Bikram Yoga as a tool for transformation

There is a part of each of us that is scared of the prospect of deep change and lasting transformation.  It works very hard to avoid discomforts, vulnerability, and the unknown. 

Our culture of comforts reinforces this and has rendered many of us weakened, afraid, and unable to respond to alterations in our temperature-controlled, predictable routines.  A great majority of us have become stiff and rigid – in the physical, mental, emotional, and personality realms.

So it makes sense that most people will avoid Bikram Yoga. For it is a game-changer, an introduction to comprehensive healing, and a tool for transformation on every level.  

In Bikram Yoga, there are a few initial discomforts and vulnerabilities, there is a need to rearrange our self-care priorities, and – as with anything new – there are plenty of unknowns.  So I often hear:

  •  “I can’t do the heat.”
  • “I’ll get bored with the same sequence of postures.”
  • “I’m not flexible.”
  • “I don’t have time.”

 But I have come to realize that these are actually masked ways of saying other things.

Such as:

  • I am afraid I will not be able to respond. 
  • I am afraid of being less good at something than the person next to me.  
  • I am afraid of my own judgment if I need to hold still and look at myself. 
  • I am afraid of quiet, because I need constant external stimuli to distract me from my pain, sadness, or rigidity. 
  • I am afraid of setting self-care boundaries with others who want or need me.

But some of you reading this do not wish to be fear-based people.  Some of you are ready for courageous action. 

For you, the possibility of healing and joy outweighs the nagging voice of inadequacy, fear, and self-criticism.

Bikram Yoga opens up unimaginable possibilities of strength, self-care, and response-ability.  It is a lifelong process of training ourselves to be able to respond in joy and steadiness to a larger range of situations, people, and challenges.  In other words, freedom.


Ann Chrapkiewicz, M.A., is the founder, owner, and director of Bikram Yoga Capital Area an independent yoga school in East Lansing. Contact her at

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