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What Bikram Yoga tells us about Brilliant Blogging

Bikram Yoga Blogging

Let’s face it. We’re all crazy about blogging. We love it, we hate at times, but for whichever reason, we’re stuck with it. If you’re anything like me, you fear this notorious blank page and thoughts like “will I be able to fill this page today?” are part of your daily bread.

I stumbled into blogging as a career almost at the same time as I stumbled into a Bikram Yoga studio.

Surprisingly, it was only a few months ago. I know, I know, I am quite late to the game, but I have the best excuse. I was deeply involved in an eating disorder for 14 years, so I didn’t have the time and/or energy to see what was going on around me.

But let’s focus on the interesting stuff.

What is Bikram Yoga exactly, you ask?

Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. You practice it in a heated room with a temperature of 105°F. Some say it’s torture, others say it’s heaven. I am still undecided as to where my opinion falls.

However, there are certain elements of this special form of Yoga that remind me a lot of brilliant blogging and there are many areas worth shining a light on by linking it to our beloved profession.

1. Breathing

Let’s go back to that blank page we stare at so many times a week. It can be quite overwhelming at first, especially when self-doubt plagues you. And who doesn’t hear the occasional voice in the head saying that today, you just cannot do it (as I am experiencing it on this lovely Thursday, to be quite frank)?

When your nerves get the better of you, what do you do? You try to breathe deep breaths.

And that is exactly how you start every single practice of the 90-minute Bikram Yoga class. By breathing consciously, you start arriving in the room. By concentrating on your breath, you focus your thoughts and you can start your routine.

By focusing on the breathing, you crush the scattering of your thoughts and you will be able to express yourself much more clearly.

Try it!

2. The routine

The most hardcore Yogis, attend one Bikram Yoga class a day, 7 days a week.

This means that they are repeating the same sequence of motions over and over and over again.

Just like having a perfect practice of Bikram Yoga takes going through the same sequence of motions, creating a successful blogging routine is vital.

You think of a topic, you start brainstorming, you do some research, write your actual post, do some SEO, publish it and market the heck out of it and then you do it all over again. Or something along those lines.

Despite repeating these steps, does it ever get boring? No. Why?

Because your thoughts are different every day. Your mood is different every day. Your inspiration is different every day. Your heart speaks differently every day and your creativity varies from day to day.

What makes Bikram Yoga so intriguing is that this routine, this predictability of movements, allows your mind to meditate for 90 minutes. During those 1.5 hours, I muse upon my life, come up with my best blog posts and my greatest enlightenment. My movements create a framework, an anchor, within which I can unleash my thoughts.

The same can be true when creating a successful blogging routine. Within the frame of your predefined processes, you can let your creativity explode. By having guidelines which you can fall back upon, you form a space of adventure, experimentation, inspiration and ultimately, fun.

3. You learn from the best

If you have ever done any kind of Yoga, you know the people who can do it all, who seem to effortlessly glide into every posture and won’t move an inch until the trainer says so (whereas you are struggling not to lose balance and still take the usual plunge to the floor. I am talking about the arrow posture to be precise). In Bikram Yoga, said people are kindly asked to practice in the first row. The purpose of this request is not to discourage the rest of us, but to spur us on. By showing us what can be done, you start to work harder on yourself immediately.

However, while orienting yourself on what the best are doing, you still have to listen to your own body and stick to your limits.

The parallels to the world of blogging are apparent. Trying to set foot in the blogosphere is intimidating and looking at all the big names, you can start to feel insecure and unworthy.

Looking at those A-list bloggers (don’t really like the term, but it describes what I mean) as the goal of what can be achieved, will help you on your own quest towards blogger admiration. At the same time, however, it is not advisable to simply copy those who are mastering the art of blogging, but to use their work as a means to teach you and to help you grow.

At the same time, you should always stick to your style, your truth and yourself.

4. The commitment

If you want to improve your Bikram Yoga experience, you need to commit to practicing regularly. If you skip classes too often, you start to get stiff and the heat in the room affects you just like it did during your first time. (I was lucky enough to test this theory on myself this week and it sure holds its promise…)

When doing Bikram Yoga so often, your practices vary. Sometimes your practice is good and sometimes it just sucks. Sometimes you look at the clock every single second and sometimes the time flies by.

However, when you commit to it and you have formed an emotional relationship with your goal, you can make it through any class.

The same is true for blogging.

Sometimes it seems like a strenuous task and you would do anything in the world but create yet another blog post. There are days when everything you come up with is garbage and frustration can lurk around the corner many times. But when you’re committed, you will push through it, by reminding yourself that the outcome is always worth it.

5. Patience

I am not a patient girl. Not in the least. I want to see results yesterday. I like to work hard on myself, but I would do anything to speed up certain things.

If it doesn’t do anything else, Bikram Yoga teaches you patience. There are many challenging postures that I will have to work on for a very long time before I master them. And sadly, there is no fast-track to this stage.

Only by repeating the postures over and over again, will I become better and more secure and ultimately more muscular. Only by stretching certain parts of my body repeatedly, will I see results. However, the more I do it, the faster I will achieve my goal.

Wanting to write like a pro, takes the same amount of patience and tons of work. In order to maintain a successful blog, you need to commit to practicing and refining your skill on a daily basis. Writing 1000 words every day should be a habit like brushing your teeth.

By writing every day, you will find new ways of expressing yourself and of surprising your reader. You will become so much more efficient, your vocabulary will expand and you will be amazed at how much better you and your writing will get.

6. The inhibitions

Standing in a heated room with about 50 other people in something close to a bikini can tend to make you feel exposed. Sweating like a pig can add to that sentiment. I have to admit that it takes a certain amount of will power to attend these classes, but the reward at the end is double the fun.

The best blog posts are those when you strip away all your inhibitions and just let go. The ones you know are controversial, but still have to be said. The ones when you feel a little bit uneasy clicking the publish button. But the reward, the discussions, the feedback are twice the ones you would normally get.

Step outside your comfort zone, let lose, shake off all the insecurities and write what you REALLY want to say. THOSE are the posts that everybody wants to read.

And just like with blogging, you sometimes ask yourself, is this Bikram Yoga not just the silliest thing in the world?

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