This is a post about how Bikram yoga applies to life.
Tonight, I attended the 4:30 Bikram yoga class in order to keep up with my challenge. Looking back, I should have stayed home and made up a double another day. The weather report was not looking good but the conditions at the time were not bad.
After yoga, I looked outside the window and almost started to cry. You see, I may be from Pittsburgh and Ohio but I’m not a snow person. I hate driving in it and it terrifies me. It may have something to do with my accident (although that happened in mid-summer).
During the 2 hours and 45 minutes I drove around this evening (the drive is only 15-minutes), I used Bikram to survive. My drive was terrible… I got stuck for about a half an hour on a hill. No one stopped and I even called AAA but they said they couldn’t send out someone just to help me up a hill. I also had the little problem of running out of gas. Oh… and I didn’t have my wallet with me. Smart, huh?
Finally, someone in a truck came to help. Without going into much detail, they pulled me up the hill. They said they would follow me home but unfortunately, I took the wrong turn and they didn’t continue to follow. I wish I had their address to send them a thank you note though. Then… I was driving around on back farm roads which go up and down, up and down. My little car can’t handle that. I heard from another car that the cops blocked off the only way I knew how to get home. For good reason because it’s a huge hill. I was panicking – my gas light was on for awhile and I didn’t know where to go. It was freezing and my windows kept fogging up (thank you hot yoga) and if I put my heat on more, the gas would go out even quicker.
Thank goodness for Dan. Throughout it all, he coached me on the phone. He advised me to find a gas station even though I had no money. I followed through and ended up at a Turkey Hill gas station. I got out of the car, balling my eyes out and luckily (again without going into much detail), a gem of a person gave me a $5 bill. I pumped and then followed another gem home. He even got my number to make sure we didn’t lose each other.
People amaze me and I’m so thankful.
Then, we took an incredibly long route to get back to my apartment. Whew. I was finally home. But, I learned a lot.
5 Ways Bikram Yoga Helped Me Home:
In Bikram and yoga, in general, it’s so important to find your breath. Breath links your mind to your body. Tonight, I had to find my breath and allow it to wave throughout my body. In the pass, I may have had a panic attack, but instead, I practiced deep breathing.
Lock the knee
During Bikram, we are told repeatedly to “lock the knee.” This means that your knee cap is lifted and your thigh is tight. In the standing balancing series, the locked knee is vital to move forward with a posture. Until you achieve this, you must stay put. Tonight as I was driving, I was trying to control my foot movement on the pedal. Sometimes I get too sure of myself and push harder on the pedal than I should. Instead, I told myself to “lock the knee” which translated to “lock the ankle/foot.”
Stay in the present
As soon as I started following the man back to my apartment, my mind was wandering. What if there are more hills? I wonder how much longer we have? I hope I can make it! As these thoughts entered my brain, I told myself to stay in the present and focus on my breath. This really helped me follow him safely without becoming frustrated.
The man I was following called me a few minutes into our journey. He asked about my car and if I had automatic. Then, he gave me some tips on how to approach a downward hill (no gas or break and put your car in – manual if you can). This was very helpful! In Bikram, listening is key. The teacher gives you important information about the practice throughout the class.
Learn from Others
In Bikram, we practice in front of mirrors. Even though we are supposed to focus on ourselves, it’s easy to see what other students are doing. For example, there is a woman in my class who has a very sturdy standing bow pulling pose. I have learned from her determination and put it in my own practice. Tonight as I was driving, I was learning from the guy I was following. How fast he was going, where his tires were, etc.
Anyways, throughout my turmoil tonight I was inspired. I love what I am doing in Bikram, especially the many mental and emotional benefits. However, if it snows tomorrow and the roads are bad, I am staying put.
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