Monday, September 9, 2013

When the same old class is different

You know why I love coming back to Bikram Yoga class?

Because every class is different. 

Maybe this is Bikram yoga's best kept secret. If you get busy and neglect your practice for a while and come back... there are lessons waiting for you. Life lessons. Lessons about your body. Lessons about your spirit. Lessons about tolerance and love. So many lessons!

I wasn't able to get to my regular Bikram Yoga class for a couple weeks. Then I decided to take a few more weeks off. To meditate, to do some other yoga, to enjoy copious amounts of caffeine and carbohydrates... and to just have a break.

When I returned today, I knew that even though I was dehydrated and unbendy, it would be one of those AMAZING classes.

The kind of class where you...

  • Have no expectations
  • Are incredibly accepting of your limitations
  • Are surprised by progress
  • Embrace the heat

Now don't get me wrong. In a lot of ways, the first class back after a break is impossibly hard. I have the focus of a housefly and spent the entire first breathing exercise reviewing this inner dialog:

  • Damn, this is hot
  • Was it always this hot?
  • Is this what a marathon runner feels like before they succumb to heatstroke and collapse during mile 18? (I'll bet if I ran a marathon, I could make it to mile six before making friends amongst well-wishers and water-bearers and leaving the course entirely to have a cherry Icee.)
  • Oh shoot, I'm supposed to be breathing. I forgot. I hope the new kids behind me are watching someone else.
  • The people in the first row have been coming every day, twice a day since I came here last. That means that if we were in a yoga race, they are 70 classes ahead of me for the year. If there was a Yoga Network on TV, they'd be on it. (If there was a reality show on the Yoga Network, I'd be the chunky slacker yogi who woefully whines about of being a carnivore and other ahimsa violations. Maybe they could film me stalking snakes in my back yard with a can of wasp and bee killer?)
  • Damn, this is hot. Will anyone notice if I run out of the room now?