Reflections and Thanks
About a year ago, desperate for a yoga studio to practice in, I walked into Bikram Yoga Plainfield on my own volition. I had practiced other styles of yoga (Mickey Mouse), and thought that I knew what I was in for. I read the web site and knew what to expect. However, it is impossible to really understand what to expect in the “torture chamber.” I still remember my first class. My head was pounding with the sound of my heartbeat, and I thought that I was never going to make it the ninety minutes. I couldn’t make my body do just what I wanted it to do, and with each savasana I could see the back door beckoning me. I remember thinking, “Just stay in this damn room.” The people around me didn’t look like they wanted to run away as much as I did, and that gave me more of an incentive. Well, I stayed in the room, and doing so changed my life in so many ways in just one year.
I drove home that night thinking, “Wow, if I can do that, what else can I do?” I felt that awesome. I knew that my main goal was to come back as soon as possible. It was more than a little weird at the time. As I continued to practice, I noticed that I started to take better care of myself, even if it was just to prepare to come back again. I eat less, eat better foods, and drink much more water. (I didn’t know that I was going through life so very dehydrated.) As a result, I lost twenty pounds and two pant sizes. My flexibility improved greatly, and the yoga found the “issues in my tissues” and is still working some of the kinks out.
Aside from the physical improvements in my body, I am a much more balanced and happy person. When I am just about out of energy, I can find a little more. When I am just about out of patience, I can find a little more. When I have just about given up on humanity, I can find more love, compassion, and trust. Is there a better gift than that? Several colleagues of mine can’t seem to understand just where all my happiness and energy is coming from. They ask me about it too. I tell them to come practice with me, but there are no takers yet. Now, I know that I am never going to climb Mt. Everest, but I honestly think that as human beings we fail to live up to our full potential. We need to learn how to be present, in the moment, and get rid of the hurryitis so we can be there to recognize the important moments in our lives—they are all important moments. And, yes, someday we may touch our heads to our toes; anything is possible if you can believe it.
Some of the dialogue I have heard has even worked its way into my own everyday dialogue. I find myself saying things like, “You can do it,” “screw loose brain,” “Where your eyes go, your body will follow” (to my five-year-old daughter who never seems to look where she is going), “Don’t even think about it, just do it,” and “better to be a little weird than boring.” I hear some of the truest statements while I am in the torture chamber. I credit that to the passion of the teachers. I can hear it in their voices, and I can feel it in the room. I can feel it in my heart.
Some days I still come to class and feel like it is the first day all over again. There are still asanas that I have difficulty achieving, and sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. But there are also times when I do feel like I can totally rock it. No matter what, I am always glad that I came to share the energy. So, this is the start of a beautiful relationship, a life-long journey. I tell people, you can take my books, my television, or anything else for that matter, but don’t mess with my yoga! People who sweat together stay together—Bikram Yoga Plainfield is an awesome yoga community. I am forever grateful to have such a wonderful gift in my life. Thank you to Bikram, and thank you Kris, Mick, Nikki, Jocelyn, Nikki T, Chris, and anyone else that I may be forgetting at my home away from home. If everyone practiced Bikram Yoga the world would be a much better place. Namaste!
February 5, 2009