I rejoined my local Bikram studio right before Christmas. It nearly didn’t happen. After so many months off, I was very close to just giving yoga up as a lost cause. Maybe it just wasn’t for me. I was so tired. I was unfit. I was in pain from my hips and scared of triggering more heart palpitations. My practice would have gone backwards. I wouldn’t be able to DO anything. It was going to HURT.
In the end, the only way I convinced myself was to follow through on each and every one of those thoughts. Rather than bemoaning the fact that I was too tired to go to class, I tried to figure out why that would prevent me from attending.
“I can’t go, I’m too tired!”
Yes… and then what?
“Well, I’ll go to class! And I’ll be tired!”
Yes. And if you go straight home, you’ll be tired. Being tired is a constant because you didn’t get enough sleep last night.
“But I’m soooooo sleepy. I’ll probably fall asleep on the mat!”
…I highly doubt that. And if it does happen, I’m pretty sure the teacher would understand.”
“But… I’m too tired to do yoga well. I’ll be… I’ll be bad at it.”
In the end, that was what everything boiled down to. Unfit? I couldn’t possibly make it through the series without sitting down. In pain? I’d have to back off postures if I noticed them damaging my body. Practice has deteriorated? But I’m so used to getting compliments on Balancing Stick! Sore muscles? I wouldn’t be able to reach my feet in Stretching Pose!
Um. Please. I’ve done a 60 day challenge. I’ve done classes where I bent forward but could only wave at my toes from afar. The only thing stopping me from going to class was this stupid fear that I would be bad at it.
And you know what? I’ve already had incredibly awful classes in the past; days where I felt like I got hit by the yoga bus. I’ve had classes where it was all I could do not to run screaming from the room after the first posture. I’ve had a class where I basically DID run screaming from the room. And I still went. If there’s one thing that Bikram’s taught me, it’s how to absolutely suck at something and still own that shit.
So I went. And I sucked SO BAD and I did it with a smile. Because after the previous three months of diligently practising my physio exercises, watching in tears as my hips slowly deteriorated from occasional twinges to constant pain, the hot room was a revelation. Three classes in one week and the pain was gone. Completely. Without a trace.
Oh, Bikram. I’m sorry I ever doubted you.