OH MY GOD, IT’S HOT IN HERE! A student new to Bikram Yoga exclaimed this morning as she entered the hot room with a friend, also a first timer. The ladies placed their mats behind me, and the teacher said they were in a good place since they had a good example in front of them. I entered the hot room not feeling good about myself, I didn’t practice over the weekend, so missing two days in a row, blew my goal of practicing 7 days a week, during this 30 day challenge at my yoga studio. I often have emotional releases during yoga, sometimes resulting in tears, and today was one those days. I was aware these ladies were watching me in some of the poses, and that made me even more self aware and critical of every moment of my practice, falling out of a few postures, and the tears that flowed following Camel pose, the deepest backbend of the series that often stirs up emotions, that in me, the actor are already heightened. In a few postures one of the new students, stated a very true fact about the experience, “This is hard.”
After class I congratulated the brave new yogis for completing their first Bikram Yoga class and for staying in the room. I commented on her statement that the practice is hard. I said life is hard, isn’t it? But if you keep coming to yoga, and learn to find patience in yourself, life outside the hot room gets easier to deal with.
The ladies told me they were not aware the room was going to be 105 degrees, they just thought it was yoga, not a very sweaty, hot yoga. The class is 1 ½ hours, the lights are bright, you are forced to look at your amazing self in the mirrors in the room, there are 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises, sweat keeps dripping in your eyes, nose, ugh, yes it is hard. This made me think about life, and things that we avoid because we know they will be difficult. People put themselves in emotional lockdown and avoid relationship and commitment, because let’s face it, love is hard. It’s beautiful, but finding compromise and being honest and vulnerable to another can be hard.
People are afraid to leave a job they hate and pursue a career they may love, because it may be hard. One may have to go back to school, study very diligently to get a degree that may takes years. One may fail if they try something new and unknown. The unknown can be hard.
Admitting you are at fault, or apologizing to another can be extremely difficult. Often times, people avoid doing these things, causing extreme inner conflict or guilt, because it’s hard.
Having children is hard, sacrificing your time, your energies, learning to be selfless and put another’s needs before your own. It’s hard.
I entered the yoga room today, full of self doubt and self criticism in my own head. The beautiful new students behind me reminded me that Bikram Yoga is hard, and simply bringing yourself to that room is giving yourself a gift.
Loving oneself is very, very hard. A regular yoga practice truly can make loving yourself easier. If you can love and accept yourself, all your flaws and mistakes and beautiful humanness, you may find yourself more open and accepting to the world around you. And you may inspire someone else to begin to love themselves.
Life is hard. Do more yoga. Spread the love.
Thank you to the beautiful new yogis that inspired me today. See you in the hot room!