Bikram — DAY 10 — Class 10! 

I did two bikram classes today. Two! A double. Three hours total. Not consecutively. Several hours apart. 8am and 4:30pm. And I lived! 

When I left from work on Sunday morning, I was in a bad mood and wanted nothing more than to go home and hide in bed. I told my co-workers this – because it was another rowdy night of helping drunkards find their room keys, their shoes and some pizza while trying to convince perfect strangers that the name on my nametag is actually my name. My co-workers all agreed I should just go home and skip yoga. As soon as that came out of their mouths I said “No! You’re suppose to say ‘this is when you need it the most.'” So I went…

First class was great. I wasn’t fully in the mood to be there, and it showed, to me. Some poses I half assed. Some I went balls out. I picked and chose. Again giving myself the freedom to celebrate small victories – like actually going! I left energized and in a great mood. So much better than had I gone home and sat in bed, watching TV, drowning myself in guilt for not going. 

The day just flowed. I had a wonderful chat with my mother, while I drank an iced coffee on the patio of the coffee shop in the downtown hustle. It was almost like she was there with me. By the time I got home I could feel my body yearning for more. Since I had the night off from work, I wasn’t on a time schedule to sleep and knew a double was possible. 

I ate some granola with fruit and yogurt and looked at the clock. I had exactly enough time to walk to target, shop a little and then get to the last class of the day. I wanted to get a new frilly top or dress for myself, but instead left with a new sports bra and work out top. I tried to bribe myself with these luxurious soft pajama leggings that if I bought them I could go home and skip yoga. Then I told myself “well your legs would feel even better in the pants if you went to yoga part two.”

I left the store. My brain said turn right, but my body went straight – towards the express bus downtown. I got on the bus. Thought well I can still get off by my apartment, until I passed the stop for my apartment. When we got on to Lake Shore Drive, my mouth got dry. I was so nervous. It was like my first class all over again. I walked right in to the studio and registered and told her I was terrified. She assured me as long as I had had enough water, I would be fine and my body would even open up more. 

She was right. There was a few instances when I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. Like, when I walked back into the hot room and almost had a panic attack. However, I set up my mat, put my towel over it and quickly got down into savasana to tell myself I was in control of my own mind and thoughts and am perfectly capable of completing this class. It was a super fidgety group of people and incredibly hot. (It was really hot outside too) But I did it. 

I had a great experience with some poses I hadn’t connected with before and most noticeably – got back in camel enough to grab my ankles and still pull down some. I mean an AMAZING back bend stretch.  When I walked out of class I fist pumped. I was so proud of myself. 

I really believe in the interconnectedness of my yoga practice and life. At work, I was so sensitive to the different types of people that stay at the hotel. In particular, there was a woman who came in drunk (of course) at 5am and just slapped her credit card on the counter and was like “I need a room with two beds.” She didn’t ask the price, she knew check out was just 7 hours later and thought this was her best option. It was just funny to me that she spent $229 on a whim where other people plan months for that kind of disposability with their income. 

It just made me step back and realize all the different options we have in life but how it doesn’t always feel like that. Sometimes it just seems like we’re destined for this or that and it’s set in stone, inviolable. Be it God, a universal plan or that we are all floating, however there most definitely is a voice, a path, an inner guide for us all. The key is being aware enough of it that you can hear it or feel it but then finding the courage to follow it  that’s your choice, that’s the test. That’s the struggle. 

Without fail, every class I’ve been to so far people leave immediately after the instructor walks out of the room. The very last part of class is savasana – laying flat and still on the mat. The teacher leaves, turns the lights off and the point is to get your heart rate back to normal and to readjust your body. It is also a time to meditate in this relaxed state after such an intense class. People just jump up and run for the locker rooms. It’s my favorite part of class, because it’s where I get to tell myself how great I am. If I get up too early, I leave a little off kilter. I always think the people that leave first are the ones that are in it for the healthy bodies, not healthy minds.  


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