Initially I came to Bikram Yoga because someone kept tugging my leg into an elevated position to get me to go… No, seriously, my friend Trish is very persistent and persuasive. At first I only practiced if my friends were there. Now each time I go friends are there.
Regarding benefits, that’s a long list. I’m in the better shape than I’ve been in at least 20 years: -Weight loss, improved mental focus, emotional stability (relatively), blood pressure reduction, reduced resting heart rate, muscle tone and definition, relief from arthritis, anxiety, varicose veins, compressed lumbar disc, resistance to cold viruses, the list could go on. Some benefits are more subtle like the sense of shared hardship, shared goals of the community of Bikram practitioners.
Regarding postures, half moon is beautiful. I like standing bow and keep trying to improve the posture. Locust is probably the most difficult posture, but I’d have to say it’s my favorite.
All the classes are hard for me. I feel stronger in some classes than in others but I can never duplicate today what I did or felt yesterday. I don’t ask myself the question, ‘Should I go to practice yoga today?’ I know how good it is for me to practice. Whether I am coming 3 or 4 times a week or every day I put myself on a schedule. I don’t think about it. I just get up and go if I’m able.
If you saw a picture of me when I started practicing you might say the answer is obvious. I’m 40 lbs. lighter, more secure and self-satisfied. Sometimes we take it for granted that if we could take better care of ourselves with yoga and other tools that we just naturally would do those things. I have needed to find a way to prioritize taking care of myself. I don’t think that I would be able to advance in these efforts as I have without the support and encouragement of the instructors and the other practitioners. The shared quality of a difficult practice, of living a difficult life, seems to offer relief for some of life’s burdens. I’m grateful for that!