The definition of yoga is unity and Bikram, perhaps more than most types of yoga, can push you to a mental as well as a physical edge. We release physical toxins through our sweat in the hot room and mindful practice helps us become aware of and address negative thoughts and emotions as well.
Often, hot yoga is a trigger for people to start addressing deeper issues as they come to an awareness of the mind-body connection. Cila, my student, blog collaborator and writer friend, recently wrote a guest post for Tiny Buddha on 5 Steps to Deal With Emotional Baggage so it Doesn’t Define You.
I particularly like this step:
Create affirmations to foster change and counteract negative thoughts.
Take the positives… and turn them into affirmations or statements of intent, i.e.: “I will speak with love” or “I will treat people with kindness.” This puts the emphasis on positive future behavior and frees you from the past. Make the affirmations tangible: put a reminder on your phone, write them on post-its, or put a list on the fridge.
To me this really relates to Bikram yoga practice. We come into the studio with whatever our bodies and minds are carrying and for 90 minutes we work to make positive changes in our whole being. When we leave, we travel light.
What burden has your Bikram practice helped you release? Share in the comments.