This post brought to you by Bikram and Jules

Isn’t that pretty? That’s how my night ended. Some griping first, and then the good stuff.

The problem with visiting Tucson is my stuff. I don’t live here. But I used to live here so I have stuff stored here and a truck.

My day started with moving my truck, or rather trying to move it. My storage facility moved my truck to a bigger (more expensive) empty space some time back because they were doing construction but they charged me for a smaller space and then they forgot about it and didn’t move it back. A month ago they realized their error and wanted to charge me the more expensive rate and have me pay back all the months it had been in that space when it hadn’t been my choice to begin with! I don’t live in Tucson so any change in my storage units requires lots of phone calls and negotiations.  Is there anything more futile than fighting long distance by phone over something neither of you has control over? I think not. But now I’m in town and told them I’d be happy to move it to a smaller space. Then my truck wouldn’t start. !@*$(@Y#$%!!! I feel like such a girl when that happens because I never know what’s wrong and I can’t fix it. A failing on my part as I could learn but I haven’t. I just want it to run. Is that so wrong??

I guess the battery died so the storage guy helped me jump it and what was a 15 minute procedure turned into an hour plus paperwork; so by the time I visited my storage shed I was already irritated and ready to get more so.

And… just… Yikes. I have so much stuff. Some of it I love and some of it I’d happily throw out, but I’m never in town for long enough and throwing stuff out would require spending my limited time going through all the boxes, making decisions, taking it all somewhere, yadda yadda…. It makes me tired just typing that. Regardless, at the end of it I’m rolling down that door and locking it up and not doing anything different with the stuff I want to keep.

Bottom line: I don’t want all my stuff in boxes. I want it in a house. Spread out with some room to breathe. I want to be able to visit my things and see them all. But while I’m a nomadic gypsy, it’s financially imprudent to spend money on a place just so I can see my stuff. But every time I visit I kinda sorta wish I could rescue a few things and torch the rest of it and be free. I know I’d miss all those little things, my books and paintings and such and I do want a place… eventually… just not now… ergo, boxes. Sigh.

3 hot dusty frustrating hours later wherein I opened a bunch of boxes and sorted and reorganized a bunch of things so I could find them again and found room for more things, like my sewing machine, I looked at my watch and realized I had about 30 minutes to get to Bikram at orange grove and oracle. Once again, a mad race across a city to find a place I’ve never been and get into a yoga frame of mind before I have to be all in it. I arrived as Nicole was locking the door. Literally the latest I have ever been for a class. At least this time I knew enough to turn off my radio while I was driving and try to focus so I wasn’t completely frantic and crazy when I walked in. Nicole asked me if I’d been at that studio before, had me sign a waver and told me I had 30 seconds to change before class started.

So much for serenity now.

I walked in the room, saw my friend Jules, found a spot near her, had time for one deep breath and then dove right in.

Basically, taking time off sucks. It’s been 5-6 days since I last did Bikram and I can feel it. Or the lack of it. But fortunately, I’ve done Bikram enough now that I’m not all the way back at square one when I take time off. More like square 2. Possibly 2.5. But it’s still a relearning, how to breathe, how to stretch, how to stay in the moment, how to listen. The teacher, Nicole, said my words of wisdom today.

Bikram lesson of the day: It’s will over matter.

That’s different from mind over matter, isn’t it? Mind over matter is letting your brain control your body. Will over matter is exerting yourself on yourself. Making yourself do it. Making the stretch, holding the pose, gritting your teeth, letting it hurt, breathing through it. Not giving up when you want to. Pushing yourself further and deeper. Nicole is the first teacher I’ve had to be specific that some poses will hurt. Are supposed to hurt. She also said where they should hurt. And the kind of pain you should feel. Stretching pain vs. stabbing pain. Some poses make you feel dizzy and nauseous and that’s ok. They should. It means they’re working. Your body is working in a way it’s unused to. Let it be. Breathe.

Jules and I had dinner after and talked about the things we’ve learned in Bikram. We’re both kinesthetic learners and things we learn physically make a big impact on us mentally and spiritually. She said two things that really stayed with me:

1. Lean into the discomfort.

I love that. Don’t lean away. Lean into it. Acknowledge it. Let it be uncomfortable. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable. If it were comfortable, you wouldn’t be working.

2. When you rest, rest completely.

How hard is that??! In life or in Bikram? It’s such good practice in Bikram to soak up those 20 second savasanas between poses. To learn to rest completely after activity so your body can absorb the fresh oxygenated blood or relax muscles or whatever. And in life, imagine how much productive we would be if we rested completely when we rested?

We talked about our lives in transition. How productive and difficult it is to transfer Bikram lessons to our shifting lives and how much we’ve learned about life in these classes while sweating it out, doing the work, and pushing ourselves beyond our flexibility.

It’s hard. That’s good.

On the flip side, we also talked about pole dancing and boys and then we went for a moonlight walk through the River walk under a nearly full moon.

Moonlight walks, philosophical talks, Vietnamese food and a sweaty Bikram class = complete satisfaction.

More Tucson tomorrow. See you then.


9 thoughts on “This post brought to you by Bikram and Jules

  1. to answer her question: yes, there’s a niche…i’m sure of it. :) and, i love having philosophical conversations over delicious dinner and walks in the moonlight. sounds perfect. you are getting me more and more eager to try bikram. xo

  2. hey glad you made it through. looks like we will be hitting the road on fri or sat depending on the fire situation. Good luck with the stuff and fight off the desire to buy a house. it’s a millstone to the free. invest in an IRA or gold

  3. ‘Lean into the discomfort’ is a great topic for meditation! But now I’m contemplating boys and pole dancing . . .

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