Working From the Inside Out
Bikram Yoga: Working From the Inside Out
Most changes in the body, like healing or illness, take place without being seen by the naked eye; for example, our thoughts, cells, or atoms. Everything in the body is connected: mind, emotion and body.
The asanas, or postures in Bikram yoga are designed to specifically heal and transform the body, mind and emotion to a healthy, more supportive state of health. The asanas are removing resistance or stress by compressing joints, tendons, muscles and organs. The toxins are being flushed out and optimal nutrition can be carried to the cells while improving oxygen intake. Once the posture is completed, the toxins in the body have been released and maximum relaxation is attained through stillness and normal breathing. The compression in the posture with relaxation after the posture, not only eliminates stress from the body, but the mind and emotional state. In 90 minutes, the student’s overall well-being is improved, as well as restoring energy, flexibility, strength and balance in the body.
A misconception of yoga that a lot of people have adopted through advertising and propaganda is that yoga is some form of hype or fad that is like any other form of fitness regime offered, but with more “stretching”. Bikram yoga goes much deeper than just “another exercise”, especially when talking about the designated 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises coupled with the heat aspect. The heat is an incredibly important aspect of the class, in order to increase the beneficial effect and response of the body in and out of the posture. It is therapy: therapy for the mind, body and emotional state. Bikram has stated,”90 minutes of Bikram yoga is like going to a chiropractor, psychologist, and massage therapist in one class”.
Those who practice Bikram yoga on a regular basis report better mood, improved stamina, increased energy levels, higher metabolism, reduced stress, lowered cholesterol, normalized blood pressure, relief from back pain, improved flexibility and strength.
On your journey with Bikram yoga, it may be challenging to look in the mirror and realize yourself: the pain, joy, sadness, anger, or whatever emotion or thought you may be harboring moment by moment. In the Bikram yoga class: you are in the presence of self for 90 minutes and that in itself; in the world we live in, is pure bliss.
Written by: Shelley Fisher, Bikram Yoga certified in 1999.