"Hey! Why you all leaving? Are there cookies out there? Santa?" Today's day-after-Christmas class was a killer, as evidenced by the amount of people fleeing the room for a breather. I've found that when the studios get really packed, I get anxious and don't have as strong a practice as in smaller classes. I guess I wasn't alone!
I understand that doing the yoga forces you to face your fears, whatever they may be--body issues, social anxiety, fear of failure, etc, or all of the above. You "take up arms" against them in the class and they don't haunt you quite so much in the real world. Today's class was hell, quite frankly, but I did it, and I know that doing so helped to quiet my restless, planning mind.
Tomorrow, I'm flying out to a spot in Mexico for a few days. I'll be practicando el español and enjoying the big colonial city. Alas, there's no Bikram Yoga in this city (believe me, I checked ;-). So, in the anticipation of missing the yoga, I've been reflecting on what the yoga has given me this past year. There's definitely some apprehension about going, but surviving the yoga class today and all the previous days fosters a calm confidence that I'll be able to survive this and other challenges.
That ... openness to experience, for lack of a better word, is probably what I'm most grateful for. It quells the social anxiety and prompts me to trust that I'll be able to handle what comes my way. Earlier this year, I ran my first half-marathon, but it didn't give me half the amount of "confidence" a week's worth of yoga gives me. There's just something about this practice that has the power to gently uplift you. I'm sure I'll be taking a part of the yoga with me to Mexico.
Namaste, feliz año, and see you in 2010!