Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bikram reflections: setting an intention for your practice

I really did not want to go to yoga today. Last night was rough in that my dog, Rusty, decided that he needed to wake up every two hours to bark at the door, which means my quality eight hours last night wasn't so quality. The lack of sleep combined with a pretty long shift last night meant I woke up feeling dehydrated and kind of icky (for lack of a better description).

Begrudgingly, I ate some egg whites and a couple of whole wheat waffles and dragged my butt out the door, towel and liter of water in hand.

I am so glad I went to yoga today.

Siri Om was teaching, which is always a good start, because I feel like she's talking directly to me. Knowing I was feeling kind of meh going into my practice, I really liked that she started the class advising us to set an intention for our practice.

Setting an intention is something that I definitely don't do as often as I should, but am so glad that I did today. My intention was to focus on my breathing, making sure that I was consistently breathing in and out through my nose in a calm manner.

It was kind of amazing how much of a difference this made in my practice. By focusing on my breathing, I found that I was able to complete the entire sequence, going deeper into many of the postures that usually give me issue. I didn't have a moment where I felt overheated or panicked or like I needed to quit. Honestly, this was probably the most meditative and refreshing class I've taken yet, simply because I set an intention and focused on my breath.

Siri Om continuously repeated "breath before form, form before depth" throughout the class today -- and now I can see why.

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