A friend once told me (or maybe I read this somewhere but it’s a good introduction nonetheless), that one must not run away from fear but run towards it. Not so recently, me and Ilia tried Bikram Yoga @ Sundar Bikram Yoga, Greenhills. It was probably one of the most intense thing we have tried since well, badminton. But in our attempt to really (try ) to be better women of 2012, we finally gave in (because of my relentless nagging) to a solid 2-hour intense stretching and meditating. Look it’s not easy as it looks like in the movies or whenever you see ads of people doing various Yoga poses. Plus being inside a heated room makes it more challenging as your body adjusts on how it would respond both in the room temperature and the positions that you need to do. In Yoga, you have to be physically and mentally present. In order to do this, the first thing you need to do is to practice the proper breathing which is they call as the pranayama. Pranayama is said to be essential as it enhances your mind to focus. It is said to develop better judgment and rid the body of toxins which may or may not be caused by stress. In Bikram yoga, each pose is done in 2 sets. After the breathing exercise comes the preliminary stretching (half-moon pose, etc.). As each set progress, so is the intensity of each pose. There were times when you would literally need to stop and sit down to regain your composure and to help your body adjust. But again continuously, your teacher (the YOGI), advises you to keep your cool, concentrate and try to do more.
One must keep an open mind to be able to withstand each pose. Practice does help you do the poses correctly but then again one must not underestimate oneself for each class is entirely a different experience. At least for me, that was I felt. The first time, we tried it I felt that I did pretty well. I was able to do most of the poses and was focused on trying to get it right. I was pretty confident that as a first timer I didn’t suck that much I as expected. And the good thing was I thought the heat will be unbearable. But it didn’t. That was my fear. Come second class, I almost wanted to die. I couldn’t concentrate. I wasn’t mentally present (probably because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before). What’ s essential in yoga is to keep your mind off other things – to concentrate on yourself because once you have mentally overcame your doubts, you will be able to do the poses easier and you will be surprised on how far you have come from struggling how to reach your toes into doing a full on back bend or even better a headstand! But yeah, we’re not there yet. But soon enough, we would! If we have surpassed that 2-hour hellish heat for 5 classes, what else can we not possibly do, right????!
NEXT STOP, BIKING! Seriously, me and Ilia never learned how to bike. NEVER. Perhaps, it’s not too late to try. Keeping running towards something NEW! Conquer your fears, one step at a time!