Wednesday's are turning out to be my favorite day of the week. Every Wednesday during the summer months from 12-1pm, Lululemon Athletica offers free Parliament Hill Yoga.
I stumbled upon this event last year when I saw hundreds of people practicing their yoga poses on the lawn in front of the Parliament buildings while being guided by a talented local instructor. Participation of each individual is celebrated as everyone is welcome to join in on the fun. All you need is a yoga mat (there are a few extra ones if you need to borrow) or you can go barefoot on the grass and let the earth energize your body (referred to as earthing or grounding).
Oh What A Beautiful Day!Yesterday, 598 people joined Claire Cameron, instructor at Bikram Yoga Ottawa as she guided the class through a series of 26 bikram yoga poses (asanas). Claire had fantastic energy, compassion, and a touch of humor that shone through the entire time. I felt peaceful, strong, and joyful.
I've Got A Wonderful Feeling...
Bikram yoga benefits both the mind and body. It's an amazing detoxifier, eliminating massive amounts of toxins from the body, primarily through the body's largest organ-the skin. As your body cleanses itself, your mind becomes sharper, leading to improved mental clarity. There are a few crazy forward bends that send blood rushing to the head but Claire said "this is a fantastic way to clear out the brain fuzz."
This was my first experience with bikram yoga and I powered through each pose (asana) beautifully. Afterward, I felt like I could do almost anything! My skin was glowing and I felt incredible. The most significant benefit I noticed was my increased connectivity with my body. I felt like I was in a meditative state for most of the class. My mind and body were so intently focused on surviving together through this experience, there was no room for my usual wandering thoughts to float around in my head.
Everything's Going My Way!
So...what did I learn about myself from Claire Cameron and Bikram Yoga? Do something you know you won’t excel at and do it for reasons that are bigger than your need to be the best. Give yourself a chance to explore and be someone new. I have a feeling you will be both surprised and pleased with yourself.
Do you have a favorite yoga class?
What's your favorite yoga pose?