Two hundred and nineteen nights ago, I sat in this worn, uncomfortable seat and wrote a post about how nervous I was about returning to a regular Bikram Yoga practice, thanks to a renewal of the work-study program. Tomorrow night, I will complete my 100th class since returning.
So, how am I doing?
I started off wonderfully, full of joy, ready to work, ready to get back to where I was before. For a time, I was on the fast track back -- four, five, six classes a week. Eleven classes in a ten day stretch. A posture clinic. Seeing old friends and making new ones. I was enjoying the hell out of it.
Then came the summer. Issues at work. Issues at home. Making class became more difficult. Then, when I did get to class, I would struggle. Badly. The postures I could do reasonably well became more difficult, and the postures I struggled with became well nigh impossible.
Yesterday's class was a perfect example. In Half Moon there is a huge grab in my side when I try to bend to the left. In Hands-to-Feet, I can't get my hands under my feet -- not even close. Awkward Pose is intolerable. In Eagle, getting my foot behind my calf was becoming easier, but no more. From there it just gets worse -- so much worse that the floor series has become a 15-30 minute Savasana. I can barely look at myself in the mirror these days. Once, I even started to well up with tears but I held them back. No use crying when you are the one to blame for this, and make no mistake, it is my own doing. I'm not smoking, but my diet is still a wreck. No self control. No discipline. Lately, I've begun to wonder why the hell I'm even practicing... if I keep trying to hurt myself with a poor diet, if I can only make two or three classes a week, then why bother? If going to class was just a way of avoiding other issues at home or work, then why bother? If all I'm doing is basically taking a 90 minute steam bath, then why bother?
I'll tell you why.
I have to. For no one other than myself. I have to re-learn discipline. Patience. Love of self. Appreciation. Gratitude. And much more.
I will go back in there tomorrow night. I will simply look at myself in the eyes and try to remember how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to practice this yoga.
I'm tired of staring a hole in the floor while the rest of the class refuses to give up. I'm tired of the instructor saying, "Join back in when you can.", knowing full well that remark is directed at me.
I am strong.
I am a yogi.
Toes on the line...