’Tis the Season to Sweat Out your Demons! by da-AL

Thank you, Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com
Thank you, Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

“These people are nuts,” I thought when I first heard about Bikram yoga.

Little did I know…

That I’d be doing it myself a couple of years later — desperate for anything that would make me feel like I was living rather than dying.

Cancer. That’s what drove me to try anything — even Bikram! I’d found a lump, had it biopsied, had gotten the terrible news, and now, several days later, cancer was all I could think of, day and night, night and day. 24/7? Hell no. More like 48/7.

Bikram is tough — the heat, the poses. All the classes are for beginners, but just getting through the heat definitely takes some kind of strength of character — or in my case, absolute end-of-the-rope desperation — to get through.

The poses are challenging, but to their credit, they’re only as challenging as one decides to make them. They’re beginner level or advanced level — all the same poses — just depending on how hard you elect to push yourself.

I pushed myself as if my life depended on those poses because they did. My mental health decimated by cancer, Bikram made me focus. Each 90-minute class was a vacation — being forced to get  through that heat, to truly listen to the instructors because they rarely show — made me not think about cancer. What a relief! As treacherous those 90 minutes were, they were also a refuge. A respite from contemplating about the myriad decisions I needed to make and from contemplating my grim situation. I’m not so good at meditation, at the time worse than ever at it, so the classes forced me into laser focus!

In those 90 minutes, body, mind, and soul were simultaneously pummeled and sweat purified into submission. As my body became strong, balanced, flexible, and focused, so did my mind and spirit.

“Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class,” by Bikram Choudhury with the help of Bonnie Jones Reynolds, helped speed the process.

161023bookfrontIt’s just the best! Everything one could want in such a book! Without wasting a lot of ink, paper, and the reader’s time, it engages, explains the background and because. Then it gets to the 26 poses, each with their own succinct background and because. Those magical 26 poses! Designed to address every single part of the body, “head to toes, bones to skin,” as Bikram extols.

There’s a lot of pictures for each pose, some modeled by people who were known by most everyone back in the 1970s. Picture Dick of the Smothers Brothers in what was then referred to as a ‘European style bathing suit,’ doing yoga before everyone was a yogi.

Thank goodness for the non-celebs in it too. They illustrate how women and men, oldsters and youngsters, huge and petite, can all do this yoga! Simple, direct, straightforward, and best of all, inspiring.

All yogas have benefitted me more than no yogas. Here’s the great friendly place I currently attend that even offers a free class a month.

Here’s where I talk more about cancer and about the wonder of public libraries that house many more marvels besides this book.

27 thoughts on “’Tis the Season to Sweat Out your Demons! by da-AL

  1. I promised myself a course one I’m back on my feet, literally. I’ve always wanted to try it.
    On and off, I did it on my own, following people on utube, but I sure need a proper course to show me all the stuff I need. I feel rusty, so I bet it’s gonna be painful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Daal, I’m home from spending Christmas with my daughter and her husband. Good to visit your blog. Awaiting for your book launching party! I did yoga for a couple years. The gym seems to lose good instructors frequently. I hope they’ll have stable, good instructors soon because I love doing yoga. Follow to get more of your posts!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was recently in Latvia, I read about the technologically very advanced treatment they offer at 2 hospitals: it’s called CyberKnife. In Latvia, the cost of treatment is 8000 euros. Not sure, how much in North America, but, I would think, it’s much more. They offer these treatments to patients from abroad, too. 90% success rate. It’s available in a few hospitals in Canada, and most likely, in the States, as well. Realistically, it’s probably offered only to difficult to treat patients, but I would think, it is possible to apply it in any case because it really decreases side effects to minimum. Hopefully, you have some not advanced stage and might not need something like that, but if you would ever do, I’d say go to either Germany for their extremely alternative treatments with very high success rate, but one has to observe abnormally strict discipline and diet, or for this very much healthy parts and tissues saving robotized therapy. Treatments are so advanced in some countries (not sure if available to everybody in the USA) that there are huge chances not to suffer from regular, widely applied standard treatments, that, in fact, cause abnormal harm.
    Other than that, I would love you stopped by in the future at my lifeschool blog, because I always was having huge interest in the ways energy affects us, in the way we create, consume and release energy. That involves also developing our mental perception and working on ourselves. I just got huge new knowledge about many processes, and I am about to try delivering it to people who are suffering from different conditions. That mainly is helping ourselves which you are already doing. I wish you all the best, but especially patience, strength and internal toughness.
    Yoga is lifestyle and mental focus, it’s nice you can accept it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d never tried yoga before, but I have a former colleague who swears by it for developing mental strength. (This surprised me. I knew only that it was good for the body.) I’m very glad to hear you found it so helpful to you too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so kind to write back here!

      By your picture & whereabouts, I thought you might be an acquaintance classmate.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Would looove for Sharon to join me – I don’t know what city she lives in, however & I think she’s closer to you than to me. Isn’t she in Orange County? If you go together (isn’t bloggsphere wonderful?), or separately, then many studios offer good intro/trial deals, ie low cost first week/unlimited classes and groupon specials.

      Foremost, my blog isn’t meant to advertise anyone or anything other than my to-be-published novels, fellow wonderful bloggers, & the fab photogs who let me borrow their pix. While this type of yoga works superbly for me, I’m sure that most any yoga is better than no yoga at all for anyone.

      My grandmother back in Argentina took up yoga at age 70ish, lived to vibrant 95! Surely other factors were in play, but yoga can’t have hurt.

      Wishing health & happiness to you & yours 🙂


  5. I’ve also found that the best way to fight demons and fears is by doing something I’ve never done before. Though I’ve never dealt with cancer myself, you present a good life strategy, applicable for all situations. I wish you well and hope your battle is successful.

    Liked by 2 people

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