“Inhale arms up, exhale press your elbows down – fingers together like glue!” Kiera started her class as she always does, with a smile and determination to encourage her students to feel the benefits of doing it correctly. “Back straight, only your breath, arms and head are moving.”
Sweat is dripping down my nose, my internal heat is rising as I shift into a deep state of moving meditation. Awwww.
This is Bikram Yoga. A room filled of sweaty bodies, temperature is over 100 degrees, and our mats covered with towels so we don’t slip from the sweat leaving our bodies. There is a musty smell that can be overwhelming at first, but then disappears as you move into a deep focus.
“Find yourself in the mirror, meditate on your movements and no one else’s.” I find myself staring at my legs, focusing on building strength and increasing my concentration while standing on one leg.
I mentioned in my last post , testing your mental toughness can be a fun journey – I feel it should be a regular practice. I am on a constant journey of testing my mental toughness and Bikram Yoga is another way to explore.
Though it is not an outdoor activity, at times it is necessary to step inward to gain love and appreciation for all that is around us. One being our bodies that gives us the ability to go outdoors.
Over the last six months I have experienced tendonitis in my right arm. It came from an old injury I have ignored. In trying to make the pain go away I had a cortisone shot, wore an elbow brace, and kept going.
After the shot wore off (only lasted 3 months), I was in more pain than before. I couldn’t even lift a glass of water.
A co-worker reminded me of Bikram Yoga. I use to enjoy all forms of yoga when I was in my early twenties; but as you know life gets busy and we find ourselves focusing on speeding up than slowing down.
I have decided now is a good time to slow down and appreciate all that my body does for me.
Over the last 3 years, I have become so determined to lift heavy and become a fit monster, that my body is breaking down, little by little. That form of determination is not love. It is a muddy interpretation of what some of us overly active people think is loving ourselves.
It is imperative to nurture our bodies. In doing so, we will perform physically better with a clearer picture of what is best for our overall health.
Taking time to love yourself doesn’t mean you’re going to lose, in-fact you can only gain. It’s important to understand the difference and yoga/mediation is helping me get there.
I am back practicing Bikram Yoga about 3 days a week for three weeks now, and my arm is feeling better. I am able to lift again. I am not 100% yet, but in no hurry.
My arm isn’t the only reason I am practicing this form of meditation; I am committed to taking time to love myself.
Before you trying it, I would recommend reading more about it: 9 Things You Need to Know About Bikram Yoga.
Send me a one word tweet like “hiking or yoga” on how you take time to love yourself.