13 May 2011

Panic! In The Room

I have managed to get to five classes in since my last post. It has been a tough week... so much so that I left early during two of them. The pattern was pretty much the same. I would have trouble standing on one leg... horrible balance. Triangle pose would only be a rumor. My hips would hurt terribly and every move would be uncomfortable to sat the least. Then, the heat and humidity would lay me out on my mat, and then it was just a matter of time until I would look for a chance to head for the door. Tuesday was the worst night. Things fell apart so fast... I was down for the count before long before Triangle... I panicked and left somewhere right after Spine Strengthening, and as I cooled down I considered whether or not I was really cut out for Bikram Yoga anymore. I told my instructor of my thoughts, and she silenced me immediately: "You are certainly made for this!! You are Mark!! You are a yogi!!"

As I have said before, I am not looking to be a famous, world champion yogi. I just want to be healthy and happy. Later, I took a longer look at the last few days. I have not eaten well every day. On Tuesday, for example, it was 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and 2 liters of water. When at work it is not always possible to eat or get enough fluids in, and it has been tough for me to drink enough water anywhere. I just haven't been that thirsty, unlike when we were doing Challenges and I was easily drinking 4 or 5 liters each day. Add allergies to the equation plus the occasional cigarette (I know, I Know, I KNOW...) and I have not treated my body well lately. It has often been said that your practice is a mirror of your life outside the room. I don't like what I see... so much so that it was difficult to stare at my own two eyes in the room.

Today's class brought new hope. I am still having a really hard time keeping my balance...my legs just shook today. However, I got through three out of four sides in Triangle, but had difficulty in SSL Head to Knee. Really, my standing set was better than in weeks! I started to lose it on the floor, though... Cobra, Locust, and Full Locust were very hard as my back felt really weak. I sat out Camel and Rabbit, and Head to Knee Stretching and Spine Twist were pretty half-hearted, but I stayed in for the duration.

Lessons? Many. Diet. Hydration. Self-confidence. I must work on all of these.

One of the themes of late at the studio has been, "Be happy about the postures you CAN do. Don't get down on yourself for the postures you cannot do.  Each day is different and your body will be different. Honor yourself for being here and doing the best you can on that day."

Along those lines, the other mantra has been, "The only bad class you can have is the class you do not attend."

For me, it has been a reminder that I cannot half-ass my way through this process. I must stay focused and committed.

When is the next class?


My goal for 2011: 200 classes.

46 down, 154 to go


  1. Mark - sounds like you have an awesome studio, an incredible attitude and an open mind. You ARE a yogi and you are AWESOME. Loved reading this post and looking forward to following you. All the best! ~Kendall (the GY)

  2. Hey Mark

    Since I have a little time on my hands at the moment :-) I have been reading your blog. Wow what a journey you are on!

    You know even after practicing for 3 years I still have days when it seems I just can't get it together in the hot room. Days when I just want to collapse in a heap on my mat and days when I just want to run from the room screaming and never return! But there is something about this yoga that makes me keep coming back. Quite simply - because it works. Because no matter how hard it is on those days to get up off your mat and continue on to the next posture, no matter how hard it is to look yourself in the eyes in the front mirror, no matter how hard it is to stay in that friggen hot room, somehow it resonates with your soul and you make up your mind to do it because you know that it works.

    So on "those" days I just take it one posture at a time. Geez some days its just thinking about the first side of the first set. Don't think of anything else, not how much longer there is in the posture, not how good you did or didn't do the last posture,not how many more postures to go. Just be present in that moment. And take the class moment by moment. No expectations, no judgements. Ha, easier said than done I know.

    Many times I have stood in that room with tears of frustration at my inability to do a posture so I KNOW how it feels. But slowly I learn't how to be kind to myself, to not be such a harsh critic and pass judgement. To just breath and accept it is what it is. And hey, its ONLY yoga!


  3. “What is this self inside us, this silent observer,
    Severe and speechless critic, who can terrorize us,
    And urge us on to futile activity,
    And in the end, judge us still more severely,
    For the errors into which his own reproaches drove us?”

    -- T. S. Eliot

  4. Thank you both for your thoughts. I appreciate it very much! Keeping good thoughts as you continue training!