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"I came to Bikram 6 years ago, while I was still in regular counselling and on Citalopram due to severe and ongoing depressions and suicidal thoughts. I was unable to stay mentally still and always had to keep my mind busy, not to start overthinking and causing another episode. Even though I tried meditation and other techniques that are meant to help calming the mind down, I never had any success as I just could not cope with my “inner voices”.When I started Bikram and was past the initial shock of the heat, I suddenly saw myself confronted with “me”. The 90 minute practice in front of the mirror, where you are supposed to find your own eyes most of the time, was probably the biggest challenge I ever had to face. Never having been comfortable in my own body generally made me avoid looking into the mirror, but additionally I started to not only feel my emotions but see them right in my face and body. And Bikram did stir a lot of emotions in the room for me, from massive attacks of anger (which I never let close to me in the real world), that I initially directed at the teacher, the practice or the heat in general, over panic attacks and up to tears of joy. There was almost no emotion that has not yet surfaced during my practice. But as, in comparison to my real world, I was not supposed to leave the room and run away from all those emotions, I had to deal with them through the postures, the sweat and the (not always) gentle encouragement of my teachers. After 90 minutes of sweat and (literally sometimes) tears I was however able to leave the emotions on the mat and leave the room even in the darkest of times with a smile. I ended up beginning a life-changing journey and started the first long-term physical practice of my life. Within months the benefits we not only visible on my skin, hair and body but also obvious in my smile and my inner peace that I mastered to maintain over growing periods of time. I quickly started to reduce my anti-depressants and within a year took a “break” from counselling that turned into permanency. I know exactly where to go and how to stop the onset of a depression.I can truly say that my life has changed massively for the better through the practice in more than one way and I really hope that more people like me, suffering from emotional or physical difficulties, would give this a try before swallowing pills accepting their unhappiness."

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