Remember when I asked for help? Well, here’s a few highlights of what I found:
- Those who struggled with focus, seemed to know why they were struggling but did not seem to have the ability to make the changes necessary to improve their focus for that class.
- Those who had an average focus clearly faced the same distractions (the heat, chatter of the mind/distracting thoughts, other people) and challenges as the others, but those potential obstacles didn’t stop them from remaining committed to doing well and focused on their task. They had clear refocusing strategies (often focusing on their breath) and were able to implement them.
- Those who reported an above average focus were the most likely to articulate a very “zen experience”. They moved beyond thoughts–even focused ones–and allowed themselves to be totally present with their breath, their body, the posture, and the words.
- Interestingly, mental readiness didn’t really contribute to high-quality focus for Bikram yoga. Confidence and commitment did, but not mental readiness. Because in yoga we train to let go of attachments, “readiness” doesn’t affect class performance.
In general, I really enjoyed ready the responses from the single-class survey–some challenged me, some resonated, and some just made me laugh! My favorites were probably:
Q: What did you do well in class?
A: I did nothing well but guzzle water at inhuman rates.
Q: What were you thinking when you felt strongest in class?
A: That I’m a BEAST.
And, as always, I always love hearing stories about how the yoga has changed people’s lives for the better. Here are a few more of my favorites:
Q: How has your in-class focus changed your outside-of-class, everyday focus and state of mind?
- A: I think to an extent it has helped me gain more focus outside of class, but it is much more challenging to maintain. I feel more determined and less fearful of trying new things, and I think that is partially a result of challenging myself every day in Bikram Yoga.
- A: Surviving and thriving the harsh conditions of class remind me that I can survive and thrive in my daily life too. Life is just a series of moments, some will be tougher than others. Staying in the moment, letting go of both the great and bad allows for continual growth.
- A: Tremendously—I am more patient and present with people in my life.
- A: In too many ways to explain. I’m much calmer, more centered and I’ve actually heard the Holy Spirit inside of me, speak to me. I know that sounds insane, but it’s the truth.
- A: I’m more aware of when I’m not focusing and the various causes of it. I’m better able to track my thoughts, rather than be victim to them.
Overall, I just enjoyed the reminder of knowing how much the yoga means to people–it means a lot to know that my work really makes the world a better place, even if in incremental ways.