Bikram’s Five Qualities of Mind

The Boss says: “the greatest challenge we face as human beings is controlling and properly using our own minds… The ego driven mind… does not want to give up its ultimate authority over your life… It will divert your focus from your Spiritual goals… using fear and desire, its primary weapons… To overcome this is not easy.

Yup – there is negativity bias/dominance to contend with too. The Bikram method is a structured, foundational approach to bring the body and mind into balance; a consistent practice of the sequence will bring 5 Raja Yoga powers within your reach to counter the negativity. We use the mind in practice to move the physical body and we use the physical body as a medium to access the subtle body to help us achieve Yoga. The qualities you use in class to help regain control of the mind are:

1. FAITH ~ When you see the others practicing, happy, sweaty and smiling you think why not me too? Do you have faith/trust in yourself? Do you have faith/trust in your Yoga? No doubts! You are worthy. The purpose of your Bikram Yoga teacher is to help you realize this new found faith in yourself and internalise it and to help you start honouring your body by encouraging frequent practice. BELIEVE.

2. SELF CONTROL ~ Discipline. Just turn up. The mind tries to distract with ‘I want I want I want’. Ok. But first fulfil your responsibility to your physical and spiritual needs. You are not a slave to your material ‘wants’. Fulfilling them cannot match the deep satisfaction that is available to us for free (ok £9 drop in, £7.50 if you buy a block of 10 ! 🙂 ) RULE.

3. DETERMINATION ~ Willingness to do what is necessary, even when it is not easy. Just unpack your inner Bengal Tiger as you walk into the hot room. In the furnace of the Bikram chamber this quality is definitely forged. Let go of your ‘lowercase’ self to overcome the slavery of your own mind; ‘Uppercase’ Self is in charge now 🙂 ! RESOLVE.

4. CONCENTRATION ~ You need to know what you want to be when you grow up 🙂 . Know what you want to do. Then, be present. The instructor gives you 20 actions to do to effect the pose in 10 seconds. Just do them. Don’t even blink. Its only 10 seconds. FOCUS.

5. PATIENCE ~ So you’ve cracked 1-4 but still no peace of mind? Perhaps you havn’t forged number 5 yet then! It’s Trying. Again and again. Your journey will be a long one. It’ll last approximately your lifetime. NO ‘are we there yet?’. Just buckle up and enjoy the ride 🙂 . WAIT.

So, you cannot physically ‘see’ these qualities as they ‘emerge’ but they are some of the most important powers we can ‘own’ / ‘take charge of’. These qualities are not something that get handed out to some and not to others. They are present as seedlings in your first class, a few of them are already sprouting. You come to class to nurture them.

Namaste ~ Trisha