Bikram 30 Day Challenge – Days 5 and 6

Day 5

When I did martial arts, we had an exercise that I hated. HATED. It was so hard and painful and I did it badly and with little grace. My instructor watched me once and then pulled me aside and told me that I was expending too much energy hating the exercise. I said, Ok, I’ll love it instead. I’ll love the hell out of it!

He said “Don’t to that either. Love takes just as much energy. Just do it. It is what it is. It’s just an exercise, it’s not the end of the world.”

 He said a lot of things that have stayed with me but I remember that one the best and I use that phrase the most often when something is hateful and I can’t do anything but put up with it. It is what it is. Move on. Spend your energy on something else.

 The owner (?) of Yoga Vida – Bonnie – ran the Bikram class today. She was great. And expressed a similar sentiment, only she said “I’m just your yoga teacher. Save your drama for your mama. Don’t come in here to prove how hard Bikram is and how hardcore you are for doing it. That’s not what yoga’s about. It’s about peace. That’s what you’re coming here to get.”

I feel like I crossed some kind of barrier and I don’t actively hate the thought of going to Bikram. Usually I hate the thought because I can think of so many other things I’d rather do – most of which involve sitting on my couch. But as of today, Bikram’s just another thing I’m doing. It’s still requiring me to schedule my day and make some sacrifices so that I can go, but I’m saving the drama. Not for my mama, but for something else. Anything else.

Day 6

Crazy guy came to yoga today and of course he set up right next to me and committed Bikram sin #1, which is pushing aside someone’s preset mat and taking their space. Presetting your mat in the Bikram room is like saying Shotgun! or Not it! The playground rules apply and that little part of the room belongs to you. Moving mats is verboten and no one does it, except for this guy.

Then he sat there and breathed noisily through his mouth in little gulpy “ha” sounds while he shifted around and cracked his neck, ignoring the irritated girl who came to retrieve her crumpled mat and had to find another space in a very crowded classroom. I laid next to him and tried to find rest inside myself because it looked like this was not the class to find rest elsewhere.

When we started the first round of breathing he stood up, ignored the instructor, continued to crack his neck, took a drink of water during the breathing exercise (Bikram sin #2), and then stood still and looked forward and did nothing until the instructor came over and said “are you going to participate today?”

Then he did kinda did some breathing but seemed to make no effort to follow the class (Bikram sin #3). Ok, clearly I don’t keep my eyes on my own paper so I’m breathing along with everyone else but keeping a side eye on this guy and wondering exactly why he’s here if he doesn’t want to play with the other kids.

Then he stopped and took another drink, at which point the instructor said “please wait to drink water until we aren’t in an active pose.” At this point we were about 1 minute into class. When we got to the end of the first breathing cycle, he grabbed his towel and took off. In other classes I’ve attended, the instructor tries to dissuade people from leaving but she said nothing to this guy and I think that little wrinkle in her calm yoga forehead said “good riddance.”

In other news, my balance continues to suck. Intensely. I think my feet are defective.

That is all…

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