Saturday, January 16, 2010

Empty that Glass

Lately, I’ve been reading Bikram’s book, Beginning Yoga Class, and am getting a lot out of it. If you haven’t read it yet, get it. Now! It’s funny, it’s helpful, and you can come back to it again and again when you have questions about how a pose is performed.

Did you get the book yet? :-)

There are some pretty cool insights there. I keep coming back to a passage in which Bikram talks/writes about what we get from quieting the mind enough to hear the inner voice, what he calls the “third ear.” Here’s an excerpt:

"I keep problems and thoughts of outside world away from you here in class, to allow you to be empty, like glass into which the god is waiting to pour sparkling pure water of the truth. . . . So each day here in class we work on that, on emptying the glass just a little more, so you can hear better and better. When finally you are completely empty, and we wash you in Lemon Fresh Joy so you can see your own reflection, then you will fill with truth and you will hear with clarity and understanding, hear beautiful things you did not think possible" (127).
I don’t want to muddy the lovely passage with a pitiful attempt to interpret or explain why it’s relevant to my life. I will just say that Bikram ain’t kidding here, and that the image of being washed in lemony dish soap makes me want to laugh and cry simultaneously.

God, have I been drinking the kool-aid or what?

That said, I’m looking forward to trying out another studio this weekend. About ten years ago (can’t believe I’m old enough to say that now!) I practiced at the first studio that came to San Diego. I haven’t been back since I took up Bikram yoga again last June, so I’m looking forward to visiting the studio again. I’m also a little excited! The studio has a rep for being extra hot and stocked with tough teachers.

Happy MLK weekend, all!


thedancingj said...

That's kinda wild - I've read that book straight through several times, and picked it up for reference more times than I can count, and I had NO memory of that passage!! That is really a great one. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

Sisya said...

I have that book, but it's been forever since I've actually READ it. I look up info about specific postures from time to time, or leaf through to look a pictures, but you've convinced me that I need to read it again.

Yolk E said...

So glad y'all dig it! Isn't it great how passages stand out to us when we need to hear them?

I just wish the long quote would respond to the "tab" button so I could indent and do the block quote! I'm just telling myself, "blogging does NOT need to be in MLA, blogging does NOT need to be MLA..."

Randy Beach said...

"drinking the kool-aid".. hmm... cult....? :-)

Yolk E said...

Hahahahah. Yeah, we have a Heaven's Gate-style suicide planned once we all are able to hold Standing Bow for the prescribed time ;-)

ActionJoJo said...

I love the metaphor of us being vessels and that we need to be empty of everything especially the negativity before we can hear the grace and goodness and blessing that God has poured into us!

Yolk E said...

Yeah! Jo--totally agree :-) And there's something so perfect about the glass image. Metaphors just make concepts so concrete!

lz said...

Ohh, that book is absolutely fabulous! So engaging and humorous, love it. That is a thoughtful excerpt, thanks for sharing!

Yolk E said...

Claro que si, Lz :-) I love the book's humor, too.