A Bikram Yoga Class is the great equalizer. It does not matter what you look like, where you come from, where you’ve been, where you’re going, or if you have the latest print of side string shorts. No one cares what kind of car you pulled up to the studio in when they are just trying to get through Triangle Pose. No one cares where you work or where you live when they are just trying to survive Camel. When you leave that room you will be just as hot, sticky, red faced, somewhat stinky, and dripping as the person next to you.
So many students over the past couple of years have confessed to me, “Isn’t it strange? But the yoga has helped me to be more accepting of other people.”
And I simply smile and reply, “No, that really isn’t strange at all. It’s one of the best side effects of having a regular yoga practice.”
Because by getting through the 90-minute class with a group of people you may or may not know, you begin to realize that the people you run into throughout the 24-hour day are just trying to get through that as well. And with this realization maybe we can start to have compassion for others, as well as, compassion for ourselves.
I think this is why I truly love this yoga. It’s not only the having to come face to face with your own reflection while you push, pull, and stretch in the sometimes glorious, sometimes oppressive heat, but the fact that it brings together people in a community that might not in other situations even give each other a second glance. And as you get to know people from every walk of life you realize we all have the same hang-ups, worries, and thoughts that make us not only similar, by stunningly familiar.
Some of my greatest friends have come from my yoga practice. Friends that say, “Go for it!” when I tell them my next crazy, self-inflicted project or goal, or listen patiently and with sound advice as I lament over trying to make a life decision or how to handle a situation. Unlike the friends that used to haunt the halls of my life that had more of a, “Are you sure you want to do that?” attitude.
These friends are people who only just want me to be me, not me with any kind of extra bravado or sarcastic wit. And I only want them to be them because there is only one of them in the world. There is only one of each of us in the world. And yes, we are all messed up in some way. Let’s just say that and be done with it. Everyone has their own set of problems and anxieties. But people who have a regular yoga practice are at least working on becoming less of that stuff, releasing it with each class, and headed towards the light. And as our light starts to truly shine we get to realize that we each possess a set of gifts, strengths, and talents that makes us who we are, and that with that, we are enough. Enough for the life we want to live and are striving to live each day.
You only need to be you. Whether it be in a yoga class or outside of the studio entrenched in the work you were called to do in this life. Others are always drawn towards people who are being authentically them selves in any given moment. So many times we can be tripped up by trying to be someone, or something, else. Be you. That’s why you’re here. That’s what you came here for. You are enough. Today and tomorrow. Believe that and I promise you your whole life will shine, lit with a light you never thought possible.
“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.” – St. Catherine of Sienna
If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy reading: