by Barbora Simek
Bikram Yoga is obviously a very physical practice. Often, the physicality of the practice draws the ire of other yoga communities who centralize their practice around meditation. But anyone who has practiced Bikram Yoga for long enough, knows that consistent practice has a profound and lasting impact on the mind.
“One life time is not long enough to talk about life, one lifetime is not long enough to talk about the body, one lifetime is not long enough to talk about the mind, but the basics you must know.” Bikram Choudhury
The mind can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Bikram calls the mind your telecommunication system, the vehicle that sends messages not only to your body, but the world around you. “How you use [your mind] can make you Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Gandhi or Jesus Christ,” says Bikram.
He points out that our mind is constantly feeding us information, “sometimes to satisfy you, sometimes only to satisfy itself.” To discipline the mind becomes one of the most important tasks in life, as it is the mind that will dictate what kind of life we will lead.
Our minds are constantly being inundated by wants and needs. “Sometimes we want but we don’t need, sometimes we need but we don’t want,” says Bikram. True discipline of the mind then, according to Bikram, is when you can make decisions based on both wants and needs accordingly.
There are many ways your mind is exercised in a Bikram Yoga class, but Bikram likes to break it down into five categories, otherwise known as the ‘five aspects of the mind.’