Last week I went back to Bikram for the first time in a long time. I chose the class most likely to be hot hot hot. And hot hot hot it was. With so many studios turning the heat down to bring in more students it’s not that easy anymore to find a studio with decent heat, so THANK YOU PAUL.
For a fair amount of the standing series I was on the floor because I was so dizzy. Each time I stood up to rejoin the class, the blood would drain, my vision would close in and I’d have to sit down again. Over and over. Even getting up onto my knees for Camel made my head spin. But the thing is, I LOVED it. Absolutely LOVED it. It wasn’t the heat – there weren’t enough of us on the floor for it to be the heat – it was me (blood pressure, out of practice, not hydrated enough, salt, magnesium… whatever). Usually – unless I feel unwell at the same time – I’m relatively neutral to feeling dizzy. It comes and goes and I know what I need to do. It’s okay. I just let it be. But on Monday, after having taken a proper break, I found something new in the sensation; joy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Inside I was grinning.
I was home. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t having a strong class. I was just delighted to be sweating profusely in a hot room, with happy welcoming faces and teachers around me, knowing I was doing amazing things for my body and mind.
Having taving taken such a long break, preceded by several months of less regular practice, means that in almost every way I have gone back to square one. I am starting from somewhere near the beginning again. I have limited flexibility and pain in my knee, tightness and pain from meralgia/sciatica. I have also put on weight and stiffened up. In the past I might have got down about this, but like I said to a colleague last week who was sad to discover that it was only Thursday – after having woken up excited thinking it was Friday – “Well, at least you have that wonderful ‘OMG it’s Friday’ feeling to look forward to tomorrow”. Equally, I have all that opening up and strengthening to look forward to all over again.
I’ve been several times this week and I’m looking forward to going all the places I was before, and some new, but in a slightly different way. I’ll face different challenges this time and so I’m sure to learn new things; things I didn’t hear or which didn’t resonate the first time around. I imagine I’ll be a bit more conscious, more connected, and more able to listen to my body; I’m excited.
I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it many times more; God bless the twenty six and two.