On a journey with a purpose

You’ll often hear us say, ‘it’s a practice not a workout.’

Bikram yoga is a physical practice with a larger purpose. It’s a chance to continue growing up. Beyond the physical, mental and emotional processes of growing up, there is another psychological or spiritual growing up that waits.

growupThis journey reveals what Gregory Bateson calls ‘the pattern that connects’.

Yoga turns our attention inward, where we discover the complex bio-mimicry of the body. The great rivers of the circulatory and nervous systems. The quiet caves of the mouth, the heart and the pelvis. The sky behind the eyes, sometimes dark, sometimes filled with vibrant dancing pattern. The ocean of the mind, whether still or turbulent. (Even Bikram, with his physical-culture focus and his limited English, described the rib cage as a flower blooming.)

Eventually we come to see that our own internal patterns are echoed, reflected and contrasted by the universe that surrounds us.

‘To practice is to endeavor to live your life from the perspective that everything under the sun shares a benevolent, invisible, cohesive, inescapable connection with everything else. If this knowledge penetrates your being deeply enough, you will feel radically compelled to care for everyone and everything in existence in the ways that you now reserve exclusively for yourself and a small circle of others.’ -David Garrigues

SUTRA-1-23-24_760_427auto_intThe yoga sutras (1.23) emphasize such a life of service. It’s called ‘isvara-pranidhanat’ in Sanskrit.

The idea, though, transcends religions, cultures and time. Check out this interview with Peace Pilgrim. She, too, uses physical movement as a vehicle for spiritual and psychological transformation. She walked across 50 states, all 10 Canadian provinces and parts of Mexico, not just once but SEVEN times. If she can do that, you can definitely come to class.

‘I came out of my meaningless life of money and things. I started to live to give. This process takes us from a self-centered life to a life that is centered in the good of the whole.’ -Peace Pilgrim

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