3.18.2015

Mind and Body Wellness: Leveling Up Your Life

Lake Tahoe from Jessie's Peak 9225

One of the greatest lessons of Bikram yoga is learning not to leave the room for 90 minutes. In the beginning, this can be difficult. At first, you want to escape the heat, postures, teacher, and fellow students.

Even when you accept that leaving the room is not possible you try mental escapes: thinking about your plans after yoga, enjoying a refreshing shower or delicious food. Future plans -- they are rescuers saving you from present pain and suffering. I think of it as a form of bargaining. I can't physically leave the room, but you can't control my imagination -- I can be anywhere I want to be.

At some point if you do Bikram yoga long enough, you actually stop wanting to leave the room. However, I'm at the point where what was uncomfortable before is comfortable now, and I don't want to escape but rather I want to stay safely tucked away in the yoga studio. My clinging has swung in the other direction. Before I clung to the ease outside the yoga room now I cling to the safety inside.

When you have mastered a discipline or become so accustomed to certain conditions that you are complacent and appear to be hiding out, it's possible you have spiritually fallen asleep. How do you come back to the middle where it's neither suffering you need to escape from or safety you want to cling to?

I believe this is a moment where you are being asked to take on greater risks. It could be an emotional, physical, or mental risk that you need to embark on; however, when you find yourself in this state of comfort it's a sign that you are ready to add a new level or dimension to your life.

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