The Bikram Diaries

Searching for bliss through 105° of heat

the ego trip April 17, 2009

Filed under: my mind on yoga — Celine @ 5:09 pm
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I started writing this as a response to a comment left by Lolly on my post, Day 19: The More the Merrier but it started getting so long that I thought I might as well post it!

Lolly’s comment read:

“I have to say, reading this is a bit disheartening…every person you’ve brought to Bikram you mention how they handle class, how “well” they did for their fist time, not even sitting out, or only sitting out once — what does it matter?  Bikram Yoga is a 90 minute open-eyed, moving meditation.  Your eyes should only be looking at your own eyes in the mirror, not looking at other bodies to “judge” and “compare” yourself to.  That is an activity for the ego.  Please don’t use Bikram as a tool to feed the ego.”

So first off, I just want to say I’m sorry if I upset anyone with my post. I didn’t word it right but when I say a friend did well on their first class, it’s really because I’m comparing them to how I did on MY first class, which was really, really, really terrible. It makes me happy to see friends having a good class because it means that they’ll be attending more classes with me and won’t think I dragged them out to be tortured.

In any case though, there’s truth to what Lolly said that I’m still using Bikram to feed my ego. It’s true, and I haven’t quite overcome it since I’m really only on my 20th class! I know that Bikram is supposed to be a meditation and not an ego trip. But just as I know what a locust pose is really supposed to look like, it doesn’t mean I’m quite there yet. We all know that we’re supposed to be free of judgement and have unbreakable focus but unfortunately, we’re human and the mind and body don’t always cooperate. I hope you’ll accept that I’m still just starting on my journey and I won’t be the perfect yogi for a long, long time. I promise to try though! And if you’re willing to keep reading, I’ll keep writing honestly about how my burgeoning love affair with Bikram yoga is going—the good AND the bad.

 

withdrawal March 23, 2009

Filed under: my mind on yoga — Celine @ 9:00 am
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Four days without Bikram and I am going through withdrawal. I was in Pennsylvania for the weekend where my healthy-as-of-late lifestyle was replaced with a stuffy exhibition hall, unhealthy fried food, and copious amounts of alcohol. I feel, in a word, ICK.

Last night I was determined to wake up early today so I could get to work earlier than usual and therefore leave earlier to make it to a 5:30PM yoga class and still meet the boyfriend and some friends for drinks at 8:30PM. My body and mind would not cooperate, however, and I tossed and turned until 5AM. I ended up with roughly 3.5 hours of sleep and zero energy to stay alert at work, much less go through a 90-minute Bikram class in punishing heat.

But my body is craving Bikram so badly. I need it.

Even my mind is craving it. When I practice, I manage to free myself from petty annoyances. The endorphins kick in and nothing can bring me down. When I don’t practice, I take in every trivial thing and worse, rehash it in my mind over and over until I’m a ball of pent-up anger. I despise being in this condition. I want to empty my mind and be free of petty concerns.

I hope I can have a good night’s rest tonight and practice tomorrow. My sanity quite possibly depends on it.