By Karen Ledesma
26 postures, 2 breathing exercises.
How can a class that centers so much around discipline and structure also become a space in which creativity flows? Creativity flourishes in some degree of inner stillness, in which the mind, body and emotions are not competing for space, but become synced in a way that uplifts and liberates us. The dialogue of the Bikram-style class becomes like a mantra: instructions like “lock the knee”, and “keep kicking” at first give us a sense of what it is we should do, but eventually become a part of our inner body intelligence that keeps the mind busy while we access parts of ourselves that are deeper. The mind and body become synced. Words activate muscle memories; the body responds.
Our emotions are also part of this dance. The room is hot and the pace is fast. Some days we are tempted to panic, to give up, to succumb to the voices in our heads that tell us we are not good enough, strong enough, flexible enough. Herein lies a deeper challenge: to dig deeper, to activate courage, perseverance, resilience and faith – qualities that enlarge and expand our sense of self and connect us to something far beyond our self. It is in this enlarged sense of self that creativity flows and we are renewed, knowing not just with our minds but with our whole beings that more is possible for ourselves and our lives than we had ever dared to imagine.