"... That's all that matters. It doesn't matter how well you do the poses. All that matters is that you are here and you try."
These are words I often here from a few different Bikram teachers up here in Toronto. And I find them to be undisputedly true.
I have been practicing this yoga for over five years now. I started doing it because I read an article in 2004 about Jessica Simpson and how she was practicing Bikram yoga. I looked into what exactly it was and the philosophy behind because I was having back pain a few times a month.
I don't believe in taking pills (unless for infection)... And I had tried acupuncture to help heal my back - which worked, except that you have to keep coming back to see long-lasting results. No, I wanted something that was going to strengthen my back. So I tried Bikram yoga. And it worked. Back - STRONG!
So I have always seen this as a "healing yoga." Sure, it's a nice workout... I come out of class with tired muscles, sweat dripping from me, and a nice calorie burn.* But my body is incredibly efficient. Or rather, it's much more efficient than what it was before I started doing this yoga. And since this challenge started, it's even more efficient.
Here are the things this yoga has helped me heal over the years:
- Wrists (I used to have REALLY weak wrists. Now I can do some push-ups.)
- Fertility (Holy crap! I ovulate on a very precise schedule! Should I ever want to have a kid, I know exactly when to try each month.)
- Pulled muscles (A year ago, I badly pulled a calf muscle the doctors said would take weeks to heal. I was fine two days later. Perfectly fine.)
- Digestion (You can't put a price on regularity.)
Though I have seen ailments heal themselves, this yoga has actually caused one to start in my body:
- Acid reflux
- Wheat Intolerance
- Dairy Intolerance
I think these two things have shown up, though, because as I am "healing the body, inside out," it has decided that some of the food I put into it just ain't cool.
"Why are you fucking with me, asshole?" is what my body says to me in class on a day when I've had a few pieces of vegetable tempura and a Coke Zero. (This is my favorite lunch.)
After eating some pasta with a spicy arrabiata sauce, followed by a bit of Greek yogurt, my body responds with, "You dumb whore! Now you will have that burning sensation in your chest and throat for hours. And it will combined with a slimy feeling from the dairy!"
My body really pays attention to what I put into it now. And as a result, I have to as well. Because my body is now trained to immediately begin processing what I put into it.
All because I showed up to class to heal.
*Before the 101-day challenge, I would burn about 750 calories in class. But now that I have begun coming every day, my body has adapted. Now I burn about 550.