Feet tingling. Hands numb. Face prickly. Headache pain that felt like an elephant standing on my crown. Heart racing. It took one trip to the ER, four visits to my Primary Care Provider, and one trip to the neurologist to figure out what was wrong. My final diagnosis; anxiety and depression. In numerous sessions with my counselor I remember her saying, “You have to fill your bucket.” I had to take the time to do the things that I enjoyed. In the past, I had taken other forms of yoga, like Yin and Vinyasa, and I recalled how great they made me feel. I’d always wanted to try Bikram. I remember reading the “first time students” portion of the BYR site over and over. Finally, I went in for my first class not knowing what to expect. I was greeted with loving kindness, and I kept going back to practice. Here I am, almost a year later, with no numbness, no tingling, and no elephant on my head.
Bikram Yoga has taught me how to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable,” which is a part of the dialogue that instructors often state in class. I have learned how to be aware of my feelings again, and how they can affect me physically. This awareness has allowed me to intervene when my mind starts to race. In class we learn how to actively meditate. I have been able to use this tool outside of class, in daily life to help regain control and focus when I feel uncomfortable. Lastly Bikram Yoga has made me feel more like myself. Life can throw devastating blows to one’s soul. To remain open, kind, compassionate, and true to ourselves can be a challenge. Bikram has helped me manage the physical, and psychological symptoms that stemmed from my spiritual distress. It is my hope that someone who reads this will give yoga a try, so that they too may reach a greater state of healthiness.