Having already practiced yoga at home for decades, I trained to become a Bikram Yoga teacher in 1997. This was a turning point in my life as I realised that more than anything I wanted to be a yoga teacher. Bikram training was tough to put it mildly and I must admit I got to the stage of dreading class!
One of the many fabulous things I learnt with Bikram is the precise alignment which I believe is extremely important to get the benefit from postures. The heat is intense and there are many reasons for it, one of which is to purify the body which is also a necessity if you want a painless body! Stuck energy has to move to free up the body, and sweating is one way to release it.
In the years that I stopped teaching I spent my time learning all I could about consciousness and how that was actually the underlying cause of everything we experience in our lives and of course that includes the body. Naturally I immediately started experimenting with my own body and in my new body classes to see how that actually worked and I did experience some amazing insights that have forever changed the way I teach now.
After all, wherever your consciousness is – there you are!
Having more recently taught again, I witnessed a lot of students forcing themselves into postures, grimacing with pain and obviously really suffering. I would wince every time I saw this and would mention it but in a Bikram class there is not a lot of time to explain more. As a teacher that really bothered me and was actually one of the main reasons I decided to create Barefoot Bodeez. The whole idea that you have to suffer in order to gain something good – the “No pain no gain” belief – I feel that is a long way from the truth of how to get the best out of your body. If you have the consciousness that you have to suffer in order to get a result – that is exactly what you will create in your life.
Please do not think this is saying do not do Bikram Yoga – far from it! Without doubt, it has been one of the best things that I ever did in my life – I learnt so much about myself. What I am trying to say is that if you think that your Bikram class will be hard, you will create that. If you think you will enjoy it – you will! That choice is up to you! If you are harmonious in your thoughts and feelings you will feel ease in your body – it’s as simple as that! The word disease gives you a clue as to the truth of what it means – dis-ease in the body. So the main thing to work on is to harmonize your thoughts and feelings. Simples! I know that sounds easier said than done but it is definitely “do-able”. It is a lot of work at first but with constant effort it definitely gets easier.