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Bikram Yoga; The Balance Between Effort & Ease

Emotions pour out of me like a pot boiling over as my backside melts into my yoga mat for final Savasana, the closing Bikram pose of total relaxation. My eyes fill up and a couple of hot tears effortlessly drain out and roll down over my temples. Every single pore in my body is open and empty. The tension continues to seep out with my salty sweat and tears, long after I stop moving.

My mindset has shifted, my body has loosened and the intense release that I now feel is otherworldly. And in that moment, after 90 minutes of breathing through the struggle, I suddenly feel weightless, proud, cleansed and energized. The thoughts that were previously whirling around in my head with reckless abandon have now abandoned me, rendering me fully present.

But then I'm reminded that this feeling of ease would never have come without the effort. My teacher's soothing words resound within me, even after leaving the studio:

"Bikram yoga is the balance between strength and flexibility, between effort and ease."

What a beautiful sentiment! Living a happy life means finding balance somewhere in between the extremes; giving and receiving, working and playing, holding on and letting go. We must be flexible when faced with change, while remaining strong and standing our ground. Effort is required to fulfill our visions and dreams, but when we over-exert ourselves we feel burnt out, uninspired and discouraged.

  • A Bikram yoga class is, in many ways, similar to the challenges and the hard-to-reach goals in life. When faced with a challenge I start off tense but hopeful, followed by moments of wanting to give up completely.
  • Negative feelings of anger, judgment and upset.
  • The temptation to scream and cry.
  • The excuses.
  • The doubts.
  • The fears.
  • The increasingly strong desire to walk out the door and never look back.
  • Feeling like passing out or getting sick.
  • Skipping a pose to rest, breathe and re-set, only to push myself hard to get back into it.
  • And finally, after several minutes of meditating and reflecting in final Savasana, I realize that the journey is always worth it in the end.

"And in this moment, I am happy." This week I'm thankful for The Hot Yoga Spot!

-Kaitlyn Lyons. Grateful Travels Blog. 11/27/18. Read More.