Monday, 11 August 2014

How Bikram Yoga helped save me...


"Salt water is the cure for anything- sweat, tears or the sea…"

 ~Isak Dinesen

I don’t often talk about personal issues on my blog, I like to be positive and create great energy. However we all go through tough times and it's what ultimately makes us stronger and shapes who we are.  The people close to me know that I swear by Bikram yoga. Here’s a little piece of my story and how I found Bikram…

Bikram yoga is known to be a great healer. On the outside as well as the inside.

I started Bikram yoga to try and become happier with myself after a bad relationship break up several years ago. I wasn’t prepared for just how life changing it would be.

A few years ago I was in a really bad place emotionally and it was reflected in other areas of my life. I hadn't been eating right after my breakup, was stressed, had low self esteem and my skin was breaking out. I thought going out drinking every weekend was going to make me feel better. I think we all know this wasn't the case! I’d hit such a low point that I’d ended up in hospital. I wasn’t treating my body well and didn’t really know how to cope from being such a confident girl to suddenly questioning every good thing in my life. I’d grown to hate myself and the pressure of keeping up appearances felt so fake. Some days I felt too overwhelmed to even leave the house. Although I had a very strong and beautiful group of girlfriends I just couldn't connect, I didn't want them to be burdened by my pain.

It was like a light had gone off inside me and I was searching for the switch. I knew how I wanted to be living, I just didn’t know how to get back my spark. A close friend recommended Bikram to help get back in shape so I thought I’d give it a try. At that point I was still just going through the motions of a day, without really feeling anything. My first Bikram yoga session was very challenging. A class is a series of 26 postures done in a heated room over 90 minutes. I wasn’t expecting to sweat so much and being around so many other people and putting my body through something so intense made me feel very vulnerable and exposed. I can still remember that feeling of achievement after my first class. I had a silly little grin on my face and called my friend straight away to tell her. We started chatting like old times, I felt elated.  That night I got the best sleep that I’d had in months, my body was relaxed and my mind wasn’t running away with negative thoughts and questions. I don’t know if it was contentment or just sheer exhaustion! Either way it worked.

I started doing Bikram about three times a week. As I did more yoga I could feel my body releasing tension and the toxins that had plagued me since my break up. I began to have more energy and crave healthier foods.  The change I noticed after the first month was incredible. My friends and people around me started commenting about my new glow and I picked up more acting and modeling jobs. I was smiling more, my body felt slimmer and the detoxifying effect of Bikram had helped to cleanse my skin, reduce the breakout and give me that ‘glow’. When I got new work I felt as though I really did deserve it and I put extra effort into my journalism and media studies, I began to love challenges and to trust my body and mind again. I felt strong.

By discovering Bikram yoga I had literally stretched and sweated away my stress and created a balance in my life. Bikram yoga kept me moving at a time when all I wanted to do was curl up and shut out the world. Now I have a great job that I love and I do a variety of exercises to keep fit and motivated. The success I have outside the Bikram studio stems from everything I've discovered about myself during class. 

Time is a great healer and now when I think about that time in my life I am grateful for so many things. It's not a time I like to talk about but I hope that maybe my experience can help somebody else when they are feeling a little lost… It doesn’t have to be Bikram, but to find something that makes you feel cleansed… that feels good for your soul; that is the key to healing when you're broken.