Withdrawal.

I’ve only done one session of Bikram yoga since the 60 day challenge ended on Friday. not that I haven’t wanted to, my kit is ready and I desperately tried to squeeze another session in but the developments over the 60 days have left my plate well and trully filled up.

At the forefront, http://www.MusicHuntersGB.com is holding a Rock ‘N Blues night tomorrow with an amazing lineup. This in turn requires equimpent in abundance, far more that for the acoustic night and I’ve certainally spent a pretty penny to ensure that no one will be left unable to play … This has involved fitting and entire drum kit into my peugeot 206, dashing up to Denmark Street in my lunch break, covering my house in freshly printed flyers and ineveitably missing yoga.

I have narky moments, although I do recognise this is part of an ‘old’ me that won’t be staying. I’m not craving good food as much, but I’m still not too inclined to eat a tonne of junk food. Last night I braved the smoothie making attempts, inspired by a colleague. I wans’t brave enough to add the Kale and Spinnach, however the pears, apple, celery, cucumber and tomatos were plenty adventurous enough for me. I was tempted to put in all sorts – chilli, Worscter sauce, yogart… I’ve only drunk some so far. I findit to be a little too thick to drink confortably and as I’m not craving health food righ now I’m a little indifferent to it. Maybe later.

I promised to update you on the 60 day side effects…

On the day of the 60th session I experienced a densely packed hour/hour and a half of boiling energy that I struggled to manipulate due to my desk job. The intensity subsided and I didn’t experience the same delight (odd word, but fitting) that I did after 40 days however I did have a very interesting experience that I unfortunately can’t relay on this blog… I intend to research that further. So far I’ve learned more about what Tantra means to yoga and the way we deprogramme and reprogramme our minds and bodies through practice.

I’m not keen on the way yoga makes me sound when I talk, mostly becasue I live with someone who is overly sceptical of it all. ‘Mind, body and soul’ are words I would have used far more easily as a teenager but the preception that people quickly have when faced with those words is a difficult one to work with. When I read about it, though, I feel like I understand 1000%.

To add insult to injury, the Bikram community seems a little under fire (re-visit the ‘cult’ post) since recent revelations. I’ve hit a couple of times on the practices of this man – not in the yoga room. Some describe him as a guru, and I’ve been hugely impessed at the series he created, however I’ve not found that much to like about his personality beyond his earlier days. I don’t begrudge his money or success, I don’t feel uncomfortable with the fact he loves high value cars and to be surrounded by women. I have been more concerned by listening to the interviews of previous law suits – he certainally appears to sound racist, sexist and lecherous. Worse, although he verbalises what he know is the ‘right’ answer in inteveriew, it is done so with an element of contmept and amusement suggesting that everything put to him was probably true. I found myself considering this in classes and what teachers think of him. They certainally speak highly of Bikram and his beliefs, relaying phrases with adoration. At times I’ve wondered if they know something else, if the interviews are out of context in some way.

Nothing really prepared me for the new sets of allegations that have been released. I read these with a morbid fasicnation – this is not a sex offender that uses crude force or basic manipulation, drugs or empty promises. If true (I’m pretty convinced but that’s still open to discussion), this is a man who perhaps was once genuinely dedicated to his practice, to teaching, pushing people on to achieve their best who has himself grown into dark corners of his personality and inflicted torment, pain on those he’s drawn close into his circle. The use of exhaustion (presumably through practice) is a sickening dimension that as a criminology student and crime analyst I have never come accross before – but makes perfect sense

The Guardian Report

Benjamin Lorr’s view (before the new cases)

It leaves a bad taste in the mouth and me in a quandry. It is not so easy to rave about practicing Bikram yoga with pride, yet one of the threats made to a victim was alledgedly the impact of destorying the Bikram yoga community. This is an unknown quantity, yet the people who run and teach the practice are not Bikram Choudhury – they are yoga practitioners who reach out, help, support and encourage their students to become the best they can through practice. The benefits to be are undeniable, I certainally couldn’t give up the series now – I’m happier, stronger, eating better, taking bad news well and finding more good news in what was previously mundane… and I love the yoga community.

I’m settling on a conclusion that perhaps the studios will have to focus less on the big greasy man on the podium, but that the practice and studios that exist will thrive and continue to help people re-align their minds and bodies as well as facing the amalgamation of experiences that the practice provides. After all, the postures already existed…

I’d love to know everyone elses views on this, I feel pretty dissapointed that the name ‘Birkam’ is so integral to the new corner stone in my life and desperately hope that the victims receive the justice they serve and that thousands continue to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of hot yoga and the series simultaneously.

I have no opportunity to practice until Monday, so perhaps I’ll use the time to reflect. I do miss it, though!

 

 

 

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