DAY 31: Wild Horses.

Author: Heather Molina /

by Liesbeth Strobbe

It doesn't matter how beautiful you are. How much money you have. How people look up to you. How many friends you have. How successful your career is. How much power you have. All those things that might seem important "out there" are worth nothing inside Bikram’s torture chamber.

None of these things will help you to get through the 90 minutes.

We’re all struggling with ourselves, the heat, the postures. All trying to create stillness in our minds. Thoughts that act like wild horses and need to be tamed. And all trying to stay motivated when that yoga truck runs you over.

"In the hot room everybody’s the same."

When I heard that for the first time it made me realise it’s another reason why those 90 minutes are so much more than just a work out. It goes beyond that. And to explain that to friends who have nothing to do with this type of yoga and just see it as a "sweaty, smelly and unpleasant" get together, is sometimes difficult.

The more often you come to class, the more you realise that the atmosphere in the Bikram class is something special. It doesn't matter where you take a class. Different settings and different people, but you can feel the same vibe of people being confronted with themselves and nobody else. Just you and that person in the mirror looking at you and begging you to drink water and lay down for a minute.

Sometimes I meet people in daily life and I can’t help thinking "wouldn't it be good for your ego to take a couple of Bikram classes? Wonder how you would take that. No talk. To look at yourself in the mirror and try to find out who you really are. Calm? Determined? Full of faith? To catch a glimpse of that person inside you."

But hey, in the end, we all have to decide for ourselves to step into that room. Cause still... the hardest part of class is showing up!

Liesbeth lives in Amsterdam and has been addicted to Bikram yoga for a couple of years. She works for a Dutch radio station and is a volunteer at Foundation Monkey. She is doing her 101-challenge at Bikram Yoga Amsterdam. Reading the inspiring blogs of other 101 challengers keeps her motivated!


Jessica said...

Thanks for your beautiful thoughts Liesbeth. Bikram Yoga Amsterdam was the first school I taught in. Much love to you and all the Dutch yogis!

Yolk E said...

Nice post! You are such a thoughtful, expressive writer.

Yeah, the arrogant folks. Notice that it's usually NOT the older or more overweight folks who have the big ego problems. I'm always struck by the fact that when it comes to newbies, it's the really fit gym-rats (usually male) that have the worst time of it. The only person I've seen who just left on their first day was exactly that. He was in great shape, young, and should have handled it fine. But his ego got in the way and he bailed before we got to the floor. Tame that wild horse--I love it :-)

bikramyogachick said...

The mind sure does behave like wild horses! Hard to tame it when it starts to run away from us in that room.
I'm with Yolk E, I think it's funny when the big buff guys come in and hit the deck halfway through the standing series looking around like "wtf?"

Duffy Pratt said...

The big turning point for many people is when they first realize that Bikram yoga isn't a workout. The people who continue to think of it as a workout tend not to last very long. It's way too intense to just be a workout. But when you start accepting it for what it actually is, its miraculous.

Laura Lee said...

I am new to Bikram. Every post I read inspires me to just show up. The magic cannot happen unless I do. December and January Oprah magazine ran a GREAT 2 part column on one woman's 60 day challenge. If all of you can do it so can I.

aHappyYogi said...

The other group that have a hard time with the Bikram yoga is yoga teachers from other styles. I have seen a couple of those come into class thinking that this will be no problem and that they will be great at it.
Their ego has been kind of broken when they go down and have to take a knee and one have even left the room, never to come back again.

Kimberly said...

YES! That is my life motto: 'I am no better than or no less than.' Great Title!!!

I LUV Bikram yoga, but we don't have a single class here in Santa Barbara! Sweating out the impurities feels so GOOD! Spirit and self feel better than any other yoga I have done! I agree, when I did have access to a these classes, the tough part was getting there....

Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

thedancingj said...

Kimberly - is there a Santa Barbara that's not in California that I don't know about?!

The yoga room really is the ultimate equalizer. I love that. You have only yourself, nothing more and nothing less. It's pretty radical. Great post.

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