Last month, I wrote a few times about how I’d become a huge fan of Bikram “hot” yoga in just a short time. With just a few weeks of practicing, I could already tell what I huge difference it was making in my health and mental outlook. I was calmer, saner, and my digestion was better than it had been in months. I was a better wife and mother as a result.
But the deal I had was just a Groupon– $29 for a month of unlimited yoga. A normal month costs anywhere from $89-109, which is just not in the budget until we sell our house in CA. Bikram is also the first type of yoga I’d ever tried, so I figured I could use these penny-pinching months to try out a few different studios and get a feel for what else is out there.
I scoured Groupon for any yoga studios close to us. Luckily, Dallas has a lot of them, so I picked one that was supposedly 13 minutes away by surface streets (although, in reality, it ends up taking me 20-30 min., since I go in the evening and it’s rush hour).
And, while I love Bikram….I gotta say. I think the truth is just that I love yoga. Plain and simple. I love the challenge, I love that it’s something people can do up to and through their 50s and 60s (and beyond, in some cases!), and I love all the benefits. Getting away for some kid-free time doesn’t hurt either. Shopping used to be my “get away from the kids” time, but then I always had the regret that followed.
My current studio (for the month) has some of the liveliest and friendly yoga instructors that I have ever met. They are super hands-on, which I would’ve thought would freak me out, since I’m a very “no touchy” type. But all of the instruction is SUPER helpful, and when you think about it, isn’t that why you go to classes instead of just practicing by yourself in the living room? To GET that hands-on training that’s going to keep you progressing and away from injury?
After a yoga class, I sleep like a baby. My normal back pain (I broke my tailbone during Gregory’s birth, and it’s never been straight since) disappears, my stomach-aches lessen. My headaches and sinus pressure have been minimal if not completely absent (A HUGE thing for me!).
Mentally, just knowing that I have “me” time coming up later in the evening gets me through those rough toddler cranky hours. I come away relaxed, focused, and stress free. I am normally a very high energy and intense person, but I come away from class thinking, “Who cares? Everything will be okay, I just know it.” I can’t explain the feeling, try as I might, but let’s just say, someone flipped me off on my drive home last night (his fault, not mine, honestly), and it didn’t even phase me. Normally, something like that would bug me for hours!
Spiritually, I ALWAYS pray better after a yoga class. Once you have been mindful of the body/spirit connection, putting aside all of your earthly cares, it’s so much easier to be still and listen to God. I have heard so many Christians disparage yoga, but I can only conclude that they haven’t tried it and are relying on articles and internet opinions. I actually spoke with my priest recently about this very thing, and he answered by saying that it’s not for everyone, but it isn’t inherently bad, it’s how we participate in and make of it that can make it good or bad. I also know another yoga instructor who says that yoga is what ultimately led her to Christianity!
So, in a nutshell, there you have it– why I love yoga (and you should to!). If you are on the fence, I would definitely encourage you to give it a try, because you never know how much benefit it will bring.
Bikram Yoga– PROGRESS!
Bikram Yoga– I Tried It!