Growing Through Change

Yoga and Life

Growth is the natural evolution of life, all life, all aspects of life. Sometimes it shows up in the guise of death, but as the saying goes, “As one door closes another one opens.” Death is really just a new beginning. In order to grow, things must change. We know this, and we may consciously want change, but more often than not we cannot seem to let it happen. Why is change so scary?

It is very easy to maintain the status quo and stick with things and situations, even ones that we know are harmful, dysfunctional, or simply not serving their purpose, just because it is what we know. Whether we like it or not, it is predictable to us and therefore comfortable.

So much has been said and written about comfort zones, the range in which we hang around for so long that we become experts. We know all the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of it. We can identify our comfort zones in virtually every aspect of our lives—our careers, relationships, homes, even our yoga practices.

So how do we get over the fear of change? As Bikram Yoga teachers, we are trained to push you, our students, and challenge what you perceive as your limits. We tell you to “push beyond your flexibility” and have you go to where you feel “tremendous stretching sensation” (a.k.a., pain—not bad pain mind you, but some discomfort certainly). We are training you to push your limits as we know that is where the change begins.

The more and the longer you hang out at the edge of your comfort zone, the more those boundaries are challenged and will eventually yield to growth. That is how muscles develop. Every muscle has its outermost limits. As you use your muscles, micro tears form in the tissue and cause the boundary to expand. Lactic acid is released and that is what causes the burning sensation in your muscles after a hard workout. As the muscle heals, it fills in the gaps formed by the tears and has new expanded boundaries.

You hear us say that the biggest gifts we get from doing Bikram Yoga come by developing our patience, concentration, determination, discipline, and faith. Change does not happen overnight. It comes from a regular practice of pushing your limits. Bikram teaches us to focus on what we want and know clearly where we are going. Every time you do a posture, hold the vision of you doing the posture perfectly, whether you are able to do it or not is irrelevant.

Bikram has a few favorite sayings and one he says he learned from the British is: No risk, no gain. We have to be willing to take some risk and try new things. It might be scary or painful at times, but if we only do what we know or hang out where we are comfortable, we may never know the riches that we only dream of. The rewards can be tremendous as we break free from our perceived limitations.

Are you ready for some change in your life? Bikram says, “It’s never too late, you’re never too old, never too sick and never too bad to start from scratch once again.” Try Bikram Yoga and give yourself the gift of a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy life.

Give change a chance. Don’t wait, start today.