Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Two posts in one day? Who do I think I am - a real blogger? :) Kidding. What I want to address in this post is boredom. I got this comment from Serena today...

I have a random question. But when you started doing lots of yoga, probably about a year in, did you get insanely bored?
I just finished a 30 day challenge on July 1st. I got super sick and was out for a good 2 weeks, and now I can barely get myself to the studio because I am so bored. I find myself hating the class when I'm in it, but I love how it helps my body. I am wondering if you have any advice!

Do I get insanely bored in class sometimes? Or most of the time? HELLS YES! Personally I think being bored and being unplugged is probably one of the best things about Bikram yoga for me. I find that I'm rarely bored any more - I soothe myself with technology and entertainment pretty much my whole life. If I go to the gym, I watch tv while on the treadmill. If I go for a walk, I have my ipod. If I'm in line at the bank, I have my phone out. I'm on email pretty much all day at work. Basically Bikram yoga (and the take off and landing part of a flight) are the only places where I can truly unplug. Yes, there are times when the 90 minutes feels like 90 hours, but my mind always feels more clear afterwards. Occasionally I love doing the yoga just for the joy of the poses, but for the most part, being a yogi just makes me a better person in the rest of my life. Like Serena, I love how it helps my body, but it also helps my mind.

Ok, so I've babbled about boredom and how boredom is good even though it sucks during class... now let's talk about how I've actually dealt with the boredom. I've done quite a few things including:

1. taking time off from my mat. My practice (and blogging) tends to be sporadic. Since becoming a yogi, I've run a half marathon, dabbled in various gym workouts and brief flirtation with Crossfit, and have had months where I just drank beer and didn't exercise. I think it's fine to take time off and do other things - Bikram is a very time consuming practice. I understand the 90 minutes of poses is awesome but sometimes I get why people go to 60 minute non-Bikram hot classes.

2. bribed myself with lululemon clothes, enchiladas, beer. This isn't something I'm proud of but I have bought new yoga clothes to get myself pumped for class. I often get enchiladas from the rad mexican place in my 'hood, but ONLY after yoga! And I've used the fact that I did (or was going to do yoga the next day) to justify high calorie beverages.

3. tried to be zen and consider the class a moving meditation. I am by no means a Buddhist but there are many aspects of the Buddhist tradition that I enjoy. One quote that sticks with me is "Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water." So the way I apply that to Bikram practice is that it's the chopping wood and the carrying water. It's a practice and there is no destination that we reach where we don't need to do this practice. So even if the day comes where I can do a pretty standing head to knee, I'll still go through the poses. (Note: this is tongue in cheek - I know standing head to knee is not enlightenment.)

4. try to only take class from teachers who i like. I know that all teachers have something to offer us as yogis, but OMFG there are a few annoying teachers who I have encountered in my 3+ years of yoga. If I go to a teacher I like, it helps me be in a better place mentally. I trust them to get me through class and I'm happier on the journey.

If I think of anything else, I'll definitely post about it. But yes, boredom is real. Bikram is time consuming and intense. And my dear Serena, you are definitely not alone :)


Serena said...

Oh thank you so much :). This definitely helps me out. I will probably take a bit of a break from it. When I start to miss it I'll take it up again! Just knowing that other yogis take breaks won't make me feel guilty :)

I love your blog!

YoginiBear said...

Totally with you on this post. I, too, go for weeks-long hiatuses, and yes, I do feel guilty for not going, but I've lightened up since.