I began this blog last year as a way to document a 60 day Bikram Yoga challenge. However my body decided it was not the right time for me, and I had to have emergency appendectomy the weekend before the challenge was to begin. So here we are 5 months later and I am in day 4 of a 30-day Bikram challenge, and day 9 of consecutive days of practicing this sweaty yoga. I have been a yogi for over 20 years and for the past 8 years, have been addicted to the Bikram style of yoga. I still practice other styles of yoga, run, Pilates and have lately been training to defy gravity in aerial training. I typically practice Bikram consistently 3-5 days per week for the past 8 years. As a single mother with primary custody of 2 children, a few different jobs, as a psychotherapist, theater teacher, drama therapist, actor and writer, finding time to do yoga has been a challenge in itself. But I have found the energy the practice gives me allows me to multi-task and keep up with my busy life.
Following a very traumatic divorce, I have been thrust back in the world of dating for the past 3 years… a very scary place. I naturally crave to be with other people.. very social in nature and giving of the heart. And when I do something I DO IT… some friends even called me a serial dater… always going out, meeting new people.. trying.. so very diligently, trying to find love. I have seen friends around me fall in love, get engaged, married and wonder.. wait… what’s wrong with me? Well I recently stopped thinking that negative thought and have realized, perhaps I’m still not ready.. perhaps I’m still healing. The Bikram yoga practice helped build up my self esteem and courage when I was faced with court dates and separation agreements that defined the hours I spend with my children. I became very depressed, but had to remain so very strong in the the eyes of my children. I had to work and prepare their meals and do the laundry and help them with homework and play games with them… I couldn’t lock myself in my bathroom and cry on the floor for days like Elizabeth Gilbert describes doing in “Eat Pray Love” (she didn’t have kids). Going to yoga allowed me to cry during Camel pose.. the most vulnerable heart opening back bend. Feeling the warmth of the floor during the spine series was almost like a hug when I felt ever so lonely. The dancer pose gave me courage… that I could balance on one leg and kick the other behind my head while sweating and sometimes smiling in that my most favorite, beautiful pose. I used the energy of my fellow yogis to give me strength, when I felt I had none.
So I have decided to make this 30 day yoga challenge a commitment to myself. And it is like I am in a relationship with my practice. This yoga was a friend that I saw 3-5 times per week.. Now that I have decided to in a way marry my practice and commit to on a daily basis. And the practice, keeps me warm, loves me without makeup and sweaty hair matted to my head, loves me on days when I am in a bad mood, days when I am too tired or sore to perform a posture, loves me so much that I have began to love myself.
So as Valentines Day approaches, I challenge you to love yourself. To forgive yourself, to be kind to yourself, to respect your body and exercise and avoid over indulgences… And maybe, just maybe cupid will find you!