LIFE LESSONS THROUGH 32 DAYS OF BIKRAM YOGA

I had been ignoring the calling for a while. My guides had started with a whisper; “Yoga Christine, Yoga. It will help, it will shift everything.”

I heard them, acknowleged them and told them I’d attend to their guidance when I had time. The thought of embarking on Bikram Yoga challenge for 30 days in my mind was divine, but in reality I came up with every damn excuse NOT to.

As time went on (months by the way) my guides started to be not so patient with me. They were seriously tugging at my soul, ripping my guts out – their message to me was so clear, it’s just sometimes (ok – a lot of the time), I’m a stubborn bitch and I DO NOT like to be told what to do.

One day I woke up and I was in tears from crazy pain I felt in my hips, lower back, shoulders, neck, legs – ok – so EVERYwhere. Felt like my whole body had seized up. I yelled out loud and clear to my guides; “OK, I GET IT NOW, I’M GOING!!”
I took my sorry ass to the mat.

Little did I know at the time. Practicing Bikram Yoga was going to shift me into my next level of growth. No wonder they’d been screaming at me. If only I’d listened sooner…

Doing 32 days of Bikram Yoga emptied my SOUL of so much I was NOT willing to look at on a conscious level. Stuff I didn’t even know was there! Clearly though, it had to come out so space could be created for the new.

I could write for days about the shifts, the releases, the aha moments, the challenges, about how who I saw in the mirror daily shifted, the list goes on. Perhaps as times goes on, as and when I’m guided to, I will write about it.

For now though, here are the 5 MAJOR lessons about life (and yoga) I learnt from practicing Bikram Yoga for 32 days straight:

1. Your Body Remembers EVERYTHING

If you think your thoughts, feelings and emotions have no impact on your body. If you DO NOT believe that you are energetic being with a soul, a SPIRIT that transcends this lifetime – get onto the mat, start opening up your hips and then let’s talk.

Your body remembers everything. Your body is not separate to your spirit or soul, it’s all connected and whatever you have avoided, denied, buried or pushed to the side, it is still there, imprinted in your DNA, in your cells.

If you don’t deal with stuff, it just sits there, stuck in your body. Until one of two things happens – either you proactively do something to deal with it. Process the pain, release it and let it go, or, let it fester and manifest as a physical illness or dis-ease somewhere, sometime in the future.

Sometimes emotions will come up that you can’t attach to something, but that’s the beauty of it, you can just let them flow and release them without the need to understand them. Giving yourself more space, more capacity to allow in the NEW. The joy, the bliss, the pleasure – the LIGHT!

Other times, memories will come flashing back. You’ll know exactly where the emotions are coming from. Such a beautiful and perfect opportunity to be super kind to yourself. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. And anyone else too.

Most people don’t realise that feeling the bad stuff is ESSENTIAL. You can’t go through life avoiding whatever darkness comes your way – you are an energetic being and one of your superpowers is to transmute that darkness into light – so that you become MORE.

2. Rest Is So Much More Delicious When You’ve Worked Hard

Bikram is made up of 26 postures. Each posture is held for a set amount of time before you move into a resting posture. Balance.

You will work every system in your body, every internal organ and as a matter of interest, I’ve been wearing my FitBit in each class and my heart rate reaches around 80-85% of my max.

What I learnt was that rest is there for a reason. Rest has a purpose and it is completely DELICIOUS when you know you’ve worked your ass off. It doesn’t fulfil you if you haven’t given your all, right?

Think about it this way. You flutter around all day – whether that’s in the office or in your business – doing the bare minimum, taking it easy, having water cooler conversations or lunchroom chats to pass some time. The day goes by in a bit of a daydream. You’re not really sure what happened, what you really achieved, even though you may have ticked a whole heap of stuff off your list.

As the day draws to a close, you’re exhausted, meh, can’t be bothered, looking forward to getting home;
Chilling
Sitting on your ass
Watching your favourite shows
Yet still – you’re feeling kinda – meh – whateves.
Time to go to bed. Do it all again tomorrow.

You think you need to RELAX, to chill after a big, long day of well – ZOMBIE like living. But the truth is that you’re exhausted because you’re not GIVING IT EVERYTHING.

You’re not crazy passionate about what you’re doing or how you’re doing it. You’re not on FIRE with energy, waking up early, staying up late, putting everything into every task – squeezing every minute you can to do the work you’re called to do in the world.

Quite simply – you’re ASLEEP.
Sleeping MORE is not going to energise you.
You have to WAKE UP WOMAN!!

Realise that when you are on purpose, when you are being the woman you were always meant to be, and when you’re living the life you were born for.
When you go to lay your head down at night, you’ll KNOW you have earned that rest.

It’s so. damn. delicious.
Just like after you’ve come out of two sets of triangle pose, nearing the end of the standing, balancing series and you know savasna is only a few minutes away. You’ve given it all, held through the pain, held through your heart pounding out of your chest and not being able to control your breath from time to time.

When your body hits that mat in Savasna.
Your rest is so. much. sweeter.

3. You Are Not Your Feelings and Emotions.

This one takes a little more practice. Once you’ve mastered it – the world is your oyster and you are unstoppable.

As your practice deepens and you are more centred and connected with yourself, you realise you have far more control of yourself, your breath than you realise.

You find this thing, this awareness that feels so new and yet, strangely, sweetly familiar.

It is you. It is pure consciousness.
You suddenly become an observer of yourself.
You can see the separateness and yet oneness of your body and your soul. Working together as one, yet having somewhat differing experiences.

You notice;
Your heart beating like a mofo.
The sweat dripping into your eyes.
Your body wanting to collapse into a heap

But you are not any of those things and yet, all of them, all together at the same time.

So you flow.
Noticing, allowing, but not succubming like ego wants you to.

Instead, you reconnect.
With yourself. With your soul. With your intention.
And so it is, for your good and for the greater good.

4. You Are Divine and Your Body Is Your Vessel For Physical Manifestation.

I’m spiritual AF. Yet, I’m also very aware that we live in a physical world and I wish to maximise my experience in both.

You have a body.
You have a mind.
You have a soul.

In order for you to maximise your human experience here on this planet, your body, mind and soul – must all be completely aligned. Which means they must all be pointing the same direction in order to manifest into the physical world what you truly desire.

In order for them to become aligned, you must EMPTY out and HEAL all three.

If you’re taking action towards something that is not a true soul calling – the outcome will not manifest.
If you’re taking action towards something yet your mindset is off – the outcome will not manifest.
If you’re taking action towards something but your soul is bruised, either from an early trauma, heartbreak, shame, fear or guilt, or from a previous life – the outcome will not manifest.

Your practice of yoga, done with patience and kindness towards yourself, will allow you to empty and heal – your body, mind and soul.

Allow you to stand in the mirror, look at the truth of yourself.
KNOW your truth, so you can move into your purpose.
Release everything that does not serve you.
Allow space for the creation of what you really, truly desire.

5. The Only Thing That Matters Is That You Show Up

No matter how you feel.
What you’re going through.
Whether you can be bothered or not.
What else is going on in your life.
Show. The. Fuck. Up.
In whatever way you CAN on that day.

You will progress so much further and in fact, quicker –
If you simply show up every day.
Consistency.
Daily effort.
Millimetre by mm, day after day, you shift
Even without consciously being aware of it.

Until one day, you can sit with both hip bones on the floor in your spinal twist
Or you can get your forehead to the floor
Or you can stand with both legs locked in standing head to knee
It will seem like it ALL happened in one day.
Yay, today I GOT there.
To that outcome, the intention I’ve been focused on

What you didn’t completely notice, were the subtle yet oh-so-important changes that were happening, every damn day. Because you couldn’t see them with your own eyes. You couldn’t really feel them with your body either – but yet – they were happening without you even realising.

Until one day – BOOM – there you go!

So show up, every damn day.
Even when you feel as though you’re not getting anywhere.
Or when you feel like it’s just not working.

Show up.
Do the work.
Until your BOOM-day!

Yoga is not about touching your toes, or the result of perfect postures. Yoga is about what you learn about yourself getting onto the mat and into the postures.

Yoga is not something you practice to become good at yoga. It’s a practice that makes you get better at LIFE!

There’s an old quote and it goes a little something like this;

“If you practice yoga once a week, you will change your mind.
If you practice yoga twice a week, you will change your body.
If you practice yoga once a day, you will change your LIFE.”

Today, I continue my practice of Bikram Yoga. And I will, forevermore.

Namaste

Much Love,

Christine x

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