Joy might not be the first word that comes to mind when you’re standing on one leg, sweat pouring into your eyes, muscles trembling, grip slipping, and heart pounding but in the A to Z of Bikram Yoga Joy is essential.
Joy is what lifts and inspires us. Joy is something deeper than happiness and more profound than pleasure. Joy arises when we dedicate ourselves to something we believe in — and what is Bikram but a practice of dedication?
We talk a lot in class about concentration, focus, discipline, patience, persistence, and acceptance. These are the ingredients, if you like. Joy is the finished product. The endorphin fix of yoga may last a couple of hours, the mental calmness can carry you to the end of the day, but when you have true joy in your practice it wraps around every aspect of your life. The trick is to notice it.
Next time you get on your mat, take a moment and think about joy. Breathe it in. Feel yourself in your body and the deep satisfaction of what you are about to do. Throughout class, be conscious of the positive moments and sensations. And when you leave the studio, cherish the blissful feeling in your mind and your physical body. That joy is what yoga is all about.