Play Less

Music was my first true love. It was my college study and first career.

Primarily, I play the electric bass. My Dad played the tuba in a dixieland jazz band so I was always surrounded by music, and I started playing instruments at an early age.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a hotshot player. A gunslinger. I played a lot of notes, and I played em fast. Fast meant you were pretty good I thought.

My Dad taught me otherwise. 

He said, “Even more important than the notes you play, are the notes that you don’t play. It’s the space between that creates music. No space, and it’s just noise.”

The same principle applies in Bikram Yoga.

It’s the space (stillness) between that is Yoga. No space, and it’s just exercise.


Studio Tip-Music Classes

Some studios offer classes where you practice along with music. These can be really fun for everyone and great yogatainment.

img_9317As much as I love music, we don’t offor those classes at my studio. You see…

Music, perhaps more than any other outside influence, can deeply impact our feelings and emotional state.

I believe that Yoga offers us space. And in that space we can free our minds to do the real work. Getting in touch with our selves. Developing a mind-body connection, and practicing self-realization.

That, is Yoga.

Just Think Of It

The dialogue used in a Bikram Yoga class covers just about every single body part.

Arms, legs, toes, tongue, hair, spine…almost everything.

(I say “almost” because of the unmentioned unmentionables. However, one could argue “nothing loose, nothing hanging” covers it.) But I digress. #ohnoyoudidnt

For 90 minutes, we are developing body awareness. Concentrating on all of the parts. Understanding how they work. Feeling how they feel. Seeing what they can do.

The seemingly simple act of just Thinking about things can create shifts.

Just be certain you are Thinking the right thoughts.

So Think of your hands.

Think of your feet.

Think of your face.

Just Think of it.


Posture Tip – Triangle

In the setup, just before you move your both arms, is this instruction…

“Hips forward, arms back, body back…open your chest”img_6238

Do your posture first side, then, when you come up and stop in the middle, keep your arms there.

Back.

Arms back, open your chest.

I Practice To Eat

I have Crohn’s Disease. I’ve had it my whole life. They say there’s no cure.

It’s a torturous thing, and those affected suffer in silence. Nobody likes to talk about digestive problems.

For the first 34 years of my life I couldn’t eat most fruits or vegetables. No nuts, grains, coffee, red meat, wheat, dairy. I was in and out of the hospital and had to constantly juggle medications and their various side effects.


It’s not like that anymore.

You see, 5 years ago I became symptom free. Diet independent. I can eat whatever I’d like. No meds. No docs. I can have spinach and peanut butter and apples for the first time in my life.

With Bikram Yoga, I changed my own physiology from the inside out. I have reclaimed my body. I have my life back.


It wasn’t easy. Or fast. But doable.

So now I practice 5 or 6 times a week so I can maintain my digestive health and enjoy all the wonderful foods life has to offer. So I can sit and have a coffee with my dog by my feet. So I have the choice.

I remember long ago giggling to myself when the teacher would inform us during Wind Removing Pose that we were massaging the ascending  and descending colon.

I don’t giggle anymore.

 

If you know of someone with Crohn’s please don’t hesitate to share my story and contact info. There is no need to suffer, and no need for silence.

 

Let It Rage 

The greatest benefits of Bikram Yoga happen when we are outside of our comfort zone, holding the posture in stillness, and breathing normal.

Being under control inside, regardless of the outside.

The greatest storm could be raging on the surface of the ocean, but in the depths below it remains calm.

The wind and waves will most certainly stir some things up down there, but only enough to create the subtle shifts of growth.

If we can be comfortable when it’s uncomfortable, we can have a better life. 


Posture Tip-Triangle 
You’re trying to touch the ceiling.

Here’s a quick test:

  • Lift your right arm up over your head.
  • Stretch it up as much as you can.
  • Now stretch a little more.

What’s up with that?

Stretch up. Touch the ceiling.