While I have a strong dance background, I really let myself go health-wise the past four years due to poor eating habits, lack of self-control, and sheer laziness. As much as people hate on how flaky new years resolutions are, I look at it as a clean slate. The most enduring resolutions are ones grounded in substance over superficiality, and while I initially just wanted to slim down for superficial purposes, my perspective changed completely, resulting in a longer lasting motivation. My goal was no longer to just fit back in to my size 2 jeans, but become physically enduring, more flexible, and holistically stronger. Spiritually, I felt more whole. It could be the magic of yoga, or just the fact that I finally made an effort to do something different. Regardless, it’s working.
(Bikram Yoga poses via Pinterest)
One week of Bikram yoga was like an intense boot-camp detox. Bikram Yoga is one of the most physically grueling, yet empowering experiences. The 26 hatha yoga poses are done in 105F degrees room with about 40% humidity. My first class felt like death, but in a span of a week, I felt a huge change in overall fitness. I felt more in sync with my body, drank lots of water, and started planning my day around working out and attending yoga class. Even if I don’t lose the pounds, my revitalized commitment to myself is worth more than looking thinner.
I had been meditating for some years now, but continuing that with Bikram Yoga has been an experience. Meditation for me was an intrinsically spiritual phenomenon. People always wonder how exactly I meditate, but there is really no right or wrong way. Whether you pray in the morning, lock yourself in the dark and light candles, listen to music on a walk, workout, it’s all meditation to me. Before I use to listen to music by a lake, but now I do yoga. Meditation can be integral in everything that you do. The difference lies in giving yourself the time & space to clear your head, versus taking a step back to mull over a problem. Meditation time is not problem solving time, which is so difficult to do. Sometimes I feel it is impossible to not think about anything, since I’m such a worry-er, but the goal is to balance the stress and worry with a sound mind and clear heart.
I am in no means a professional or in any way competent enough to solicit advice, but I am a huge proponent of taking a break from your daily bs and making time to do absolutely nothing. There is only benefit in clearing your mind, refocusing your energy, and taking the time to build an awareness of your inner and outer self.