We want to thank Dave for giving us permission to share his letter.
I feel compelled to speak about something I’ve noticed through the practice of the Barkan Method of Hot Yoga. Specifically, I’d like to share my opinion of something I’ve personally experienced which goes beyond the normal benefits one would derive from this practice of forceful yoga, as the positive outcomes are already abundant.
I’ve been practicing yoga for just over 2 years now. What started with a DVD in my basement as a way to strengthen my core and build flexibility to gain a competitive advantage in triathlons has grown into the focal point of my overall well being. Prior to the Barkan Method of Hot Yoga, I was able to reap sufficient benefits of strength and stamina in a more limber body. However I must say, the gains in my practice were merely all physical in nature. I was never really able to make the broader mind/body/spirit connection, through following the breath, which really should be at the core for all yogis. Barkan Yoga is an intense yet calming, exhausting yet rejuvenating, challenging but never discouraging form of yoga where as each session offers limitless possibilities, constant new discoveries and moments of self realization within each participants time/space exploration. The positive advantages one can experience from this form of yoga are endless. Whether it’s increased stamina, injury recovery, overall strength or simply to reduce stress, the Barkan Method offers something for many.
For me it’s been all these things and more, however I must say that overall it is a meditation. From someone who has spent time learning and practicing various forms of seated meditation, I must say that Hot Yoga offers something a bit extra mainly because of the way it can make one feel beyond the mat, after all is done, and it is time to get back into the Flow of The Overall World Drama. This brings me to my main point of writing on this one specific positive aspect pertaining to this method, again as the advantages are plenty. I feel that there is something more going on within this “hot room”, as temperatures usually are sustained at around 105 degrees, that perhaps flies under the radar so to speak.
There Is Something About The Heat
Many times for me the body is understood as a furnace. Whether maintaining a strenuous posture or through the use of “reverse dynamics”, I can feel an intense amount of energy/heat coming from an internal area I like to call my “core of cores”. During these moments (which usually are most of the class, every class) the amount of sweat and water loss is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s less like a leaky dripping faucet and more like “who left the sink running’’. Replenishing my body with 32oz. of water during an hour and a half session is minimal, along with another immediately after, not to mention the process of pre-hydrating and drinking all throughout the remainder of the day.
After a full week of attending more classes than I had been accustomed to, I had returned home on a Thursday night after completing a double header, two consecutive classes back to back. I drank plenty of water prior to, during and after the classes, as I knew I was going to try and complete two in succession. Showered and feeling replenished I laid on my back and simply focussed on the breath. Soon my consciousness shifted as I became overwhelmed with the sense of my body as a vibrating field of energy. The main thought that came through was a feeling of newness, as if something old and toxic had been replaced with something fresh and vibrant. My life-force energy went from simply a tributary to the cold mountaintop spring at the rivers source.
Once again my mind and thoughts shifted to a series of books I had read some years ago by Japanese Doctor Masaru Emoto concerning the qualities and abilities of Water. I’d suggest anybody to read his works and findings for themselves, but basically to sum it up, the doctor wrote various words on petri dishes filled with water, brought these various water samples down in temperature to freezing and took photos of the crystals that formed. What Dr. Emoto found was those petri dishes that were marked with positive words, such as Love and Compassion, or in some cases played emergent, brilliant classical music, formed water crystals that were full, complete and beautiful, where as the negative words produced much less attractive, often unfinished crystals. His conclusions were such that our words posses power beyond what is limited to informational and that the qualities of water are easily influenced and resonate with our verbal intentions. Dolly Knight and Jonathan Stromberg, in Water: Nature’s Miracle, are quoted as saying, “Various researchers such as Professor Jacques Benveniste, Dr. Wolfgang Ludwig, David Schweitzerand and Masaru Emoto have provided clear proof that water acts as a liquid tape recorder and is able to receive, store and transmit electromagnetic vibrations. Because water molecules have a positive and a negative pole, they behave like little magnets. They attach themselves to their neighboring molecules and form clusters of several hundred molecules. These clusters are very sensitive structures and are impressionable by vibrational influences. This is what gives water the ability to store information.”
Keeping in mind of course that our bodies are made up of nearly 75% water, one can conclude that the water running through our bodies can have an effect on the way we feel, our outlook on life and in particular our own self image. Water carries toxins and the act of sweating is really the bodies way of purifying itself naturally. Many things in life concerning the body we’ve grown accustomed to and simply take these processes for granted. If you really think about it, doesn’t it seem peculiar that water droplets come out of our eyes to rid ourselves of sad emotions in the act of crying?
And so, I feel that the constant release and replenishing of water, similar to that of the water cycle in nature, attributes greatly to the positive benefits of Barkan Hot Yoga. Through maintaining a regular practice, negative thoughts and emotions aren’t given the time to manifest within the body. As our muscles, tendons and joints are opened, twisted and squeezed, negativity is released and presented with a way out through our pores. Therefor, with each session we are presented with an opportunity to replenish our inner workings with positive affirmations as we drink from a bottle that has become part of the very same sacred time/space we’ve brought into existence. I just wanted to thank you Ed and all the yoga instructors for providing the guidance for us all to meet our full potential and to share a part of my own personal experience.
Love and Light,