~ I've been practicing Bikram yoga for 15 months or so.
I love it.
Much of it is about breathing and the power of self-discipline through that steadiness.
Yoga also produces some remarkable medical results:
- Yoga boosts serotonin and dopamine, the brain's "feel-good" neurotransmitters
- Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress
- Yoga lowers heart rate and blood pressure
- Yoga reduces circulating cortisol, reducing stress and boosting the immune system
- Yoga reduces inflammation, a contributor to many diseases
Finally, I often see a well-known former Seattle Mariner in my class. I asked him afterwards how Bikram yoga compared to a MLB workout. His reply: it is harder, although there was more running for baseball. But: "I wish I had been doing this yoga when I was playing; it is great for stamina and concentration." He thinks it would have made him an even better player, which is really astonishing, because this guy already has a street named after him.
Good for the body; good for the mind. Indeed, as many have said, yoga is not primarily exercise. It is a journey of inner discovery.