About six months ago I started to practice Bikram Yoga.
Berlin is a very yoga-friendly city and yoga studios are everywhere. Bikram Yoga studios are, however, way more rare than other kind of yoga studios, because not every studio has the right equipment for Bikram Yoga classes.
We are talking about a kind of Hatha Yoga that people practice in a room heated to 40Â°C with a humidity of 40%.
Also known as Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga is practiced in classes that run for 90 minutes and consist of 26 postures (called "Asanas") and 2 breathing exercises. Tools of the trade are only a yoga mat, a beach towel and a water bottle with at least 500ml beverage, since itÂ´s normal to sweat a lot.
[My yoga mat is Purple, of course!]
The name originates from the founder of the system, Bikram Choudhury, and while writing this post I have discovered that Bikram Yoga is very "in", as it has been practiced by Hollywood stars, famous singers, burlesque beauties and David Beckham in the last couple of years.
I am not very good at it, so far, but this is not a big deal at all. While practicing yoga one has to stay focused on the Asanas, to live in the moment, to not compare himself or herself with other people. So it is not so important that I am not a very talented yogi yet and that other people are better than me, since I have to focus on my own experience, on my own body, on my improvements.
Invested time, regular exercise and constant repetition of the postures makes the master, so I am on my way to become a better yogi, class after class. No pressure, no stress, no dissatisfaction. As they say: the journey is the reward, the path is the goal, the way is the aim. And so on.
After some experiments, I have found out that Sunday morning is the perfect time of the week for me to practice yoga.
So today in the morning I was in a new yoga studio, about to start a new class, and I noticed a blond, skinny girl with a pink tank top and sunglasses. Sunglasses in the bathroom of the yoga studio?! At the beginning I found that a little bit strange, but then I realised that she was visually impaired.
In the class I was practicing not far away from her and even if I focused on my Asanas, I looked at her often, with great admiration for her courage and determination.
I was happy to have her in the class and more than once I found myself thinking about how often we are used to complain about problems and barriers, even if our barriers are - most of the time - not real.
Her barrier - not being able to see, not being able to look at the teacher's postures - is real, and yet she has the courage of being the better version of herself, to run a normal life, to do what she wants.
To be the only visually impaired person in a room full of people who can see her, while she can't see them.
A Bikram Yoga class is very rewarding, but also exhausting and goal number one is always staying in the room for the whole 90 minutes, even if one is not able to complete all Asanas. The girl stayed in the room the whole time. She was quiet, motivated and she did every posture, without help.
Seeing her being the better version of herself gave me strength.
I hope to see her next Sunday. I am going to be there.
Tags: Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Courage, Being visually impaired