by Lindsay Gray
My practice history
I started practicing Bikram Yoga six years ago and have had the pleasure of practicing in many different places. Having started in Honolulu, and then in Houston, Austin, Boston, and Berlin before ending up here at my most favorite of studios. (Aren’t we lucky!!)
I am forever indebted to a close friend of mine, a former dancer like myself, who introduced me to Bikram yoga. I witnessed how she seemed, through her practice, more focused mentally, to physically glow, and to be able to use all the toxic stuff with which the dance world infuses you for a positive means.
Lindsay Working on Toe Stand (Padangustasana), 2016
Acceptance and discovery in yoga
Yoga, unlike ballet, focuses on the process and on the acceptance of where you are with a posture, and, ultimately, that’s what’s really spoken to me about this practice. In dance, I hated racing to the finish line of who could become the best the fastest. My brain is just not designed for that kind of race; the pressure of that level of competition is soul-crushing for me.
I love how, with yoga, I am constantly tinkering with a posture and working toward minute improvements that may some day add up to some form of relative perfection. The trusting in that process of discovery, of all the psychic and physical subtleties within me, is the best lesson in self-acceptable and faith.
Participation in USA Yoga Championship
I wanted to participate in the USA Yoga championships for two main reasons. I have been slowly working to expand my practice through engaging with some of the intermediate postures, and the championships seem like a good opportunity to re-enter the performance realm within a safe and supportive environment.
For the championships this go-round, I chose relatively simple, seated intermediate postures. This way, I can participate but not make myself crazy with anxiety about sticking a posture on-stage, alone with no mirror, and a bunch of people watching. I’ll worry about doing that maybe next year or in ten years. It’ll be a process.