What If The Answer Is “Neither”?

Something I have heard in many Bikram Yoga classes, especially when there are new students, is that everyone enters the room differently – specifically that some people are more flexible, and some people are more strong.

But what if the answer is “neither”?  What if you’re like me? I’m just strong enough to know my weakness, and just flexible enough to recognize my rigidity.  And frankly, I think this is the best way to be, plus, this is a case in which yoga really is just like life.

If you are truly strong, part of being so is recognizing that you do have weaknesses – that you do have times when you have to actively pay attention to those weaknesses – and that not everything can be solved by stubborn.

This image has nothing to do with this post...except that Google brings this up for every variation I could think of that combined the words "strong" and "flexible".  So there.

This image has nothing to do with this post…except that Google brings this up for every variation I could think of that combined the words “strong” and “flexible”. So there.

 

If you are truly flexible, you know that there are some things about which you are completely rigid – that you have certain points beyond which you cannot, or more importantly, will not, go, and that sometimes putting your foot down is the best way to move forward.

 

 

I know, nothing revelatory here – but have you really stopped and thought about what strong vs. flexible means for you?

 

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Why I Will Still Practice Bikram Yoga

I’ve written before about Bikram Choudhury and the  charges levied against him, but the situation has changed.  While the criminal charges have been dismissed, more women have come forward and are filing civil suits against him.  Now, we still don’t know what is true – and anyone can file a civil suit – and to be completely politically incorrect, some of the described incidents sound completely avoidable to me – there’s a lot of talk, and some have asked me what I think.  Some have even suggested that I should change my practice to avoid any association with Mr. Choudhury and his name.

So, I’m taking a stand.  I will continue my yoga practice.  I will seek out studios when I travel, and vacations that incorporate this yoga.  524089_649930008373225_1489855080_nAnd I will not hide that practice by calling it other than what it is – “Bikram Yoga”.  After all, it’s the yoga, not the guru, or as a wise friend of mine pointed out, not everything has to be a cult of personality, and not everything has to be destroyed if an idol is toppled.

Bikram Yoga has changed my life in only positive ways – I am healthier, more disciplined, happier, and I have a circle of friends and a community at Bikram Yoga NYC and the other studios I visit when traveling that I would have missed out on without this practice.

Making this decision might be easier for me than some; I’ve always tended to assume that anyone – anyone – can disappoint me.  But when they do, I’ve also been able to acknowledge the positive elements (assuming there were some) from our interaction.  Even the Evil Ex taught me some things.

I don’t have some profound ending statement to make – and there may be those who see this as a defense of the man, not of my Bikram Yoga practice.  But that’s theirs to figure out.  I’ve made my decision, and I’ll be in the hot room.

 

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