’t feel well, there is nothing wrong with the yoga. The yoga is asking you to take a closer look and ask yourself “How am I eating? Did I drink enough water today? Am I under a lot of stress? Am I sleeping enough?” It’s not an easy task, but your health and wellbeing are worth the time and effort.
Let’s get really honest about our health and wellbeing. We deserve to feel amazing, and this yoga can bring you true health and happiness!