by Ann Renee Chrapkiewicz
Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class is truly that. A place for beginners to start the yoga process.
However, there seems to be a part of the human mind – and if I may propose, especially a noticeable portion of the American mind – that would like to believe that it is not a beginner.
It is sure that it is already an expert. It does not want to follow discipline from within or without. It does not want to be challenged or changed. It has learned everything it needs to know. And it especially does not want to take total responsibility for its reactions to every single thing in the outside world…or to every passing thought in the inside world.
It is definitely someone or something else who is creating my suffering or lack of happiness. Not me.
It is mad because so-and-so cut me off in traffic.
It is in a rage because I had to spend 2 hours on the phone setting up my health insurance payment.
It is stressed because my co-worker – or my ex – or my family member – is being a narcissist and creating drama and blaming me for all of his/her issues….again…..and again….
Its reactions are natural and automatic consequences of other people and other situations. Not my choice. And it will get lots of validation by sharing all of this on social media. Lots of likes and loves and angry faces that will both soothe and energize the reaction.
The Mind Encounters Yoga
When this part of the mind comes into contact with a transformative therapeutic yoga practice, it often has intense, negative reactions.
As humans, reactions usually control us for some portion of life. They control our decisions, our actions, and our paths forward in life.
But the yoga process is a process of freedom, because it opens up alternate possibilities. It creates a bit of space or time – or maybe even a pause in the entire space-time continuum – from which you can actually make a conscious choice, rather than being imprisoned and controlled by the reactivity.
So, whether you are someone who is ready for a true and lasting internal change, or someone who has tried a yoga class and had any of the below reactions, this list is for you!
So….I compiled a list of just 10 common things I have heard over the last decade and a half – whether from someone else or from within – that show me (or you) that I am (or you are) a beginner at the mental aspects of the yoga process.
And that I (or you) need to go to yoga today!
But just as I was about to publish these, I thought it would be more fun to hear from YOU.
And then I will publish a combination of my list and the collective one.
So, the questions:
1. What have been some of your strongest, most recurring, or “favorite” negative mental or emotional reactions to this yoga practice?
After all, once you get some distance from them, these things can be pretty funny!
2. What reactions have you heard from others who have never tried Bikram Yoga?
3. What reactions have you heard from others who have tried Bikram Yoga but who do not currently practice regularly?
To encourage your ability to share honestly, I have created this totally anonymous survey on Survey Monkey to put in your answers.
One guideline to keep in mind: by sharing and acknowledging these reactions, we do not have to judge them. Observing the mind’s operation without looking down on it – or the people themselves – is really key.
If you would like to have your input considered for my initial Top Ten List, please submit by May 25, 2017. I am looking forward to collaborating and sharing!!