Every time I stand in front of the wall length studio mirror and gaze into my own eyes, reality as I know it fades.
I spend my 90 minute practice in deep prayer and meditation, submerged, cradled by something that I can’t articulate.
No, I’m not one of Bikram’s faithful teachers—far from it. My near poverty proletariat status prices me out of teacher training.
I’m just a regular, highly intuitive yogini who recognizes a deeply spiritual and classical yoga sequence when I practice it.
Sometimes, when my arms are above my head, preparing for Ardha Chandrasan (Half-Moon), I see a pale blue goddess, glowing bright from her crown, her heavy, fixed gaze glaring back at me.
Then there are times when I cross one arm under the other for Garudasana (Eagle pose )and I see Ganesh, jolly, full bellied and bright, on the other side of the looking glass, close enough to touch.
“Aum Ganesh, lord of change please help me to recall this discomfort when I resist plunging deeper into everything I am running from in life. Aum.”
When the thunderous claps of the instructor’s hands bring my body and mind back into alignment, I know his instruction to ‘Change,’ are not only a signal to move from one posture to the next, but a call to my spirit, pulling me toward the unknown.
Go back, fall back, lean back into the past, daughter, and reclaim your ancestral right to this practice…or, at least that’s what I heard him say.
I almost never talk about my love for Bikram because when I do, it’s almost inevitable that someone will give me an odd glare before going into a spiel about how Bikram is McYoga and no one should be able to patent a process that was designed for all—and how they don’t like the mirror and that’s not what yoga is about, blah, blah, blah.
1. Come on dude, we’re in America—everything has a price tag. We all deserve abundance in this land of milk and honey, right?
2. If practiced correctly and with consistency, Bikram’s sequence gives you a glance behind the proverbial spiritual curtain that you will never forget. I’ll pay for that.
And, like my mother always says, “When you point a finger, five point back at you.”
If you come to the mirror with your western mindset, hot $100 yoga pants, type-A personality and prayers for flat abs, then that’s what this practice is going manifest for you.
And, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing…but if you approach the mirror like me, seeking, wondering and surrendering, then you’ll see that the Bikram mirror is much better utilized for scrying, not scrutiny.
For nearly a decade, Jazmyn Burton, a mother, writer and Philadelphia-based yogini, has immersed herself in the physical and spiritual practice of yoga. Along her journey, she found that she was often the only woman of color in her studio classes. In an effort to bring more women of color to the practice, she founded Yeye yOga, a weekly community class open to yogini of all shapes, sizes and colors, that stresses the importance of black women regaining control of their mental and physical health. In an attempt to start the process of saving the world one enlightened soul at a time, she recently enrolled in a 200 hour teacher training with Beyond Asana. Read about her yoga journey at yeyeyoga.wordpress.com.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
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