When I first started practicing Bikram yoga, I counted down the time I had to stay in my least favorite poses, which were the second part of awkward (“up like a ballerina” was a phrase I dreaded), locust pose and head to feet pose. As the teacher gave the dialogue, I conditioned myself to listen for the end of the dialogue and I also fumed as I heard the instructor talk throughout the pose.
Now that I have been practicing regularly for over six months and coming to class 5-7 days a week, I have gotten used to the asanas and the heat. Nevertheless, it is easy for the mind to wander – especially when you know what is coming next.
This leads me to the heart of the post. A few days ago, a teacher said,”I know that for most of you who have been coming for awhile, it is tempting to move with anticipation for the next move. But I want you – especially those who have been coming for awhile – to listen to the words so you can meditate.” (I swear I could hear some sighs throughout the room)
Although I knew that intellectually, before she shared those words with us during savasana, her words resonated with me. So, I have been making living in the moment of each part of each pose a priority in my practice. And it has helped me make my practice more of a meditation than a hot and sweaty workout.
This meditation has helped me cope with living in a very fast paced environment and handle unexpected changes and stress with a calm attitude. I also think that it will help me stay calm and centered when I am ready to freak out (God must have a sense of humor because fear of heights and being a control freak are not the best combination for rock climbers – especially bouldering – which is climbing up 8-15 feet without a harness or rope. I never expected to love this sport so much.)when I am bouldering. I hope that this post encourages you.