Yesterday was my first day of Hot Yoga class. Innovated by Bikram Choudhury, Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-105 degrees. As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at that temperature promotes profuse sweating and makes the body very warm, and therefore more flexible.
We ended the class with a few minutes of total body relaxation. The instructor guided us through our breaths as we went to a place of calmness and ease. She asked us to imagine walking through a beautiful forest filled with flowers and trees and running streams. We were to imagine taking that walk with our spouse or best friend. She allowed us a moment of silence as we reflected on that peaceful place. Then she asked us to imagine that same walk, in that same forest, still accompanied by that same person; after being stranded due to car trouble. That was a lesson in perception. She told us to go to that peaceful place whenever we were experiencing something uncomfortable and stressful.
I thought that was an excellent example of perception. In light of the car trouble in the instructor’s verbal illustration, a walk that was peacefully enjoyed by me and a loved one could easily turn into a miserable hike through the woods, based on my perception of my current circumstance. The elements in the second illustration is exactly the same…there are beautiful trees, flowers, and streams surrounding me even though my car is stuck on the side of the road. I can choose to take it in or ignore it. I could say…I enjoyed a few moments of clam, from my walk through the forest, on the way to get help that eased some of the stress of being stranded on the side of the road. OR…I could say…I had to hike my way through the woods to get some help after being stranded on the side of the road. Either way you perceive it, your circumstance is almost identical, except for the fact that you could have de-stressed on the way to get help.
You will receive what you perceive. That is the lesson I learned from Hot Yoga class…